|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
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.