Spreading the Gospel
of the Glory of Christ
for the Joy of All Peoples in Him

For Your Joy

slide_for_your_joy
Did You Know That God Created You To Be Eternally Satisfied In Him?
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. –Psalm 16:11

 

God Created Us For His Glory And Our Joy
“Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43:6-7)

God is the all-holy, all-loving Creator of the universe, and nothing in all of creation is more valuable or more satisfying than God Himself.  He made us to put His beauty and majesty on display by pursuing our deepest delight in Him.  Each and every human being is uniquely created in God’s image to reflect His glory in all that we are and do.  We exist to glory God by enjoying Him forever. (Ps 37:4; 73:25; Isa 43:6-7; 1 Cor 10:31)

To show us how to live for His glory and our joy, God gave us His law, which Jesus summed up in two great commands:  Love God perfectly, and Love others completely (Matt 22:36-40).  By keeping His Law, we would have everlasting life with nothing to hinder our joy in God—no evil, no suffering, no sorrow, and no death.  This is the way God created us and the world to be.

But this isn’t the way things are today . . . What went wrong?

All Of Us Have Forfeited Eternal Life and Joy by Failing To Live For God’s Glory
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

The everlasting joy for which we were created was lost when we turned from God and refused to pursue that joy in Him.  We have all treated our Creator as less valuable than His creation.  Rather than embracing God as our all-satisfying King, we have rejected Him and pursued ultimate meaning and joy in other things.  Rather than submitting to His good and perfect will for our lives, we have rejected His Law and sought to live our own way.  None of us have glorified God by loving Him perfectly and loving others completely.  This is what the Bible calls sin.  In our actions, words, thoughts, and affections, we have all rebelled against God and are sinful through and through. (Jer 2:13; Isa 53:6; Rom 1:25; 3:10-12, 23; 1 Jn 3:4)

Because God is holy, He cares deeply about how we have mistreated Him and others.  Because He is just, He cannot simply sweep our sins under the rug.  In response to our rebellious desire for His absence from our lives, God is perfectly just in giving us over to what we ask for:  “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thess 1:9).  This is what the Bible calls Hell.  Instead of spending eternity in the all-satisfying presence of God, we will forever experience His just condemnation. (Ps 7:11; Matt 10:28; 25:41-46; Heb 9:27)

So far, this all sounds like bad news . . .  But until we accept the reality of our sin and guilt, we will never understand and treasure the good news of salvation God has provided in Jesus Christ.

For His Glory And Our Joy, Jesus Came To Save Sinners
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners . . .” (1 Timothy 1:15)

In the greatest possible display of His glory and love, the God who made us came into this world to save us.  Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, entered His own creation and became a perfect man to live the life we should have lived—loving God perfectly and loving other completely.  In our place, He died the death we should have died—suffering for our sins on the cross.  And having fully satisfied the judgment we deserve, He rose triumphant from the dead—conquering sin and death, and providing eternal life and joy for all who trust in Him. (1 Tim 1:5; Phil 2:5-11; Rom 5:19; 8:34; 1 Pet 3:18)

This what the Bible calls the Gospel . . . But how does this “good news of great joy” (Luk 2:10) become good news for us?

Three Ways to Respond
“He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God . . .” (John 1:11-12)

Jesus began His public ministry by calling people to “repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mrk 1:15).  There are three ways we can respond to this offer of good news:

Irreligion:  The irreligious have no place for repentance or faith. They are either indifferent to the Gospel, or outright hostile to it.  Either way, they continue rejecting God by pursuing ultimate joy in other things, and thus continue on “having no hope and without God in the world.” (Eph 2:12)

Religion:  The religious view repentance and faith as a way of earning God’s acceptance.  They try very hard to keep God’s laws in order to earn God’s acceptance—hoping in the end that their good deeds will outweigh the bad.  Jesus is only there to step in if the scales don’t tip in their favor.  In all their efforts at “repentance,” they fail to repent of their own self-righteousness.  God’s Law doesn’t require a “better life.”  It requires a perfect life, something religion can’t offer: “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” (Galatians 3:10)

Gospel:  The Gospel of grace is neither religion nor irreligion, but something else altogether.  Repentance, according to the Gospel, is turning from sin in our hearts and turning to Jesus Christ—embracing Him as our most valuable treasure.  Faith, according to the Gospel, is trusting solely in Christ’s perfect life, death, and resurrection in our place as our only hope for forgiveness and acceptance from God.  All of the benefits of the Gospel—forgiveness of sins, adoption as God’s children, eternal life in heaven, etc.—only become ours when we turn from sin and receive Jesus Christ by faith alone:  “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

What About You?
How have you responded to Jesus Christ?  Do you see Him as more satisfying than anything this world has to offer?  Do you trust His perfect life, death, and resurrection as all-together sufficient for your salvation?  Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ good news for you?

If you haven’t received Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, what is holding you back?  If you still have questions, don’t let them linger.  We warmly invite you to connect with us to ask your questions and talk about your doubts.  Jesus welcomed sincere doubters, and so do we (John 20:24-29; Mark 9:24).  But whatever you do, don’t let another day go by without receiving Christ as your all-satisfying treasure.  In His presence, and in His presence only, there if fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

Additional Resources:
Quest for Joy (by John Piper)
What is the Gospel? (by Tim Keller)
The God Who is There (by D.A. Carson)