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

Ω

Righteousness is doing what is right in God

Brian Troxel

Path to Ministry – Servanthood

The Path to Ministry

Servanthood

“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:
therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live”
Deuteronomy 30:19

The way of God is ever before us. His call, His purposes and His desire are presented unto us throughout the scriptures. Our life in Him is bound up in the choices we make. By our choices, this life in Him is either discovered or lost.

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
Romans 6:16

Mankind was created for obedience; it is the pathway to freedom. The above scripture reveals that one’s choice (yielding) determines whose servant they will be.

Whom or what we serve is the revelation of whose servant
we truly are regardless of what we profess!

The wisdom of God is clear and simple. All our professions, declarations and outward shows of religious activity are weighed in the balances of true obedience. Obedience is the fulcrum by which our true relationship with God is revealed. If I yield myself to sin, I am the servant of sin, regardless of my profession. Truth is truth and it is in “becoming” alive unto Him whereby we are made free from the power of sin over our lives. The true wonder of our “becoming” servants of God is the result of His victory being wrought out in the reality of our daily lives.

Servanthood to God is the highest call. A true servant of God serves Him, chooses Him and obeys Him from their heart. The individual who truly serves and obeys God, lives and walks in the Victory of Christ Himself. Without this victory we do not come to know the power and the glory of being a “servant of God”.

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ,
called to be an apostle…”
Romans 1:1

The depth and power of Paul’s apostolic expression was in corresponding measure to His servanthood to Christ. Whenever Paul defined his relationship to Christ, he always expressed it as servanthood not as apostleship. His apostolic expression was the result of his servanthood – not the other way around.

“I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

Paul’s appointment to service was a result of his faithfulness to God. We must discover that the way into the true ministry to which God has called us will only be known by our faithfulness in serving and obeying Him.

We live in a day in which many of God’s people do not know their call or purpose in God. This dilemma can only be solved through the medium of obedience. Without obedience to God alone the riddle of the call of God to each of His own will remain unsolved and unfulfilled. It is in the yielding of ourselves unto obedience that we become servants of righteousness. If we yield ourselves unto sin, we become servants of sin. Jesus declared emphatically:

“No man can serve two masters…”
Matthew 6:24

Ministry today is often presented as serving people, a church, or an organization. In reality the true ministry of God serves Him, speaks His words and works His works.

“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God?
Or am I striving to please men?
For if I were still pleasing men,
I wouldn’t be a servant of Christ
Galatians 1:10

An individual who seeks the esteem or favor of others cannot be at the same time a servant of God! Compromise is the womb of spiritual death. True humility frees an individual from the opinions of others and is the fragrance of a life in submission to God alone. There is much compromise within “Christendom” today. There is an impotency within the lives of those who seek the approval of men rather than God. Truth has been rendered powerless for it is often presented through the lives of those who do not know the workings of the Cross of Christ. It is the Cross which frees us from ourselves and bring us into singular devotion unto Christ.

“Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man,
but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father…)”
Galatians 1:1

Any ministry which validates itself by something other than doing and being a servant of Christ, will never know the power of a true servant of God.

Jesus prefaced His word, “No man can serve two masters”, with the need for a singular heart.

“The light of the body is the eye:
if therefore thine eye be single,
thy whole body shall be full of light”
Matthew 6:22

The Light and Life of Christ fills the heart which is single in its purpose to serve God alone.

Paul summed up his life in very simple terms:

“separated unto the Gospel of God”
Romans 1:1

Σ

“Set your affection on things above,
not on things on the earth”
Colossians 3:2

Brian Troxel

The Path to Ministry – Correction and Growth

The Path to Ministry

Part Six

Correction and Growth

“My son, don’t take lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by him; For whom the Lord loves, he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives”
Hebrews 12:5

Every child of God will know and experience His dealings; it is the surest sign of Him setting His Love upon us. King David knew much of God’s blessings and judgments. He was inspired to declare in Psalm 23:4 “Thy Rod and Thy Staff, they comfort me”. The true in heart find as much comfort in God’s Rod of correction as they do in the Staff of His provision and protection. All God’s children know of His correction, but many do not benefit from it. It is here where disciples are distinguished from adherents. Correction has no benefit to those who ignore God’s dealings. Those who seek to know the wonder of Him appointing them to His service, will consider these things as vital to their development.

