Summary Review of "The Joy of the Lord - Part 1"
The Elements of Joy found in John 15:1-21 (Key verse: John 15:11)
- Fundamental crucial connection with Christ - John 15:1-7,16
Without the vital connection of life in Christ, we cannot have the joy of the Lord. We can only try to imitate with words and actions. It won't last.
- Fruitful living as we follow Christ - John 15:5,8,16
Without following Christ and bearing fruit through Him, our joy is shallow and lacks fulfillment. We are supposed to have a joy that draws attention to God and glorifies Him. Our joy should be fruitful and bless others.
- Focus on Christ's love / Faithfulness to His primary commandment of love - John 15:9-13,17
Without the love of God motivating us, our desire for joy is just self-serving entertainment. The joy of the Lord is something we receive, we apply to our thinking and living, and then we share with others.
- Friendship with Christ - John 15:13-15
The good will of God, shown through His Son, reveals the Joy of the Lord. It is the pleasure of the Father and of His Son to deliver us from sin's sorrow and create a working relationship with us. This is a partnership that enables us to be friends with the triune God, sharing the same values, pleasures, and sorrows.
- Fractured relationship with the world for Christ's sake - John 15:18-21
The world will recognize our friendship with Christ and will respond by mocking, spurning, punishing, even killing us. Don't let the world rob you of His joy.
Part Two - The Joy of the Lord: Presence, Power & Purpose
Scripture Reading: John 17:1-26
Hebrews 12:2 tells us that our Lord Jesus had joy set before Him when He went to the cross. Jesus despised the shame, yet this joy caused Him to endure the cross, to endure the contradiction and hostility of sinners against Himself. What is this joy? Before Christ went to the cross, He spent time praying to His Father (John 17). This is known as Christ's priestly prayer. It reveals the joy that was set before Him. It summarizes the mission that the Father sent His Son to accomplish. The shared purpose and the promised outcome of this mission brought joy to the Son of God (Psalm 2:1-9; 22:1-31; Isaiah 8:13-18; 52:13 - 53:12). The Father sent His Son:
- To manifest the truth of the Father through His life and through His words (John 17:6-8).
- To gather a people who would worship and serve God through the gospel (John 17:8-12).
- To separate His people from the world's influence and control (John 17:6,9,14-17).
- To release His people back into the world, so that through the work of the gospel they would call others out from the world's influence and control, into the fellowship of the Father and His Son (John 17:18-21 cp. I John 1:1-4).
- This fellowship provides unity with the Father, with the Son, and with each other: oneness of love, of purpose, and of intimate communication (John 17:22-26).
- This fellowship will last now and forever (John 17:24).
- This fellowship will be the fulfillment of Christ's pleasure and joy (John 17:11,13).
- Christ's pleasure will be fulfilled for His people.
- Christ's joy will operate in and through His people, influencing others.
- Confidence in the Father's mission gave Christ joy. We need this confident joy of the Lord to be our strength (Hebrews 12:1-3; Matthew 28:18-20).
When we focused on John 15:11, we saw Christ's plan for the joy of the Lord to be a working force in the lives of His people. Now, as we focus on John 17:11,13, we are aware that the Lord's physical absence will be compensated by the presence of His joy. This comes as a benefit of the indwelling of Christ's Spirit (John 14:15-27; 16:4-7). To get a better idea of what that means, we are going to look at three statements in John chapter sixteen.
To be continued…