The Joy Pledge’s Scriptural Basis

 

Have you heard The Joy Pledge on your Christian radio station?

“I need joy. And when I keep my eyes on Jesus, I have joy, When I lose it, I will choose it. I choose joy!”

Like most things we hear in Christian media or at church, it sounds right, and it is.

It’s just nice to know why it’s true Scripturally, and to understand further how you share His joy.

 

“(22) But the fruit of The Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, (23) gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these.” Galatians 5:22-23

Joy is a fruit of The Spirit, but not as you’ve likely been taught. It’s not the fruit of The Holy Spirit, it’s the fruit of Jesus, The Vine.

“I Am the Vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without Me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Fruit comes by Jesus, not by The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s role is revealing Jesus to you.

 

In the Greek, the word translated Holy in other passages, that speak of The Holy Spirit, is not present above in verse 22.

The Three Persons of the Godhead are all Spirit. “God is a Spirit: and they who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24

Jesus was incarnate, but now we know Him in Spirit only. “Therefore from now on we know no man after the flesh: yes, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now from now on we know Him in that way no more.” 2 Corinthians 5:16

The nine fruit of The Spirit are not dissociated things we are to seek, they’re only expressed through Jesus Christ.

He Is their embodiment.

You don’t need a thing called joy [, patience, self-control, etc.].

You need Jesus, The joyful One.

 

I found The joyful One in despair.

Upon awakening, following the death of my wife, for a moment I wasn’t sure it was all a bad dream.

Then the despair of reality hit.

“God, I can’t live like this. I can only die in this despair. Would you exchange You being joyful for my despair?”

A few moments later and He showed Himself in joy in me.

For the Great News is that The Godhead live in you, because They’ve loved you through a cross to get to you.

The Holy Spirit helps you know Christ in you.

And Jesus longs for you to know His Father as your Perfect Father in you.

This is Family and you are home.

Joy.

 

 

 

 

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What is His Leading and Will?

 

If you leave a door open and find it later, does it mean that you’re careless or does it mean that God has placed an open door for ministry in front of you?

It probably means the former, though God can do anything He wants.

External occurrences are often viewed as God communicating with you, when they may just be your wishful or fearful thinking.

And wanting to go somewhere for some reason is certainly your will and possibly His.

It’s not that His will and yours cannot coincide, but He said to take up your own cross and follow Him.

Where is He going is the question, not trying to funnel Him into yours, then calling it His spiritual leading.

 

Leading and will are inseparable. If you’re being led, He knows you,[i] and you know Him and are in His will.

Being led indicates someone leading you.

God’s leading is not a list of things, not even holy things from the Bible.

Lists are law and method. They are never substitutes for relationship with Him.

And we’re no longer under The Law.[ii]

In the Christian faith, relationship is all.

Without it, you cannot be led [or obviously saved].

Will and leading are only truly known in relationship with Him, not primarily in your outer circumstances or inner desires.

Unless you don’t really know Him.

Then He may well drive you into difficult, unpleasant circumstances so that you must finally wrestle with Him and get to know Him.

 

But relationship with God is not commonly taught nor known in the church.

Not like a husband and wife who know the continual presence of the other.[iii]

Why?

It’s because of the answer to this question, “Where is Christ?

Virtually all of the church thinks He’s only at the right-hand of The Father, Who is on His throne.

Jesus returns at the Second Coming, right?

Then He’s not here, in and with you.

Distant heaven.

Separate.

Can’t seem to have much of a relationship and therefore no leading.

 

It’s not that you haven’t heard some Christ in you verses, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

It’s not that pastors haven’t quoted some.

But there is no real explanation of the relationship bought through Christ.

The common refrain is that The Holy Spirit is in you, but not The Father and The Son.

However, The Father and The Son have the familial names to which you are more likely to relate.

Yet all leading is heaved on The Holy Spirit’s shoulders, though He is longing for you to know Christ.

Almost all preaching’s flood lamps are trained on the Holy Spirit, not Christ, The Preeminence of God.[iv]

And extremely little to none of the preaching also informs you that The Father is in you, though The Son craves for you to know your indwelling Father too.

 

You are hand-in-hand with The Lord as He leads you – He in you and you in Him.

Get to know Him.

You were made for Him.[v]

Let the closest earthly relationships pale, in comparison to your relationship with Him.

Start relating to God as The One closest to you in your life. After all, The Father, Son, and Spirit are one spirit with yours.

Talk to Them.

Include Them in everything you do, for They have made Their abode in and with you.[vi]

Then you will be known by Them and know Them.[vii]

Then you will know God’s internal will and leading.

You recognize His voice.

It is qualitatively different than your own.

You know what He wants to say and do through you.

He leads.

You follow.

 


More Info:

General will directives can never be fulfilled, apart from a relationship with Christ. For example, you will never be able to walk the following verses without Him intimately walking in and with you and overcoming in you. You share Him being in everything. Your doing follows being one with Him. He did as He saw His Father doing. You also do as you see Him doing.

