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Apr 23, 2023

Joyful Believers

Joyful Believers

Passage: Philippians 3:1-3

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Stand Alone Message

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: truth, church, worship, prayer, faith, jesus, sin, god, sermon, cross, christian, bible, christ, gospel, hope, joy, anxiety, believe, jesus christ, lord, christianity, happiness, restoration, savior, bible study, blessed, learning, gods plan, self improvement, the secret, transformed life, how to be happy, follow god, joyful life, jesus loves me, change your life, jesus as savior, happy life, burnt hickory worship, burnt hickory baptist church live stream, motivational video, how to be happy in life

Joy is one of the most vital and important gages on the dashboard of life. We as followers of Christ, our lives should be filled with joy, but sometimes it seems a struggle to find it amidst our circumstances. Today, as we study scripture, we learn that we will be joy-filled when we recognize sin, worship sincerely and treasure Jesus. When we redirect our confidence in Jesus instead of our own ability and depend on the Holy Spirit, we’ll experience the power of joy. Paul says to the church in Philippi that everything that was gain to me, I have considered a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ. Are you struggling to find joy in life? Does sin seem to overwhelm you? Are you trusting in Jesus as savior? If you’ve got questions or want to know more about Jesus, reach out today. We’d love to connect with you and pray with you. As always, you can take the next step by visiting

Well, good morning, Church. I hope you had an amazing week this week. Before we jump into the message, let me just give a quick shout out to all of the people that worked last night and just organized all of the student ministry action last night. It was a great night. About 90% of it was a great night together. There was that 10% for those of you sinners who donated to pay your pastors in the face last night. We are not really sure about your eternal security, but it was for the babies, so we did it. I literally smell like right now I'm in the bath and body works. All I smell is vanilla from whatever went up my nose from the pie last night, but it was a great night to be able to support Missions and support the students. And it was good.

You know, over the last month or so, God has been really dealing and challenging with my heart around this idea of living in the full joy of the Lord. And I've been camping out in this because here's what I've been realizing. I've been meeting so many believers that are just struggling, that are just barely holding on or barely making it or barely keeping it together, much less, living out this joyful life that when we read Scripture together, it describes in our life. I'm just meeting with people so many times that are in the midst of suffering, that are in the midst of heaviness and darkness, and just this load that is on them. And then I go to Scripture and I read this idea that God has made us into His sons and daughters who are supposed to walk out the joy in our lives. And I got to be honest, as I've just really dealt with this in my own life, God, God has been pressing into me a little bit because I can have the tendency to err on the side of not being joyful. I can err on the side of what's wrong or what do we need to fix, or how do we need to get better at something? And, and, and I think you probably would agree with me in the statement of just saying that that left alone, right, left in a drifting pattern. Most of us don't drift towards joy. We drift away from it. We drift towards a little bit of a naysayer attitude. We drift towards a little bit of a just kind of throwing out all of what is wrong with this planet or what is wrong with us or what is wrong with society, whether that's personally or on social media or whatever, we drift towards not being joyful.

So I've been asking the Lord for my life. A little self-compassion time here. Before we jump in, the message is I've been asking for God to pour his joy into my life, and to pour it into your life. Now, I've been asking God to help me be a person that walks out the joy of Christ in my life, that walks out the joy of the Lord in my life. I want to be a person that displays God's joy when people see me. I don't want them to see Matt. I want them to see who Christ is and I want them to see who Christ is, what Christ is done in me. And I want them to see how God can take just a hack like this guy and shine his glory for my life. I've been praying that over my life and I'm going to tell you for the last couple of weeks, I've been praying that God would help me walk us through this morning how we can all be known as people of joy and walk out the joy of the Lord in our lives. So with that being said, I want us to really dive in this morning of not what it looks like to seek earthly joy, but what it looks like to find the joy of Christ, that is in our lives, the sons and daughters of his. I read a quote this week that just kind of set up the message and I want to read it to you and then I'll give us the text after that and then you'll know why this quote was just kind of perfect for this morning. Here it is. I put it in your notes. Here's the quote. I want to start with this one, and here it is. It says, "This joy is one of the most vital gauges on the dashboard of life.” Now, let me read again. Joy is one of the most vital gauges on the dashboard of life now. So if you're already smiling because you know why this hits home for me so much.

For those of you who don't know, I drive a 2006 Chevrolet Z71 four door silver beauty of a truck. It is my baby. I bought this truck on Halloween day 2005, and I've driven it every day since. I mean, I have sweat in it. The boys, every sport has just made them velour seats luxurious. It has just I mean, it is in a pristine dusty, dirty condition. But it's my truck, so don't talk bad about my truck. I mean, I put that truck in the funeral line and I am the first guy in the mix. I mean, there is wood in the back, the back quarter panel. I ran into it with a trailer about eight years ago and I painted it myself. I love my truck. I love it. Every time I'm there people are like, Come on, pastor. Don't be judging my truck. It's my truck now. It's been a great truck, thank goodness. Day Chevrolet. I'll give you all a shout if you want to sponsor me. Come on, I'm right here. But I love my truck. But for the last eight years of my truck life. Eight years, not many of you can say that. The last eight years, just a short period of time for my truck, right. There has been some kind of warning light on my dash. There has been something going on. And when I say some kind of it's not just one. I mean, for eight years straight, there's been like a total of 20 days that there has not been a warning light on. Because you got to get your tag right. So you got to take care of it for a minute. Right. I mean, I have had every single one of them on. I have my oil pressure sensor gauge, it quit working for like a year. I mean, it was either zero or 80 all the time. My gas gauge, if you get a quarter of a tank in my truck, you better pull over because you're going to be stranded. All my life they told me I needed gas. Stayed on for almost a year one time. I mean, it was just on no matter how much there was in there. My lights on the dash just go out sometimes. They just go out. You give it a good hit right on the left hand side. They come back on. I don't know why, but they do. My check engine light has been on for seven years straight, except for the month of August because that's my birthday, right? Seven years. It's been just dumb stuff like O2 sensors. Nobody cares about gas mileage. I mean, that's all it is, right? But but here's what I want to mention in this. Oh, the last one you got to mention this one. My my reserve tank for my washer's fluid for my windshield. It has been cracked for nine years. I mean, there is no bottom to it. You know how I know that? Because every time I get my old change and they fill it back up, the guy in the bottom squeals. He just gets wet. It just goes all over him. I laugh every single time. But listen, here's what let me bring this into our lives.

You see the warning lights on the dashboard of my truck are telling me that it is not functioning at its optimal performance. Right. But I don't care. Right. I don't care. It gets me from point A to B, but joy in our lives functions as a warning light. And that's the point I want to make this morning. Joy in our lives functions as an internal warning. Catch this that something else is going on that you might not be seeing yet. That there is a problem under the hood. And look, you can ignore it in your vehicle all you want to and we'll be friends. But when it's in our lives, we need to pay attention to it. So for those of us that are struggling with joy, here's what I want to tell you this morning. It is not the joy that you're struggling with. There's something underlying in your life that is keeping you from walking out who Christ has made you to be. But unfortunately, many of us are just ignoring it. So when you lose your joy, listen, something else is going on. There's a deeper issue. Joy is really an early indicator that you need to dial back in to who Christ is in your life.

So with that being said, I want you to take your Bibles out. I want you to tell me the Philippians chapter three, Philippians chapter three this morning. And as you're finding that, I want to just kind of tell you why we're going to be in Philippians. If you're a Bible student, you know that Paul, in the book of Philippians, is writing this book a lot around joy and how to have a joyful life. In fact, for the first two chapters, Paul has defined joy and what that looks like. He has given us how we can be joyful. And that's not because of anything we've done, but because of what Christ has done. In Chapter two, we looked at this on February the 26. We looked at the idea that because we have joy, we are to shine joy of Christ into other people's lives. All this book, Paul, all he does through the whole book is he just comes at joy from different angles. He deals with it with different sayings and different words and different life applications because he knows that we struggle with joy. And in chapter three, where we're going to dove into it this morning, Paul gives us yet another picture of what Joy looks like because he knows we're going to blow it and he gives us a process or a practical guide of some things that we can instill in our lives that can help bring joy. So I don't want to define joy. You can take it. You can go look that up in the Webster's, right. What I want to do is to tell you how you can have joy, how you can find joy, not by seeking joy, but by seeking Christ. Okay. So I want to walk through this Philippians passage this morning and I want to give you five things that you can look at in your life that can bring joy to you or they can steal joy from you.

