Rejoice in the Lord!

[This article was written by Matt Nevins.]

In life there are occasions that call for celebration and rejoicing. Weddings, births, graduations, job promotions, and many other things cause great joy in our lives. It is easy to get caught up in things of this life and lose sight of spiritual events that ought to cause great joy as well. Paul encouraged the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Note some events that ought to cause rejoicing.

When the Gospel is Taught

There is no greater news than the news that salvation has been given to man. The gospel reveals what one must do in order to obtain this salvation through Christ, thus making the gospel powerful (Acts 2:37-38; Romans 1:16). The job of the gospel preacher is to simply preach the word at any and every opportunity (2 Timothy 4:2). It is the truth that will be able to set people free from the bondage of sin (John 8:32). Christians everywhere should rejoice and value when we are given occasions to study God’s word.

When the Gospel is Obeyed

When the greatest news is taught, there will be a reaction that is demanded of the hearer. The recipient of the news will either accept the news or reject the news. It is sad when people reject the news of salvation, but for those that obey there should be much rejoicing. Jesus taught a parable that the heavens rejoice when a sinner repents more than for the ninety-nine righteous that did not need to repent illustrated by a lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7). Consider what has happened: a sinner has listened to the gospel (Romans 10:17), realized his status (Titus 3:3), obeys what he/she has learned (Matthew 7:21; Mark 16:16), and is therefore added to the Church (Acts 2:47). This should make all the saints rejoice knowing that the power of God is still as capable of saving men today as it was in the first century!

When the Church Grows

The gospel further teaches us that as time progresses, the Church will grow. When the members are spreading the gospel as the first century Christians did (Acts 8:4, 1 Thessalonians 1:8), the Church will grow as more individuals obey (Acts 2:47). Not only will the Church grow numerically, but will also grow stronger from the current members maturing (Ephesians 4:13). This will only result when we are speaking the truth to one another in love (Ephesians 4:15-16). As the members mature each should become skilled in the gospel (Hebrews 5:11-14). When the members grow, the body is edified, strengthened, and grows. Growth is worthy of all rejoicing among the saints.

These are just a few reasons for the Christian to rejoice. It is not wrong to be happy concerning events pertaining to the world, but we do not need to neglect the events that occur in respects to the spiritual. Christians are to be a people that rejoice with others that rejoice and in like manner weep at times of sorrow as well (Romans 12:15). When the saints rejoice, it will be noted by others who may be in the world. This may provoke studies to understand the reasons why we rejoice. Rejoice, and again I will say rejoice!

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