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Rejoice in the Lord

Rejoice in the Lord

Jun 21, 2015

Passage: Philippians 3:1-11

Preacher: Jared Longshore

Category: Sunday Morning

Keywords: happiness, joy, pursuit, salvation


Pastor Jared Longshore, in a message entitled “Rejoice in the Lord,” opens God’s Word to Philippians 3:1-11. Christians may recognize the need, even the responsibility, to rejoice but may oftentimes fall short. With a three part plan Pastor Longshore shows how believers can rejoice despite circumstances that can make true joy, real happiness elusive.

First, Christians should rejoice recognizing the Lord’s salvation. A large measure of this recognition is knowing that our salvation is completely an accomplished work of the Lord. In the Philippians passage Paul warns (vv. 2-3) about those in the assembly who might add to faith alone through grace alone by adding elements of the law. We need not worry. The work of Christ on the Cross was totally sufficient. Salvation comes from Jesus, never from Jesus plus anything. We cannot have any confidence in our flesh and its works. Contemplation of these facts results in rejoicing.

The second part of the plan is to rejoice in the Lord Himself. It has often been said “He who has Jesus has everything.” Paul teaches this principle in this text. He counts everything as loss compared to the riches he has in Christ. The very fact that the Lord has saved, that the same Lord indwells, loves, guides, and so on engenders true rejoicing when it is properly considered. If Christ’s worth surpasses the worth of the world and its riches, and if we have Christ as our own, should we not rejoice in that fact alone? Paul teaches that a choice must be made. V. 8 indicates Paul counted all things as rubbish so that he might gain Christ. For a Christian, the choice must be made. How is life to be lived, for the things of this world or for Christ and His kingdom? The love and affection of our heart must be aimed properly.

Finally, the third part of God’s plan for us is to rejoice in the Lord’s ways. We, like Paul, will suffer. Our desire, however, should also be like Paul’s, to better know Christ. The longer and closer we walk to the Lord, the more our lives will attain to the Christ-likeness to which we believers are called. Safe, comfortable living is attractive. Yet it appears to be somewhat contrary to God’s design. We are to be yielded to Him, living for Him, not for ourselves, seeking His glory, not our own, and building His kingdom not ours. This is how Christ is honored in life and death.

Of course this will sound strange to the non-believers. Nevertheless, as the pastor explained, “If you are [listening] and are not a Christian, this is the way to pursue happiness.” In fact, only by sincerely coming to Him can true joy be known. In knowing Jesus Christ personally a person can truly rejoice in their salvation, in their Lord, and in the Lord’s ways. There is no joy or peace, there is no salvation, in any other. Jesus calls to you.