All right. That's where we're going. If you need to leave early now, you know, here it is, Philippians chapter three, verse one. Go with me. It says this. It says, further, or maybe yours says finally. He's really just saying, hey, as far as the rest is concerned, he's getting our attention. And that's why I use this word. Paul is actually kind of using a little preacher trick here. You know, when we say, well, in conclusion or as we close. And we ain't closing, that's what Paul's doing here right? He says further, brothers and sisters, that's a term of endearment. It's expressing his love. He says this Rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice in the Lord. There's that word again. If you're reading the book of Philippians, it's the 12th time in the book that that word has been used, either joy or rejoice. He's given us the sense of, I'm about to give you something big, but I want you to know that you need to rejoice. You need to be a person of joy. Watch what he says. It is no trouble for me to write the same thing to you again. And it is a safeguard for you. So, Paul, basically like a parent reminding his child of something, hey, don't touch the light socket. Chew your food well. Whatever it is that you say all the time, Paul says Hey, listen, I've already told you 50 times, but I need to tell you this again, because you're going to have a tendency to drift into non-joy. And then Paul gives the Philippians and us a reminder and some marks of how we can be joyful. In fact, let me read the first three verses. It says this, finally my brothers and sisters rejoice in the Lord. To write to you again about this is no trouble for me and it is a safeguard for you. He says watch out for the dogs. Watch out for the evil workers. Watch out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh.

Now, Paul has given us right here the plan for joy. We're going to get to it. But let's see what Paul saying first. Paul, just out of the box, he's going Hey, listen, you've got to watch out because as hard as it is to get joy into our lives, which is a hard thing, Amen. It is tough in the society that we live in. As hard as it is to get joy, it is that hard to keep joy. It's what Paul is saying. He's looking at me, he's looking at you, and he's saying, look, if you're going to have joy, you've got to know that as you begin to walk in joy, there's always going to be opposition ahead of you. There's always going to be people that are going to want to drag you out of your joy. Have you ever noticed that in your life or something actually goes right in your life or there actually is a joy in your life? But all of a sudden, the first response in anybody else's life is to try to drag you back out of that joy. That's what Paul is saying right here. He's saying that this is going to happen. And it it's and it's and it's just kind of an earthly thing that happens in people's lives. And here's why. It's because the whole world is trying to find joy and they're never going to find joy if they don't know Jesus. That's what he's saying in it. So Paul is looking at the back history of his life going man. I tried to find joy in all this stuff. We're going to read in just a minute. And that stuff might have brought me like 75% there, but it was only temporary and there was always a hole in my heart. There was always something in my life that felt like I was not being satisfied. You know that's why the world wants to steal your joy as a believer, right? You know, that's why the world wants to judge you as a believer is because they see something in you they can't have no matter how hard they work. No matter what they chase after. Paul says, Hey, listen, that stuff's not going to give you peace, because that's not what I was created for. That's how I was created for. And then he does his best to remind us that joy comes from living out, here it is, what we're created for. And what are we created for? We're created to glorify God. In fact, Saint Augustine of Hippo in 397 AD, Iput this quote in your notes, he said this. He says, You God have made us for yourself, oh, Lord.

And our hearts are restless until they rest in you. You want to know why so much of the world is restless? It's because they're not resting in the one that can give them peace and can give them joy, and they can give them hope. Blaise Pascal, the famous quote, I put it in there just so you'll have it. He said this in 1670. He said, There's a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied with any creative thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ. You know what that means? It means no wonder what you're seeking after and what you're running after, no matter how bad you want it. It is not from God that joy is not going to last in your life. That's what he's saying. So, Paul, in these verses, he's looking at you, he's looking at me. He's saying, Hey, that other stuff you're chasing, it's not worth it. I tried it. Believe me. I thought it would bring me joy, but it only let me down. And that's what the world is saying. But God, he said, has delivered me and taught me some things. And let me give you the warnings. So we're going to look at let me give you five things this morning that joyful believers have in their lives. And I want you to take these now. All five of these are not going to be you, all right? You're not going to struggle with all five. You do it. You got some work to do. All right? But you need to take a couple of these this week that are you, that you know God needs to work on your heart on. Number one. Here it is, joyful believers. Look at this. In the process, joyful believers recognize. sIn joyful believers recognize sin. And I know that sounds like the weirdest place to start a joy talk alright, in sin. But it makes sense really because of this. Sin, when we see sin for what it really is and what it really does, we begin to run away from it and not to it. Why? Because sin steals joy. Sin never offers joy. It might offer like a temporary little blip on the radar joy. But it never offers eternal joy. Sin seems like it brings joy. Amen. Bringing you back to some days in your life right? But it doesn't last. That's the point. In fact, look back at the verses again. Let me read them again. It says this. Philippians 3:1-3 says this. Further, my brothers and sisters rejoice in the Lord. It is no trouble for me to write these same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.

Now key in right here in verse two. He says this: Watch out for those dogs. Watch out for those evildoers. Watch out for the mutilators of the flesh for we are the circumcision. So Paul says, Watch out. Or he says, Look, three times or to three different groups here. There's a sense here of this extreme caution that Paul is saying, hey, listen, there is sin and there are some specific sin and there's general sin that you need to be aware of because it will suck joy out of your life. And then he gives us these three words, these three terms he's actually defining a group called the Judaizers that we're always just biting at his heels coming against the Philippians. But in these he does an incredible job of describing the sin that wants to rip joy from our lives. In fact, let me walk through the warnings. He's given us here. He uses this word dog. He says, hey, watch out for the dogs. Now, that's not the university, right? I get it. Some of you are already in that mindset, right? And then this is not even a term of like, oh, look at the Labradoodle puppy. No, that's not what he's talking about. Okay? That's not what he's talking about. When he says watch out for the dogs. Dogs was a derogatory term that the Jews used against the Gentiles so badly that they looked down on them so harshly they wanted nothing to do with them. Why? Because a dog and this time period was just a savage beast. It was a scavenger. All the dogs in this time did was live in the dumps of the world and chased after their desires only. You see why Paul is using this? In fact, write this down. I'm going to give you some watch out phrases here. Number one, Paul is saying, watch out for those who devour anything their hearts tell them to. That's what he's saying right here about dogs. So that's what a dog does. If it's not your labradoodle, right? It just devours what it wants. It follows its heart. It follows and scavengers for whatever. So Paul is coming at these people and he's coming at us and he said, Hey, for those of you that just have these people in your life, they focus on the here and that focus on the now that are driven by feelings that are driven by their hearts. They're driven by wherever the wind takes them. Those people will suck the joy out of you. Does that sound a little bit familiar about our culture? He's saying that's not the truth. While it may seem like that sets you free, that will begin to suck the joy from you. Watch out for anything or anyone who says, Hey, my heart is just telling me to do this. Because they were putting heart above truth. He used the word dogs and then he used the word evil workers. Now he takes it up a notch on evil workers.

In fact, write the phrase down here. Here's what it means. Number two, watch out and recognize those that just choose evil. That's what evil workers mean. Now, the first group that he's saying watch out for, because they steal joy, are people who just follow their heart wherever it goes. It's not about the truth. The second group are not people that are struggling. They're just people that are flippant about it all and are choosing evil. Here's the thing when we invite these people into our lives and they suck the joy right out of our lives. Students, let me tell you you can do yourself a favor right now and begin to order your steps in such a way that you steer clear of people that just purposely choose evil. You will save yourself some wounds, I promise you. Just ask some of the adults in the room. He's saying, listen, if you are inviting people into your lives, in situations, in your lives that are purposely choosing evil, it may seem for a minute like it brings joy in your life because it kind of does, but it's going to suck it out of your lives. These people have no desire to chase after God. Then He uses this phrase to kind of top all of it off. He says, Hey, listen, watch out for these mutilators of the flesh. Now you've got to know a little context for this one, but you're going to get the point. Write this down. Here's what it means. It means watch out for those who are adding to the Gospel. Watch out for those who are adding to the gospel. Matt, how did you get that? Well, here's what Paul is doing. Paul, this is Paul's term, this mutilator of the flesh. This is Paul's term talking to this group of people, this group of Jewish leaders that were taking the words of Jesus and they were shaping them and molding them into their current culture.

Now, does that sound a little bit familiar? He's saying this: watch out for people who try to take the word of God and just shape it into their current culture to make them feel better about themselves. Or be able to get around a sin that they may be struggling with. That was these Jewish leaders in this time, here's why I use this word, mutilators of flesh. Because I know you're going to ask. What they were doing was they were looking at what Jesus said and they're like, hey, listen, yeah, gentiles, you can be believers in Jesus. You can be followers of God. But what you've got to do is you've got to be a Jew first, and then you've got to circumcise yourself, and then you can follow Jesus, right? And then you can follow who this is. But we know that Jesus has already said that the faith is by grace alone through Christ alone. We know that's what God had said. But Paul is looking at them going, Hey, listen, all you're doing when you add along this whole circumcision thing is all you're doing is mutilating your flesh. Now, I'll let you talk about that one at lunch today. Right? Kids, ask your parents what that means. Okay, but what Paul is saying is this steer, it took you a minute to get that one. That one kind of swept over the crowd a little bit there. But what Paul is saying is men steer clear from people who are taking texts and who are taking God's word and who are just trying to mold it into their current culture to make themselves feel better. That's what he's saying right here. So here's the point in all of it. If we don't want our joy to be stolen. We've got to be aware that there are people out there that oppose truth as they're chasing after their hearts.

There's people out there that are just evil doers who are seeking sin. And there's people out there that are trying to add to the gospel. And all of these groups listening closely to me have the tendency to steal joy and not give joy. And not give it. Now, I know given enough time, you come up with stories in your life where you have seen this happen. But at the moment it seems like this is where you should be, and it's where you should go. But it doesn't stop there. All right. Because the hardest part that Paul is leaning into here is this. You see, it's easy for us to recognize sin that is out there, isn't it? I mean, we're pretty much pros at it. I mean. Right. I mean, we're pros at recognizing sin in other people's lives. But what Paul's saying in just context here, it's not in the text, but we read it in all the rest of his writings is also, write this one down. Number four, we've got to watch out for the sin that is in our own lives, that's in our lives, because we can't always just be looking out. We've got to know what's happening here. Why? Because that sin will steal joy. In fact, King David, after a long battle with sin, said this in Psalm 32. He said, I acknowledge my sin to you, God, and my iniquity I didn't hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord. And you forgave me the guilt of my sin.

First John 1:9, I put in your notes. It says, If you confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Paul would say, If you want joy, it starts by recognizing that there is sin outwardly, recognizing their sin inwardly, and recognizing that sin never leads to joy. It always leaves us hanging. Number one, joyful people recognize sin. Number two, joyful people. These are shorter, I promise. Number two, worship sincerely. They worship sincerely. Now this is way more than Hey, I gave my 30 minutes before Matt got up there for a while. Right? That's not what it means right here. Okay? They worship sincerely like verse three. We're going to hang on verse three for a long time. I'm warning you now. He says for we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God. Now, what does that mean to worship by the spirit? Write this principle down, I put it in there for you. Worshiping in the spirit means this. It means that we combine our affections of our hearts and the actions of our lives with the truths of God's word. You see how that works? I'm combining some things. I'm combining where my affection is pointing to. Who I am drawn to, who I am chasing after. I'm combining that with the actions of what I'm walking out. And all of that has to be in the lane of where God's truth is. And when that happens, here's what happens in our life. We begin to serve God. We begin to sing to God. We begin to pray to God. We begin to love other people in God's name. And how does this work? Here's how it works. It begins with this. I see God in both my actions and my attitudes. I begin to lift up his name and when I lift his name, I'm connecting myself with the Holy Spirit.

He is placing things in my mind, pressing it into my heart. And here's what it does for us. It takes my focus off the world and it puts it on Jesus because he's the only one that brings joy. That's what Paul was saying here. He's saying, if you want lasting joy in your life, you've got to worship the one that gives joy, not the things that steal joy and sincere worship is the only thing that brings that into our minds. Do you know Paul could say this so innocently? Do you know why? Because when Paul was writing this, he was sitting in a prison cell. Philippians is a prison epistle. He's sitting there waiting on the sentence to be passed down of what was going to happen with his life. But yet he's still speaking of joy because he found true joy that lasts. He had found true joy, and he was able to say, to live is Christ and to die is gain. He had found true joy to say, Hey, no matter what you do to me, I'm going to come out in the joy and the love of Christ. He's in this prison cell. He's saying, listen, worship matters, joy matters. And worship in our life connects us with a father's heart. And when the father's heart is connected to us, we are walking out what we are created to be in a places joy in us. This is where Romans 12:1 begins to be very clear, where he says, therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercies, to present your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God. For this is your true and proper worship. You see, some of us don't have joy in our lives because we're not connecting with the father. We're living this life on our own, by our own, with our own power. And he's saying, Listen, that's not how you get joy. Joyful believers, number one, they recognize sin. Number two, they worship sincerely.

Here's number three, they treasure Jesus. They treasure Jesus. I love that word, treasure. I use it all the time because I think it connects with our minds incredibly well. Treasuring something means that we are lifting it to the highest standard. It means we're lifting it to the supreme seat of honor. Let me ask you something. If you've got a joy problem, maybe it's because you are not placing Christ in the role that He deserves to be in. That's what Paul is saying right here. Paul said, Hey, listen, we should lift him. We should place him so high, that we should be a people that boast about that. In fact, go back to verse three. I told you we're going to be in it for a while. He says this for We are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the spirit of God, and we boast in Christ Jesus. Some of your versions say we find joy in Jesus. Some of them say we see glory in Jesus. But what Paul is saying here is because of who Jesus has made us, we should boast about it. The only way you can boast about something is if you put supreme importance on that thing. You see what we really love and we really honor.

Here's what I know about it. We will always lift it above other things. Do you know that nobody ever had to teach you how to honor something? Go back to your childhood. There were things in your life that you would have literally killed somebody over because you loved it that much, right? I mean, there were things in your life that meant everything to you. You are born with an innate ability and an instinct to lift up those things in your life that matter most. And you will always do it. People tell me all the time that I just don't have time to do that. I just want to look at them. I go, That's just because you don't like it that much. But that's what he's saying right here. Paul says, As believers, we and our primary attention and affection should always point toward inwardly and outwardly lifting the name of Jesus, spreading the name of Jesus. And when we do that, he will plant his joy in us, and we can boast about him. You say Matt, we're not supposed to boast. Yeah, we are first Corinthians 1:31. Therefore it is written let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. Galatians 6:14. As for me, may I never boast about anything except for the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified and the world's Interest in me has also died. Believers listen to me closely. It is okay to brag on who your God is and what your God is doing. It's okay. And here's why. Because it brings him pleasure. And when we brag on God, we're not bragging on ourselves saying he plants his joy in our lives and it points to what we truly treasure. For some reason, I feel like I want to say that. I feel like for some reason we have slipped into this mindset of culture where we say something like this, Well, you know what? I'll just believe what I want to believe quietly and let them believe what they want to believe quietly. And we'll just all get along. That is not Scripture. Scripture says that we are to find joy in Christ. When we find joy in Christ, we can't help but to tell about Christ. Joy comes when we lower our devotion to the world and its earthly desires, and God sparks something in us that we can't help but to keep our mouth shut about him.

That's what he's saying. How do we try to Jesus, we give him the worth he desires, we elevate him to the position he desires. And what does he do? I promise you, he begins to put his joy in your life. If you get a joy problem, maybe it's because you're just not proclaiming the name of Jesus and what he's done in your lives. Let me take you back to that first mission trip you ever been on or that last mission trip you were on. Do you remember what Christ was doing in your life? Do you remember that feeling in your heart? Like, this is what I was created to do? That's the joy of the Lord. That's what He wants for every day of your life. Number one, recognizes sin. Joyful believers. number two, worship sincerely. Joyful believers, number three, they treasure Jesus.

Number four, here's my favorite one. They redirect confidence. Joyful believers redirect their confidence. Listen closely, misplaced confidence is such a joy stealer. Stealer. Every one of these we can look at in the positive or the negative. Misplaced confidence is such a joy stealer. Let's go back to our verse we've been in. We've been in verse three for like 20 minutes. So let's go back to it. Here it is. For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh. Now notice something here, though. Paul does not discount confidence. He doesn't discount confidence, he only discounts confidence in what he calls confidence in the flesh. Okay. There's a major distinction there because he wants to give you confidence, but not in the flesh. In fact, let me define flesh for you, because it's kind of a little bit of a weird word in this context. So we define it. Here's the flesh. I put it in your notes. It is any human attribute or achievement that does not have a dependance on the Holy Spirit and glorifies God. That's what flesh means right here. And here's the deal. It doesn't necessarily mean these things are sin. It just means that we have placed our dependance in something that was never there to bring us joy. It was never there to bring us hope. It was never there to be sustaining in our life. Now, I'm not saying the things that we're about to read are bad. Because flesh doesn't always mean bad. In fact, watch what Paul says. Remember, he just said don't put confidence in the flesh. We're going to move to the verse for 20 minutes.

Here it is. He says this. He says, Although I have reasons for confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more. That's pretty bold, Paul, but he's about to back it up, right? Well, it's what he says. He gives us six things. He says, I'll give you the six. Here's the first one, circumcised on the eighth day of the nation of Israel. Here's what he means. I had the perfect timing in my religious activities. I was baptized at the right time. I was always at LifeGroup on time. I sat in the right place in church, whatever. You fill in the blanks. He says that here it is. I was of the tribe of Benjamin. In other words, he said, Hey, I am of the right people. My ancestry is right. He says this. He keeps going. Number three, he says, I was a Hebrew, born of Hebrews. Even my family, Paul said, has lived right and has been blessed. My special ethnic devotion, Paul says. Number four. He says regarding the law, I was a Pharisee, and that means he held the strictest of the passionate laws. He was emotionally steady. He was strong. The next one, verse six is regarding zeal. I was persecuting the church. In other words, I was the most zealous person you know. He keeps going regarding the righteousness that is in the law, Paul says, I was blameless.

Now, look, I don't know who in this church could be this, but this guy right here, right? He said I was blameless. I was not at fault in my morality. I was faultless in my language. I was pure in my sexuality. I was probably on the Jewish boys 13 year old, all star team, for goodness sake. He was all of these things. But in all of these aspects that he was at the top of the game, what does Paul say? He said none of it really matters. You see, listen to me close. Paul was the guy that you had prayed for, for your daughter your whole life. That's who Paul was. He was at the top of the game. He made all A's, he had all AP classes. He was first trumpet. He was the drum major. He was the quarterback all at the same time. It's what he just told us, right. He lived in such worldly excellence, like many of you listen closely. He had every right to be confident in the flesh. But what did he say brought him joy? He said no. When God stepped in, that's when the joy came. When God stepped in, God stepped in and showed him, hey, all that's great and all, but you don't find joy from those things. In fact, look at verse seven. He says, but everything that was gained to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. Keep going. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in the view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. Because of Him, I have suffered the loss of all things and I consider them dung. Why? So that I may gain Christ. Church, do you see where joy comes from? It doesn't come from the religious stuff, the nationality, the family line, the standards, the emotion, the passion, the morality, the culture, the money. While all that is great, all that is fine.

Listen to me, church, none of that is the hope giver of all of our life. None of that can give you joy that you're chasing after. None of that is going to last in the end. Our hope is found in nothing less than Jesus' blood and his righteousness. That's what he's saying here. Lasting joy cannot come from earthly offerings or earthly talent. No matter how hard you lean on them. They're great things. They are fabulous things. They're good additions to who Christ has made you. I'm not saying don't be the best you you can be. Right? Go you be that be. But don't be that and think that's what's going to bring joy. What brings joy is knowing Christ, not knowing about Christ, but knowing Christ and being in an intimate relationship with Christ. And when that happens, your confidence begins to shift. And when that happens, watch this. Number five, joyful believers experience power. Experience life, the true, joyful power in the Lord. This is where this whole text is pointing. To all pointing. And watch this promise. Watch what Paul says. He says, I want to know Christ. Verse ten. Yes, to know the power of his resurrection, the participation in his suffering, to become like him in his death.

