Joy to the World!
Pastor Paul D. Van Noy Candlelight Christian Fellowship

The purpose of the Old Covenant law was to point out our sin and cause us to recognize our need for a Savior. This is spelled out and emphasized for us in the New Testament. “…the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:24) Paul said, “…when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.” (Romans 7:9) In effect, the law made sin apparent and caused the violator to recognize his or her need.

Let me illustrate: In the Ten Commandments we read, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) This is only the first in the list of ten. It is designed to point out that if anything or anyone comes before the Lord in our lives we are guilty of breaking the commandment, i.e. guilty of sin. God must be number one. Applied, this means that those who love their children, husband, wife, father, mother, job, money, power etc, more than they love the Lord are guilty of breaking the first commandment and are therefore guilty of sin. Without forgiveness we are destined to spend eternity in hell where we will be justly punished as sinners.

Enter the Gospel. The guilty is given hope.

Jesus Christ, God’s Only Begotten Son came into this world to suffer the consequences of sin for us. His sacrificial work provides us the only opportunity for salvation. The Bible teaches that those who call upon Jesus, believing that He suffered the consequences for their sin, in their place, are saved from the punishment we deserve and are forgiven.

The result of God’s forgiveness produces a surrendered life of gratitude for the grace and mercy shown us in Jesus. By faith, sinners are given the benefits of saints and the promise of eternal life.

The joy we experience is a direct response to our understanding of sin and it’s consequences. Carl Cook in his great wit once said, “The depth of our love for God will never be greater than the depth of our sorrow for personal sin.” Likewise, the height of our experience in joy correlates to the depth of our realization and sorrow. The joy this world is offered is received as we recognize Jesus as our Savior, as we recognize and confess our sin, repent from human effort to please God and accept the finished work Jesus secured for us at the cross. All who trust in Him may enter His rest, free from the law, free from our sin, free from death, alive in grace. This is joy, joy to the world, joy for you, joy for me!

I pray that you will consider the awesomeness of God’s love, His offer of salvation and that you might experience His Joy!

Blessings upon you all.