1 John 1:4
And these things write we to you, that your joy may be full.
I. ITS NATURE.
1. As predicted (Isaiah 56:7). What folly it is to seek pleasure other wise than in God!
2. As encouraged. When the angel came to the shepherds he brought tidings of joy. According to St. Paul, the great end of the ministry is to assist believers to realise this joy. "We are helpers of your joy."
3. As illus trated. Samaria received the gospel, and "there was great joy in that city." The Ethiopian received the gospel and went on his way rejoicing. St. Peter, in speak ing of tribulation, adds, "wherein we greatly rejoice"; "ye rejoice with joy unspeakable."
II. THE USE AND ADVANTAGES OF THIS JOY.
1. The principal graces can only exist in the preserver of Christian joy.
2. The praise of God can only be properly expressed in the presence of Christian joy. What the heart does not feel it cannot speak, what the mind does not realise it cannot express.
3. We cannot honour our Master without feeling Christian joy.
4. We cannot exercise becoming strength without Christian joy. "The joy of the Lord is your strength." Sorrow makes the hands hang down and the knees become feeble.
5. We can only realise the blessedness of heaven by the exercise of Christian joy. Heaven will be the consummation of the present, and unless the seed is sown here it can never blossom hereafter.
6. We can only be kept from error and sin when feeling the power of Christian joy. If we wish to make a flower droop, and wither, and fade, and die, what do we do? We remove it from the sunlight. The plant will make an effort to grow, but it will soon die away. It is so with the soul. In the atmosphere of darkness and desolation it must droop and eventually die. It will be liable to disease and to be eaten with cankerworm.
Parallel VersesKJV: And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.