ROBERT >> Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Do you know the joy of the Lord? Stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.
SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.
ROBERT >> In Philippians 4:4, the apostle Paul talks about the joy that we can have in the Lord. And we began talking about that last week, how that this joy that we’re talking about is in the Lord. It’s in communion with him. It’s in fellowship with him. When we come to the Lord in obedience to the gospel, when we put him on in baptism, and when we continue to walk with him each day of our life, we have rejoicing, because in the Lord we have every reason to rejoice. We have the cleansing of our sins, the salvation of our souls, we have that peace that passes understanding, we have hope eternal. All of this and much more is ours in the Lord. And not only that, but in the Lord, we’re in his church.
We have communion and fellowship with his people. This is one of the greatest blessings that we have in the Lord. But what I want to emphasize this morning as we continue in this idea is that this rejoicing is something that we do all share in the Lord.
You’ll notice the commandment here again in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
That’s a commandment that the apostle Paul gives to the church, to the church there in Philippi. This is something that they’re all responsible for. He wants us all together to learn to rejoice in the Lord. And I want you to see today how that we give each other joy and bring each other joy and rejoice in one another.
Look back with me in the first chapter of this great letter to the Philippians in chapter 1, verse 3. Look how Paul starts out. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.”
You see how the apostle Paul found great joy not only in the Lord, but now in the Lord’s people, in particular in this church there at Philippi? He had been thanking God for them. He had been praying for them. He found much joy in this fellowship that he had with these brethren way across the sea as he sat in prison writing this letter to them.
Look as you continue on in this chapter in verse 25 and verse 26. ” And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.”
You see, they had brought Paul joy, and he wants to bring them joy. This is what we do as Christians. We share the joy that we have in the Lord with one another. We want that to spread among each and every one of us. I look on into chapter 2, and I see how the apostle Paul calls upon the church there to fulfill his joy by being like-minded.
Look what he says: “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”
And as you look a little further in chapter 2, notice what he says in verses 14 through 18. “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”
Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me. You see, the apostle Paul was rejoicing together with the church at Philippi because the gospel was being preached, because they were striving to live the Christian life and holding forth that example and that influence to all of those around them. It was something that brought great gladness and great joy to their heart.
Notice what he says a little bit further down here in verse 25. Here it says, “Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need.”
Here the apostle Paul is talking about Epaphroditus. The church at Philippi had apparently sent him to the apostle Paul, and now Paul is sending him back to those in Philippi. But Epaphroditus became ill and had some difficulties while he was there with Paul, and the people at Philippi wanted to know that he was all right, they wanted to see him again.
And notice what it says here as we read on in verse 27. “For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.”
You see how Epaphroditus would bring the apostle Paul and the church at Philippi so much joy. Though he was ill, he continued to serve the Lord and be faithful to the Lord. He had encouraged Paul, and now he’s being sent back to encourage those in Philippi once again. Yes, there were many reasons for Paul and the church at Philippi to rejoice in one another.
I like how Paul puts it in chapter 4 and verse 1 of this letter. “Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.”
You see, these folks walking after Christ, these who he saw would go to heaven and be with him someday, that was his joy. That was his crown. That was his reward. For all of his service, for all of his labors, to see souls saved, that’s what it was about for the apostle Paul. And that’s why he would say again in verse 10, But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. You know what he’s talking about there? He’s talking about the fact that the church at Philippi had helped him for many years, in many ways. They had given him gifts and they had supported him in his good work. And now they had opportunity to help him again as he finds himself under guard of the Romans and writing this letter back to them. And that’s why they sent him Epaphroditus, to encourage him and to give him a reason to rejoice.
Notice what he says in verse 18 here in Philippians 4. “Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.”
Oh, how Paul appreciated Epaphroditus coming to him and bringing these gifts from Philippi to him.
Can we see from this relationship of Paul and the church there the joy that we can have?
We’re responsible to each other for this command, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
It’s like Paul said in Romans 12:15, “Weep with those that weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.”
