The overwhelming evidence of the New Testament verifies that the natural state of mind of the first-century Christians was happiness. The first Tritons, those baptized on Pentecost, "took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people" (Acts 2:46, 47). The effect of Philip's work and teaching in Samaria was that "there was much joy in that city" (Acts 8:8). The baptized Ethiopian eunuch "went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:39). The baptized Philippian jailer and his converted household "rejoiced greatly" (Acts 16:34).
This new-found joy in Christ was to be the way of life for God's children. In describing the basic nature of Christian existence in Romans 12, Paul told those Christians to rejoice in hope (v. 12). In 15:13 he declared again, "now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit." Three times Paul urged the Philippian Christians to rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 3:1, 4:4). He proclaimed joy as one of the fruits of the spirit (Gal. 5:22). Peter even declared that Christians should rejoice as they partook of Christs sufferings because they knew they would rejoice with exceeding joy upon His return (1 Pet. 4:12, 13).
While joy may have been a common characteristic of those first-century Christians, it is too uncommon among Christians today. Many factors contribute to the absence of joy among the believers of today. High on the list of the most significant factors are an overpowering sense of guilt and a sense of uncertainty in regard to one's spiritual security.
The purpose of this book is to deepen the understanding of God's perfect solution to a Christian's sins and mistakes in the faith of righteousness. That understanding will result in a proper confidence in one's salvation, a daily life which is lived free from the burden of guilt, and a continuing sense of purity before God. The end result will be a joyful life in Christ.
Abraham is the model for the Christians faith. Having the faith of Abraham is the key to joyful life in Christ.
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