Thursday, February 15, 2018

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11 NIV).

Do we have the “joy” that Jesus promised?  When Saul of Tarsus was on a rampage, did Christians fleeing Jerusalem have joy written on their face?  When concerned about safety, tomorrow’s future is questionable, and life has turned ugly, does joy continue its residence?  If one is burdened with discouragement and hope hides its face, hasn’t joy disappeared?  Does one have joy only when life is positive?

Jesus endured the cross with joy (Hebrews 12:2).  James admonished, “Consider it pure joy . . . whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2).  Paul stated that the Macedonian churches, “out of the most severe trial” had “overflowing joy” (2 Corinthians 8:2).  Today we hear, “Give until it hurts.”  The Macedonians gave to be joyful!

Regardless of circumstances, the joy that Jesus expressed can be possessed!  Paul spoke of the gospel which the Corinthians had believed giving them that joy (2 Corinthians 1:24).  That faith continued to bring them joy even though their faith needed strengthening.  Paul informed the Roman brethren that joy was possessed by the reconciled (Romans 5:11).  Notice John’s statement,

And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him.   Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is” (1 John 3:5-6).

John states that there is “no sin in him (Jesus).”  Prior to that he informed them that “Jesus came to take away our sins.”  One is immersed with and into Jesus (Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27).  We have been added to the saved (Acts 2:41, 47).  We are in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27).  We are in Jesus who has “no sin.”  We are “dead to sin” (Romans 6:2).  We are exempt from its payment because we are living in him (Romans 6:23; 1 John 3:6).  How can imperfect Christians not sin?  Jesus takes our sins away therefore there is no sin.  There cannot be because we are in him who has no sin!  He bestowed upon us the righteousness of God when we became a new creation in him (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21 NKJV, TLB).  We are not those who refuse to know him!  The Hebrew writer states, “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved” (Hebrews 10:39).  Again, the writer states, “There is no longer any room for doubt, and we can tell others that salvation is ours, for there is no question that he will do what he says” (Hebrews 10:23 TLB).

Do we have that joy that Jesus spoke of?  Notice again that he stated, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you.”  You do have it if you have been listening to Jesus and desire what he offers.  The Ethiopian treasurer responded to Jesus’ instructions and afterwards went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:35-39).  The Christian life may not always be easy, but it is filled with the joy Jesus spoke of!

 “Rejoice in the Lord always, Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).