The Secret of Joy

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Sermon Outline:

1. Faithfulness in Service (v.22-24)
2. Fleeing Sectarianism (v.25-26)
3. Fulfilled in Sovereignty (v.27)
4. Forsaking Self-Significance (v.28-29)
5. Fame of the Savior (v.30)

Sermon Text:

John 3:22-30

22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. 23 John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized 24 (for John had not yet been put in prison).

25 Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” 27 John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ 29 The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Sermon Notes

Therefore… For Whom Did Christ Die?
(Acts 13:48; Romans 8:28-31; 2 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 1:3-14; Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:4-7)

Living in the Light
1. Motivated by God – (obedience)
2. Motivated by Gratitude – (thankfulness)
3. Motivated by Gladness – (joy)
4. Motivated by Grace – (forgiveness)
5. Motivated by Gentleness – (humility)
6. Motivated by Generosity – (love)

Today’s Message – The Secret of Joy
What is joy?

The psalms express the joyous expectation of believers as they encounter God. Believers rejoice because God has surrounded them with His steadfast love (Psalm 32:11) and brought them to salvation (Psalm 40:16; 64:10). David rejoices that God has delivered him from the hand of his enemies (Psalm 63:11). Joy is a response to God’s word (Psalm 119:14) and His reward to believers (Isaiah 65:14)) and their strength (Neh. 8:10).

Also for believers, trials and persecution are occasions for joy (James 1:2). Peter and John found their scourging an occasion for “rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name” (Acts 5:41). Suffering brings joy as believers are united with Christ in his suffering (1 Pt. 4:13-14). Paul speaks of his joy in the midst of affliction (2 Cor. 7:4-16). It is a part of faith (Phil. 1:25). Joy expresses the relationship between the apostle and his congregations and an opportunity for thanksgiving (Romans 15:32; Phil. 2:28), with each rejoicing in the other. God’s kingdom is described as “righteousness, peace and joy” (Romans 14:17). Certainty of salvation is a cause for joy, as the disciples are commanded to “rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). And, fellowship with Jesus brings continuous joy (John 15-17).

We have much to rejoice about today beloved… don’t we? In this section of Scripture before us, we will see five great truths to encourage our hearts and minds in discovering the secret of joy.

May we say with Nehemiah today – “the joy of the Lord is my strength!”