Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.…
Rejoice in the Lord. This sentence is the keynote of the Epistle. The world holds that believers have no joys.
I. BELIEVERS OUGHT TO REJOICE.
1. Because it is a commanded duty. "Rejoice in the Lord."
2. Because, if commanded, it is provided by the Holy Spirit, for it is part of the Spirit's fruit. (Galatians 5:22.)
3. Because joy is characteristic of the Christian. The early Christians "ate their meat with gladness and singleness of heart" (Acts 2:46). This joy is not inconsistent with sorrow. The apostle himself was "Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing." (2 Corinthians 6:10). "Rejoice with trembling."
II. THE NATURE OF THIS JOY. "In the Lord." The world rejoices in the creature, but the believer rejoices in the Creator of all things.
1. Because the Lord is.
2. Because he is the Portion of his people.
3. Because of all the manifestations of his power, wisdom, and grace.
4. Because the believer hopes for the glory to (Romans 5:2.)
III. THE BELIEVER IS TO CHERISH AN ABIDING JOY. "Rejoice in the Lord at all times." In dark days as well as bright days. A permanent habit of joy is reasonable, when we consider
(1) that there is no change in the Lord, the Source of our joy;
(2) that our relationship to him is unchangeable.
IV. MARK THE EMPHATIC REPETITION OF THE COMMAND. "And again I will say, Rejoice." This attests its importance.
1. Joy is the spring of energy. "A weary heart tires in a mile." A cheerful Christian is usually a very active one. "The joy of the Lord is his strength."
2. It kills the taste for sinful pleasures. It excludes the heart everything it cannot harmonize with itself.
3. It enables the believer to confront persecution. The early Christians" took joyfully the spoiling of their goods."
4. It enhances the charm and influence of Christian life. - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.