The Absence of Joy

Joy is a person.  His name is Jesus!

Is it me?  Or, are there not more, and more Christians who have lost their joy?

How can this be?  Has the church failed in communicating the absolute sufficiency of the Cross-work of Jesus? The reality is that far too many churches, and pastors,, have fallen short of this.

Joy is a person, and His name is Jesus.  He will never lose you!  As a matter of fact, when a person believes the Gospel he, or she, is IN Christ, never able to get out of Christ.  The believer is an entirely new creature:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

A church can even teach that a person is saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), but will then throw all sorts of duties upon the believer.  Thus not really teaching about the reality of being a new creature.

The natural outgrowth of this is that one looks more at what they have done, rather than what the Lord has done.  I believe that the greatest form of condemnation is “self-condemnation” brought on by the apparent failure to keep their end of their alleged deal with God. 

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. – Romans 8:1

First off, there is no condemnation from God, because the believer no longer has his sins counted against him (imputed), because of Christ’s work (2 Corinthians 5:19).  

And, at the same time, the believer has possesses the righteousness of Christ through faith:

Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:  23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:  25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. – Romans 3:19-26

Secondly, Romans 8:1 also implies that condemnation can come from self.  The old man loves to try to get attention – even though he is actually dead (Romans 6), the believer, along with the religions that are followed will try taking the performance route – sin less, do more good works, etc.  

The reality is that the believer already is “IN the spirit.”  He is IN Christ, as well as IN the Father.  The entire Godhead has the Christian in His possession.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. – Galatians 5:16-18

In order to be led “by” the Spirit, one needs to be in the Spirit (v. 16).  Our position “IN” the lord is so important.  BTW… Most modern translations have “by” in verse 16, putting the emphasis one self, rather than IN Christ.

After all, what sense would trying to be led by something we are not in make.  I hope I’m making my point here. ?

Do you want to have true joy?

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 6:11   

And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: – Colossians 2:10   

Reckoning that the old you is dead, and buried, with Christ, and the new man is who is resurrected with Christ – making salvation complete – should bring with it true joy!  For that, we can then lead a satisfied life in  thanksgiving to the Lord for His unspeakable gift!

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. – 2 Corinthians 9:15   

Bob Picard Pastor, God’s Grace Bible Church, Millbury, MA