Dear Fellow Believers in Christ, (Genuine Joy - Christ reproducing Himself in Others through Us)
Who is the source of genuine joy? Who are the ones that can obtain genuine joy? Why is the fruit of the Spirit presented in the Greek text in singular form in Galatians 5:22-23? What is the key to counting it all joy in the midst of trials round about us? How does genuine love, genuine revelation, and genuine unity dovetail together to produce genuine joy. . .even a pinnacle of rejoicing? Holy Spirit show us Christ and the things of Christ according to the revelation of God's Word.
"Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord' " (Luke 2:10-11).
First, Christ is the Original Source of Genuine Eternal Joy
When the angel Gabriel came to proclaim the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, he proclaimed that it was "good tidings of great joy" (Luke 2:9,10). Christ was coming in flesh to be the Savior to all people (Luke 2:10). Christ was sent by the Father's love for the whole world to believe in Him and be saved (John 3:16). This was good and glad tidings, reaching a higher level than had ever been previously given to man. The Father was coming in flesh through Jesus Christ to manifest and declare Himself to all of mankind (John 1:14,18). This loving sacrifice of our Father through Christ on our behalf, is too awesome to be contained in a few words of our human language. Christ is the original source of genuine eternal joy. Our Father and the heavenly angels have so proclaimed it.
Second, Rebirthed Saints Are the Recipients of the Genuine Joy of Jesus
The outworking of the Father's eternal plan was to place Christ in me by a rebirthing by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes upon us, much like the virgin Mary, where the power of the Highest overshadows us (Luke 1:35). We are born again by the incorruptible word of Christ being implanted in us (I Pet. 1:23). Just like the Virgin Mary, we have a new Person and life placed inside of us (Luke 1:35; I John 5:11,12). As rebirthed saints, we become the recipients of the genuine joy of Jesus. When Christ is placed inside of us, we have a new nature. We are a new creation life (II Cor. 5:17). We have the attributes of Christ. We have the character of Christ. Christ in us is full of genuine love and genuine joy. Have you ever seen a newly rebirthed Christian that isn't full of genuine joy? The Spiritually rebirthed sons now have Christ. With our total belief and trust in Christ, genuine joy just normally flows forth.
Third, Genuine Joy Comes from Really Letting Christ Live in Us
As spiritually rebirthed Christians, how do we live? The Christian life is really not about you being rebirthed with Christ in you, to then try to live and do things in and of yourself to be a better Christian. Please listen carefully! Don't miss the real point of what is being said! The Father does not want us to be Christian actors. He does not want us to imitate Jesus. The Father sent the Holy Spirit to birth His Son in you to be your very life (I John 5:11,12). The Father's desire is that you let Christ live in and through you as your life. The ultimate desire of the Father is that you let Christ live in and through you as your ONLY life (Gal. 2:20). That realization comes only by Spirit revelation in the Father's timing. Let's take a quick survey. It has often been said that JOY means: Jesus first; Others second; and Yourself last. You can see that this simple guideline spells out the acronym for JOY. "He who calls you is faithful, who will also do it" (I Thess. 5:24). Genuine joy comes from really letting Christ live in us to accomplish this.
Fourth, Genuine Joy Is an Expression of the Fruit of the Spirit of Christ
Paul declares to us, that "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Gal. 5:22,23, NKJ). Joy is one of the nine-fold or faceted fruit of the spirit. Fruit is singular in this text here. Why? Fruit is not something that you can to produce on your own. Fruit is the multi-faceted part of the personality and character of Christ in us. Christ will love others through us. Christ will be the pinnacle of genuine joy within us. Paul also talks about "joy of the Holy Spirit" (I Thess. 1:6). Why? The Holy Spirit has come to teach us; to remind us; to testify to us; and declare to us of Christ and the things of Christ (John 14:26;15:26;16:13-15). When the Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us in the midst of a situation, we can rejoice in Christ. When we hear that Rhema word spoken to us by the Holy Spirit, the revelation of Christ comes. Christ releases His genuine joy through the renewed mind in us.
Fifth, Genuine Christ-Life Expressed Will Result in a Praise of Genuine Joy
James tells us, "My brothers, once then count it all joy when various trials round about at intervals might fall upon you" (Jas. 1:2, author's translation). The key is to once then realize, know, and believe that Christ is your joy. Then, when trials fall round about us at various times and intervals, we are already founded in Christ for genuine joy. The genuine revelation that Christ is in us, to live His life as us as our ONLY life is the genuine life of the Christian (Gal. 1:12,16; 2:20). "Knowing continually that your proving of the faith continually works endurance. But let endurance continually have complete work, that you may ever be complete and entire, ever lacking in nothing" (Jas. 1:3-4, author's translation). Christ living in you with His firm foundation, and expressing Himself through you with His faithfulness and life of truth, will lead you in His total maturity and completeness. Lacking for nothing brings a praise of genuine joy.
Sixth, Fullness of Genuine Joy Is in the Genuine Unity of Christ in Us
Paul said, that he was "exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation" (II Cor. 7:4). Why? Paul knew that genuine mind renewal effected in them by the Holy Spirit in the midst of all their tribulations would bring forth more of Christ in them. As a result, they would also become exceedingly joyful. When we are having fellowship with the Father and the Son our "joy may be full" (I Jn. 1:3-4). Seeing others walk in the truth of the Christ-life expressed in and through them, caused John to declare that he had "no greater joy" (III John 4). The only thing that could increase this joy, was to see them face to face and fellowship in genuine unity together with them "that our joy might be full" (II John 12). The fullness of genuine joy is genuine unity in the reality of Christ in us as our life.
Seventh, Christ Loving Others Into the Family is the Pinnacle of Rejoicing
Peter declares that we have Christ now living in us. This is our secure basis for all the eternal life promises of the future (I Pet. 1:3-5). Christ is manifesting in us in the Spirit, even without us seeing Him; yet we can believe and "rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory" (I Pet. 1:8). Genuine glory is Christ loving and expressing the Father's will in and through us for others. Our hope and pinnacle of rejoicing will be for these others there with us at His coming (I Thess. 2:19-20).