The Joy Of New Testament Christianity Philippians 1:1-21

Kent Bailey

 We should all desire to receive the best of life. As a matter of fact when one thinks correctly they desire to place talents, energies, and abilities in worthwhile endeavors. Unfortunately, not all understand the importance of such. Because they really do not appreciate things of great value they really do not enjoy life.

     The greatest value of life is a proper understanding in noting the value of being a Christian: a member of the New Testament church. The most profitable way one can live and spend our sojourn on earth is to become a New Testament Christian, live as a Christian, and die with the hope of a Christian. It is the case that some question the value of being a Christian. They believe in the false doctrine of the Epicureans as recorded in Acts 17 and Luke 12. The view of Epicureanism was “eat, drink and be merry—for tomorrow we die. They had a very low estimate of life with no knowledge of spiritual values. There is a modified view of Epicureanism that has permeated society to a great degree in modern history, especially during the past 50 years. Individuals do not understand the Biblical concept of joy. The Biblical concept of joy is brought about by submission to the will of God as set forth in the scriptures. The knowledge of the scriptures leading one to obey the word of God and live a life of submission to the will of God is the only true means wherein one can have a God acceptable joy in life.

     When one considers the problem of the Philosophy of Humanism one can see how Secular Humanism has even influence the minds of some Christians. When it comes to the concept of joy they “put the cart before the horse.” They strongly desire a feel good  religion. While all of us have a desire to feel good; there are times when individuals need to be made to feel bad through being convicted of their sins by the preaching of the gospel of Christ. Only by being made to feel bad, i.e., convicted of their sins, will they come to an understanding of the truth of the gospel of Christ and be brought to obey such and motivated to live faithful as a Christian. Biblical, God approved joy is a by product of being acceptable to God; not the means of being acceptable with Him. One can be made to feel good about themselves without obedience to Christ and thus without ever being accepted by God. Such is the very core and essence of false religion. Some individuals are sincerely on the road to Hell and only desire to be made feel good about it.

     In the book of Philippians Paul, by the inspiration of God, gives us information about how to develop the true Joy of New Testament Christianity. One can have this true joy by:

Developing gratitude for others in being influenced by the word of God to live as faithful Christians (Philippians 1:1-11).  Those addressed by Paul at Philippi had through their obedience to the gospel of Christ left the influence of the world and had been added to the church of the Lord. Their lives were so committed to the truth of God and had so influenced Paul for the cause of truth that he thanked God for them upon every remembrance of them. He was grateful for their participation in his work of the gospel financially. He had them  both in his “heart and bonds”. Indeed he was filled with their fruits of righteousness that brought him joy.

Motivation as Christians to accomplish the work that God would have us do (Philippians 1:12-18). Paul had to face many bad situations and difficulties both in his life as a Christian as well as in his work as an apostle of Christ, preacher of the gospel, an defender of the faith (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). Consider the fact that he  at 5 different times received 40 stripes save one. He also on 3 different occasions was beaten with rods, 1 time he was stoned, 3 times suffered ship wreck, a night and a day he spent in the deep. He constantly was in journeyings. He faced dangers of robbers, his own fellow Jews, as well as those who were heathen. He faced dangers in the city, wilderness, in the sea and among false brethren. He knew the stress of weariness, pain, watchings, hunger, thirst, and fastings. There were times of being subjected to the cold weather not having sufficient clothing in addition to the care of all the churches.

Paul accomplished such suffering for the cause of Christ unto the furtherance of the gospel which even enabled him to take this gospel message to the palace guard of the Roman Empire. While such sufferings are not pleasant, such did enable Christians to grow steadfast in their boldness and were moved to speak the truth without fear. Some presented the truth out of love while others presented the truth to add to Paul’s bonds. Notwithstanding, because the truth was preached he rejoiced.

Understanding the greatness of the reality of the blessings in Christ. In these blessings we:

· Surrender yet win the battle—Romans 12:1-2; James 4:7-10.

· Are humbled yet are victorious—2 Corinthians 2:14; 1 John 5:4.

· Die daily yet live abundantly—2 Corinthians 5:1; John 10:10.

· Long for Heaven yet live better lives on earth—Philippians 3:20;  Jude 21.

· Crucified with Christ yet never die—Galatians 2:20; John 11:25-26.

· Buried with Christ yet walk in a new life—Colossians 2:12; Romans 8:1-2.

· Past sins forgiven yet press onward—Acts 2:38; Hebrews 6:1.

· Sojourn on earth yet await mansions in glory—1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 11:10-13.

· Content with blessings yet never satisfied with attainments—Philippians 4:11; Romans 8:31.

· Deep in debt yet free in Christ—Romans 1:14; John 8:36.

All of these attendant joys of the faithful Christian encourage a spontaneous response of devotion in our own lives.

Northside Bulletin for Sunday, November 3, 2019, Ron Hall, editor

   Send article as PDF   

Author: bible

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *