Salvation Joy - Bible Study

by Tom Bulick and Stephanie Thomas on

Bible Studies 1 document
1 Peter 1:6–9

  • Salvation Joy | The Scrolls | January 28, 2024

    Copyright Central Bible Church

The Scrolls is a weekly Bible study written by pastors and other leaders at Central Bible Church, based on that week’s sermon topic. Use The Scrolls as a personal Bible study tool, for family devotions, and for small group discussions. You can read part of it below. The downloadable PDF also includes discussion questions, more in-depth commentary, end notes, and a kids’ page designed for families to study the topic together. This lesson goes with the sermon "Salvation Joy."

Happiness and joy have much in common. Both are positive emotions; both are welcomed emotions. Happy, joyous occasions are usually the ones captured in the pictures we put on prominent display in our homes and carry with us—pictures of people who fill us with happiness and bring us joy, pictures of weddings, of children and grandchildren, pictures of graduation ceremonies, of anniversary celebrations, of retirement parties, and pictures of family get-togethers and family go togethers. However, happiness and joy are not the same; they are not synonymous. Still, the difference between them is difficult to put into words. Perhaps the Scottish expression, “Better felt than telt” applies here. We sense there is a difference between them but find it hard to put that difference into words.

1 Peter 1:6 indicates that joy and grief can be experienced simultaneously. Peter writes: “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” Whereas I suspect that happiness and grief cannot; the one, grief, precludes the other, happiness. Put differently, joy seems to be immune to negative circumstances in a way that happiness is not—happiness being more subject to temporal circumstances. Good news makes a person happy and joyful; bad news robs that one of their happiness but not necessarily of their joy. The apostle Peter doesn’t expect his readers to be happy about their suffering, but he does commend them for being joyful in the midst of it. Consider, as well, Paul’s commendation of the Thessalonians: “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1Th 1:6). Consider, too, the writer to the Hebrews’ commendation of his readers: “You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions” (10:34).

Perhaps it’s joy’s inoculation with hope that makes it immune to the dire vicissitudes of life. In Romans 12:12. Paul tells his readers to “be joyful in hope,” suggesting that hope makes joy possible. Hope raises believers above the circumstances of life, making their joy impervious to whatever comes their way. And in the context of 1 Peter 1:3-9, it certainly appears that it is the hope of an inheritance consisting in the fulness of salvation to be revealed when Jesus comes that enables believers to experience grief and joy simultaneously.

No one should live a miserable life, devoid of joy and hope, and no one has to. Both are found in a saving relationship to Jesus Christ. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit who indwells every Christ follower. Paul writes: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Gal 5:22-23). And justification through faith in Jesus Christ entails hope. Again Paul writes: “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,

5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Tit 3:3-7)—in which “we boast” (Ro 5:2).  

Central Message of the Text: 

Rejoice because God is using all kinds of trials to refine your faith and because you are now progressively receiving the end result of your love and faith in Jesus.

Family Talk:

We begin our parenting journey when our darling little babies land in our arms and we’re ridiculously overwhelmed with love. These little nuggets grow and continue to delight us with their ability to become little humans so quickly. Then somewhere along the preschool years, they begin to pick up habits or tendencies that are a healthy dose of annoying, like saying “poop” at literally everything or imitating the most irritating PBS character in the history of the world, Caillou. We find ourselves less than delighted with our kids, and honestly, this stage couldn’t pass quickly enough. We think if we can just get over this little hump our world will be right again and we can take hold of the original joy of parenting. But, just about the time they stop saying “poop” at everything, they pick up another little nuance, say snorting like a donkey or spitting water at the dinner table for a laugh. It’s difficult, but rather than being frustrated, try to see Jesus in your child and find joy in the silly little things that get under your skin. Remember that God picked you to parent this child. Handling the irritating things your kids do as preschoolers is simply a trial run and practice for handling the hard teen years when the irritating things your kids do look much more like slamming doors, hanging out with a sketchy friend group or an attitude bigger than the state of Texas. Don’t wait to get through the “stage” to find the joy of parenting; see them through the eyes of the Savior, love them deeply and pray for joy today.