“(3) For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication: (4) that everyone of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; (5) not in lustful passion, even as the Gentiles who do not know God: (6) that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because the Lord is The Avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6

 

[i] “(21) Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. (22) Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name? And in Your Name cast out devils? And in Your Name done many wonderful miracles? (23) And then I will profess to them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you who work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23

[ii] “(11) But, it is obvious that no man is justified by The Law in God’s sight: for, The just shall live by faith. (12) Following The Law requires no faith. The man who agrees with and follows the demands of The Law is required to do them his whole life. (13) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of The Law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree:” Galatians 3:11-13

“(23) But before faith came, we were kept under The Law, shut out from the faith which should afterwards be revealed. (24) Therefore The Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (25) But after faith has come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Galatians 3:23-25

[iii] Interestingly, the marriage section in Ephesians 5 is not ultimately talking about human marriage – it’s talking about your relationship with Christ! Whether you ever marry a spouse, each of us individually have been joined/married to Him.

“(21) Submit yourselves to each other [the church body of Christ] in the fear of God. (22) Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (23) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the church: and He is the Savior of the body. (24) Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. (25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; (26) that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, (27) that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, having no spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. (28) So men ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (29) For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church: (30) for we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. (31) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (32) This is a great mystery [earthly marriage], but I am really speaking about Christ and the church. [This is as if God was saying through Paul, “This is first about you and Me (first individually & also corporately as the church).” Human marriage is a subset of our individual marriages to Him, and can be no better than yours is to your spouse. Human marriage is reflective; if your relationship with your spouse isn’t good, neither is your relationship with Him.] (33) Nevertheless, let each individual one of you so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” Ephesians 5:21-33

[iv] “(13) Who [The Father] has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His Dear Son: (14) in Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (15) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (16) for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: (17) and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. (18) And He is the Head of the body, the church: Who Is the Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. (19) For it pleased The Father that all fullness should dwell in Him;” Colossians 1:13-19

[v] “Food is for the stomach, and the stomach for food, but God shall make them both pass away [corruptible flesh is temporal]. Now the body is not for fornication, but for The Lord; and The Lord for the body.” 1 Corinthians 6:13

[vi] “Jesus answered him, If a man loves Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and live with him.” John 14:23

[vii] “But now, after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?” Galatians 4:9

The Chief Error: Dividing the Godhead

 

One erroneous concept unleashes a flood of downstream errors in the church.

You’ve heard real estate’s mantra: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.

For church, the parallel is HOLY SPIRIT, HOLY SPIRIT, HOLY SPIRIT.

The Holy Spirit is in us, and rightly so, for about a dozen verses tell us this.

But whether intentionally or accidentally, we’ve communicated that The Father and The Son are not. Reading between the lines (but not of Scripture), we’ve concluded They’re only in a distant heaven, far removed from us.

We feel the isolation.

 

Knowing that The Holy Spirit is in us is good, but why are our internal spiritual fortresses with Him ever on the defensive, their perimeters shrinking?

We didn’t expect that.

Don’t The Father and The Son care that we’re struggling in defeat?

Why aren’t They involved?

The Father and Son are family titles.

Where’s my Family?

 

We determine to try harder, and we fall harder.

Exasperated.

What’s wrong?

What are we missing?

 

We’re missing the other Two LOCATION, LOCATION.

The Father and The Son are also in you and me.

How so?

 

The Godhead is indivisible.

We have no power to fragment The Father, Son, and Spirit to different parts of the universe.

Impossible.

 

The Father and Jesus The Son are The Great Lovers of our souls [focusing now on The Father/Son,  but not at the exclusion of The Holy Spirit].

So, where are The Lovers in regard to Their beloved?

The Lovers will always go to Their beloved, so They came to where we are.

Not even the cross could deter Them.

Jesus, one with The Father and The Spirit, considered it all joy to endure the cross, so He could finally be in and with us.

That is how dear we are to Them.

 

The Son is our Life: “Jesus said to him, I Am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no one comes to The Father, but by Me.” John 14:6

He Is The Embodiment of all wisdom and knowledge: “In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3

He’s the Sum of all things: “that in the administration of the fullness of times He might sum up all things in Christ, …:” Ephesians 1:10a-b

He establishes His Presence in and with us to be then manifested through us. He Is our Example of God and man perfectly one together.

This fortress cannot be beaten by sin and death, when you let Them actively live through you.

Manifest Jesus.

 

See Also: The Best Godly Advice You Will Ever Get

 

Paraphrasing Romans 7

 

“Aren’t I to follow The Law? It’s not clear to me.”

“No. Here’s why in Romans 7.”

 

You are married to The Law as long as you live, but it’s impossible to please. It reflects your sins, but it doesn’t lift a finger to help. The pressure for your perfection is turned on high. It’s a hell to live with. It dominates you. You cannot drop your guard for a moment – you’re always on the defensive. What can you do to escape?

Since living with [by] The Law is such a daily curse and death, what’s your only way out? Since it will always live (cannot die), for it is performing its godly function of convicting of sin, righteousness and judgment – the only way out for you is to die to it! This is what Christ did. He made you die with Him to The Law. Why? Because Christ saw your suffering, desired you, and wanted to deliver you and love you for Himself! Apart from Him, you experienced misery in your life. You came to see there was a choice – choosing continuing death or choosing The One Who loved you so much He’d die for you, and rise again.

