The Joy of Obedience

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

I.         I Peter 1:3-9

            A.        Despite the persecutions Christians faced in the first century, there was joy.

            B.        A great joy, an inexpressible joy knowing that their souls were saved.

II.        Some are puzzled by this

            A.        How can people be happy while being concerned with keeping a bunch of commandments?

            B.        If you have to watch every little thing that you do, so you don’t lose your salvation, how can that be fun?

            C.        To many, it seems that commandment keeping would kill joy.

III.       Consider the Philippians

            A.        Phil. 2:12

                        1.         They always obeyed.

                        2.         They were commanded to work out their salvation

                        3.         If that was not enough, they were to do this with fear and trembling.

            B.        Phil 2:13-14

                        1.         They were to do all things without grumbling or disputing

            C.        Obviously, these Christians were expected to continually work at keeping all of God’s commandments. So where is the fun?

            D.        Continue on Phil 2:15-18

                        1.         Did you see the end note? Rejoice in the same way!

                        2.         Phil 3:1 - Rejoice in the Lord.

                        3.         Phil 4:4 - Rejoice in the Lord always.

            E.        You can keep commandments with fear and trembling and always rejoice in the Lord at the same time!

            F.        I would go so far as to say this is the only way to have true joy.

IV.      The same thing was taught in the Old Law - Deut. 28:45-47

            A.        Notice the parallel phrases

                        1.         Because you would not obey the LORD your God by keeping His commandments

                        2.         Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and a glad heart

            B.        Having joy and keeping commandments are not opposites, they go hand-in-hand together.

V.        Will you not, this day, experience the joy of keeping God’s commandments?

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