We are to rejoice in one another, to bring joy to one another, to rejoice together in the Lord. God help us, those of us who are Christians, those churches that belong to the Lord, be a joyful church so that we can draw others to find the joy of the Lord. Many of you listening today may not be a part of Jesus Christ and his church, you’ve never been obedient to the gospel, you don’t know the joy of being a part of God’s people. We hope that you can see that, that in the Lord and that in his body there is great joy. We want to share that with you, and we want you to be a part of that. But before I leave you today, I want you to realize something else about the rejoicing that we have in the Lord. Sometimes the greatest rejoicing comes out of trials. It comes out of trials that we experience as Christians in the Lord.
Look back with me in Philippians chapter 1, and look at verse 12. Here the apostle Paul, he says, “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.”
You see, Paul, though he was a prisoner, under guard by the Romans, he wasn’t so concerned about what was happening to him, but what God was doing with that. God was causing the gospel to go forth. Those guards that watched over the apostle Paul were learning about the gospel. Those that would come to Paul were learning about the gospel. People in the entire city were hearing about how that Paul suffered there for Jesus Christ. Christ was being preached even by his enemies. They were talking about Christ just to cause Paul trouble.
Look what he said here down in verse 18 of this same chapter.
Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice. Paul wasn’t rejoicing because he was under guard, because he was a prisoner of Rome; but Paul was rejoicing because God was able to use that to see Christ being preached all over that place.
In fact, that word spread all over the world. In fact, we see this when Paul first came to the city of Philippi, this church to whom he was writing in Acts the 16th chapter, when the apostle Paul came into that city and he started that church there with a handful of women who were praying down by the riverside, and he taught them about Christ and they were baptized into Christ. And then as time went on, as he continued to work in that city, once again he found himself a prisoner.
In fact, they beat him and his helper Silas with rods, and they threw them into the inner prison, and they put their feet in stocks.
You can imagine what it must have been like in that dark cell about midnight, according to Acts 16:25. But it says that they were praying and singing hymns to God. Even in this most difficult trial, in this great distress, Paul and Silas found a reason to rejoice, a reason to praise God. And even more before the night was over; because you see, as things turned out, their jailer actually was taught the word of the Lord, and he and all of his household were baptized that night, and they rejoiced because they had come to believe on Jesus Christ.
You see, that’s where the rejoicing is found, in Jesus Christ, in serving him; in coming to him first to become a Christian, and in serving him and living for him as a Christian. Even in those most difficult hours, let’s look to see what God is doing in our life and how he can be glorified, and find the joy that’s there for us. And sometimes that’s the greatest joy of all. Look back with me in Luke the 6th chapter, where Luke tells us a little bit about this joy that Christ came to give us.
In Luke 6:22, here he writes, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.”
I suppose that the apostle Paul, when he was suffering in prison and even as he suffers writing the letter to the church at Philippi, things were not good, the conditions were bad, and there was every reason for him to complain and to be discouraged and to give up. But like Luke wrote here, these are the very words of Jesus. We need to recognize that there’s something greater, that we can look beyond our situation and our circumstances to a greater reward in heaven someday. And so yes, we can rejoice and be exceedingly glad no matter what’s happening to us.
Look in John the 16th chapter. In John 16:20-23, Jesus is about to leave the earth. He’s going to have to go to the cross and be put to death and be buried, but he’s going to be raised up and he’s going to ultimately ascend into heaven. These apostles will not understand what’s going on at first, and it’s going to be discouraging for them, it’s going to be difficult. And even after his resurrection and his ascension into heaven, he’s going to pour out the power of the Holy Spirit upon them to guide them and to lead them and to empower them, and they’re going to know the good news of Jesus Christ; but it’s not going to be easy. They’re going to have difficult times. They’re going to have great persecution. But he wants them to know that there’s joy in the Lord.
Look at John 16 and notice what he says here in verse 20. ” Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.”
You say how can Jesus turn my sorrow into joy?
Look at this illustration. You mothers will appreciate this. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
You know that pain, you know that anguish of having a child; but then as soon as that child is born, a smile comes upon your face, and you hold that child and you rejoice with a joy greater than you have experienced before.
Here you see how God is able to take our sorrows and turn them into joy. Whatever anguish, whatever pain, whatever trial, whatever difficulty, whatever persecution, we need to look for the reason to rejoice, for the saving of souls, for the reward of heaven that God is being glorified in our lives. Two other writers in the New Testament speak about this.