With all your heart, you received Him, and through His cross, He married you. He did everything for you – it’s finished! And there’s nothing He won’t do for you by letting you share His life in and with you [verse, doc].

 

But this begs a question concerning The Law. If terrible things resulted from being married to The Law, then was it ‘sin?’ No, it defined sin for you and proved you to be a sinner. It revealed that your own supposed self-righteousness by The Law could never please God, that only by accepting God’s righteous Son, could you belong to Him and finally be home.

You once thought you would truly live by following The Law, but instead it aroused sin and brought your death. Indeed sin gets its power through using and abusing The Law, because your flesh is weak.

So the Apostle Paul demonstrates what it looks like to live by The Law [the present tense section]. “When I try to do the good Law, I do evil instead. My efforts to author my own righteousness – I don’t need You – has cast me headlong into the slime. I’m such a miserable wretch.”

 

Romans 7 is all about trying to live by The holy, good, and righteous Law, but dying instead. Romans 7 is not describing living by The Person of Grace, Jesus Christ, for when you live by Him, He’s freed you from the law of sin and death.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus [our current state] has set me free from the law of sin and death [our old state seen in Romans 7].” Romans 8:2

“He who says he remains in Him walks like He did.” 1 John 2:6

 


[See Also: Romans 7 Understood in 5 MinutesRomans 7 Recipe: How to Make Sin (How and Why Sin Beats You)To Whom is Paul Writing Romans 7?; Confused by Romans 7’s Present Tense?, Conjugating Romans 7]
[Related Topics Links: Romans 7, Sinful Nature, Spirit and Nature ]

Romans 7 with some bracketed comments

“(1) Do you not know, brothers, (for I speak to them who know The Law,) that The Law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? (2) For the woman who has a husband is bound by The Law to her husband as long as he lives, but if the husband dies, she is released from The Law of her husband. (3) So then if, while her husband lives, she is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress, but if her husband is dead, she is free from that Law; so that she is no adulteress, though she marries another man. (4) Therefore, my brothers, you died to The Law by the body of Christ; that you could be married to Him Who was raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit to God. (5) For when we were [past tense] in the flesh [we are no longer in the flesh], the motions of sins, which were aroused by The Law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death. (6) But now we are delivered from The Law, since we died to that which held us [The Law]; that we should now serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter [The Law]. (7) What shall we say then? Is The Law sin? God forbid. No, I would not have become aware of sin if it had not been for The Law: for I would not have understood my desires, except The Law had said, You shall not covet. (8) But sin took opportunity by the commandment and forged in me all manner of lusting. For apart from The Law, sin is dead. (9) And I was alive apart The Law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. (10) And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to result in death. (11) For sin took opportunity by the commandment and deceived and slew me. (12) Therefore The Law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good. (13) Was then that which is good [The Law] made death to me? God forbid. But sin, that it might be shown to be sin, worked death in me by that which is good; so that sin by the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. (14) For we know that The Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. (15) I do not know what I am doing. I do not do what I want; instead, I do what I hate. (16) If then I do that which I do not want, I confess that The Law is good. (17) So, it is no more I who am doing it, but sin that dwells in me. (18) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) no good thing dwells: for I desire to do what is right, but I cannot carry it out. (19) For I do not do the good that I want to do. Instead, I do the evil which I do not want to do. (20) Now if I do what I do not want, it is no more I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (21) I find then a law, that, when I want to do good, evil is present with me. (22) For I delight in The Law of God in the inward man: (23) but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, that makes me captive to the law of sin in my members. (24) O wretched man that I am! Who shall rescue me [to draw to one’s self, to rescue, to deliver] from the body of this death? (25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord [Jesus rescued me.]. So then, with my mind I serve The Law of God, but with my flesh, the law of sin.” Romans 7:1-25

“All you have to do is ask.”

 

Archie’s Seabreeze Restaurant and Bar was almost ready for its Sunday morning service with Pastor Dave.

“How did He become real to you?” I asked.

Paraphrasing:

“I’d been on drugs and alcohol and was miserable.

I got off these, but I was still terribly depressed.

I had the gun laid out to do away with myself at 8:00 am.

A thought came clearly into my mind.

‘You do not have to do this. All you have to do is ask.'”

 

How do you enter into Life?

The word is near you, even in your mouth.

He’s right at hand.

“Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of My hands. Your walls are continually before Me. [I see you].” Isaiah 49:16

He is in your every moment, no matter what paths you have descended.

All you have to do is ask Him to help you.

He wants to meet you and invite you in to belong to Him.

“(5) Moses describes the righteousness which is by The Law, That the man who does those things shall live by them. (6) But the righteousness which is by faith speaks like this, Do not say in your heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) (7) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) (8) but what does it say? The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; (9) that if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. (10) For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.” Romans 10:5-10

Receiving is faith.