Salvation and Sin – Part One

Salvation and Sin

Part One

“All unrighteousness is sin”
1 John 5:17

It is impossible to fully measure the depth and the power of Christ’s Salvation without an accurate appraisal of sin. The power of the Life of Christ in an individual’s heart is readily seen in the change and ongoing growth in His righteousness. While many content themselves with a judicial decree, Christ came to “make us free” in deed and in truth. It is the drowning person who knows the value of a life preserver. It is the condemned prisoner who understands the wonder of pardon! So too, those who have tasted of the heavenly gift of Christ, fear sin. They dread its contamination in their soul and the grieving it brings to the Spirit of God!

“A man who fears not God, will break all his laws with an easy conscience, but one who is the favorite of heaven, who has been indulged to sit at royal banquets, who knows the eternal love of God to him, cannot bear that there should be any evil way in him that might grieve the Spirit and bring to the name of Christ. A very little sin, as the world calls it, is a very great sin to a truly awakened Christian.”
Charles Spurgeon

“All unrighteousness is sin”

Let the Holy Spirit impart to us the weight of His Word and the estimation of the Holy Spirit concerning our lives. Righteousness is doing what is right in God. Treating others as Christ would; whether in speech, actions and even in the hidden intentions of the heart. Righteousness is walking and living through the power and wonder of the Holy Spirit. It is a walk free from unrighteousness, compromise or partiality.

“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother”
1 John 3:10

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Righteousness is doing what is right in God

Brian Troxel

Trusting God in the Now

Trusting God NOW

“What I am doing you do not understand now”
JOHN 13:7

Can we trust that this is so in the now of our life? Is there a situation, a perplexity, a painful circumstance that seems to linger without any “proof” that there is an end in sight? Can we with the faith and trust of a child look to the unseen hand of God and believe that even in this HE IS AT WORK? His ways are higher, deeper and motivated by a love and desire to bring us to a greater relationship with HIM. He will not waste or squander the short and precious time that we have here. It is our part to behold HIS work and believe in the hidden hand of HIS wisdom to work for us “the exceeding, and eternal weight of glory”while we by faith walk in the circumstances before us.

“What I am doing you do not understand NOW”

This is the statement of a wise and gracious Father who is working, at this moment, to bring to pass HIS PURPOSES in our life. Though we may not yet see we believe that HE who knows us best loves us most! The clay must be firmly and painfully pressed and molded, the gold heated and tried in the furnace. The lukewarm heart must be subjected to circumstances to revive its warmth and passion for Him, the prodigal son “must come to himself”, and the fruitful branch must be pruned. All these things ARE FOR OUR BENEFIT AND LEARNING.

“What I AM DOING you do not understand now”

Can we see above the storm clouds that this is HIS HAND? Could Joseph possibly grasp that his “brothers” selling him into the hands of rough and heathen men was God’s “DOING”? From God’s perspective HE was sending a man into Egypt, (Psalm 105:17) to one day be the means of deliverance to these same brothers. From the misery and drudgery of slavery and prison rose a wise and tested PRINCE; one whom the fires, darkness and testing did not destroy but were actually servants of the MOST HIGH GOD.

“For You, O God, hast proved us: you have tried us, as silver is tried.You brought us into the net; You laid affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but you have brought us out into a wealthy place”
PSALM 66:10 – 12

A wealthy Christian life is one that is going through the processes of HIS LIFE. These are not ones who cry and despair of their poverty; they have discovered and have tasted of the wealthy place. Their waters fail not in drought; their resources are hidden and true. They are like trees that “bear fruit”in every season for their roots are drinking of the River of Life (Revelation 22:2). Let us not succumb to the present circumstances but let us in FAITH and TRUST believe in the ONE that says

“WHAT I AM DOING YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND NOW,
BUT YOU WILL KNOW AFTER…”

JOHN 13:7

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“We cannot always trace God’s hand,
but we can always trust God’s heart”
Charles Spurgeon

Brian Troxel

Go Up! – A New Generation

A New Generation

Go Up!

“Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee:
go up and possess it,
as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee;
fear not, neither be discouraged”
Deuteronomy 1:21

The word of the Lord to Joshua was spoken to offset the fear and the discouragement of God’s people after forty years of seemingly pointless wandering in the wilderness. While a faithless generation passed away, God was speaking faith and encouragement to a new generation. It was a time of change; a New Day. The call of God to possess the promises given had fallen to a New Generation and within those promises lay new responsibilities for them to dispossess their enemies. So it is in our day. There is an exhortation for us to “Go Up” into the things of God.

His Word is spoken for those who will hear to rise up and leave the aimless wandering in the wilderness of powerless words; of a gospel that has been without direction and purpose, and an endless promotion of strategies and self-seeking men.

“Go Up” is spoken to a new generation. “Go Up” is God’s Word to those hearts whom the paltry offerings of empty words can no longer satisfy. There is a generation who find complacency in words, teachings and doctrinal concepts but there is also a generation who cannot find rest apart from the wonder of HIS Life within. The one generation must arise out of the complacency of the other.

Those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life
are filled with the pulsating power of the Lamb’s Life.

Let us hear His Word afresh. May we feel the drawings of His Spirit to deeper things, higher things and living things. Let the “Go Up” of God bring a new seeking of Him who makes “all things new”!

“Remember ye not the former things,
neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing;
now it shall spring forth…”
Isaiah 43:18-19

Brian Troxel

The Struggle and the Crown

The Struggle and the Crown

“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;
to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed”
Romans 4:16

The Struggle

“And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.”
Genesis 25:22 – 25

Within the life of every true believer is the struggle between two natures; two ways of living, two sets of desires and two eternal consequences.  The conflict is between the first Adam and the Last Adam, the first Adam being that nature which is earthly and sensual and the second Adam being the heavenly man, the Eternal Son of Man. We see the very portrayal of this within the womb of Rebekah as she by faith brought forth the one who would become Israel in the purposes and dealings of our great God.

Esau was the firstborn, a man of passions, wild and undisciplined.  He was of the earth, earthly and devoid of any real love of spiritual things.  He was born first, bearing the likeness of the first Adam, which in the Hebrew means “red earth”.  At his birth the scriptures take great care to describe his appearance (See The Things of Esau).

“And the first came out red*(see note below),
all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau”

Genesis 25:25

Jacob, though a schemer and a conniver, had one thing that set him apart.  He had respect for the things of God.  The birthright, which was rightfully Esau’s by virtue of being the first born, meant little to Esau and he surrendered it for  a mere mess of pottage in a moment of extreme hunger.  Jacob, on the other hand, coveted this blessing.  Jacob was the son of promise, a man called to become the Israel of God, not by strength, nor by might but by the mercy and strength of our God.

These two distinct “manner of people” struggled within the womb of Rebekah, yet the promise was THE ELDER SHALL SERVE THE YOUNGER.  Jacob’s journey of faith to become Israel was one of many dealings and breakings in the hands of a determined and merciful God.  The promise of God tarries until the man Jacob is broken.  It is in our submission to His dealings that we become the people upon whom the promise falls.

“The Lord sent a word into Jacob,
and it hath lighted upon Israel”

Isaiah 9:8

The promise to Jacob was a sure thing but the severity of the dealings of God and the determination of God is what made the promise sure.  The man Jacob must become the worm that he might indeed become strong.

“Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff”
Isaiah 41:14 – 15

We must see that the inabilities in our life to do God’s will are the result of our strengths not our weaknesses. When we speak of weakness we are speaking of all that has not been brought into submission to the Son; in whatever measure we have known the fellowship of His sufferings there is a corresponding experience of His resurrection life.