I want you to look with me at these two passages before we leave today. In 1 Peter chapter 1, I want you to notice what he says beginning in verse 3. 1 Peter 1:3. Here he says to us, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. Here the apostle Peter reminds us that we have a place reserved for us in the heavens, that we have at this time a testing, a trying.”
There are many things that we’re going to have to deal with in this life. But we can see that God is using this to mold us and to shape us, to prepare us for that salvation that we have in eternity with Christ.
Look what he says here in 1 Peter chapter 1 as we go on in verse 6. “In this you greatly rejoice.”
In your salvation in Christ. Though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Yes, all of these things that are coming upon us now to try us and to test us are things that we can endure and that we can overcome because we have the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ. James puts it this way.
Look in James chapter 1 beginning in verse 2. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. You see, not everything is joyful; but we need to regard it, we need to consider it to be joyful, because we know that when our faith is tested, it produces patience, that endurance, that steadfastness that is necessary for us in order to mature and to grow spiritually and to become everything God would have us to be, to be that complete and whole person.”
And so we see our trials as something God can use to make us into the kind of people we need to be, to prepare us for our heavenly reward. Yes, even in trial, and I might say, especially in trial, God is working to bless our lives and to bless those around us so we can rejoice and so we can rejoice greatly.
You can rejoice in the Lord. You can rejoice in the Lord always if you recognize that your rejoicing is found in the Lord, that our rejoicing is found in one another and that our rejoicing is found sometimes in the greatest distresses, in our greatest trials of all.
Do you remember Acts the 8th chapter when Philip the preacher spoke to the Ethiopian eunuch about Jesus?
“And they came to some water, and he wanted to be baptized. And he said, If you believe, you may. And he said, I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And that day they both went down into the water, and Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch. And the Bible says they came up out of the water, and Philip was taken away by the Spirit; but he says the eunuch went on his way rejoicing.”
You see, he had come to Christ. He had found salvation, the forgiveness of his sins in Jesus Christ. Jesus had put a song in his heart, and he went on his way rejoicing. And that’s what always happens when you come to Christ to receive the forgiveness of your sins. You can have that joy. You don’t have to live another day without that joy in your heart. Jesus Christ is able to give you a joy the world does not know. And that’s why he came. He came that he might bring joy to our hearts. If you don’t know that joy, we hope that you’ll let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you to find that joy in Jesus Christ today.
>sSINGING> Unto the hills around do I lift my longing eyes.
Oh whence for me shall my salvation come,
from whence arise?
From God the Lord doth come my certain aid, from God the Lord, whom heaven and earth hath made.
From every evil shall he keep thy soul,
from every sin.
Jehovah shall preserve thy going out, thy coming in.
Above thee watching, he whom we adore shall keep thee henceforth, yea for evermore.
ROBERT >> I’d like to thank you for watching the program today. Our interest in our viewers with regard to our program is about eternal salvation. It’s not about money. It’s not about anything like that. We’re interested in your soul.
The Bible says that for a person to be saved, they have to first of all believe in Jesus Christ. But not just to believe in him generally; you must believe that he is indeed the Son of God.
He said,” Except you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins,” John 8:24.
But he also said that a person must repent of sins. And that means to change your mind about your sinful past, to decide to change your action, to live for God.
“Except you repent, you will perish,” Jesus said in Luke 13:3.
The apostle Paul said that “God commands all men everywhere to repent,” Acts 17:30.
And the Bible also teaches us that in order to be saved, we have to be willing to confess to others our faith in Jesus Christ.
Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 10:10,” With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
But even that’s not enough, because the Bible also teaches us that a person must be immersed in water to have their sins washed away by the blood of Christ.
The apostle Peter said on the day of Pentecost to those who asked what they must do to be saved, he said, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.”
. Yes, Jesus himself said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” Mark 16:16.
When a person does that, they don’t earn their salvation; but that is the moment at which the blood of Christ washes sins.
Revelation 1:5 tells us that it is the “blood of Jesus that washes away our sins.”
And Acts 22:16 tells us when the blood washes. “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
I hope you’ll study these things for yourself to see if these things be so, just as Paul encouraged the noble Bereans in Acts 17:11. And I hope and I pray that if you’ve not obeyed the gospel, that you will before it’s eternally too late.
If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like more information about the lesson today, or if you’d like to order today’s listen or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.
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All our materials, our services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.
SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.