And so somehow attaining to the resurrection from the dead. I love how the new living translation puts verse ten. He says this. It says, I want to know Christ and I want to experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. Church, listen real close as we close. That's not even a preacher, because we're really going to close because the music's about to start. Watch this. Joy comes from knowing the power of Christ in your life. That's where joy comes from. End of the story. The whole message is one sentence. And that is that joy only comes from Christ planning it in your life. Now, here's the question though. Will you walk after it? You see, because here's what the world wants to tell you. The world wants to tell you that joy comes from all of this other stuff. The joy the world wants to tell you, that joy comes from following your heart, right? That joy comes from following what people or influencers want you to follow. They want to tell you that joy comes from molding God into your image. But Paul steps on the scene right here and says, Is that, Hey, if you want the joy of God, you've got to find the power of Christ and let Him plan it in your life. That is the only thing that's going to help you make it through this world. How do we do it? Don't glaze over this. We see sin for what it is. We worship Jesus for who He is. We treasure Jesus for who He is. We find our confidence in Jesus and in Acts 1:8, then you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon you. So let me bring this down to all closing right here. Here it is. Where's your joy gauge? Is your joy gauge low? Has it been tacked for so long that it's just kind of quit working? Listen, it's not a joy problem.

It's “where am I in my relationship with Christ” problem. That's what it is. So here's the good news behind that. If you're not dead, God's not done. He wants to fill you with his joy. With what? The all surpassing joy of the Lord.

Lord Jesus today, God today let us just realize joy doesn't come from chasing after all the things that the world has to offer. Joy comes from you and you alone. And God, if we've got a joy problem, that means that we have a relationship problem. And our relationship is with you. But God, the problem is that you're not the you're not the one at fault in that relationship. God, it's us. But God, you loved us enough not to just leave us where we are. You're chasing after us. You're walking beside us. God, you want us to live in your full joy. God, I just pray for these next couple of minutes, Lord. That God, you just set some people free. Whether it just be from a sin in their lives, it's stealing their joy. God, you help them deal with that right now. That God, whether it just may be a place that they have just God, kind of forgot to lift you up in worship and just kind of went on their own and worshiped something other than the one true God. God would you just draw them back, help them see that you're the only one that's worth it. Whether it's a misplaced confidence today, God would you just show them their confidence is only in you? I just pray that all throughout this crowd today Lord, you show us that your power is available to give us joy. It's there for the asking. But Lord I also ask today that you deal in the hearts of those people that don't know you today. That you would just show them, Lord Jesus joy is only found in you, in your forgiveness, in your life. Lord, if you're dealing with someone's heart today, God, I just pray that they respond during this imitation song. Lord, I just pray they just step out from their seats today. Maybe they just need someone to pray over them today to restore some joy in their life. Maybe it's today they need to give their heart to you today. God we'll be down here by next steps banner. God just move in people's hearts today, Jesus. May the joy of the Lord shine. It's in your name.


Let's stand and sing together.

Follow Along with the Message

Joyful Believers

April 23, 2023

QUOTE: Joy is one of the most vital on the dashboard of life.

Philippians 3:1
Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.
Philippians 3:1–3
1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. To write to you again about this is no trouble for me and is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for the dogs, watch out for the evil workers, watch out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh.

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
— St. Augustine of Hippo, 397 AD

“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”
— Blaise Pascal, 1670 AD

Joyful Believers…

1. sin.

Philippians 3:1–3a
1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. To write to you again about this is no trouble for me and is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for the dogs, watch out for the evil workers, watch out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision…

Watch out for…

1. Those who devour anything their tell them.

2. Those that just choose .

3. Those who are to the Gospel.

4. The sin that is in lives.

Psalm 32:5
I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2. sincerely.

Philippians 3:3
For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God…

PRINCIPLE: We the affections of our hearts and the actions of our lives with the truths of God’s Word.

Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship.

3. Jesus.

Philippians 3:3
For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus…
1 Corinthians 1:31
Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the&bsp;Lord.”
Galatians 6:14 (NLT)
As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.

4. confidence.

Philippians 3:3
For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh.

FLESH: any human attribute or achievement that does have a dependence on the Holy Spirit and glorify Jesus.

Philippians 3:4–6
4 Although I have reasons for confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised the eighth day; of the nation of Israel of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews regarding the law, a Pharisee; 6 regarding zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness that is in the law, blameless.
Philippians 3:7–8
7 But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ.

5. power.

Philippians 3:10–11
10 I want to know Christ — yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 Iand so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:10 (NLT)
I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.

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