Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

  • Sunday - 10:30 am
  • 520 8th Ave, 16th floor
    New York, NY
  • phone: +1 (973) 837-1041


BAC Sermons

Rejoice Always

2000-01-01 1 Thessalonians 5:16

Joy- Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness. The expression or manifestation of such feeling. Synonyms at Pleasure. MS Bookshelf

”Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. She gives most who gives with joy. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Christ risen”.  Mother Teresa

I.  False Joy

is a Temporary feeling of well-being resulting from a temporal (worldly) value system  Job 20:5 the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?  Pr 15:21 Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walks uprightly.

II.  Joy is found in the Presence of God, Who is found through obedience. 

Ps 16:11 You will show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Ps 15:1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2  He that walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. 3 that backbites not with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor. 4  In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honors them that fear the LORD. He that swears to his own hurt, and changes not.

Jn 14:21 has my commands, obeys them, he is the one loves me: he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Js 4:4  You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. 10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Luke 24:52  And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:


III. Joy is a Fruit (result) of the Spirit, not of the flesh (senses)

Gal 5:22 love, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, humility, faith, self-control

Jesus is concerned with our Joy and has told us how to get it Jn 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you...8 Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples. 10  If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love...11  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12  This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.

Sourced in the HS Romans 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.


IV. Joy Results from Choosing What Is Best  {wisdom}

(Philippians esp 1:18;  1:4 pray 1:25 faith 2:2 unity 2:17 self-sacrifice 4:1 invest in others)

A. Joy Withered? Obedience Required Joel 1:12 The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languishes; all trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away

Repent Truly Ps 51:8  Make me to hear joy and gladness bones...may rejoice. 12  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Confess and walk in the light with others 1 John 1:4  And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

Humble yourself Isaiah 29:19  The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

Be freed from sin Acts 8:8  And there was great joy in that city.

Names Written Lk 10:20  Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Contemplate Salvation Psalms 21:1 The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!


B. Be Righteous Ps 68:3 righteous be glad; rejoice before God: exceedingly rejoice. 32:11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, you righteous: joy...upright in heart.

Do what’s just Proverbs 21:15 It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

Serve God Isa 65:14  Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart

Sow Righteousness Psalms 126:5  They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

Purpose Peace Pr 12:20 Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine (plough) evil: but to the counselors (purposes) of peace is joy.


C. Receive Truth Ps 43:3 Send out thy light and truth: let them lead me...to thy holy hill,  4...unto God my exceeding joy: upon the harp will I praise you, O God

Mine the Word Ps 119:162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that finds great spoil.

Devour the Word Jer 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name,

Rejoice in the truth 1 Corinthians 13:6  Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

Respond to teaching 2 Cor 1:24  Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith you stand.


D. Believe Rm 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Trust Ps 5:11 let all that put their trust in you rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because you defend them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in you.

Rejoice in God in spite of circumstances Hab 3:18  Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.  31:7; 32:11; 33:1,21; 35:9

Chose to be grateful Psalms 118:24  This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Sing Ps 71:23  My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto you; and my soul, which you have redeemed.

Cultivate a fruitful prayer life Jn 16:24  Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Cultivate Dependence and Thankfulness Col 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness


E. Discipline your children Pr 17:21...father of a fool has no joy. 23:24 father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: he that begets a wise son shall have joy of him.

Build your marriage Pr 5:18 Let your fountain be blessed and rejoice with the wife of your youth


F. Pursue Unity John 17:13  And now come I to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

Get good counsel Pr 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so does the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.

Honor Others 1 Cor 12:26  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Say the right thing Pr 15:23 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

Elect good government Pr 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bear rule, the people mourn.


G. Give Sacrificially 2 Cor 8:2 in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

Give with a perfect heart  1 Chron 29:9 people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD:

Sacrifice Neh 12:43  Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: t


H. Value Maturity and Reward Js 1:2 count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; 3 knowing...9...rejoice in that he is exalted: 10 ...that he is made low

Heb 10:34...took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that you have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

Acts 5:41  And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Romans 12:12  Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Reap Reward Mt 25:21 Well done, you good and faithful servant: you has been faithful over a few things..ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of thy lord

Luke 6:23  Rejoice you in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

Hope of Glory Romans 5:2  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Is 61:7 For your shame...double; for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion...they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

1 Pt 1:6 Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

Suffer purposefully 1 Pt 4:13 rejoice...you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory is revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. (1:18)


I. Endure persecution Acts 13:52  And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

Endure tribulation Rm 5:1-11  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Joy is a result of a painful process  Jn 16:20 you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 22  And you now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man takes from you.

