Consolation in Distress

Trust in the Storm

“If I walk in the midst of distress
Thou revives me…”
Psalm 138:7

Trouble and distress are often the precursor to glory. Our heavenly Father’s purpose is to bring “many sons to glory”. He who “spared not His Son” on our behalf will not spare His rod and His staff from the lives of those who have purposed to know Him. In our distresses we become focused and aware of the eternal issue; to know and honor God. It is in the press where the grapes are squeezed, the spices are crushed and the pride of man is broken. These are the times that the vision of a true soul sees with the most clarity and the vanity of life is exposed. The fine wine is brought to maturity, the bouquet is sweetened and the flavor is deepened and refined as the dregs of self are removed. That which was once bitter is made sweet by the gracious work of God. In His economy the best wine is always brought out at the last to glorify the wonder of the work of the Son. The waters in the earthen pot have been transformed into the wine of the Spirit for others to drink and be refreshed.

“For I will restore health unto thee,
and I will heal thee of thy wounds…”
Jeremiah 30:17

The quickening and reviving work of God is ever in the midst of the trial. In our holding fast to Him the storm inevitably gives way to the calm. That which has been torn will be restored; that which has been driven by the wind will find the harbor of His peace and security. Grey and angry skies will clear and the deep blue face of heaven will be more serene than ever before.

Do not fear the storms for He who knows our frame and our limitations also knows how to keep His own within the everlasting arms.

Praise our God, you peoples! Make the sound of his praise heard, who preserves our life among the living, and doesn’t allow our feet to be moved. For you, God, have tested us. You have refined us, as silver is refined. You brought us into prison. You laid a burden on our backs. You allowed men to ride over our heads. We went through fire and through water, but you brought us to the place of abundance
Psalm 66:8-12

God’s end is to bring His own to the place of abundance!

Brian Troxel
(2018)

The Gospel of God

The Law of the Spirit

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
Psalm 1:2

In physics, a law describes the behavior and the observable function of a particular phenomenon.

“Laws are descriptions — often mathematical descriptions — of natural phenomenon; for example, Newton’s Law of Gravity or Mendel’s Law of Independent Assortment. These laws simply describe the observation. Not how or why they work” Coppinger

Newton’s Law of Gravity describes the behavior of gravity. Gravity does not exist because of the law; the law simply describes the inherent operation of gravity. So it is in the Law of the Spirit. The Law of Righteousness is a Law which describes how a righteous life lives. It cannot make one righteous it is simply given to describe the behaviour of a righteous life.

“For the law made nothing perfect”
Hebrews 7:19

It is not in our trying to keep the Law that we are spiritual. It is because we are becoming spiritual that the Law of Life (His Life) is fulfilled. Whenever we break the Law it is because we are lacking the LIFE OF THE ONE who alone can keep it. Paul, referring to the Law as given by Moses, declared the following truth:

” For we know that the law is spiritual…”
Romans 7:14

The issue is that we are carnal; it is an absurdity to attempt to keep a spiritual law when by nature we are not. The only hope for any individual is by virtue of the Spirit of Christ invading our lives. By His power we receive a new nature, a spiritual nature which naturally fulfills the Law of God. Only a spiritual nature can fulfill a spiritual law.

“For we know that the law is spiritual:
but I am carnal, sold under sin…”
Romans 7:14

Here is the great contradiction in the life of every individual. The natural man cannot fulfill a spiritual law. There is no amount of striving, no matter how earnest the effort, that will ever enable one nature to fulfill the law of another. In the Law of Gravity, if an object has mass, it is subject to its inherent law of attraction. In spiritual things where there is a residue of the natural man, he will find himself subject to the Law of Sin and Death. It cannot be otherwise. What is this Law of Sin and Death?

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do”
Romans 7:5

There is only ONE WAY to be free from the Law of Sin and Death; it is in our discovery of the power of Christ to liberate us from walking in the flesh! This freedom requires a new nature. This nature must be freed from the pull and the horror of the Law of Sin, a law which holds all things carnal in its deadly grip. The freedom of the Law of Life is the provision of God. It is in our abiding in Him that we are freed from the chains of sin.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit,
and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh”
Galatians 5:16

The simplicity of the provision of God is clear. The agonizing struggle for all who are seeking freedom from this Law of Sin and Death is described clearly in Romans 7.

“For what good I desire, I do not do. But the evil I do not desire, this I do. But if I do what I do not desire, it is no longer I working it out, but the sin dwelling in me. I find then the law, when I desire to do the right, that evil is present with me. For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man; but I see another law in my members having warred against the law of my mind, and taking me captive by the law of sin being in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
Romans 7:19-24

Paul called this agonizing dilemma a war. It is a war to those desiring to fulfill the Law of God but who constantly find the Law of Sin holding dominion over their actions. The truth is our attempts to fight this war with our carnal nature is like trying to empty the ocean with a bucket; as futile as it is absurd. To try to overcome the flesh by the power of flesh is like a man jumping up from the earth in order to over-come the Law of Gravity. That momentary state of freedom is quickly erased by his inevitable return to the ground. Let this truth stand as God’s verdict upon the carnal mind (the natural man) and especially to those who ascribe to the futility of religion.

“…the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Romans 8:7-8

The Law of God decrees (as evidenced in all creation) that the carnal man is subject to the Law of Carnality. Its nature determines its behavior. Those who live in the Spirit of God live their life according to the nature of His Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-25).

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”
Matthew 7:16

The logic of God is clear; the fruit of a thing reveals the nature of it. A thistle cannot bear figs. James states that fresh water and saltwater cannot flow from the same fountain. It is here that religion attempts to circumvent the simplicity and truth of God’s Law of Being. What individuals do reveal the nature by which they live. In Matthew 7 Jesus is describing to His disciples the basic law of true spiritual discernment: “you will know them by their fruits”. In the sphere of religion, the clarity of God’s truth becomes murky (by men’s design) when the validity of a person’s standing in God is judged on confession rather than behavior! This deception of Satan infiltrates and spawns its deadly contagion among those who are not discerning.

In Galatians Paul sets forth the “works” of the flesh.

Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God
Galatians 5:19-21

Wherever these traits are expressed it is the result of living and walking out of the nature of the carnal man. Let no one deceive you in this. Confession, good works, prophecy, speaking in tongues, prayer, teachings, fastings, and a thousand other things cannot circumvent the truth. Those who DO these things are under the dominion of a life subject to the carnal mind. What men do reveal the nature in which they walk!

The Law of God frees us from our religious deception. This Law is fixed, and its declaration is eternal. We are to judge ourselves by its ministration that we may know the validity of our walk before Him. If I have lust in my heart, I know my need for His Life. If I become bitter, it is because I am living in the flesh. There is no excuse for bitterness because the Spirit of God frees me from its stain and sorrow. If I hate my brother, I most definitely know such a thing is not of God. If I continue in its dark influence, I disqualify myself from God’s Kingdom. If I hold envy or jealousy, I clearly reveal the nature of my walk. To envy another is to be angry with God for what He has graciously given me. The list is endless! The value of the Law is that it reveals to me my desperate need of His Life to free me from the works and the dominion of Sin and the Flesh.

“But we know that the law is good,
if a man use it lawfully”
1 Timothy 1:8

Again, Paul states in Romans 7 that the Law is good and it is to be used to this end.

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet”
Romans 7:7

Can we not see the Law is a ministration for good? By its ministration the nature of Sin is revealed, and I can see the necessity of my need to live and abide in Christ! How deceptive is a gospel that teaches us to abolish the law by the declaration of a doctrine that we are forgiven and absolved of our wrong doings; as if we are no longer to measure our life by the Law of God! Many have embraced a gospel which frees them to live out their carnal nature with no concerns about their standing in God! This is the LIE which was first spoken by the Serpent in the Garden. God told Adam and Eve, “if you eat of this tree you will die”. The Serpent told Eve go ahead and eat of the tree for “you shall not die”. What was the end of the evil deed of Adam and Eve? What is the end of a life which walks in the “works of the flesh”?

“…of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God
Galatians 5:21

Why such a harsh decree? Did not God pay the penalty for Sin; not only ours but the sins of the whole world? The decree of God is not against the acts listed in Galatians 5:19-22; God’s judgment is upon the Nature from which those evil expressions spring. The Kingdom of God is spiritual and those who would enter its dominion must do so on the grounds of the Law of Life in Christ Jesus. To what end?

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us
who walk not after (according to) the flesh
but after (according to) the Spirit”
Romans 8:4
(Read the whole context of this scripture)

The Law is good, and it is for our instruction. Let us not be deceived into believing that a religious confession trumps a carnal life. The conviction of God is the path to discovering the Law of Life which alone can free us from our sins. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

“For sin shall not have dominion over you:
for ye are not under the law, but under grace”
Romans 6:14

Grace is not an excuse to ignore our sinful ways. The validity of Grace is revealed in my personal freedom from sin’s power. The gospel of today states we are freed from the law therefore we need not concern ourselves with the Law’s decree. Let us read the above scripture again through the eyes of faith – “Sin shall NOT have dominion over you”. Why? Because if you walk “under (the influence of) grace”, its power will set us free. Paul goes on to contend with those who would use the “teaching” of grace to excuse sin…

“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law,
but under grace? God forbid
Romans 6:15

And again.

“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ,
we ourselves also are found sinners,
is therefore Christ the minister of sin?
God forbid
Galatians 2:17

Those who teach a grace which makes provision for sin have no understanding of the purposes of God in Christ. To hold to a doctrine of justification and still hold to sin is the false gospel of today. Christ is not the minister of sin nor are those who have been justified in Him doomed to a life of sin and powerlessness. Let the Word of God deal with the false teachings of our day. Let His truth penetrate our hearts with His promises and power!

The purpose of living truth is to bring each of us into the holy freedom of God; it is not to find loopholes in the Law. It is to bring us to such a place that we are no longer subject to its decrees because we are living in such a way that we do not violate its righteousness. If I drive at or under the speed limit, I am not subject to the speed limit sign and therefore the penalty of the law holds no terror for me. The falsity of a gospel which states that I can sin, and since I have confessed Christ the wages of sin no longer apply to me, is appalling and deceptive. One who subjects himself to pornography knows within the defiling wages of sin. The one who holds hatred in his heart knows by experience the truth of the wages of sin. Peace is not found in the way of the sinner. Communion with God is not possible in the life of one who lives out of the carnal nature.

“So then they that are in the flesh
cannot please God
Romans 8:8

The above scripture is not a teaching; it is the statement of God. It is God’s verdict upon humanity. Praise be to God there is an answer to such a decree!

“Marvel not that I said unto thee,
Ye must be born again”
John 3:7

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh;
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”
John 3:6

The necessity of being “born anew” is the beginning of our deliverance. Our growth in the life of salvation is revealed in the ever- diminishing dominion of sin in our lives. In our growth in grace we find the power of His Salvation manifest in our lives by the demonstration of the fruit of His Spirit! This is the evidence of our deliverance from the works of the flesh and our “translation” from the kingdom of darkness into the glorious Kingdom of Light. The Apostle John, in his later epistles, wrote as a warning to all:

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous…”
1 John 3:7

A faith that does not carry the life, the power and the works of God is a dead faith. A faith which is in word only has no value in the working out of God’s salvation.

“They profess that they know God;
but in works they deny him…”
Titus 1:16

The nature of Christ within must be accompanied by a revelation of Him without.

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed
from faith to faith: as it is written, ‘The just shall LIVE by faith”
Romans 1:17

To be a living Faith, it must grow from one degree unto another degree of faith (faith unto the faith). It is to produce greater expressions of God’s righteousness! “The just shall (truly) live by faith”. Jesus declared I AM come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”. Notice the tense here; not “I will come” but that “I AM come”. It is the folly of religion to point to a day in the future when in reality HE IS COME! There are greater things to come and will be for all eternity. But faith is for me to know and grow within the wonder of His “present truth”.

“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God:
Every spirit that confesseth that
Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh is of God”
1 John 4:2

The confession of a dead faith will talk about future things while denying the power of Christ which IS COME, present tense. That is the spirit of the anti-Christ (1 John 4:3). Those who do not take responsibility for walking righteously now, soothe their conscience with a future idea, absolving themselves from a present-day walk. It is a subtle lie of the devil himself and those who live in this “faith” sow to themselves great sorrow on an eternal scale. It is a sign of the Day in which we are living that there are many who subscribe to the lie of this faith.

Paul continues his discourse in the Book of Romans by following up Romans 1:17 with:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,
who hold the truth in unrighteousness…”
Romans 1:18

What is the wrath of God to be revealed against? “All unrighteousness” even upon those who “hold the truth” for they hold it in “unrighteousness”. Any faith which is not causing men and women to grow in their ability to live righteously is the result of holding the truth of God in unrighteousness. Let all who have ears to hear; faith without the works of God is dead! The Greek word used for “works” in this scripture is best defined by the English word “energy”. Faith which does not produce the “energy” of God within the life of an individual, unto the demonstration of its author, is dead and carries no eternal value.

“For as the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without works is dead also
James 2:26

Let us hear the truth of what James is declaring by the Holy Spirit. A body without the spirit is but a carcass; so are those whose faith is without works. May we all reconsider the degree and the power of His Life within us today! God is calling, ever beckoning us to “come unto Him” that we may have (present tense) the wonder of His life within our hearts.

“If any man thirst,
let him come unto me, and drink”
John 7:37

To what end?

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”
John 7:38

Christ HAS COME but more importantly, HE IS COME! Even greater, HE IS COMING!

“Who delivered us from so great a death,
and doth deliver:
in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us
2 Corinthians 1:10

Delivered (past tense)
Doth deliver (present tense)
Will yet deliver (future tense)

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live;
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:
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

Lastly, Paul in the Book of Galatians states that the life he “NOW” lived, he lived by the faith of the Son of God. May we take note of the life he lived and its power it had on the world about him! It is time for us to begin to consider what we allow as acceptable. May the power of God’s word move us afresh to pursue in Him greater vistas of grace and glory in our salvation. May His Word move within our hearts to produce a new apprehension of what HE has called us to and for us to begin to see the full provisions which are ours in Christ Jesus!

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end”
Ephesians 3:20-21

Brian Troxel

Grace and Our Responsibility

Grace and Our Responsibility

“Looking diligently
lest any man fail of the grace of God”
Hebrews 12:15

In all of God’s benevolence to mankind there ought to be nothing more striking and more humbling to us than His ministration of Grace. The sheer weight of its power and wonder is incomprehensible in light of our undeserving condition. Throughout the scriptures we see this God pouring out his benefits to countless people, tribes and nations. The intended purpose of the grace given is not always fulfilled within those to whom it is given.

In his epistle to the Corinthians, Paul clearly declares this powerful truth: the grace of God requires the response of His People. We must see this high and holy truth. We are made “partakers” of the grace of God; not just recipients. Grace is always given with the intent that we grow, develop and become more like Him. Grace is a resource of God Himself; the life blood of His being. It is the pouring out of Himself upon the lost, the wayward and the aspiring child of God. In its flow men and women are transformed from their selfish, barren, fruitless and impotent living. Grace is the very power of heaven invading and empowering His Own to arise and walk in the strength of our God.

“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ…”
1 Corinthians 10:1-4

We read here of the incredible grace of God given to His people. We see the rich provisions of food and water and their spiritual representations! God provided ALL that was necessary for their journey in the Wilderness and to enter into the Land of Promise. What was God’s estimation of their walk?

“But with many of them God was not well pleased:
for they were overthrown in the wilderness”
1 Corinthians 10:5

This is God’s testimony of a people who had been given grace upon grace! Why does Paul (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) write this to the Church at Corinth?

6. “Now these things were OUR examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.”
1 Corinthians 10:6-10

Paul’s final exhortation concerning this powerful truth:

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples:
and they are written for OUR admonition,
upon whom the ends of the world are come”
1 Corinthians 10:11

To whom is this vital truth given? To us, those “upon whom the ends of the world are come”!

It is vital that we take heed to the Word of God in our day. It is not a day for us to glory in the grace given, but to give Him glory, by allowing the grace given to work in us that which pleases Him in our daily life!

How foolish is the notion that men cannot fail the grace of God; that men cannot fall far short of God’s intention for our lives. How detrimental for His people to consider that God is pleased with such.

“Looking diligently
lest any man fail of the grace of God
Hebrews 12:15

There is a diligence born out of the knowledge of the truth. Grace is given with purpose and design and the more we have received of it the more we are held accountable unto Him who is the giver of all good things.

