Thank God For The Church (1 Of 10) by James Merritt

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"Thank God for the Church"
James Merritt
Philippians 1:1-6


1. We are beginning a series of messages in the book of Philippians that I have entitled, "The Joy of Jesus." The words 'joy,' 'rejoicing' or 'gladness' are found 19 times in the book of Philippians. When you open this little book it is like opening your window to a gust of fresh air. It is like walking into a room that is filled with the scent of beautiful roses. This little book pulsates and radiates with joy.

2. But it is not just an ordinary joy but a super ordinary joy. It is the joy of Jesus for this boo is not only about joy. It is also about Jesus just as every book in the Bible is about Jesus. 20 times Paul uses the name Jesus. There is joy in Jesus. There is the joy of Jesus. There is joy with Jesus so the book is about the joy of Jesus--real joy, true joy, everlasting joy cannot be found apart from Jesus, and any other joy you do find will not last. For the joy of Jesus is a personal joy. It is a powerful joy. It is a permanent joy. Jesus said in John 15 and verse 11, "These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be made full. There we see it 'my joy, a personal joy,' may remain in you, a permanent joy as that your joy maybe full, a powerful joy."

3. If the Christian life is anything at all it is to be a life of joy--radiant resplendent, refreshing joy. It is a joy unspeakable to be a Christian. There is the joy of having God as your father, the joy of having Jesus as your savior, the joy of having the spirit as your friend, the joy of having the Bible as your guide, the joy of having heaven as your home when I think of it my soul just thrills in the joy of knowing the Lord. I am like that playboy who was saved, stood up in church and gave his testimony. He said, "I am happier now when I’m not happy than I was before when I was happy."

4. It is not just a coincidence that this journal of joy was written to a people at Philipp ...

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