Bible Lesson 134

The Joy Of True Salvation

“In Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

“The Holy Spirit gives us joy as He enables us to exercise an appropriating faith.” Spurgeon

I suppose that the first question that we should ask ourselves in this lesson is “Do I have the fullness of Joy in my life’ Perhaps we should make sure we understand what Biblical Joy is. Joy in the Word of God is something that we receive from the Lord Himself, and it is given to us by the Holy Spirit in us.

We are told that Joy speaks of delight, gladness, exultation, rejoicing, glory, and benefit. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. So if you are saved, you are indwelled by the Holy Spirit and you, by right are expected to have this joyfulness of spirit; and if you do not it is your own fault. It is there and if you trust God to do what He has said, in the eyes of the world, you may appear to have no reason for joy, but because you know God in the forgiveness of your sin and you have that eternal inheritance prepared for you in heaven, you are glad and should demonstrate that you are joyful.

Sometimes I wonder why there are so many church members with their shoulders humped over, wringing their hands over something that is a simple matter of life. Life has it’s disappointments, and trials and tribulations; but the Christian has Christ and all that being in Christ brings, so nothing in this life should make us so unhappy that people cannot see the Joy of Christ in us.

Perhaps it’s because we do not understand that we have the Spirit of God, in us as the ‘down payment” on our heavenly inheritance. That Spirit of God is the power of God, and the Bible tells us that He always produces fruit’.not fruits’.but fruit which includes all of these (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control), (Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 1:13-14). As fallen men and women, we were without Christ and had no hope, no possibility of joy, because we were without God in the world’..however, now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13-14).

Now in case you missed the point that I made in that last statement, that is our deed of trust for all that comes to those who are truly saved, and one of the benefits of being a Child of God is that they have joy unspeakable and full of glory.

The Big Fisherman, Peter, spoke to us under the inspiration of God and said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, many be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—- the salvation of your souls (1st Peter1:3-9).

The Christian has a Joy that is a supernatural kind of joy; a joy that is unspeakable, inexpressible, and full of glory. If you think about it the Child of God’.that person who has been called, justified, sanctified and glorified is the only person or persons in the world, who have any reason to have real joy. They are free from sin because of Jesus Christ and His work on Calvary, and that my friends is the occasion for Joy, even in the midst of trouble. That kind of Joy is not generally known in our midst these days and what we think is joy is really just something that we conjure up as an artificial substitute for the Joy that only God can produce.

At the time that I am preparing this message on joy, America is not only suffering a winter storm, but also preparing for the ‘Super bowl’ of football. I personally do not understand all of the excitement about sports in the USA, but I do know that sports has been the ruination of much of our academic system. What the Super Bowl does it allows a lot of people to generate an excitement and entertainment that will not last much longer than the game. That is something like Joy but the difference is that Joy is eternal. The person who is saved has the gift of Joy which becomes theirs the moment that they are truly saved and will last for eternity. Someone has said, that two much church is being done by people who are not right with God and each other, who know neither the joy of salvation or a willing spirit.

Our God is a God of Joy, as is illustrated in the Old Testament when Zephaniah says, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17) God rejoices over His obedient people and in the New Testament we find “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7). Notice, that does not mean that there are people on the earth who do not need to repent.

We are all born in need of repentance and conversion, and those who trust themselves, rather than God will end up in hell for eternity. Just imagine”God rejoices over one sinner that repents (exercises godly sorrow for his sins and confesses them and turns away from them as they follow God). Why do you imagine the Almighty, Glorious, Omniscient and Omnipotent and Omnipresent Creator of all things celebrates and is joyful over one sinner that repents’ It is because God sees what He alone has decreed before the foundation of the world’.and that is the successful fulfilling of His eternal plan for mankind. God here does the same thing that the father of the prodigal son did, when his lost son came home in repentance for his sins.