“We then, as workers together with him,
beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain
2 Corinthians 6:1

Brian Troxel

Letters to the Church – Part Five

Letters to the Church – Part Five

“And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that He might know how much every man had gained by trading.”
Luke 19:15

The magnitude of God’s grace and the abundance of His gifts are evident throughout the New Testament promises. The depth of His unmerited mercy can only be fully appreciated through the medium of walking out those gifts in faithfulness. We see this throughout the Gospels. The Parables of the pounds, the talents, the sower and others, show the variety and the wonder of His gifts AND their corresponding accountability. To each of the recipients of the Pounds in the above Parable the reward of Christ was determined by their “trading” of the thing given. The individual who received one pound without their diligence to the precious gift given were never able to fully appreciate the gift or the giver’s worth. It remained unchanged, undeveloped and unappreciated. For such the Day of the Lord holds no rejoicing. How did Jesus respond to the one who held His precious things lightly?

“Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant…
and he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound,
and give it to him that hath ten pounds…”
Luke 19:22-24

The great gifts of God require our full attention. They become far more developed and valuable as we are faithful to them. In this Parable (unlike the Parable of the Talents) every individual was given the same initial amount; through their faithfulness and investment the one pound became ten, and to another became five. Yet for the slothful one, the one talent remained one. In the Parable of the Sower the one seed sown in a variety of the soils, produced very different outcomes. The fruitfulness of the seed was determined by the soil, not the seed! The same Pound given produced different results in the lives of each of these individuals. The great eternal question to each of us? What have we done with the precious gifts allotted to us?

We read in the great chapter of Faith in Hebrews 11, the faith of our forefather’s lives and the testimony they have left for us that we might walk in like manner.

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward
Hebrews 11:24-26

The reason Moses forsook Egypt and chose to suffer affliction and reproach was because he had “respect” for the eternal rewards of Christ! He accounted the reproach of Christ to be of more value than Pharaoh’s riches! Men and women who fail to develop the great gifts of God hold a disrespect for His Gifts of Mercy and Grace. The verity of Moses having “respect unto the reward” is a New Testament truth declared in the Book of Hebrews; it is a truth of infinite value for the people of God in this day! We live in a Day when the Gospel preached minimizes or denies the reward and the Judgment Seat of Christ unto His Own! (2 Corinthians 5:10) We have a gospel today which speaks of a salvation regardless of how we live our lives where the faithful and the unfaithful all just go to heaven without any eternal consequences relating to the life they lived. Without the solemn truth of the “fear of the Lord” men and women, who are truly God’s children, see no reason to develop the gifts of Christ in their own lives. Much of the “ministry” in God’s house is satisfied  with a people who are undeveloped in their “own” gifts and ministries in God. This false gospel is convenient for the leaders as they maintain their authority with little or no local accountability. It is also convenient for the people as they feel free of their responsibility to God in His purposes for their lives.

“…the priests rule by their own authority;
and my people love to have it so”
Jeremiah 5:31

The result is a poor and impoverished church which lacks power, vitality and the raising up of the Body of Christ through the development of their own ministrations. This arrangement will not alter the accountability of each individual unto God for themselves. His Word is clear and our Day of giving an account of how we lived our lives unto Him remains true and unchangeable.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men”
2 Corinthians 5:10-11

(I do not write these things to be contentious, but because I am compelled to be faithful unto His Word to all who read these things. We want our day of standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ to be a day of joy and great rewards, not of loss and sorrow.)

A gospel which denies our accountability is not only a deceptive lie but a robbery of God’s glory and investment!

“Will a man rob God?”
Yet ye have robbed me
But ye say, ‘Wherein have we robbed thee?’
In tithes and offerings”
Malachi 3:8

The tithes and offerings of the New Testament is for us to give back to God the increase of His gifts to us. If one with a gift of healing, a word of knowledge, a ministry in the Word, or a thousand other ministrations He has lavished on the Body of Christ does not invest that in others, we not only rob ourselves of the reward of Christ but we also rob His Body which is to be built up “by the functioning of every part”! (Ephesians 4:16) If every part is not functioning, the Body of Christ will suffer loss!

Paul in his understanding of this vital truth exhorted and encouraged the people of God to walk and fulfill the ministry that God had given unto them.

“And say to Archippus,
Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord,
that thou fulfil it
Colossians 4:17

Neglect not the gift that is in thee…”
1 Timothy 4:14

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance
that thou stir up the gift of God…”
2 Timothy 1:6

We must reject a gospel which presents ministry as something for a privileged few and began to read His Word in the truth and solemnity of its simple declarations.

“But to each one is given
the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all”
1 Corinthians 12:7

Read the context of this scripture and do not let any teaching, doctrine or cunning words of men deter you from the truth and grace which has been given to “each one” of us!

When we stand before Him, may we each hear:

Well DONE, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord”
Matthew 25:21,23

Brian Troxel

The True Grace of Romans 6

The True Grace of Romans 6

“For sin shall not have dominion over you:
for ye are not under the law, but under grace”
Romans 6:14

The validity of grace received is revealed in our freedom from sin. Sin is not to have dominion over us because of the ministration of Grace. The teaching of grace apart from its liberating power is the lie and the falsity of the modern day gospel.

“Sin shall NOT have dominion over you”

When we disconnect the teaching of grace from the substance of Grace we live and perpetuate a lie. Grace is not a sentiment. It is the power of God entering into the human heart, with divine enablement to grow into the very righteousness of God in Christ.

Paul follows this verse with:

“What then? shall we sin,
because we are not under the law,
but under grace? God forbid”
Romans 6:15

Our need for the power of grace is directly proportional to the desire of our hearts to walk and live in the righteousness of God. In the presentation of grace as a sentiment we rob ourselves of the need to be “under” grace! To be “under grace” means we are in submission to its influence and its sphere of power. “Under” speaks of the government and ruler-ship of Grace. We are called to a Kingdom of grace in which His Life rules over the unruly horror of the unredeemed human heart.

Paul continues…

“Don’t you know that when you present yourselves as servants and obey someone, you are the servants of whomever you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?”
Romans 6:16

May the Lord help us to lay hold of this truth: Obedience is the revelation of whom we serve. If we obey the promptings and the voice of the Spirit of Grace, we yield ourselves unto righteousness. Let His word penetrate our hearts; “you are the servants of whomever you obey”! This is the contextual truth of Grace. If I obey sin it is unto death; if I obey Him, I am growing unto righteousness. How clear and powerful is the presentation of grace and righteousness.

Paul continues…

“But thanks be to God, that, whereas you were bondservants of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were delivered”
Romans 6:17

Teaching without obedience is powerless, impotent and deceptive.

They who speak of grace apart from obedience present a false gospel or, as Paul would call it, “another gospel”. The feeble and ineffective living in our day is directly related to the teaching of a grace without power, a salvation without righteousness and a substandard of living. These things are actually supported and encouraged by the false representation of grace in our day.

Paul continues…

“Being made free from sin,
you became bondservants of righteousness”
Romans 6:18

We can only truly walk in righteousness as we are MADE free from sin! Grace is given to bring the life of the true believer into the beauty of a slavery unto righteousness. As we were all slaves to the power of sin and its ministration of death, even now, by the power of grace, we are made servants of righteousness! May we receive this grace anew and find faith to come “under” its dominion. May all who proclaim the true grace of God begin to walk in the power of its ministration.

Woe unto those who use grace as a cloak
to hold onto the pleasures of sin.

Blessings upon those who know
in the depths of their hearts
that there is a provision to live victoriously
in Christ because of His Grace.

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

Revelation 4:1 – Part 2 – Patmos

Podcast – Revelation 4:1

The Isle of Patmos
God’s Purpose
for the Revelation of Himself

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Obedience and the Tree of Life

Obedience and the Tree of Life

“Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life,
and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Revelation 22:14

Obedience to the will of God is the revelation of His Lordship. Calling upon His Name and then walking in the stubbornness of our own ways is labelled iniquity in the New Testament. Iniquity simply means “self-will”. It is the unbroken, undisciplined and unconquered will of one who claims to be a follower of Christ and yet exhibits all of the traits of the first Adam. We live in a day of a false gospel, a declaration that by simply naming the name of Jesus we have full access to all the promises of God, such is not the truth.

The message of Jesus to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation is consistent… “I know thy works…” It is in what we do wherein we reveal the nature and the spirit in which we walk.

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord,
and do not the things which I say?”
Luke 6:46

Jesus follows this powerful question with the “Parable of the Houses” being built upon rock and upon the sand.

“Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
Luke 6:47-49

How few realize that it is in doing His will wherein the deep foundation of the house is laid! It is in the doing where we discover the true nature of all that we are and run to Him for grace. His will is in itself the very foundation of our salvation. In His will we are confronted with our own stubbornness and we are met with the full knowing of our own weakness and folly. His Will is the cross upon which the horror of self is crucified. They who hear only never come to terms with their true self, they live in a world of teachings, confessions and religious talk without ever venturing into the land of truth. It is WHEN the flood comes that the foundation is discovered and the verity of an individual’s true nature is revealed.

Obedience brings us to the need of the true grace of God, it is no longer a sentient, a catch phrase or a religious cliché; it is the means by which our hearts find the power to submit to His ways and walk in them.

Through disobedience man lost the right and the access to the Tree of Life and it is through the wonder and life of the Son (as expressed in a life of obedience) we gain the right to the Tree of Life and are able to partake of its life giving fruit.

“Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life,
and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Revelation 22:14

Brian Troxel

The Purpose of Grace – Part Three

The Purpose of Grace

Part Three

(See The Purpose of Grace)
(See The Purpose of Grace Part 2)

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”
Genesis 6:8

Grace is always given with purpose. God’s wisdom and creativity has such abundance that the wonder of His giving exceeds our ability to comprehend it. Lost within its glory is the essential truth of the purpose and design with which it is given.

The generation in which Noah lived was one of violence and great evil.

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Genesis 6:5

It was in this context that the life of Noah shone into the surrounding darkness.

Grace given is revealed in the life lived.

“Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations,
and Noah walked with God”
Genesis 6:9

The measure of Grace received is revealed in corresponding measure in our daily walk. Grace is the very power of God to bring us to the reservoir of His enablement to live and walk beyond our own miserable resources.

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling,
not according to our works,
but according to his own purpose and grace,
which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began…”
2 Timothy 1:9

Whenever and wherever God’s people disassociate Grace from Purpose there is a falling short of the call of God. Any ministration that presents grace separately from the bonds of a “holy calling” are misrepresenting the very heart and purpose of God Himself!

The end of God’s grace in Noah’s life is succinctly revealed as a testimony for us in our day.

“Thus did Noah;
according to all that God commanded him,
so did he”
Genesis 6:22

Brian Troxel

THE PURPOSE OF GRACE Part 2

The Purpose of Grace

Part 2

(See The Purpose of Grace)
(See the Purpose of Grace Part 3)

“Whereof I was made a minister,
according to the gift of the grace of God given
unto me by the effectual working of his power.”
Ephesians 3:7

God gives grace with intention and purpose. Grace given corresponds to the evidential working of His power within the life of the one to whom it is given. Paul states here “whereof I was MADE a minister (a definite expression of God) according (in proportion) to the GIFT” given. This then is the revelation of His Grace received. It is to this end that we are recipients of the unmerited Grace of God: that such a precious commodity will show forth the effect of his power in our lives. Grace given does not always result in its desired end, which is why diligence, faithfulness and the fear of the Lord are the healthy responses to the giver of all good things.

“But by the grace of God I am what I am:
and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain;
but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I,
but the grace of God which was with me”
1Corinthians 15:10

The “laboring more abundantly” is the fruit of true grace received. Grace always desires to glorify and honor the ONE from whom it comes. From Genesis to Revelation we see the effectual working in the lives of those to whom God invested His Grace.

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”
Genesis 6:8

The Prophets in the Old Testament prophesied of this Grace that should come…

“Of which salvation the prophets
have inquired and searched diligently,
who prophesied of the grace
that should come unto you”
1Peter 1:10

The power of this New Covenant declares that this GRACE has come unto His Own in the ministration and life of the Son. Shall we not yield ourselves fully to the working out of this grace in each of our hearts? Let us embrace the “laboring” of love in our hearts in response to such beauty and unmerited favor.

We must consider that Jesus Christ left the splendor of Heaven, laid aside His equality with God and humbled Himself as a servant, even to the scandal and humiliation of the cross. How did this wonder occur? BY GRACE…

“But we see Jesus,
who was made a little lower than the angels
for the suffering of death,
crowned with glory and honour;
that he by the grace of God
should taste death for every man”
Hebrews 2:9

The very Son of God came into this dark world divesting Himself of all deity to do the Will of the Father by Grace. Shall not we, who are the true heirs of “so great a salvation”, fully yield ourselves to the deposit of Grace given to each of us?

“But unto EVERY ONE of us is given grace
according to the measure of the gift of Christ”
Ephesians 4:7

May His Church rise up in the acknowledging of this powerful and precious truth!

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info