Living the Christian Life – Part II
Posted by truthoughts on June 12, 2008
In Living the Christian Life – Part I, we looked at how the Bible defines “love”. We began our study in Galatians 5:22-26 as we will pick up our study today with looking at “joy”. To recap, this is what those verses state:
Galatians 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Dictionary.com has one definition of joy as follows:
1. The passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; pleasurable feelings or emotions caused by success, good fortune, and the like, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exhilaration of spirits; delight.
If we look at Philippians 1:25 and 2 Corinthians 1:24, we can see that joy is based in faith and if we look further in Romans 15:13 and 1 Thessalonians 1:6, we can see that our joy (or faith) is given through the power of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) and Acts 13:52.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, we see that our joy is correlated with hope and a crown of rejoicing. The hope of our joy is what helped Jesus to endure the cross as in Hebrews 12:2. Then if we look at Luke 15:10, we can see that joy is in the salvation of those who are included in the Bride of Christ (Christians) and the fullness of the Bride is the Lord’s joy fulfilled (John 3:29).
In John 15:11, we can see that the Word of the Lord is joy to us, as well as John 17:13. In John 16:22 we see that the Lord gives us joy that no man can take away. We can see that it is through the Holy Spirit in Christ that we attain our joy in Romans 5:11 and Romans 14:17.
We can see that in Hebrews 11:11 faith is strength and we have already concluded that joy is through faith, therefore, our joy in the Lord through the Word inspired by the Holy Spirit is what gives us the faith to strengthen us through our lives and the hope of our salvation to the conclusion of the fullness of the Bride of Christ.
We have this joy, hope, faith and strength because of our love toward the Lord our God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Now, this takes us to our next topic, peace, which will be covered in Part III.