1. In this verse John revealed his purpose for writing the things he wrote -- "that your joy may be full." 2. In this chapter John mentioned "fellowship with God" 3 times, showing that it is one of the keys to having true joy. 3. Fellowship with God: a. begins with fellowship with Christ b. is maintained by walking in the light and confessing sin. 4. In our lesson we are covering additional information written in the Bible that will help us so "that our joy may be full." Discussion: I. WE DEVELOP "JOY" WHEN WE BECOME CHRISTIANS, AS ILLUSTRATED BY:
A. the people in Jerusalem on Pentecost (Acts 2:37-38, 41, 46-47) B. the people in Samaria (Acts 8:5, 8, 12) C. the eunuch of Ethiopia (Acts 8:35-39) D. the jailer in Philippi (Acts 16:27, 32-34). II. AFTER WE BECOME CHRISTIANS THE BIBLE TEACHES US TO MAINTAIN OUR JOY
A. This principle is taught in: 1. Galatians 5:22-23 -- "Joy" is one of the nine characteristics that collectively make up "the fruit of the Spirit." 2. Philippians 3:1 -- "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord." 3. Philippians 4:4 -- "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." 4. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 -- "Rejoice evermore." B. In addition to teaching us to be filled with joy, the Bible teaches us to be filled with joy "always" and "evermore." 1. To be more specific, the Bible teaches us to be filled with joy when we undergo trials (James 1:1-2; Matthew 5:10-12). 2. Thankfully, we have some positive examples in this area, including: a. the apostles (Acts 5:40-41) b. Paul and Silas (Acts 16:25) c. Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2). C. To avoid confusion, we must understand what the Lord requires of us. 1. Joy is generally considered to be a feeling of happiness that is based on some pleasant experience. 2. In the Bible, joy is the gladness of heart that a Christian possesses because he has a right relationship with the Lord. a. This type of joy is not based on how well things are going for us. b. This type of joy can be experienced when things are not going well for us. D. In addition to teaching us to maintain our "joy," . . . III. THE BIBLE TEACHES US HOW TO MAINTAIN OUR "JOY" SO IT MAY BE FULL
A. We must put away "the works of the flesh" (Galatians 5:19-21) because they will rob us of joy (Psalm 32:1-5). B. We must practice the Lord's teachings (John 15:10-11). C. We must avoid anxiety (Philippians 4:6-7). D. We must think properly (Philippians 4:8-9). Conclusion:
1. "Joy" is certainly an important part of Christianity. 2. We have reason to rejoice when we become Christians. 3. We are to continue rejoicing after we become Christians. 4. By following the things that are written in the Bible "our joy may be full."