Updated: Aug 29, 2022
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your amazing power and work in our lives. Thank You for Your goodness and for Your blessings over us. Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on You afresh. Renew our spirits, fill us with your peace and joy. Wherever we go, let us spread love, joy, peace, goodness, and faithfulness. Let us desire to become more like you and to worship you in all we do.
We ask this in Jesus' Name, Amen.
For this lesson, we are looking at the first week of Deb Burma’s book “Joy a Study of Philippians.” She gives us 5 statements to help us on our journey in search of Joy. It will lead us to wonder what do we believe, and how does the believing bring us joy?
Joy in Believing:
If you are a professing Christian, then the essence of Christianity revolves around the life, death and belief of the resurrection of Jesus. Christians believe God sent his son Jesus, the Messiah, to save the world. They believe Jesus was crucified on a cross to offer the forgiveness of sins and was resurrected three days after his death before ascending to heaven. By His death on the cross and His resurrection we have been saved from the eternal punishment for our sins and have been given Jesus’ free gift of salvation and eternal life with Him and God the Father!
Read: John 1:14, John 10:10, Isaiah 53:5, Mark 16:6
Joy in Receiving:
According to Christianity, salvation is freedom from the old sin nature and freedom to pursue a right relationship with God. Where we were once slaves to sin, we are now slaves to Christ. As long as believers live on this earth in their sinful bodies, they will engage in a constant struggle with sin. However, Christians can have victory in the struggle with sin by studying and applying God’s Word in their lives and being controlled by the Holy Spirit—that is, submitting to the Spirit’s leading in everyday circumstances!
Read: Acts 16:31, Romans 6:22, John14:26
Joy as Partners in the Gospel:
From its beginning, with a tiny group of Jesus' followers, Christianity has spread all over the world. Today, it is practiced by two billion people. As with any large group, Christianity has experienced many different interpretations, disagreements, and struggles for power over the centuries. These have led to the growth of many different branches of Christianity, interpreting the life, death and resurrection of Jesus in different ways. But we share the great commission and called to spread the Gospel!
Read: Matthew 28:19, Matthew 9:37-38, Romans 10:15
Joy as Partakers of God’s Grace:
We are called to be a community of believers who worship God in the name of the Lord Christ. The word “Christians” describes all those belonging to the community of God, that is, all people of different races, languages and cultures who believe that the One Creator God has revealed himself supremely in the person of the Lord Christ. We are also known as the church. One problem associated with the word “church” is that it is sometimes used to describe a building in which a group of Christians worship, but we are more than the building we meet in we are “the people of God”. His chosen summoned by the Holy Spirit into God’s covenant of Grace!
Read: Hebrews 10:25, Psalm 100:3, Hebrews 2:12, Psalm 29:2
Joy in Abundant Love for One Another:
Christians are all part of the body of Christ, and we all have different functions. Some of us are strong in this area and some are strong in that area. Some of us can do this and some of us can do that. We must use what God has equipped us with to work together and have fellowship with one another. As a community, we must work together to advance God’s kingdom, encourage each other, build each other up, and we must bear each other’s burdens. Not only is it pleasing to God to see the body of Christ working together as one, but we are stronger together and we become more like Christ together than we do alone. Have fellowship with one another and you will truly see how important and awesome the community is in your Christian walk of faith!
Read: Hebrews 10:24-25, Romans 15:5-7, Ephesians 4:2-4