How to Have Gospel Joy
If you want to have the joy Paul had -
We follow his example - we listen to his instruction. And when we have Gospel Joy, these are the things that we will be about. It really is a cycle.
1 Corinthians 11:1 – Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1. Be Thankful
Paul had a pattern of consistent thankfulness. He’s thankful for his brothers and sisters in Christ.
Who are you thankful for?
Can you say, “I’m thankful for you” to everyone our Body, and then go on to explain why?
2. An Others Focus
Rather than get bogged down in your own difficulties and struggles, turn your focus to being thankful for others.
Think about how you can encourage others. How you can build them up.
When you’re being obedient to and led by the Holy Spirit, you’ll delight in prayer for others.
To have Gospel Joy, you have to have
3. A Gospel Focus
Paul never forgets or gets over the gospel.
I think that he constantly meditated on Jesus:
The Son of God who became a man,
lived the perfect life that we should have,
was crucified on Roman cross
taking the punishment for the sins of
everyone who places their faith in Him
Suffering God’s wrath so we don’t have to
He died, was buried, and rose again on the third day
Showing that God’s wrath had been satisfied
And everyone who places their faith in Him
Will. Be. Saved!
Paul never forgot that he had been an enemy of the cross. (just like every one of us)
He was on a mission to hunt down and persecute Christians
God interrupted and changed his life. The old was gone - BEHOLD - the new had come!
I don’t think Paul ever stopped thinking about that.
And remember - we’re all partners in proclaiming the Gospel!
Partnership is fellowship. It’s sharing something in common.
They had experienced it too.
And that gave him tremendous joy.
Paul’s main goal was to proclaim the gospel. To share the good news of freedom from sin in Jesus Christ.
And these Christians had been partners with him in that big-picture task from the beginning.
If you’re business partners with someone.
same goal - focus - purpose - trajectory
operating same framework
You’re really in this together.
Business is successful - you’re both successful
But it’s an infinitely more important task
With a far better paycheck at the end.
Our partnership is more than common interests or that we all live in the area.
We’re partners in the gospel
And when we’re in it together we can remind one another that we can have:
4. Full Confidence in God (v. 6)
(my favorite verse in Philippians)
Nothing brings joy more than knowing
• no matter how difficult things get
• no matter how uncertain life seems
• no matter how many times you fail
• one day, you will be perfect!!
Romans 8:28-29 echoes this: salvation always culminates in glorification - in heaven.
If God begins something - He will finish it.
He started our salvation
He will complete our salvation
There is no such thing as being saved then not making it to heaven.
God will preserve His saints to the end
John 6:37, John 10:27-29, 1 Peter 1:3-5
God’s Word absolutely guarantees that our salvation will culminate in perfection - being with Jesus for eternity.
(if that doesn’t bring joy - I don’t know what will)
All of this brings:
5. A Genuine Deep Love For others
This isn’t just an emotion on the surface, it goes deep.
Like two pieces of metal that have been welded together and are now one piece.
The love Paul had for them was a selfless, compassionate love.
It was a reflection of Christ’s love for them.
Do you have this kind of love for your brothers and sisters in Christ?
As Theologian James Boice put it: It is not enough to tolerate other Christians. You must enjoy their company.
Gospel Joy will have
- a deepening love for God and what He has done for you - which will lead to this kind of love for one another.
Undergirding all this is:
• A Passionate Prayer Life
Nothing serves as a better indicator of your spiritual maturity than your prayer life.
weren’t focused on physical needs
weren’t focused on church growth
Paul prayed for spiritual issues because they’re of supreme importance.
This is a real prayer for real people in a real church.
This is what every husband should pray for his wife. Wife for her husband.
Every parent should pray this for their children
Every leader should pray for those in the flock.
This is a perfect guide to direct the content, the intensity, and the focus of our prayers for one another.
In Matthew 6, Jesus taught His disciples by praying and said, “pray then like this”
He’s telling us here - pray then like this:
How to pray for one another
Pray for them to grow in:
a. Abounding Love
The idea is an overflowing bucket.
The foundation of this principle - from Jesus
The greatest commandment:
love your neighbor
So - your love for others will grow when your love for God grows. (this is agape love)
We need to pray this for ourselves and others.
Pray for them to grow in:
b. Spiritual Wisdom
“knowledge and discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent”
Far more than just information, this is a full, complete knowledge that comes from God
It’s understanding people with your heart,
We pray for this so that we can help one another as we strive to verse 10 – approve what is excellent and so be
c. Holy Conduct
pure and blameless
This is a deep desire for one another to live at what is called “the highest level of spiritual devotion and obedience.”
You haven’t reached that
I haven’t reached that
None of us have.
But that’s always the goal.
God’s goal isn’t merely that we be “adequate.”
God’s goal is the best
This is about holiness.
We also pray for others to grow in:
d. Spiritual Fruit
Verse 11 - filled with the fruit of righteousness
This began when they were saved.
When God began a good work in them…
FRUIT points to:
the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
Winning the unsaved (Romans 1:13 – Colossians 1:5)
Abiding in Christ (John 15:4-5)
Of course, the ultimate goal of all this
e. That We Glorify & Praise God
1 Corinthians 10:31, Ephesians 1:3-14, Psalm 96
This should be our goal all the time
Make a commitment today to consistently tell others that you’re thankful for them and why.
Make a commitment today to pray for someone daily.
Using Philippians 1:9-11 as your prayer guide
Praying for others is a foundational part of a life of Gospel Joy
Soli Deo Gloria!