“All chastening seems for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been exercised thereby”
Hebrews 12:11

The peaceful fruit of righteousness is the result of being exercised by His corrections! Why would we ignore or take lightly His dealings with us? His corrections are given to make us partakers of His Life.

“Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live?”
Hebrews 12:9

We want life, His Life, in us. His Life grows in those who are in subjection to His corrections. A stubborn and rebellious child will not bear the likeness, the wonder and the power of God in any depth. It does not negate the power of a gift of the Spirit*, but it will leave the one in whom the gift operates with a sense of emptiness and may bring them to eventual ruin.

The Path into the life of ministry and service is filled with the dealings of a loving and wise Father. In His corrections we also discover a growing into and a knowing of His Holiness.

“For they indeed (our fathers in the flesh), for a few days, punished us as seemed good to them; but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness
Hebrews 12:10

Holiness is more than a gift; it is the very essence of God Himself. The only path to growing in His holiness is in our partaking of Him. God cannot give us holiness; we become holy through the medium of living and abiding in Him. He is the Holy One and it can only be real in us via relationship.

What is the fruit and benefit of His Holiness in us?

“Eagerly pursue peace and holiness with all,
without which no one will see the Lord”
Hebrews 12:14

The depth of an individual’s ministration will be in corresponding measure to their seeing of God.

“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,
that ye also may have fellowship with us”
1 John 1:3

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A wise son desires
the correction of the Father.

*Note: There is a great difference between the power expressed in a gift versus the authority and power revealed in those who live, abide and walk in submission to the King of kings. This will be covered later in this writing.

(Continued)

Brian Troxel

The Path to True Ministry – Relationship and Prayer

The Path to True Ministry

Part Four

Relationship and prayer

I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

In the midst of much speaking, praying and Christian activity we see little in terms of the release and the power of Christ. While much of these endeavours are born out of a desire to make Christ known, the issue is not desire but the source of the power. Let these words penetrate our hearts afresh…

“As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself…neither can you, unless you remain in me”.
John 15:7

Relationship and Prayer

The heart and power of the New Covenant is founded on one fundamental truth: relationship. It is not in our abilities, money, strength of personality or associations with others whereby this power is known.

Endless prayer meetings and strategies in themselves will not make this power to be released. It is in our being in Him alone wherein we will find the enablement to make Him known. Too often the religious have exalted prayer over obedience and relationship. It can become the panacea for all of our ills when in reality it is only effective in proportion to our relationship with Him.

“If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you”
John 15:7

Religion always excludes the relationship aspect of our place in Christ. In Israel’s darkest days the priests were still praying, offering sacrifices and observing all of the rituals, while they neglected to walk in obedience from their hearts. We want answered prayers; God looks for obedience and relationship. We want His benefits apart from His person, His life apart from the Cross, His blessings apart from obedience; it will never be.

We hear much today concerning prayer and rightfully so; yet how little attention we pay to God’s Word concerning this. We often hear a partial quotation of the scripture from 2 Chronicles 7:14; “If my people will pray then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”. When in reality the full quote is as follows…

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
2 Chronicles 7:14

Religion can have the appearance of sincerity and earnest appeal unto God, but it often ignores the need to take heed to our ways so that we may be properly related to Him from our hearts.

The remedy to the crisis of this hour is simple and available to all who desire Him out of a pure heart.

“If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you
John 15:7

Σ

“I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

(Continued)

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Our Calling

Thought for Today

Our Calling

“For even hereunto were ye called:
because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example,
that ye should follow his steps…”
1 Peter 2:21-22

Let the majesty of His call penetrate our hearts, and the grandeur of His purposes ascend above our experience. Let His call jolt us into the realization of our need for Him to be our life. We are to “follow His steps”, to climb heights unimaginable and unattainable by our own strength! The righteousness we have been called to must be apprehended upon the potency of faith. This living faith is undaunted by the magnitude of the call and our own utter weakness. How tragic it is for His people to settle for a justification by faith, rather than the full glory of a sanctified life lived unto Him. Those who knew Him, loved Him and pursued Him throughout the ages had a mark set before them. There was a divine aspiration, filling their hearts with a passion that eclipsed the religious of the day.

“Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren,
and exhort you by the Lord Jesus,
that as ye have received of us
how ye ought to walk and to please God,
so ye would abound more and more”
1 Thessalonians 4:1

May we hear the voice of Him who calls us to larger living and deeper places of abiding and drawing from Him; the power to live above and beyond the status quo of our day. May He open our eyes to see the heights and depths to which we have been called, that we may turn from any dependence upon ourselves, and launch our hearts into the great ocean of a grace which is able to lift us up and to make us to stand in this day.

Abounding More and More

Let us pursue an “abounding more and more” unto the perfect day. Let us hear the call with the hearing of the spiritual ear, without which there can be no arising. One who rests in the doctrine of justification, without a passion to know the power and wonder of the true righteousness of God produced and sustained by faith, has ceased to hear the Call of God in Christ!

“So then faith cometh by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God”
Romans 10:17

It is not a day to grow weary or to settle for meager living with faithless horizons. May God give us “ears that hear” that our faith would be energized with the certainty that He who has called us is able to fulfill His Call.

The fervency of an individual’s faith is revealed in its pursuit of Him. Those who see the summits of the call of God in Christ will not allow their experience to determine His Call; they have come to the place where the Call begins to determine their experience.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day”
Proverbs 4:18

To those who are truly justified in Christ, the path is as a shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect Day. A path is not a resting place; a path is the way to get to a destination. It is our great Shepherd who leads those who follow Him, in the paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:3).

“For even hereunto were ye called:
because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example,
that ye should follow his steps…”

Please read Ephesians 1:17-23.
Meditate and feast upon
the Riches available to us in Christ!

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Worship

Thought for Today

Worship

“And when they were come into the house,
they saw the young child with Mary his mother,
and fell down, and worshipped him:
and when they had opened their treasures,
they presented unto him gifts;
gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
Matthew 2:11

The wise men knew whom they sought; earlier in Matthew they had come to Herod:

“Saying, where is he that is born King of the Jews?”
Matthew 2:1-2

They had travelled a long distance to worship the ONE who was worthy of their journey and gifts. They did not come empty-handed, nor did they come nonchalantly. They came with great purpose and were not disappointed in beholding this new-born ONE called Jesus.

It is the religious who approach him casually, who greet Him with tepid hearts and indifference. The Pharisee who had invited Jesus into his house greeted Him with a lukewarm reception while a woman of ill repute poured out her costliest possession upon Him. Jesus spoke to the Pharisee:

“He said to Simon, do you see this woman? I came into your house.
You did not give water for My feet, but she washed My feet with tears and wiped off with the hairs of her head.
You gave Me no kiss, but she from when I entered did not stop fervently kissing My feet.
You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with ointment.
For this reason, I say to you, her many sins are remitted, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, he loves little”
Luke 7:44-47

Those who hold His presence within are aware of His mercy and forgiveness toward us. They know themselves and carry within the brokenness of their own unworthiness. The love and worship of Him will always be in corresponding measure to the knowledge of His forgiveness to us.

“…but to whom little is forgiven,
the same loveth little”
Luke 7:47

Brokenness is the grace adorning the hearts of all who live in the richness of His Mercy.

Painting by:Philippe de Champaigne, c.1656 – Public Domain

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Hedged In

Thought for Today

Hedged In

“Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden,
whom God has hedged in?”
Job 3:23

The confinements of God serve His end to those who understand His ways. Liberty in the Spirit often comes to those who feel hedged in in the flesh. The light of God is given in times of darkness. The constrictions of circumstances bring enlargement, patience and strength to those who see beyond the walls of this life. There is a hidden ministry, veiled from the prisoner, during the silent and painful work of a pearl being formed. The graces of God must be fashioned in the life of His own in the dark and lonely experiences of life.

“And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison,
a place where the king’s prisoners were bound:
and he was there in the prison”
Genesis 39:20

There are dark places within the soul of man which require dark times to bring and fill them with the light of God! Joseph could not comprehend the end God had determined for him. He had a dream of authority in the family of God, but he had never even considered the greater sphere in which he would rule and reign! God’s end is always larger than what we can see. What was the secret hidden in Joseph’s captivity?

“But the Lord was with Joseph…”
Genesis 39:21

There is treasure locked within the dark times of our lives. There are purposes to be mined in the deep places of confinement and loneliness. The promise of greater things is bound up within our faithfulness to serve God in these prisons. Joseph’s faithfulness to God was the key to his release. His faithfulness to the gift of interpreting dreams became the very means of unlocking his prison door.