“That I may know him,
and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings,
being made conformable unto his death;
If by any means I might attain
unto the resurrection of the dead”

Philippians 3:10 – 11

Let us realize that the struggle within is a struggle that is to be unto life and glory; HIS LIFE and HIS GLORY.  The struggle of Rebekah is prophetic of all that we must know within ourselves.  Jacob will remain Jacob until he is broken.  We too will remain barren unless we discover the wonder and the power of HIS faith in our lives.  A faith like gold submitted to the fire is purified and fit for the master’s use.  Teachings will not produce this life; only a broken and surrendered will in the hands of the God of Jacob!  This is not a day to tarry but it is a day for us to “press toward the mark, for the PRIZE of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”.

Let our confidence be not in ourselves, our knowledge or our associations.  Rather let our confidence be in the God of Jacob who was able to bring forth a PRINCE* (see note below) from the worm and who is able to complete that which He began in us.  The beauty of Jacob’s heart was clearly revealed at Peniel as we see Jacob clinging to the ONE who wounded him for in that place we see and hear God’s declaration…

The Crown

“Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel:
for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men,
and hast prevailed”

Genesis 32:28

* אַדְמֹנִי ʼaḏmōniy, אַדְמוֹנִי ʼaḏmôniy: An adjective meaning red, ruddy. from the Hebrew Word ADAM
*Israel – Prince with God

A Partial reprint of a former post.
A relevant reminder for us to stay the course in Christ

Brian Troxel

Growth in the Storm

Growth in the Storm

“And when they were come into the ship,
the wind ceased.”
Matthew 14:32

For the disciple of Christ there is purpose in the storms of life. God’s design for His Own is never random and without intent. Nothing is haphazard or arbitrary. The storm in which the disciples found themselves was intended to enlarge their comprehension of the majesty of Christ.  It was also an opportunity to experience this wonder in their own lives. The main beneficiary of this “lesson” was Peter. Peter had a desire to identify with the living Christ; his heart was not content in seeing Jesus walk upon the water! There was an inherent need within him to walk as Christ walked; to step into the storming seas of life because faith propelled him. True Faith can never find contentment in seeing Jesus only. It will inevitably compel the one in whom it resides to invest in the experiential life of identification with Christ.

The wind will cease, and the storm will become calm once the vital lesson is learned! How glorious is the inspired Word of God: “and when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased”! Let the “they” impact our hearts and stir our souls to greater faith and larger living. When Jesus and Peter step back into the boat, Peter is not the same man he was moments before. His understanding has been transformed by stepping out of his current knowledge of Christ into a larger revelation of the power of Christ.

The storms of life are designed of Him to not simply be endured, but to be the very instruments of our enlargement and growth. While many cling to the “safety” of the boat there are those who see Christ upon the waters and have the passion to walk as He walks, to overcome as He overcomes; to know within that a greater life is available. May the Lord work within us that faith that sees beyond the confines of our experience and propels us to walk outside the scope of human possibility.

“If it be thou, bid me to come”
Matthew 14:28

Jesus has one response to such faith:

“Come…”
Matthew 14:29

Brian Troxel

Warfare the Sign of Life

Warfare: The Sign of Life

“I have fought the good fight…”
2 Timothy 4:7

The surest sign of the life of God within His own is the unconquerable will to fight the fight of faith. Life is always the antagonist of death. Faith is the adversary of sin. Victory over sin and iniquity is the result of warfare; warfare of the life of Christ Himself. When a heart ceases to fight it ceases to live.

“Fight the good fight of the faith…”
1 Timothy 6:12

We live in a day where “faith” is presented as a legal declaration of victory (regardless of the life lived) rather than the means by which we attain the victory. Paul was ever encouraging the people of God to remain active in the battle, to be diligent in their walk and to grow in the victory of the faith. The writer of the beauty and the power of all the truths in the Book of Romans also wrote this to Timothy… “fight the good fight of faith”! Compromise and concession are the harbingers of spiritual defeat and death. Life by its very nature opposes death and the scriptures declare that the “wages of sin is death”. The life of Christ within withstands evil in all of its deceptive and destructive forms.

The fight of faith is not won in a moment, nor is the crown easily earned, but we have been given the great gift of faith, the blood of Christ and the grace of God to stand in this evil day! It requires a walk of learning, growth and development in the school of His Spirit.

