GBL-2 - The Joy Of Christianity
What a joy and privilege it is to be a Christian. Welcome to our study on the joy of Christianity. In the Book of Philippians, Paul discussed the joy of being a Christian (which makes this a favorite book of many people). Paul outlined four main reasons why Christians can have joy because of Christ and what He has done for us. Philippians 4:4 is very likely the verse that expresses the theme of the entire book. Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!” The setting of the Book of Philippians is one that, to some, might not seem all that joyful. Unfortunately, some Christians do not always express in their lives the joy that they ought to express. Of course, if there was ever a person who would have had reason not to be joyful, it was the apostle Paul. In Philippi, he and Silas had been thrown into prison for preaching the Gospel. They were in a dark, deep, dank dungeon. Yet in Acts 16:25 we see that instead of moping and being depressed, they were praying and singing hymns to God, and their fellow prisoners were listening to them. Paul and Silas were the exact opposite of someone who was discouraged. Rather, they were encouraging others through their prayers and songs. Thus, the Book of Philippians tells us how to have real joy in Christ. Hebrews 12:2 teaches us that “Jesus…for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross.” Being joyful does not mean that we always have a smile on our face. Instead, it means that we have a deep, abiding knowledge and assurance of the fact that everything will be all right because of God’s care for us. The key word in this book—found sixteen times—is “rejoice” (or “joy”). The psalmist described this joy in Psalm 1:1-2 when he wrote, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the Lord.” How does the Book of Philippians teach us to have real joy?