Pursuit of Holiness (12). The Joy of Holiness

02-31a_Pursuing_holiness1

Chapter 17

  1. Does God desire our joy? YES

Proof:

a. It is the fruit of his Spirit (Gal.5:22-23)

b. Jesus gives it through his self-revelation and through answered prayer (John 15:11, 16:24

c. It is a command (Phil.4:4

d. It was part of the apostles’ experience e.g. Acts 5:41, John (III John4) Paul (Phil.4:1 and I   Thess.2:19-20).

2. What is this joy?  It is the assured knowledge of the God of our salvation. No man can take it away and it is everlasting (Is.35:10).

3. In what different ways does holiness produce joy?

a.Clear conscience Acts 24:16

b. Fellowship with God Ps.16:11

c. Obedience John 14:21

d.Anticipated reward Heb.12:1-2, Matt.25:21

e. Righteous living has joy/peace as a by-product. Prov.12:20, 15:23, 21:15. Eccles 2:26,5:19-20 (see appendix I)

Other sources of joy: The church Ps.48:2, the word Jer.15:16, even trials Jas.1:2

Does joy produce holiness? Thankfulness and joy in God moves us to obedience (see appendix II)

4. The source of joy is God himself and his salvation.

a.Joy in eternity is inherent and infinite in the Godhead (Prov.8:30)

b. In heaven joy was expressed (by the angels) in creation (Job 38:7), at the incarnation, in the salvation of a sinner, in the death of a saint, at the Lamb’s wedding feast (Jude 24).

c. God joys in his people (Zeph.3:17).

What motivates us is seeing God answer prayer, work in our lives and that of others.

5. Parables that speak of joy as a reward: The talents (Matt.25:21-23), the hidden treasure (Matt.13:44) and lost coin (Luke 15:10).

6. What do these verse teach about the joy of holiness?

Ps.16:11. Joy is experienced in close fellowship with God.

Rom.14:17. Joy is in the Spirit.

John 15:10-11.  Fruit bearing, hearing and obeying Christ lead to his joy being in us.

Neh.8:10.  That God is the source of joy and our joy is a strength in our witness and against temptation.

Unconfessed sin, legalism and wrong priorities or inordinate affection rob us of this joy

Appendix I

John Gill on Eccles.5:19-20

For he shall not much remember the days of his life,…. Be they more or fewer, as Jarchi: he will not think life long and tedious; nor dwell upon, and distress himself with, the troubles he has met with, or is likely to meet with; but, being content with the good things God has given him, and freely and cheerfully enjoying them, he passes away his time delightfully and pleasantly. Some, as Aben Ezra observes, “if he [has] not much, he remembers the days of his life”, if he has but little of the good things of this life, he remembers how few his days are he has to live; and doubts not he shall have enough to carry him to the end of his days, and therefore is quite easy and content; he calls to mind how he has been supplied all his days hitherto, and is persuaded that that God, who has provided for him, will continue his goodness to him, and that he shall not want any good thing; and therefore does not distress himself with what is to come; because God answereth [him] in the joy of his heart; he calls upon God for a blessing on his labours, asks of him his daily food, and desires what may be proper and sufficient for him, or what he judges is necessary and convenient; and God answers his prayers and petitions, and good wishes, by filling his heart with food and gladness; and giving him that cheerfulness of spirit, and thankfulness of heart, in the enjoyment of every blessing; and especially if along with it he lifts up the light of his countenance, and grants him joy in the Holy Ghost; he will go on so pleasantly and comfortably as to forget all his former troubles; and it will dissipate his doubts and fears about how he shall live for the future.

Appendix II

Daniel Stephen Courney (US Missionary in India)

“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” ~Romans 6:11

This imperative is the operative fulcrum of Paul’s rhetoric in Romans 6; it is the action point of Paul’s reasoning where theory turns into practice, even the pivot on which orthodoxy and orthopraxy balance in the life of the Christian disciple. Getting a hold of the reality that in Christ we are justified in toto and declared holy before God and the ramifications of this glorious truth found in such beautiful descriptors as reconciliation, adoption, predestination, eternal covenant, redemption, inheritance, and eternal heavenly glory will impel us to actually live holy and righteous lives. The doctrines of justification and sanctification are symbiotic; we grow in holiness in daily life in direct proportion to the degree of our awareness that we have been judicially declared holy. The more we meditate on the grace of God in Christ whose righteousness has been imputed to us, the more we are constrained to live our lives as a pure flame of holiness for God, being zealous of good works. Do you find that your zeal for a holy life and active righteousness is waning? It is because you are failing to maintain your mind in a constant state of reflection and rumination upon the grace of God that is yours in Christ. Dig into God’s Word; pray without ceasing, always give thanks — and you will automatically engage yourself in a holy life of grateful acts of spiritual worship in good works and resisting temptations to sin. Your focus determines your reality; you are what you think you are. And you are holy in Christ before God legally — if you fix your mind on this, even your sainthood in Christ in the sight of the Holy Father, you will look like a saint more and more in your daily life.

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