Let not the dark places crush your vision. Let not despondency rob you of your service unto the King of kings. Remain faithful in every circumstance to serve and honor God; for we shall surely reap in proportion to our sowing. We will stand in the Day of harvest, bringing our sheaves to lay at the feet of the One alone who is worthy.

“I have remembered thy name,
O Lord, in the night,
and have kept thy law”
Psalm 119:55

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“And I will give thee the treasures of darkness,
and hidden riches of secret places,
that thou mayest know that I, the Lord,
which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel”
Isaiah 45:3

Brian Troxel

An Exegesis of Light – Excerpt From Coming Book

An Exegesis of Light

Chapter 3
(excerpt)

The Rule of Light
Within the Hearts of Men

“And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.”
GENESIS 1:17

Here we read that light is given for illumination and to govern their respective dominions. God purposes are also revealed in the division of the light from the darkness. The sun rules over the day while the moon is given to rule over the night. There are governing purposes in these distinctions. Within the whole spectrum of light, we see a picture of the division of rule. Those who are of the Day are governed and thus live by the light of the sun (Son); those who are of the night are governed by the rule of darkness (Satan). The Son is the ever-dawning true light whereas the devil masquerades as light that is merely a cold and dead reflection of the True Light. Satan is the ever-waning beacon leading men into darkness, sin and death. (The moon serves as a good illustration of this.) He is the father of lies because he is the most self-deceived. Jesus, in speaking to the self-deceived religious men in His time on earth called them the children of the devil! Why? Because of their deeds, not their beliefs.

“Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
John 8:43-44

Earlier in this discussion, Jesus acknowledged that they were of the “seed” of Abraham (John 8:37). The Greek word used here for seed is σπέρμα (sperma), referring to the natural seed of Abraham. As such, the light which had once been given unto them had now become dark; they were now ruled by the lusts of their (new) father rather than by the light of God. Herein is revealed the truth concerning light. The Jews whom Jesus was addressing had great “understanding” of the scriptures but they had no light. Light is a function of life, not knowledge. It is in what men do wherein they reveal who their father truly is. All men live according to the lusts (desires) of their hearts so inevitably their inward governing principle is revealed.

“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other.”
Galatians 5:17

Regardless of words spoken the spiritual condition of a life is known by one governing principle; only one master can be served. Paul goes on to describe the two contrary lusts or desires at war in all of us (Galatians 5:16-22). As with the religious Jews of Jesus’ day it is our actions that reveal whose offspring we are.

“I speak that which I have seen with my Father:
and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.”
John 8:38

Fatherhood is revealed in the deeds of its corresponding offspring. Paul’s delineation of those who are of the flesh from those who are of the Spirit begins by setting before us the “works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19-21). It is the light of God which which makes these things manifest…

(continued…)

Brian Troxel

Psalm 63:1-2 – A Heart Aflame

Psalm 63:1-2

The Heart Aflame

“O God, you are my God; I will seek you diligently.
My soul thirsts for you…”
Psalm 63:1

The true pursuit of God is a proportional response to our seeing of Him. The diligent seeking of God in the life of David was a consequence of him seeing God in the sanctuary.

“Thus I have seen you in the sanctuary,
beholding your strength and glory”
Psalm 63:2

The land wherein David dwelt became a howling wilderness in comparison to the beauty and the glory he beheld in the Holy Place of God.

“…My soul thirsts for you;
my flesh longs for you
as in a dry and weary land without water”
Psalm 63:1

It is the seeing of the wonder of God that transforms one from being at home in this world into a pilgrim of faith; a sojourner with purpose and a captive of the hope which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. In beholding the Pearl of Great Price men and women are freed from the gravity and pull of this world. His beauty mesmerizes the beholder; it causes an abandonment of all other loves and creates its own quest and inertia. There can be no settling for the artificial and trite for the deep of God beckons His own with the simple cords of Love and Desire.

“Deep is calling to deep
at the thunder of your waterfalls…”
Psalm 42:7

The depths of His being calls out to the Christ within. The tendrils of His love grip the soul in the embrace of God Himself. Only the Love of God in Christ Jesus can ignite our hearts into such a pursuit.

“Who, when he had found one pearl of great price,
went and sold all that he had, and bought it”
Matthew 13:46

Brian Troxel