“Blessed be the Lord my strength,
which teacheth my hands to war,
and my fingers to fight…”
Psalm 144:1

Faint not at the battles which assail you; do not lose heart in the intensity of the conflict for we have this promise from God:

“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you,
and keep you from evil”
2 Thessalonians 3:3

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“The Christian life, then, is a battle,
so sharp and full of danger
that effort can nowhere be relaxed without loss”
Huldrych Zwingli

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Light in the Darkness

Thought for Today

Light in the Darkness

“Unto the upright
there ariseth light in the darkness”
Psalm 112:4

God does not keep His own from the dark places, but He does keep His own in the dark places. There are treasures to be discovered in the fearful and gloomy paths we must sometimes walk. As we hold on and walk uprightly even in the darkness, we can trust that the God of all grace will cause His Light to arise in those circumstances.

The Christ of our hope and our strength, the Christ who cannot fail will come to us in unexpected ways. There will be an unveiling of Himself which could not have been appropriated in the light. There are graces to be formed within our hearts which require dark and foreboding places. Courage and tenacity find their roots in the testings of life. In these perilous experiences we learn our weakness and discover His strength.

This is how character is built within the hearts of the upright. It is in these places that the disciple sees and hears of the greatness and mercy of our God. As the metal of a heart is forged and the reliance on other things purged, God’s work of preparation is accomplished.

“He sent a man before them,
even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
Whose feet they hurt with fetters:
he was laid in iron:
Until the time that his word came:
the word of the Lord tried him…”
Psalm 105:17-19

Has God spoken a word to you? Has that word been a trial and a source of consternation? Have you felt the fetters of confinement, the rejection of friends and family? Have you sat in darkness alone and seemingly barren? Rejoice in the ways of God! Let His light arise in the darkness. Trust in Christ alone and walk uprightly before Him. Do not let despair rule; stay strong and purposed in God. The Word whereby He has caused you to hope will surely come. As the night must give way to the dawn, so will He surely arise in thee.

“O love the Lord, all ye his saints:
for the Lord preserveth the faithful”
Psalm 31:23

Brian Troxel

A Discipline of Trial

A Discipline of Trial

“All my best friends despise me,
and those I love have turned against me”
Job 19:19

There are treasures hidden within our trials. There are pressings through which the lives of His Own must pass in order for the grapes to produce the wine of the Spirit. Job found himself in circumstances in which every associate, whether friend or family, had turned against him. He walked alone. Loneliness and desolation are difficult places to tread and yet ordained of God. Human comfort cannot be found. It is here as with Job we need the discipline of focus within our hearts. In his isolation he was brought down into the valley of despair and his faith in God is tested to its very foundation. Left without support he had to cast himself on the very power of faith itself. Like gold tried in the fire, like silver purified seven times, the master smith knows the depth and strength of each one of His children. He watches carefully as with Job to ensure our standing in Him.

These places are in reality the foundation of our wealth and standing in God. Those who have reached past the limit of their own resources have discovered His infinite supply. It is a supply which can only be discovered when we are at the end of our own. When we hold on in sheer trust in His character, without any visible sense of hope or power, we discover the wonder of true faith. God’s end in us is fruit; abundant fruit of such a nature that it fully reveals the truth and character of Christ Himself.

In our testings let us hold fast to Him who cannot lie, cannot disappoint and cannot fail! Even the grave itself must give way to the resurrection Life of Jesus.

“For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.”
Psalm 66:10-12

The true wealth of a Christian is not in what they know but in the gold purchased in the fires through which they have walked (Revelation 3:18)

Brian Troxel

The Conversations of Jesus

The Conversations of Jesus

Luke 10:25-29

“Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luke 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Luke 10:28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
Luke 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?”
Luke 10:25-29

Even the most casual conversations of Christ demonstrate depth, wisdom and power as revealed in the magnificence of His Word.

“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

The seemingly innocent question of a respected teacher of the law, as seen through the eyes of the Spirit of God, is in fact a man tempting God. Jesus saw his heart and knew that the mask of sincerity was meant to hide the intent of exposing the Living Christ as a fraud. The question was an effort to catch Jesus in His Own words that the Pharisees might find fault with Him. The religious ones of His day were ever seeking to discredit Him for His very presence; His life and wisdom were a constant reproach to the wickedness of their own hearts.

Jesus the Son of God was never lax in His abiding in the Father; he had no moments to Himself. His diligence and life of separation was on display for the world to see. May God grant to us the unction, the grace and the power to be ever alive in Him; no “me time”, no moments of casual conversation where our words are unguarded and carnal. There is a life, (oh a deep life of wonder) where we are held within the dictates of a Grace so abounding, so deep and so consistent that our words are birthed and directed by His Spirit ruling and reigning within.

“He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?”

Jesus responds not with what the Word says. Rather the wisdom of God turns the questioner into the one being questioned with “how do you read”? Often what a person reads and how a person reads are two very different things. The contradiction lies in the heart, not in what is written. Now the man is forced to answer in front of all.

“And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”

The man answers correctly. His belief is right but his standing with God is not. How we need the penetrating light of God to bring what we believe into the light of doing and becoming what we believe. Jesus responds to him:

“Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live…”

His belief was right, but this gave the man no assurances of the “eternal life” he desired. When we separate the life that we now live from the “eternal life” offered to us in the Son we reveal a disconnect with the purposes of God.

Jesus was bringing this man to the fundamental truth that the “eternal life” he sought was found in the life he now lived.

“…this do, and thou shalt live…”

Can we not feel the prompting of His Spirit to live and walk this day in the power and wonder of the “now life”? “This do and live…” Let these words penetrate and lay hold of our hearts. Let them grip us with such force that every day is seen as a great adventure into further depths of Him!

“But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, and who is my neighbour?”

Here is where the fault lay within the heart of this man. Whenever our response to truth is one of justifying ourselves, we can be assured we are not walking in “eternal life” in our own personal experience. It is the horror of religion to believe one thing and walk in another. Eternal life must be found within our own hearts and the verity of the life we now live. The discrepancy between these two (what we believe versus how we live) is the thermometer of how far we have progressed in our journey into Him who is the Life. Paul stated to the Church at Corinth:

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith;
prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves”
2 Corinthians 13:5

Paul was not talking about doctrinal faith in the things they knew. He was speaking of the faith which determined the life they now lived. This is the crucible of every believer. It is here where doctrinal adherents are separated from true disciples. The continual quest to know Him or, as Paul declares, “to apprehend” this Christ comes from a heart that knows its inherent need of Him in order to walk correctly every day. Paul goes on in his discourse to the Philippians to say, “not that I have obtained… but I press on…”. The discrepancy was not a cause of condemnation; it was the very matrix from which Paul’s pursuit of Christ was birthed. We must see that it is not what we believe but what we do because of the truth whereby we discover His Life.

“…but if ye through the Spirit
do mortify the deeds of the body,
ye shall live
Romans 8:13

“…and the life which I NOW live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for me”
Galatians 2:20

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Get Thee Up –

Thought for Today

Get Thee Up

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings,
get thee up into the high mountain”
Isaiah 40:9

In God’s Word there is ever the call to His people to arise to the heights and wonders of His being. Here the prophet tells God’s people to get up into the high places that they might behold their God. The verses preceding this declare…

“The voice said, Cry. And he said,
What shall I cry?
All flesh is grass,
and all the goodliness thereof
is as the flower of the field:
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it:
surely the people is grass.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
but the word of our God shall stand for ever”
Isaiah 40:6-8

These are the good tidings; the pride and strength of man shall not prevail but His Word will stand forever! It is in light of this knowledge that we are called to arise, no longer in the strength of men, but in the power of God. It is time to climb the mountain and behold Him from a new perspective. We, who are withering grass and fading flowers, will find that our hope and our strength is in God alone and will be able to declare to others “Behold your God!”

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings,
get thee up into the high mountain;
O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings,
lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up,
be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah,
Behold your God!”

Isaiah 40:9

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info