Letters to the Church – Part Six

Letters to the Church – Part Six

“For I know with an absolute knowledge and stand persuaded in the Lord Jesus that not even one thing is unhallowed in itself except it be to the one who reasons it out to be unhallowed. To that one it is unhallowed. For, if because of food your brother is made to grieve, no longer are you conducting yourself according to love. Stop ruining by your food that one on behalf of whom Christ died. Therefore, stop allowing your good to be spoken of in a reproachful and evil manner; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the sphere of the Holy Spirit; for the one who in this serves the Christ is well pleasing to God, and because having met the specifications is approved by men”
Romans 14:14-18 (Wuest Translation)

Paul prefaced this plea to the Body of Christ with:

“For, on the one hand, there is he who judges a day above another day. On the other hand, there is he who subjects every day to a scrutiny. Let each one in his own mind be fully assured. The one who has formed a judgment regarding the day, with reference to the Lord he judges it. And the one who eats, with reference to the Lord he eats, for he gives thanks to God. And the one who does not eat, with reference to the Lord does not eat, and he gives thanks to God…”
Romans 14:5-6 (Wuest Translation)

“But as for you, why are you judging your brother? Or, as for you also, why are you treating your brother with contempt? For we all shall stand before the judgment seat of God. For it stands written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. Therefore, then, each one of us shall give an account concerning himself to God. Therefore, no longer let us be judging one another. But be judging this rather, not to place a stumbling block before your brother, or a snare in which he may be entrapped”
Romans 14:10-11 (Wuest Translation)

There is within the economy and glory of Christ the liberty and respect for each member to hold within their hearts their own faith concerning food, drink, and days. The secret to this liberty is that they are “serving Christ” in their persuasions.

Paul in Colossians stated:

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days”
Colossians 2:16

Let not him who regards a day judge him who regards not a day; let not him who regards not a day judge him who esteems a day over another.

The living fabric of Christ’s Body is more than meat, drink or reference to some day or season. His LIFE is the very sinew and connection of each and every part. The ignorance of who and what the wonder of Christ is becomes apparent when the mundane issues of life become of more importance than the unity of His Spirit in our midst!

Paul goes on to say in his letter to the Colossians that they who judge others in respect to the elemental and menial things are

“…not holding firmly to the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and ligaments, grows with God’s growth. If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances, “Don’t handle, nor taste, nor touch” (all of which perish with use), according to the precepts and doctrines of men?”
Colossians 2:19-22

We violate the very life of Christ who supplies the rich ministrations through which we are knitted together. Those who emphasise the mundane over the Holy will give an answer to Him in the Day of Judgment.

Paul finishes his discourse of these things by stating that the observance of these things will in NO WAY bring victory for a believer over their flesh. There are no spiritual victories to be gained by the foolishness of fleshly ordinances. Our victory comes only by living and abiding within the sphere of Christ Himself.

May God free us from the horror and stain of the Pharisee spirit in the observance of trivial matters while failing to comprehend that “the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:5).

“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Seven Ones – Perfection)
Ephesians 4:2-6

Those who would destroy the bonds of peace and sever the very ligaments of Christ over the rudimentary elements in respect to days, food and drink, know not the heart of He who is the Head of all things.

One cannot read the beauty of Ephesians Chapter 4 and Colossians Chapter 2, with any illumination of the Spirit of God, and not feel the very essence of Christ Himself beckoning us to preserve the Unity of His Spirit and the wonder of the Body of Christ.

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind”
Philippians 2:1-2

Fellowship is the natural outflow between those who are in Christ. Where there is no deep and powerful flow of Christ there is darkness and separation from the Life and Wonder of Christ. Beware of something added (or taken away) from the Life Giving essence of Christ alone. Light (not knowledge) is the basis of true fellowship.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another”
1 John 1:7

Brian Troxel

The Life of Jesus – Part Two

The Life of Jesus – Part Two

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him”
Acts 10:38

Three People Defined

The testimony of Jesus when He walked in this world was that He “went about doing good”. Why? “For God was with Him”. The “good” which He did was the result of the Will of the Father not the prerogatives of men. Within the current landscape of the church there are:

1) those who hear and DO nothing,
2) those who DO without hearing,
3) true disciples who DO through hearing.

1. People who hear without doing.

The Parable of Jesus concerning the Good Samaritan depicted the priest and the Levite who did not involve themselves with a man beaten on the road (Luke 10:30-36). Their reason was in part, that they were “separated ones” (the literal meaning of Pharisee). Their inability to be moved by the love of God unto the works of God, shows the poverty and impotency of a life which holds the teachings of God apart from the love and person of God. Their religion is one of words and concepts. They may vigorously defend the tenets of faith yet be devoid of the works of faith.

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

These are they who are quick to defend menial and irrelevant matters disputing about contentious issues i.e. related to meat, drink, days, seasons and teachings; yet lacking in the substance and the works of Christ Himself in their everyday life.

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days”
Colossians 2:16

“But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth”
2 Timothy 2:23-25

2. They who DO without hearing.

These ones works are self-generated; they respond to every need without the wisdom and leading of God (Martha) and some even for the purpose to be seen of men and of the world. They seek to build up their reputation and walk in self-promotion. Works without faith is another form of a religion which denies the Lordship and reality of Christ.

“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 6:2)

There is also within this category a far higher and more deceptive realm into which His people may fall. It is found within the ministrations of the gifts of the Spirit. People may be given a precious gifting of God but use it for the promotion of self, all in the Name of God! This is a most grievous and terrifying thing to behold.

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” To which Jesus responds… “I never knew you” Matthew 7:22-23

3. They who hear and do.

These find the life of wonder in being “yoked” with Christ wherein they are bound by the Love of God and the will of God in Christ. Their walk is characterized by the liberty of the Spirit to fulfill the desires of God alone. They seek no glory for themselves. They speak truth and do truth by the workings of the Cross. They bear His reproach as they do His will. The reproach of Christ was the result of the Son doing the will of the Father. Likewise, His disciples bear His reproach in their obedience to Christ. They truly know Him as Lord.

“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21)

The Kingdom of God is for those who submit themselves to DO the Will of the Father in Christ Jesus our LORD.

(Continued)

Brian Troxel