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Carmel Warriors,

This Wednesday night our focus will be on the THEME as we read through the book of Philippians.
Theme is the idea that pervades or reoccurs, or it can also be said to be that thing which is the
persuasive influence.
In the book of Philippians most scholars concur that this is an epistle of joy.
Question – Does real Biblical joy reflect the theme of your own life as you walk daily with the Lord
Jesus Christ?
When I observed the church for years from a distance I actually thought many of the folks to me
looked like they had been “weaned on a pickle.” Brothers and sisters where is our joy?
Another question we must ask in order to study the theology of joy is what is the source or the
grounding of our joy?
In Philippians the word joy or rejoice appears 16 times in these 4 chapters;
Phil. 1:4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,
Phil. 1:18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and
in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,
Phil. 1:25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and
joy in the faith,
Phil. 2:2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit,
intent on one purpose.
Phil. 2:17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your
faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.
Phil. 2:18 You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.
Phil. 2:28 Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may
rejoice and I may be less concerned about you.
Phil. 2:29 Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard;
Phil. 3:1 ¶ Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me,
and it is a safeguard for you.
Phil. 4:1 ¶ Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand
firm in the Lord, my beloved.
Phil. 4:4 ¶ Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Phil. 4:10 ¶ But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me;
indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.

So with that in mind allow me to give an overview of the "theology of joy.” Again notice HOW we are
coming into the study and where it often leads. Do we understand the doctrine of Biblical joy? If you
come from a westernized culture and most of us in this class do then it would be easy to equate this
with the word happiness. But I think this would be a mistake in the interpretation of the word joy as
Paul is using it here in Philippians. Happiness means a FEELING of satisfaction or delight that is
based on present circumstances. (Please allow me a little sidenote at this point. Today in church the
result of the Neo-Orthodox or Post-Modern movement is that we through the media tools and
entertainment we have become FEELING driven in our worship experience. Please don’t hear this
wrong I am not a stoic, but when feeling drives worship then something is out of whack.
As a matter of fact when you listen to Oprah in this new series of spiritual training you will frequently
hear feeling and emotion driven words. For example – “how to do feel about yourself now that you
have discovered this new truth?” Just think about the intense marketing of products in America as it
relates to TV. The number one component of good marketing is for you to feel about the product in a
certain way. We in America are driven by our feelings, that leads to our thinking which ultimately
results in our actions.)
The word “happiness” is related to happen stance, which denotes chance. One is unable to program or
plan for happiness because by its very definition it may or may not happen. Since this is the delight
that is tied to an occasional happening this is the very best that man can do.
However the word "joy" used in a Biblical connotation must be related to God Himself. Joy is an
attitude of deep down confidence not due to circumstances but rather in spite of the circumstances.
Maybe you will like this definition best "Joy is the flag that flies over the castle of one's heart when the
King is in residence there".

Rejoice which is the verb for joy in the NT occurs 74 times


Joy which is the noun occurs in the NT 59 times

1. Joy is a gift from God


Psalm 16:11 - You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

2. Joy is to those who believe the gospel


John 15:11 "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be
made full.

Luke 2:8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch
over their flock by night.
Luke 2:9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around
them; and they were terribly frightened.
Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy
which will be for all the people;
Luke 2:11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

3. Joy is being produced in those who believe the gospel through the Holy Spirit
Rom. 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in
the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

4. Joy comes to and through those who receive and obey God's word
Jer. 15:16 Your words were found and I ate them,
And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Your name,
O LORD God of hosts.

Luke 24:32 They said to one another, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to
us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?" Remember these were two disciples that
Jesus met on the road to Emmaus? When Jesus explained the word to them about Himself in all the
Scriptures their hearts burned with joy and they could not wait to go and tell others.

1John 1:4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

5. Joy is mixed with the trials of life. As a matter of fact our joy will never be made complete
until it is contrasted with trials.
James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
James 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking
in nothing

1Pet. 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been
distressed by various trials,

1Th. 1:6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much
tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,

2Cor. 6:10 as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet
possessing all things.

6. Joy manifests in the believer as they set their hope on future glory.

Rom. 12:12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,


1Pet. 4:13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the
revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
Jude 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of
His glory blameless with great joy,

So now put all this together in one definition in order to explain our "doctrine of joy".

Joy is a gift from God, to those who believe and receive the gospel, being produced in them through
the Holy Spirit, as the believer receives and obeys the word of God, as it is mixed with trials as they set
their sights on the hope of future glory.

Hope this helps to continue you along in our study of Philippians the epistle of joy in the New
Testament.