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Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

Each Christian should have a life filled with joy. However, it is not something that is automatic. Rather, effort must be put forth to bring about joy. The Holy Spirit revealed joy, part of the fruit of the Spirit, comes about as the result of a “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 22).

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words defines joy (chara) as “joy, delight.” Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament says it is “joy, gladness.” These are somewhat vague definitions. And, sadly, joy has been redefined by men. Many today believe that joy in the life of a disciple of Christ involves nothing more than a superficial feeling of giddiness. They believe it derives from a “church” baseball game, a “fellowship” dinner, or a “religious” retreat. That is, many have a shallow view of what joy in the Lord truly is. The Spirit said, “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Joy is deeper than what men would lead you to believe. It is more concrete than the fleeting, fleshly things of this world. Joy in the Holy Spirit is, as He defined it, walking in the Spirit. To walk in the Spirit is to abide by the revelation of the Spirit (Romans 8:1, 2). Continue reading » Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

The Simple Gospel: Is There A Basis for Your Joy?

Do you feel good about yourself? Your relationship with God? Do you feel good about those with whom you have spiritual fellowship? Do you have joy without measure? A peace which passes understanding? Does a smile invariably crease your face when you contemplate your eternal welfare? It does? Good!…Now for the most important question. Upon what do you base all of these positive emotions?

 

Hopefully, you have a ready answer to this last question. The proper answer would be, “From a study of God’s word, I recognize that I have been obedient to His will, and am a partaker of the blessings that are reserved for His children.” Now, you might not word it in exactly the same way, but the point is that your good feelings, your emotions, are based upon an intellectual recognition. You know you have been obedient to God. You know that God has promised blessings to those who are obedient. You know that God keeps His promises. Therefore you are happy. However, many experience that same happiness without that intellectual foundation. Continue reading » The Simple Gospel: Is There A Basis for Your Joy?