Saturday, June 6, 2009

Joy

Biblical Theology of joy includes many features
1. Joy is a gift from God. (Ps. 4:7-8; Ps. 16:11)
2. God grants joy to those who believe the gospel. (Luke 2:10-11; John 15:11)
3. Joy is produced by God the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 14:17; Gal. 5:22-23)
4. Joy is experienced most fully as believers receive and obey God's Word. (Jer. 15:16; I John 1:4)
5. Joy is deepened through trials. (I Thess. 1:6; 2 Cor. 6:10; James 1:2; I Peter 1:3-6)
6. Joy is made complete when they (the believer) set their hope on the glory of heaven. (Rom. 12:12; I Peter 1:8; I Peter 4:13; Jude 24-25).

8 Aspects for Participation in the Joy of Christ
1. Fellowship of grace. This is not a natural, man-made fellowship but one sovereignly designed and affected by God through the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 2:8; Rom. 4:5; Rom. 8:29-30; John 15:26).
2. Fellowship of faith. On the human level, it is faith alone that brings sinners to salvation. (Acts. 16:31; Rom. 10:9-10)
3. Fellowship of prayer and thanksgiving. Nothing binds believers more closely together than worshiping God in corporate praise and thanksgiving. (Eph. 5:20; Col. 3:17; I Thes. 5:16-18)
4. Fellowship of love, the supreme virtue that encompasses all other values. (I Cor. 13; I John 4:7-8)
5. Fellowship of contributing to the needs of others. (Gal. 6:10; Prov. 3:27)
6. Fellowship of promoting the gospel. That is done through preaching, teaching, witnessing, and supporting those whom the Lord has specially called to those ministries. (Matt. 28:19-20)
7. Fellowship of separation from the world. (John 15:19; James 1:27; I John 2:15-16)
8. Fellowship of spiritual warfare. (John 15:19-20; 2 Cor. 10:4; 2 Tim. 2:3)

Aspects that rob Christians of Joy (MacArthur, pg. 32-35)
1. False Salvation. (Matt. 13:24-30; 36-43; James 2:14-26; Gal. 5:22; Eccl. 7:6; 2 Cor. 13:5)
2. Influence of Satan and his demons. (1 Peter 5:8; Ps. 51:12)
3. Inadequate understanding of God's sovereignty. For believers to fret and worry over their circumstances and to fear what the future may hold is doubting God's sovereignty, as well as His power and love. (Rom. 8:28; John 10:28-29; Matt. 6:25-34; Phil. 4:6; John 14:1-3; Ps. 55:22; Habakkuk 1:2-4)
4. Prayerlessness. Believers who fail to pray inevitably lose sight of God's sovereignty and His love and care for us. Such believers give up hope or else seek help from other sources. (James 5:14-16; Phil 4:6)
5. Emotional low that frequently follows a spiritual high. (I Kings 18:38-40; I Kings 19:3-4
6. Focusing on circumstances. Despite the abundant blessings all believers have in the lord, many become dissatisfied with their circumstances. (John 14:27; Phil 4:11-12
7. Ingratitude. (I Thess. 5:18; Rom. 1:18-21)
8. Forgetfulness. (Ps. 103:2; Rev. 2:4-5)
9. Living by uncontrolled feelings, living by the flesh instead of by the Spirit.
10. Unwillingness to accept forgiveness. (Matt. 6:14-15; Ps. 103:12; I John 1:9)

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