Defeat Demons Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.


J. Disciplemake 1 Thess 2:19  what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing...you in the presence of our Lord at his coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.

1 Thess 3:9  For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;

Philemon 1:7  For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by you, brother.

3 John 1:4  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

John 4:36  And he that reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit unto life eternal: that both he that sows and he that reaps may rejoice together.

Colossians 2:5  For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

1 Thessalonians 3:9  For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;

2 Jn 1:4  I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

3 Jn 1:3 ¶ For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, even as you walk in the truth.

Difficulties that cause other’s growth Jn 11:15  And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent you may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

2 Corinthians 7:9  Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you sorrowed to repentance: for you were made sorry after a godly manner...

Help folks who want to grow Hebrews 13:17  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.


K. Seek God’s Character  Ps 105:3  Glory you in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.

1 Chronicles 16:10  Glory you in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. 2 Chron 6:41...let thy saints rejoice in goodness.

Ps 40:16  Let all those that seek you rejoice and be glad in you: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.

God’s Mercy Psalms 90:14  O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

God’s Sovereignty Psalms 97:1 ¶ The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.

God’ Holiness Psalms 97:12  Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

God’s Justice Psalms 67:4  O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for you shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth.

God’s Vengeance Ps 58:10  The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

God’s Helpfulness Ps 63:7  Because you have been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

Hear of God’s work Acts 15:3 they passed...declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.

Consider God’s Works Lk 19:37...the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen

Psalms 86:4  Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

V. Joy Stealers (courtesy of SH)

1. False Salvation - Seeking joy without the Holy Spirit; pursuing righteous activity without being in Christ = frustration.

2. The influence of Satan and demons.

3. The need to understand God’s sovereignty better  - Fretting as if God were not in control, feeling the need for you to control your life (orchestrating all yourself), or feel that others control your life.

4. Not praying (enough) -Failing to commit to the Lord your life, your concerns;  depending on human insight and staying away from divine insight.

5. Low after spiritual high - Going from a great spiritual experience (sermon, music, answered prayer) to trial in life.

6. Circumstance Orientation - Taking all signals from the material world; emotions controlled by the world’s shallowness.  Having what you want,  being treated as you want, living as you want, big events, new things, vacations...and if you don’t or aren’t,  you’re miserable.

7. Ingratitude- (i.e. Be grateful)  Need to focus on things received from God, be satisfied, see trials as opportunities from God.

8. Forgetfulness - Remember what you are saved from. (New babes in Christ don’t usually cause splits in churches, they are too grateful and joyful about what they’ve received.)

9. Dissatisfaction- With you earthly condition, (looks, living situation, place in life, feeling short-changed, job).

10. Fear of the Future- Imagine the worst to happen—failure, loss, illness, death, things aren’t happening (the way you want them to.)

11. Live by Uncontrolled Feelings - “A weak person doesn’t talk to themselves enough.” Control yourself—thoughts, behavior...

12. Morbid Self-Analysis - Psychology may get in the way considering scripture is all that is really needed to give guidelines for life, it makes us self-centered, always looking to be set free but just really dredging up sins we’ve committed.  We are inadequate, yes.  Accept it and get God’s help as it was offered.  Finding out all the “whys” won’t always help.

13. Guilt- Unwillingness to accept forgiveness, “I just can’t forgive myself” even though God has; always going back to that “one thing” you just can’t let go of.

Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:

1. How does joy differ from happiness? Is joy a feeling, an emotion, or what? Can emotions be commanded?

2. Is there anything wrong with having your joy dependent upon anything temporal or external?

3. Where do most people trip on the path to joy? What’s the corrective?

4. What are some of the “bests” you need to choose? What steps will you take to boost your joy level?

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4