He rejoiced because his son had been lost (dead in sin) but is now alive, and He killed the fatted calf and rejoiced to see it (Matthew 15:23-24). Now to stay on subject, let me ask you if you think that God will rejoice over whoever wins the Super Bowl’ Absolutely not; because the super bowl or no other sports game will have any lasting impact upon the Kingdom of God. If that sounds like I do not appreciate any sports at all’ No, I’m alright with sports in it’s place; however when sports draw a larger, more enthusiastic crowd, than a much needed revival meeting in any town in America, we need to examine our priorities. There cannot be much real joy generated when God is not even considered most of the time in these money grabbing schemes to decide who is the luckiest team in America. With that said, lets move on to look closer at what Joy really is. Joy is the fruit of peace with God, and our knowledge of that peace generates a continual joy and rejoicing in our peace with God. We know that we know, that we know, God and have His blessing and His peace because we have experienced it in our souls and seen it work in our lives.

The writer of the book of Romans, speaks to us in his writings, under the inspiration of God and says’..”Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. We also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

Those are such awe-inspiring and wonderful and supernatural word that I feel it necessary that we bring them into the language of our day so that we can better understand and reap the fruit of our faith. What the writer is telling us that God has said is that those who have been enabled to exercise the gift of God’s faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), have made peace with God. Before God enabled our gift of faith and allowed us to believe in His Son Jesus Christ’s person and work on our behalf by substituting Himself for us on the cross, we were the enemy of God.

We were sinners who were born under the Wrath of God (Ephesians 2:3). But now, because we truly believe (trust) in Christ’s death and resurrection as our own, and sufficient to the uttermost for our forgiveness of sin and reconciliation to the Father, we have peace that passes understanding. This peace is not something that we work up or even can understand, it is not a feeling but a fact, because we read about it in Romans chapter 5:1-2,11. It is that peace with God and the settled mind and heart of the one who trusts Christ, that brings us the Joy of the Lord. Now, that doesn’t mean that we won’t suffer the loss of loved ones, or without something that we want, or even loss of our health’that all comes with life on the earth.

What Peace and Joy in the Lord brings to those who have been born again, created that new creature in Christ and obedient to Christ, is a sereneness of spirit, a mind that can accept that fact that Christ is more than sufficient for our needs and that in fact, God is in charge of every detail of our lives. That is Joy unspeakable and full of glory! It belongs to every truly saved person and if you don’t have that Joy unspeakable and full of glory, then you need to examine yourself and either ask for the knowledge of the blessing or just accept that God has said it and begin to rejoice in the Lord Almighty.

Remember, it belongs to the truly saved and not to anyone else. We may be able to fake some kind of joy, but unless we are saved, it cannot and will not last. (John 14:27; Ephesians 2:14). What I hope you take away from that statement is that if I were to deposit a million dollars in a bank in your vicinity, and you did not know about it, it would be as if you did not have a bank account. You could be rich and actually starve to death. Joy is the same way, if you are saved you should know it and you should know the Bible well enough to know that you have peace with God and joy unspeakable and full of glory. Now, my question to you becomes, is your daily life full of joy and rejoicing’ If it is not’ you have it and just don’t know that you have it. First make sure of your salvation, because the denominational churches have been selling it pretty cheap and salvation without peace and joy is no Christianity at all

(2nd Corinthians 13:5). “Solid joys and lasting treasure, None but Zion’s children know” (Spurgeon). Someone may ask well, what is Joy’ The answer is’joy is the Christian’s knowledge of the truth. I have joy: because I know that God is my Father; and that Immanuel, God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, came to the earth, to be humiliated, beaten, mistreated, whipped, spit upon, and finally to go to the cross to die, so that a sinner like me could be saved. I have joy and am blessed because God has revealed Himself to me in His Word, the inerrant, infallible Bible. I believe, what I know enough, that it gives me joy and keeps me on an even keel, even when the world seems to be against me.

