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

I Have No Need of Thee

“I Have No Need of Thee”

The Condition,
the Cause
and
The Way to Fullness of Life

“And the eye cannot say unto the hand,
I have no need of thee:

nor again the head to the feet,
I have no need of you”

1CORINTHIANS 12:21

THE CONDITION

The scriptures clearly speak of the ONE Body and all the exhortations that follow are based on the simple premise that all believers, who have Christ living and dwelling in their hearts by faith, are to be growing and pursuing the ONENESS for which Jesus prayed (John 17, Ephesians 4:2-6). We do not have the right (whether by deed or by thought) to dismiss or ostracize our brother or sister except for matters of heresy or behaviour that brings dishonour to His Name; (even then all actions are done to minister reconciliation and restoration). A cavalier attitude and callous ability to disassociate our brother is the revelation of a heart that knows not God. A true heart that has touched the life of God feels the necessity to flow in the administration of His life from member to member. ANYTHING that impairs this flow of the vitality of the LIFE is an antichrist spirit. For a believer to declare by actions (though in words they may say differently) that they have no need for another member is contrary to the heart and mind of God! It is what we do that reveals the truth of who we are. Men can speak of the Body of Christ in word while in deed they do great violence to the very heart and wonder of it.

THE CAUSE

“…I have no need of thee…”

is the declaration of a heart and a life that is lived out carnally, selfishly and blindly in the throes of a dead religion. “I” is the declaration of life in which the centre of all being revolves around self and its own independence and carnality. “…I have no need of thee…”  Those who declare such things by their deeds end up anemic, impotent and fruitless.  To enter into HIS LIFE requires the death of our life, our independence and the seeking of our own good. There is no room for “I” in the Body of Christ for the true heart of Christ is to see each member grow with the increase of God to such an extent we fulfill the very purpose of God in the New Covenant.

“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour,
and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD:
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them unto the greatest of them…”
JEREMIAH 31:34

The true ministers of God know this and so interact with their brothers and sisters to SEE this PURPOSE come to pass.  Carnal men who hold places of pre-eminence in the Body of Christ are intent on “having disciples” rather than “making disciples” of Christ.  The Day of Judgement is come to separate the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares and the true from the false. Such is the contrast between the natural and the spiritual man; the Spirit of Christ seeks only to exalt the Son and the religious carnal man seeks to exalt self by the “…I have no need of thee…” use of the things of God.

“…I have no need of thee…”

is the outcome of those who have been indoctrinated into the teachings of men and not of the Holy Spirit; whose religion is based on the ways and methods of men and is thereby disconnected from the LIFE of the VINE. Men who do and say such things are blind and insensitive to the moving’s of the Spirit of God. If the prayer and the heart of Jesus is that we may be ONE AS HE AS HE IS WITH THE FATHER, yet we live contrary to this understanding, how can we in truth say that we know HIM?

THE WAY TO LIFE

In contrast to the declaration of “I have no need of thee…” the Love and Heart of Jesus as the Good Shepherd seeks out His own, searches for the lost and broken and ever seeks to minister the Good News of reconciliation. They who have the Love of God beating within their hearts “seek not their own way…” but walk in the way and the heart of the Good Shepherd. They ever seek to minister righteousness and truth for without these the possibility of true and vital relationship is nonexistent. It is in us becoming HIS righteousness that we are enabled to deal truthfully with one another. It is not in ignoring sin that this ONENESS is known.  It is in the functioning of the Holy Spirit through one another that the entrance into this glory is realized.

“Whom we preach, warning every man,
and teaching every man in all wisdom;
that we may present every man
perfect in Christ Jesus:
Whereunto I also labour,
striving according to his working,
which worketh in me mightily”
COLOSSIANS 1:28-29

Love is the very reason that God sent His Own Son into the earth to save His People FROM their sins. It is in us being freed from sin and self that the world will marvel at how we love one another. Where sin and self seeking are allowed to exist, love, righteousness, peace and joy will not be found. Purity of heart is the lens through which we see God. The reason Paul spent his life warning and teaching every man was to this end: to “present EVERY man perfect in Christ Jesus”. It is only from this place of the full development of the life of Christ within each member that we are able to be built into “a spiritual habitation” (1Peter 2:5) for God Himself. True hearts will welcome the correction, the teaching, the exhortation and edification of the people of God.

“…rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Give instruction to a wise man,
and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man,
and he will increase in learning”
PROVERBS 9:8-9

Whenever and wherever the people of God gather we are exhorted to…

“…consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:
and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”
HEBREWS 10:24-25

Do we not see the DAY approaching? Do we not “hear the voice of the Day of the Lord” (Zephaniah 1:14)? Is there not a cry within our hearts for the prayer of Jesus to be answered? Do we not feel the same grief and burden of the Spirit of God over the division and apathy of His Body? Can we not comprehend that it is ONLY in this place of UNITY that the full revelation of HIS ETERNAL LIFE will be experienced by the people of God?

“Behold, how good and how pleasant
it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head,
that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard:
that went down to the skirts of his garments;
As the dew of Hermon,
and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion:
for THERE the LORD commanded the blessing,
even life for evermore
PSALM 133

If we expect this life apart from our brothers, if we want this life plus our own independence, and if we want this life while clinging to the life of self, it will never be! It is in the very Love of God beating within our hearts as we interact with our brothers and sisters that we are fused together in unbreakable holy bonds. This LOVE burning as a Holy Flame within HIS OWN, to the consuming of all things that are not holy and pure; is the way to HIS END. It is to this end we labour “that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”. We are here to fulfill His purposes by obediently treading in His Word.

May The Lord stir the hearts of all who “have ears to hear” to walk, live and seek out the welfare of the Body of Christ.

Ω

“There are two freedoms –
The false, where a man is free
To do what he likes; and the TRUE,
Where a man is free to do
What he ought”
Charles Kingsley

Brian Troxel