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Posts Tagged ‘Freedom in Christ’

Walking in the Spirit

THE WAY INTO THE CALL

Part Two

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

In the previous article (See Part One) we introduced the standard of what it means to walk and live in the Holy Spirit. At the thought of the enormity of such a call men and women tend to close their hearts to this reality. The power to live up to this standard is far beyond the capacity of our own resources. This seems an unattainable “ideal” rather than the call of God to all who are in Christ Jesus. We have been tainted by the presentation of a “gospel” today that declares the only difference between a saved and an unsaved individual is that one has been forgiven. This is a repulsive and derogatory declaration of all that God has purposed in Christ.

“Therefore, Christ having suffered for us in the flesh, also you arm yourselves with the same thought, that he suffering in the flesh has been made to rest from sin, for him no longer to live in the lusts of men, but to live the remaining time in the flesh in the will of God. For the time of life having passed is sufficient for us to have worked out the will of the nations, having gone on in wantonness, lusts…”
1 Peter 4:1-3 (LITV)

God has called us out of darkness with the intent we may live and walk righteously. He has also made the provision for us to do so. The New Covenant reveals a “new law” by which this walk is now attainable. To be called to a high and holy walk without the resources of the living Christ would be the same dispensation (only more impossible) as the Old Covenant! The New Covenant is one of provision and substance; He who calls is the same One who fulfills the call within those who hear His voice and obey Him. The provision is always bound up within the call. As we obey His power is given to rise up and walk in a manner beyond our own resources. We see clear pictures of this in both the Old and the New Testaments. When the feet of the priests stepped into the flooding river it parted. When Peter stepped out of the boat he walked upon the water. When the disciples distributed the five loaves and two fishes the multitudes were fed. The examples go on and on. In Christ we have the full provision to live godly lives, to grow, develop and become, in reality, His expression in the earth.

“For the saving grace of God has appeared to all men,
instructing us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts,
we should live discreetly and righteously
and godly in the present age”
Titus 2:11-12

The “saving grace of God” instructs us to deny ungodly living and worldly lusts to the end that we should live righteously in this world! Righteousness is the product of God’s grace within our lives. It is His grace at work in our hearts to live above and beyond our own pitiful resources. It is not by the works of the law but by the power of His grace in us through the medium of faith.

In Romans, chapter 7, we are presented with the agony of anyone who tries to walk a life of righteousness by their own resources. It is the struggle of one who desires to walk uprightly but lacks the power and might to do so. Paul ends this sordid description with the cry “who shall deliver me…”. The encouraging part of this question is “who” not “what”. Those on the verge of true deliverance come to the realization that their hope of deliverance is no longer in something; inherently there is the recognition of a need for someone. So many today look for answers from the medical field, counsellors, self-help strategies and other things to deliver them from their plight. Jesus is our salvation, our deliverer and our only hope of living uprightly.

Paul in his discourse continues from Romans 7 into the beauty and power of Romans 8! He moves on from the anguish of human inability into the very power and life of the Son. He takes us from the “Law of sin and death” into the “Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”! The Law of sin and death is one of desiring to live right but utterly failing due to the weakness of the flesh to live spiritually. Earlier Paul had stated that the “Law” was spiritual (Romans 7:14). The flesh being of a fallen nature had no capacity or ability to fulfill a spiritual law. Hence the New Covenant was introduced.

“For the law being powerless,
in that it was weak through the flesh,
God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,
and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh”
Romans 8:3

The powerlessness of the Law was revealed in our inability to walk in it. God has never abandoned the righteousness of the Law! His end remains unchanged; however his means to that end has changed. His answer to us is a “New Law” which now becomes our provision so that the “righteousness of the law may be fulfilled in US”! What is that New Law? (It is better to ask, Who is that New Law?) His Name is Jesus! Paul continues from Romans 8:3 to the next verse…

“So that the righteous demand of the law
might be fulfilled in us,
those not walking according to flesh,
but according to Spirit”
Romans 8:4 (LITV)

This fulfillment of the righteousness of the Law as a reality in our life requires us to live and walk in the Spirit of God! Paul could not have presented to us a clearer message of the power of salvation to which we have access by Christ Jesus our Lord. The provision has been made. The issue of sin has been eradicated and the way forward is offered to all who would plunge themselves into the reality of being hid with Christ in God.

“Whereunto he called you by our gospel,
to the obtaining of the glory
of our Lord Jesus Christ”
2 Thessalonians 2:14

“Obtaining” means the acquiring and laying hold of something. Paul in his epistle to the Philippians describes his life of intense pursuit as the “one thing”.

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:12-14

Paul follows this with this admonition to God’s people…

“Let us therefore, as many as be perfect,
be thus minded: and if in any thing
you be otherwise minded,
God shall reveal even this unto you
Philippians 3:15

Those who are open to the voice and the teaching of God’s Spirit will be of this mind. It is the very premise and purpose of the New Covenant.

“For the law made nothing perfect,
but the bringing in of a better hope did;
by the which we draw nigh unto God”
Hebrews 7:19

This “better hope” allows us to “draw nigh” unto our God. The Word is clear and the means is sure because God who cannot lie has promised us with an oath that these things are true.

“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things,
be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace,
without spot, and blameless”
2 Peter 3:14

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Walking in the Spirit – The Call –

PART ONE

THE CALL

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

The depth of our walk in the Spirit of God is revealed in the freedom we have from fulfilling the lusts and desires of the flesh. This scripture is not a teaching it is really a simple statement of truth. The natural man hates the truth for the truth leaves no room for compromise. The natural man, that carnal self with all of its deception and lies, cannot be saved. Its nature is corrupt to the core and God’s answer is not to be found in anything but crucifixion.

“For the mind of the flesh is death,
but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace;
because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards God;
for it is not subject to the law of God,
for neither can it be
Romans 8:6-7

When Jesus spoke of an individual becoming a disciple He conditioned it with an “if” which speaks of a voluntary choice made by His own. It is not an arbitrary statement; it is the essential and indispensable requirement to come to the place of thinking rightly towards God. Salvation is not a teaching or a formula whereby someone says the right things; it is the very transformation of an individual’s thinking. Without this ongoing process men and women are mere adherents to a teaching rather than living branches partaking of His Life.

“And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,
and perfect, will of God
Romans 12:2

Why does the mind need to be renewed by the process of His transforming life within our hearts? To the end we may “prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God”! Those who bypass this process will go through life never fully being able to know God’s will for their lives. The cross is the essential instrument in this work of transformation. Those who circumvent the way of discipleship have no ability to discern between good and evil. They may be able to understand things on a doctrinal level but when it comes to the deceptive works of spiritual darkness they will be ill equipped to know that which is of God from that which is borne of the flesh and the dark work of fallen spirits.

God has not left us without the knowledge of the depth and surety of our walk in Him.

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

Paul goes on in this same chapter to explain unto the Church at Galatia what the works of the flesh look like:

“Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed,
which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, fightings, jealousies,
angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders,
drunkennesses, wild parties, 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

Do we have jealously? Envy? Uncleanness? Divisions? Lust? These are the works of the flesh. If we are walking in the Spirit of God we are freed from such things. The workings of the cross and the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus are making us free. Let us not deceive ourselves with the horror of the modern day “gospel” for His word tells us if we do these things we will “not inherit the Kingdom of God”. Let us not assume that because we know something we possess it, or because we started out well we are no longer under obligation to carry the cross and remain lifelong disciples of our Lord and Saviour. It is to this end we live to follow Him alone who can make us free from the plague of the self-life. It is in the crucifixion of self that we are made free. We must realize that truth is not a teaching or a scripture on the page of a book; truth is His Life living and ruling in me.

“And ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free”
John 8:32

What is the measure of truth at work within an individual? It is the degree to which we are made free to walk and live in His Spirit. The journey into truth begins with the revelation of our desperate need for Him. Truth reveals man’s inherent need for change and it is in the discovery of this that men and women turn their hearts to the One alone who is able to do this. Those who cling to teachings and doctrines will perish in the powerlessness of religion. Truth is a person and His Name is Jesus. In Him we are made free, in Him we become new creations of His Glory and Majesty and in Him we enter into the Kingdom of God.

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

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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In the Beginning God…

Part 2

All life begins with God. Without Him nothing exists materially or spiritually. He is the beginning and in Him life is filled with endless beginnings. He is ever making all things new. The glory of creation is always giving way to new wonders and countless beauties. Every sunset has its own glow and signature. Every plant, every creature has a uniqueness which, though it belongs to a certain species, has something distinct about it. No two things are the same. The creator can never be exhausted in His creativity. From birth there is always the first step, the first word, the first moment of conscious thought. At each step of the journey into the expanse of His world we become more aware that we are eternal creatures moving toward a call; the apprehension of a mystery that can only be known in Christ. He is the Word by which we were begotten in the fullness of His time and will. In the mystery of this relationship His thoughts, words, ideas and omniscient care may seem intangible yet somehow there is an inner knowing that He is near.

Relationship is by its nature a mystery. While religious men consider God in abstract terms and religious concepts, something unfathomable transpires in those who touch the hem of His Holiness, Love and Power. It is at times unsettling, more than any mere human is able to comprehend, yet there is a fragrance within the wonder of it all that draws His own near. Isaiah in Chapter 6, caught up to the very presence of God, was immediately struck with God’s glory and the contrast of His own dreadful condition. Yet in the face of such contradiction and terror, He hears God speaking within the Holy Trinity: “Whom will WE send, who will go for US?” There must have been an unspoken love shrouded within that dreaded Holy Place that enabled Isaiah to whisper, “Here am I, send me…” It is in these intimate moments where we catch glimpses of the new beginnings in God. Though Isaiah had already prophesied mightily for five chapters, infallible words from God, we can rest assured he was not the same man after the seeing of Him. So it is with us; when we truly see Him we can never be the same and that ever increasing light leads to deeper places and growth in the knowledge of Him.

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

The light of Him is the life of Him. While many consider light to be the ability to understand certain doctrines and teachings, or to hold scriptures in the intellect, true light is the revelation of His light to us with the intent that it shine through us.

“In him was life;
and the life was the light of men”
John 1:4

The only light we have is the life of Him ruling and reigning within us. It is in the holding of Him we have life. When one wanders from Him the life and the light fades into darkness and futility. The life never leaves the Son for He Himself is the light. People speak of getting saved as an event that occurred at one point in time failing to realize that eternal life is not something a person gets by complying with a statement of faith, it is the very life of Jesus living and abiding within us. He who has the Son has Life; He who has not the Son has not life; a very simple statement yet one that is far reaching in its eternal implications. Eternal Life is not something we hope to get when we die rather it is ours by having Him present tense in our life by relationship. It is here the true believer experiences the continual life of new beginnings. His word, His ways, our seeing of Him is ever increasing, calling us to higher and deeper places of knowing Him. This is not a static religious concept; it is the way of His life within us. To many the way becomes dreary and filled with uneventful meetings, prayers and discussions but to those who hold His life dear within their hearts, life here is but the womb of greater things. We see new songs being sung in the heavens; new creations do new things.

“And they sing as a new song before the throne”
Revelation 14:3

Not just anyone can sing this new song. It is a song reserved for those who follow the lamb wherever He goes. It is for those who are free from the systems of men and walk in a way that pleases Him. The true things of God are not to be had by claiming promises; they are ours as we come to abide in Him.

“For all the promises of God in him are yea,
and in him Amen”
2 Corinthians 1:20

All of God’s promises are in the Son and as I grow in relationship with Him they become mine. Just as the life and the fruitfulness of the branch can only be known by abiding in the true vine there are attributes of God which can only be mine by being in Him. It is here that the revolutionary walk of identification and love is known. There is a fountain which ever flows in the Spirit. The psalmist says there is a river which makes glad the city of God. It is a river which has no beginning for it flows from the very throne of God Himself. It flows with the intent that men might walk into it, drink of it and wash themselves clean. Those who separate themselves from others find themselves outside of the flow and the wonder of His life. Jesus walked with the common people, He ate their simple food and He understood the plight of every man. Just as in the parables, the normal things of life become vehicles to convey God’s heart and truth. This is where we will find Him still teaching, still instructing us in heavenly things if we have eyes to see and ears to hear and comply with His whispers. Relationship implies the sharing of personal and intimate things, and we need to be close enough and still enough to have that privilege.

It is here we find those new beginnings with each step we take into the mystery of knowing Him. Abraham went out not knowing where he was going for he had caught a glimpse of the ONE who is the way, the truth and the life. For many it is much more comfortable to linger in things of the past than to take that first step. Fear holds men and women where faith falters. They die to spiritual things and new beginnings are a thing of the past. Life has become a series of days filled with rote and stagnant activities.

But to those who hold Him dear within the very recesses of their hearts He remains precious, living and true. It is in these ones that fellowship is a most desired and coveted thing. As each member beholds Him and shines that forth into the lives of their brothers and sisters we see the manifold work of new beginnings within each life; a Body that beats with His heart for one another!

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Blood Speaks of the Remission of Sins

The Remission of Sins
God’s Part

Part Two

What is the Remission of Sins?

The Greek Word αφεσις ,translated “remission” in most places in the New Testament, was primarily a medical term* (Vincents Word Studies) which is still used today of a disease going into remission. Luke the beloved physician uses this term more than any other writer in the New Testament. It comes from the Greek Verb ἀφίημι which primarily means to “send away from self” or “release”. Remission of sins is a transaction between two parties.

Remission of Sins
God’s Part

“And almost all things
are cleansed by blood according to the Law;
and apart from shedding of blood
no remission occurs
Hebrews 9:22 (LITV)

Remission of sins begins with the Blood of the Lamb of God. There would be no possibility of the remission of sins apart from the blood. No amount of human effort, sacrifice or good works will ever affect the glory of this wonder apart from the blood of Jesus. The blood is the very fulcrum of God’s covenant; the sacrifices of the Old Testament are fully eclipsed by the power, the life and the total fulfilment of His Blood shed on our behalf. Yet in spite of this powerful truth we hear so little of the blood in our day. We hear of Christian “resources” being made available with strategies for depression and self-improvement; we see people more concerned with their physical health than they are of living and walking in the Spirit of God. There are seminars for “inner healing” and all kinds of workshops and conferences but to what end? The Power of God is in the blood. The power of God is released by a life of communion with Him; where we eat of His flesh and drink of His living blood (John 6:53) and in the personal carrying of our cross as we follow Him. The pouring out of His Life and His Blood on Calvary was and is God’s only offer to mankind.

The remission of sins begins with the blood and in the shedding of the blood the penalty for the sins of the whole world were paid in full.  There is no further offering for sin. When Jesus declared “it is finished” the offering was complete and God’s Holy Righteousness was fully satisfied. The “remission of sins” cannot occur until the penalty for sin has been paid.  Once paid God can righteously send away our sins forever from His remembrance. It is from this basis that the transaction of God, i.e., the remission of sins is proclaimed.

Remission of Sins
As Revealed in the Sin Offering
The Azazel
(The Goat of Departure)

“And he is to take the two goats and put them before the Lord at the door of the Tent of meeting. And Aaron will make selection from the two goats by the decision of the Lord, one goat for the Lord and one for Azazel. And the goat which is marked out for the Lord, let Aaron give for a sin-offering. But the goat for Azazel is to be placed living before the Lord, for the taking away of sin, that it may be sent away for Azazel into the waste land… Then let him put to death the goat of the sin-offering for the people, and take its blood inside the veil and do with it as he did with the blood of the ox, shaking drops of it on and before the cover of the ark…And Aaron, placing his two hands on the head of the living goat, will make a public statement over him of all the evil doings of the children of Israel and all their wrongdoing, in all their sins; and he will put them on the head of the goat and send him away, in the care of a man who will be waiting there, into the waste land. And the goat will take all their sins into a land cut off from men, and he will send the goat away into the waste land”
Leviticus 16:7-10, 15, 21-22

Contained within these scriptures is the Law of the Sin-Offering. We see the two goats set before the Lord. The one goat chosen by God to be sacrificed for the all the sins of Israel. This of course is the perfect picture of Him who would come in the fullness of time; the perfect One, chosen by God, to be the perfect ransom for all of our sins and iniquities. Not just for the small nation of Israel but for the sins of the whole world!

“And he is the propitiation for our sins:
and not for ours only,
but also for the sins of the whole world”
1 John 2:2

It is in the sacrifice of the first goat and the sprinkling of that blood we are justified by faith in the living God.

“Much more then, being now justified by his blood,
we shall be saved from wrath through him”
Romans 5:9

It is here we experience the power and the life of being justified by faith and are brought to a new place of standing before His presence with great joy. The salvation of God in Christ does not stop here for in the second goat (the Azazel; the goat of departure) God reveals the truth in picture form of His portion of the remission of sins.

“And Aaron, placing his two hands on the head of the living goat, will make a public statement over him of all the evil doings of the children of Israel and all their wrongdoing, in all their sins; and he will put them on the head of the goat and send him away, in the care of a man who will be waiting there, into the waste land”
Leviticus 16:21

In this illustration Aaron places his hands upon the goat of departure (Azazel) and confesses all the sins of Israel thereby transferring upon the goat the sins of Israel and sending it far away into a remote waste land typifying the total removal of their sins and their guilt!

This is the perfect picture of what the remission of sins means to those who are in Christ Jesus. As mentioned earlier “remission” in the Greek means “to send away from one’s self” and because the price has been paid for those sins God is now able to send them away forever; we no longer carry the stain and sorrow for them! When we see this “remission of sins” from God’s perspective we see the power of God moving on our behalf to give us newness of life, freedom from past failures and the ability to walk uprightly. It is in the two-fold work of God in Christ, the fulfillment of the sin offering, that we are able to defeat and overcome the accuser.

“O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood”

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Blood Speaks of Forgiveness

Excerpt from the Law of the Leper

“Then Jesus said unto them,
Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,
and drink his blood, ye have no life in you”
John 6:53

We cannot eat of Him and drink of His Blood yet walk in unforgiveness. It is impossible to drink of that blood which “speaks of better things than that of Abel” and walk contrary to what it speaks. The blood is the power and life to forgive others. In order to remain in a relationship with Him, and for us to receive His forgiveness into our lives, we must forgive others. If we withhold forgiveness from others our ability to drink of Him is cut off. Many Christians become stagnant in their life with the Living Vine because of envy, unforgiveness and bitterness. The flow of His life will always be to the degree by which we live in harmony with His life.

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”
Matthew 6:14-15

How little we realize that the New Covenant is a law of life and its ministration is to bring us into a vital and living relationship with the risen Christ. My ability to partake of its ministration will be to the degree to which I have co-operated with the law of His life. If I hold on to bitterness, envy and strife, how can I expect to grow in my relationship with Him? I cannot hold onto these things and expect my relationship with Him to develop.

“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies,
and envies, and all evil speakings,
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby
1 Peter 2:1-2

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God,
whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour,
and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you
Ephesians 4:30-32

Forgiveness is a quality of the Divine Nature; it is only ours by abiding in Him. On a human level we can forgive to varying degrees depending on the level of hurt and the circumstances involved. The forgiveness that God would bring us into leaves no lingering scar, no lasting memory or reliving of the event; for the forgiveness which He desires to bring us into is nothing short of the same forgiveness that we receive from Him. These things are impossible without His Blood flowing through our own lives enabling us to live and walk in a dynamic beyond the resources of self.

We see all around us the broken wings of men and women who will never know the freedom of the released bird without the blood of the slain bird (Leviticus 14:5-7) being applied to their lives. The blood not only works in us to set us free, it must also work through us to experience the true freedom we have in Jesus. Truth received is never really ours until we can give it to others in the power of God Himself.

“On account of this, brothers,
rather be diligent to make sure of your calling and election;
for doing these things, you will not ever fall into sin.
For so will be richly furnished to you
the entrance into the everlasting kingdom
of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ”
2 Peter 1:10-11

Forgiveness is not just a nice teaching; it is a truth which only has value through the medium of doing. It is in the operation of it we are free from the sin which always accompanies unforgiveness. It is a part of the very armor of God. It frees us from bitterness, sorrow and anger for in the holding of unforgiveness the stain of sin cannot be removed. It is in the doing of truth that we are set free. In releasing others we ourselves will partake of the freedom we give.

“But he that doeth truth
cometh to the light…”
John 3:21

It is heartbreaking to see the divisions and strife that currently exist in the true Body of Christ. It is through the flowing of the Blood of Jesus into each of our lives, and its life becoming the life of each member, that the healing and wonder of God’s Love will transform her into the beauty of all that He has purposed. Failure by any member to be exercised in this grace will result in stagnation not only in this life but will have eternal consequences.

Note: It is here that God’s people reveal the degree to which they know and walk in the Fear of the Lord. The Fear of the Lord is a necessary component to walking in the life and vitality of the Son. They who refuse to forgive know not of the Fear of the Lord.

“Then had the churches rest
throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified;
and walking in the fear of the Lord,
and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied”
Acts 9:31

When the Church walks in the fear of the Lord we see the fruit and the power of God revealed in corresponding measure.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Preaching Righteousness

“I have preached righteousness
in the great congregation:
lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord”
Psalm 40:9

One cannot preach Christ without preaching righteousness. He is our righteousness and our living hope. Today faith is relegated to a statement of what a person believes rather than how a person lives. We have reduced faith either to signs and wonders on the one hand or a teaching that declares we are the righteousness of God as a doctrinal concept on the other. We have forgotten that faith is a living power within the life of a true believer by which righteousness is made a reality in those who walk in the Spirit. Paul in the eighth chapter of Romans declares this righteousness which is to be fulfilled in us requiring a walk and an abiding in the Spirit!

“That the righteousness of the law
might be fulfilled in us,
who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit”
Romans 8:4

The purpose of faith being given, the reason for which God initiated the New Testament, is for the sole effect that the righteousness of the law be fulfilled in the life of His people (Hebrews 8:7). The ministration of the Law failed as a result of the weakness of the flesh not because of its commands*. Paul prefaces the declaration of the fulfillment of this righteousness of the law with…

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
hath made me free from the law of sin and death”
Romans 8:2

Romans 7 speaks of a man who is living in the law of sin and death; wanting to live right but feeling the impotency of the human condition to actually do right. Paul in Romans 8 reveals the way out of such a life of contradiction and failure! He introduces us to the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”. It is by living in this law, this divine enablement, that we are freed from the law of repeated sin and death. It is the law of His life living, ruling and freeing us from the “body of this death” as set forth in Romans 7. This righteousness is to be ours as we learn to live and abide in the very Spirit of God. He has made a way, a living way, for you and I to enjoy freedom from the cycle of wanting to do right and failing. His Name is Jesus! But a Jesus that is living and ruling in our hearts. The reason we can preach righteousness is because of this very thing: He is able and He who loves us, sent His only Son into the earth to bring forth a people who live and walk in His righteousness.

How can we not preach righteousness? How can we settle for a life of constant defeat, living with a desire to do right without the power to do right? This is not the Gospel that God has presented unto us. This is “another Gospel”, the product of men who would ignore the dying to self and the battle of faith to see the victory of Christ wrought within the heart of every believer. This is the religion of our day where men no longer expect, believe, nor pursue a life where the “righteousness of the law” is actually fulfilled in those who walk in the Spirit of God.

The preaching of righteousness is simply the testimony of the work of Christ and the purpose for which He was sent. The depth of our enjoyment of His freedom is proportional to our walk and abiding in His Spirit. Paul goes on in Romans 8 to declare…

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:
but if ye through the Spirit
do mortify the deeds of the body,
ye shall live”
Romans 8:13

The life of dependency in the Spirit is to be the truth of every child of God. This is the life we have been called to. It is a life of seeming impossibility when viewed from our own resources but one of endless possibilities when viewed through the eyes of faith and the power of God.

Every believer should be a preacher of righteousness because it is a life that is available to all who believe.

“Now unto him
that is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you faultless
before the presence of his glory
with exceeding joy”
Jude 1:24

Paul says in Romans 7:14 “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal…” The Law is not a carnal commandment; it is a spiritual law which requires a spirit-led life to fulfill it. The carnal mind is enmity with God, and as such cannot please God for it is not able to subject itself to Him. They that live in the flesh are not willing or able to please God.

“For they that are after the flesh
do mind the things of the flesh;
but they that are after the Spirit
the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death;
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because 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 8:5-8

Herein lies the cornerstone of the New Testament. Only those who live and walk in the Spirit can please God. The scriptures are clear: life in the Spirit of God is the only desire God has for His people! To begin in the Spirit and then to turn to the flesh is the horror of religion. It is the fallacy of religion to present a legal code of ethics to bring this about and it is also the fallacy of religion to absolve men of responsibility for their sin thereby circumventing the call to righteousness. Faith is the conduit through which the power of God is made available to walk and live within the Glory of His Kingdom.

“Now unto him
that is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you faultless before
the presence of his glory with exceeding joy

Jude 1:24

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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COME UNTO ME

THE WAY OF SALVATION

“Come unto me,
all ye that labour
and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.”
MATTHEW 11:28

Within this fast paced world in which we live there is an invitation that goes forth unto His creation, “come unto me”. This call of Christ is the response of God Himself to fallen humanity. It is the solution to the aching caused by unrighteousness, lust, envy and agony of every human heart sowing and reaping unto itself the curse of its own way. The call of God transcends the offerings of the medical and psychological professions of this world; for in reality the disease, suffering and weariness of this world are all issues of the human heart.

“Take my yoke upon you,
and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls”
MATTHEW 11:29

“Come unto ME” says the one who willingly laid down His life in order that a “new and living way” would be available to the downtrodden ones of every nation and tongue on earth. It is the call of God spoken in every language of the earth. What is the answer of God to all men? His yoke. While religious men look to teachings and strategies (even from the scriptures) the rest and the peace that men so crave is found in the “learning of HIM”! It is in the yoke, in the walking, abiding and learning of HIS HEART where we are saved from the torments of sin, self and rebellion. It is in HIM and learning of HIM our hearts and minds are transformed and the peace OF God is realized and obtained. While men want remedies and strategies God’s answer is a changed heart and mind. For it is in the very essence of who men are that the agony, the pain and the unfulfilled cries of the human heart originate. The need for recognition, the desire for supremacy, the lusting for things outside of the will of God are all causes of the heart’s own misery. God’s answer is HIMSELF. For in Christ we see the sacrificial life, the call to righteousness and the offering of HIS LIFE in the stead of our own. A judicial righteousness, though precious and needful, will not cure the needs. The real answer is to grow, live and learn of that new nature until we become righteous. A simple reading of Romans chapter seven should clear up any notions that simply being born again will rectify this; it is only the beginning of the process. The real work of salvation is in the learning and abiding in HIM whereby we are lifted from this world to live in HIS. In the “seeing” of HIM we are transformed by HIS GLORY and LIFE. This transformation is not a religious exercise by which we conform to a religious teaching. It is a metamorphosis (the caterpillar becoming the butterfly) by which we are made “partakers” of the divine nature. This work of the HOLY SPIRIT is proportional to our submission to HIM. Thus Paul writes:

“I beseech you therefore,
brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God…
And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind…”
ROMANS 12:1-2

It is in the transforming work of the renewal of our minds that we are freed from the angst of this world. We can quote scriptures and endeavor to do “good” while still seeking to serve God out of the life and power of self. To what end?

“We know that the law is spiritual;
but I am unspiritual,
sold as a slave to sin.
I do not understand what I do.
For what I want to do I do not do,
but what I hate I do”
ROMANS 7:14-15 (NIV)

This life of wonder that God has called us to in HIS SON is obtained by the abiding, living in and learning of Him. The reason men abide in the crisis of Romans 7 is because we want HIS life while clinging to our own. In order for the LIFE of the Son to be known the other must be forsaken willingly and determinedly. Jesus has come to SAVE US FROM our sins; if we cling to them we will fail to experience the depths of HIS salvation.

“And she shall bring forth a son,
and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people FROM their sins
MATTHEW 1:21

FREEDOM in Christ consists of our being made free by the operations of His Spirit within the human heart. That freedom is experienced in proportion to our knowing of Him by the glory of taking His Yoke upon us. Religious men argue that we will never be freed from sin, self and all of the pains of human nature. Why would men argue such things? Perhaps it is because it leaves no room for us to cling to some area of self. Those who hold to such a compromise rob themselves of the hope that purifies.

“Beloved, now are we the sons (children) of God,
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear,
we shall be like him;
for we shall see him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope
in him purifieth himself,
even as he is pure
1JOHN 3:2-3

Purified EVEN as HE is PURE! How wonderful, glorious and beyond all understanding are HIS promises to us.

Can we embrace this call to CHRIST HIMSELF? Can we find mercy to submit our lives unto HIM to pick up OUR CROSS (His Yoke) and follow and learn of HIM? It is to such that HE WILL APPEAR! The purpose of the YOKE is to bind within us the very LOVE of GOD; that is the fulfillment of the LAW and the revelation of the LIFE of Jesus the Christ in our hearts.

“Love thinks no evil”
1CORINTHIANS 13:4

Brian Troxel

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