A friend of mine sent me a message on a video yesterday, that told of a girl who was born without arms. They did not know what caused her lack of arms at birth but it was a reality in her life. The video followed her as she grew up and as He family encouraged her to believe that she could do anything that she had set her mind to do’and over and over again, she did things that most people would not even attempt. She finished high school and college, typing well over 60 word per minute, she learned to drive and has a license without restriction. Then to top off her accomplishments she has earned a license to fly her own airplane.

Just suppose that you had been born without arms and then think about how you would drive a car by yourself or better yet how you would fly an airplane. Try to image putting gasoline in your car or having to take-off and land an airplane with all that requires, without any arms. That take determination and determination has to be backed up with resolve. That same kind of determination and resolve is required in being a true Christian. God has spoken to us as He revealed His will for us in the Bible. Now in order for us to be saved there are certain things that we must know; remember that the Word of God, the Bible, tells us that we are saved by grace through Faith, and then the Bible tells us that faith comes from hearing the truth of the Word of God. So when God sees that our knowledge is such that we can understand what happens to us in salvation and knows the level of our commitment to Him and to His word, He begins the salvation process. Nobody is ever saved except by the power and decree of God.

However God gives those whom He alone saves because He allowed them to exercise the gift of faith in His Son Jesus Christ and His work on Calvary, a determination that is rock-ribbed and determined to obey Him. I saw my Medical doctor for an annual check-up a few months ago and as he and I sat in his office talking, I noticed that he had pictures of his family hung on his office wall. One of the picture that had been hung there was of his youngest daughter as she stood in their swimming pool.

I guessed her to be about 3 years old and she had the most determined look in her eyes and her jaw was set like I suppose the jaw of Christ was set to go to Jerusalem where He would be our substitute. I made the statement to the Dr. that I could use that picture in my ministry to demonstrate what we are writing about right now, a determined assurance of our trust of Christ, and the faithfulness of our God. He immediately stood up and took the picture out of the frame and gave it to me and I have used it to demonstrate determination. The Dr. shared with me that he took the picture just after her mother had told the child that she had to get out of the pool. She apparently had no intention of getting out of that pool! That’s what the true Christian does when the devil attempts to plant doubt in their mind, we set our jaw and square our shoulders and fall back into the arms of our Jesus Christ.

Doubt is nothing except attempting to follow our own double minds. Christians must have a single mind and a single goal and a single outlook. The outlook matches the commandments, precepts and testimonies of the Bible, and we refuse to follow anyone or anything else. (James 1:5-8). If we practice that kind of obedience and determination, we find that fountain of Joy that will spring up in every truly saved person. We are prone to get down and lose our joy when the circumstances of life seem to pile upon us but we are never to get under the circumstances of life because we know that we die daily with Christ and that we are in Him and that we are always on top of the circumstances in Him. Jesus is not our default setting He is our ever-present focus, He is our all in all.

That Baby that was born so many years ago there in Bethlehem of Judah, was our Joy and He brought joy to a world that was without help and hope. Everything connected to Jesus Christ was connected to Joy, and in fact He inspired the Apostle John to write’.”These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you” (John 15:11). Jesus spoke joy again to us through the same John and said “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” (1st John 1:4).

Everything about Jesus Christ is about joy for those who submit to His Lordship. So from those two verses alone we can know that the Christian has joy that is always present and that it our joy-glass is never half full or empty but always full to overflowing. In fact, the Apostle Paul writes to us that even in tribulation, we should be exceedingly joyful. (2nd Corinthians 7:4a).

Now as I close this lesson on Christian joy, I close with a question and it’s answer. What reason does the Christian have for joy’ The reason for our joy is the Father who planned our salvation before the foundation of the world, is a God of Grace; and Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came and bled and died to pay my sin debt, which removes me from the penalty of the law and makes atonement to God for my sin; and that the Holy Spirit has applied all the blessings of salvation to my life. That’s the reason that I can be joyful in spite of all the world and the devil can throw at me. If you know Him, you can too. In the words of some unknown person to ””Just Do It”.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob