What Saith the Scripture?
Mandatory Traits of a True Christian
Mandatory Trait 2. Joyful
"As He is, so are we in this world"
"22 The Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith,
23 Meekness, Temperance: against such there is no Law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit"
by Katie Stewart
Mandatory Trait 2.
"These things have I spoken unto you, that My Joy might remain in you, and that your Joy might be full"
The second "Fruit of the Spirit is Joy" (Galatians 5:22). True Christians are happy people! We may not have thought being happy important enough to qualify as a mandatory trait of Christianity-- but, the LORD did! It's the Highest Good He can Will for us. "These things have I spoken unto you, that My Joy might remain in you, and that your Joy might be full" (John 15:11). It is God that makes us happy, for He is the Source of our Joy. "Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD" (Psalm 144:15). If we have His Spirit, then we will have Joy. It is the LORD's Purpose in us, that we be full of Joy. "These things write we unto you, that your Joy may be full" (1John 1:4). When we have need, we are to turn to Him. "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My Name: ask [an Imperative, a Command], and ye shall receive, that your Joy may be full" (John 16:24).
In Scripture, to be blessed by God is to be happy. "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom He hath chosen for His Own Inheritance" (Psalm 33:12). To gain an inheritance can be quite advantageous, depending on the value of that which is gained. To be the LORD is to be Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent. And yet, God chooses us as His valued Inheritance! "8 Let all the Earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. 9 For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast" (Psalm 33:8,9). The more we are like Him, the more valued we are to Him. "Now therefore, if ye will obey My Voice indeed, and keep My Covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the Earth is Mine" (Exodus 19:5).
"What saith the Scripture" (Romans 4:3) concerning this mandatory characteristic that all true children have from their Heavenly Father?
The Standard-- God is Joyful
The LORD is our Standard, and His Own Spirit is Joyful. "The Fruit of the Spirit is Joy" (Galatians 5:22). It is the fulness of His Spirit that causes us to be happy in every Purpose He has for us. "Thou wilt show me the path of Life: in Thy Presence is Fulness of Joy; at Thy Right Hand there are Pleasures for evermore" (Psalm 16:11). Since Heaven is the Goal Mark in every pilgrim's journey, then, O LORD, "Thy Will be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven" (Matthew 6:10). Let my sojourning lead me "unto the Altar of God, unto God my Exceeding Joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise Thee, O God my God" (Psalm 43:4). The pilgrim path is Spiritual quest, "for the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but Righteousness, and Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost" (Romans 14:17). Our worship should extol the Virtues of our Most Excellent God, and recognize, with thanksgiving, the Example He offers us in our Christian walk. "My lips shall greatly Rejoice when I sing unto Thee; and my soul, which Thou hast Redeemed" (Psalm 71:23). He is our Joy! "For Thou hast made [me] most blessed for ever: Thou hast made [me] exceeding Glad with Thy Countenance" (21:6).
Our LORD is Joyful. "These things have I spoken unto you, that My Joy might remain in you, and that your Joy might be full" (John 15:11). Our goal is to be Joyful, also, for "as He is, so are we in this world" (1John 4:17).
True Christians Joy in The Standard.
The LORD is our Joy! "These things have I spoken unto you, that My Joy might remain in you, and that your Joy might be full" (John 15:11). His Word is our Joy! "Thy Words were found, and I did eat them; and thy Word was unto me the Joy and Rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy Name, O LORD God of Hosts" (Jeremiah 15:16). He fills our hearts with the Goodness of Himself and reveals to us the secrets of His Character. "His Secret is with the righteous" (Proverbs 3:32). "Happy is the man that findeth Wisdom, and the man that getteth Understanding" (Proverbs 3:13).
For the true Christian, Jesus Christ is the Most Perfect Example of Selfless Joy. "Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our Faith; Who for the Joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). What was the Joy that was "set before Him"? He was given the Job of Saving us, for no one else could do it. "We see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of Death, crowned with Glory and Honour; that He by the Grace of God should taste Death for every man" (2:9). It was His extreme Joy over us, in bringing us into the Kingdom, in bringing us to His Father, that took Him to the Cross. "He will Save, He will Rejoice over thee with Joy; He [Jesus] will rest in His [The Father's] Love, He will Joy over thee with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17). What a Saviour!
What a thought, that the LORD of Glory would Rejoice over us! That we should Rejoice over Him is abundantly clear and reasonable.
(1.) A true Christian is a Joyful Blessing Also to Family and Friends.
The Standard of His Word can only lead us Truthfully. "4 For the Word of the LORD is Right; and all His Works are done in Truth. 5 He loveth Righteousness and Judgment: the Earth is full of the Goodness of the LORD" (Psalm 33:4-5). The Apostle John said of his spiritual children in the LORD, "I have no greater Joy than to hear that my children walk in Truth (3John 1:4). Since our Divine Standard is Joy Himself, therefore, "fulfil ye my Joy, that ye be likeminded [in Truth], having the same Love, being of one accord, of one mind" (Philippians 2:2). And, if one in Christ by His Joy, then should we also be one in Christ's Joy with our family and friends.
So, it's only reasonable to conclude, that actions done in Truth before God, which cause Him to Joy over us, will bring only Happiness to those we know and love. "For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the Joy wherewith we Joy for your sakes before our God" (1Thessalonians 3:9). Sharing the Joy of Christ reaps great rewards, even while here on this Earth. "That I may come unto you with Joy by the Will of God, and may with you be refreshed" (Romans 15:32).
(2.) A true Christian Obeys the Command to "Rejoice Evermore."
To obey the LORD in all things, even in the face of adversity, is the mark of a true Christian, for the Command is: "Rejoice evermore" (1Thessalonians 5:16).
True Christians Rejoice in the Promise
of Christ's Return.
It is the true Christians who love the LORD's Second Coming, and only they will be the ones ready for His Return. "6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the Bridegroom [the LORD Jesus Christ] cometh; go ye out to meet Him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil [symbolic of the Holy Spirit]; for our lamps are gone out [backslidden-- they obeyed not the LORD, and had grieved away the Holy Spirit of God, i.e., "the Holy Ghost, Whom God hath given to them that obey Him" (Acts 5:32)]. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the Bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with Him to the Marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, LORD, LORD, open to us. 12 But He answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. [also: "I know you not... depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity" (Luke 13:27).] 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh" (Matthew 25:6-13).
True Christians, when operating in God's
Joy, refuse to sin.
It is not morally possible to be Joyful and sinful at the same time. "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Luke 16:13).
The LORD draws a Line in the sand, and says there is a difference between doing right and wrong. So must we.
But, if we do sin, we must repent, or else we prove that we are none of His children. "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Romans 8:9).
When we recognize that God punishes us for our sin, then we have proof that we have a Father, and that we're not bastard children. In this, we should Rejoice.
Mandatory Trait 3. Peaceful / coming soon
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