Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Growing in Jesus’

The Garment of Salvation

“Speak unto the children of Israel,
and bid them that they make them fringes
in the borders of their garments
throughout their generations,
and that they put upon the fringe
of the borders a ribband of blue”
Numbers 15:38

The Old Testament is the picture book of all which God has purposed in the New. He has never deviated from His original purpose of having a man in His Image. His Spirit remains in the earth until He has fully accomplished all that He has purposed in Christ Jesus. We see here in even the garments of the “children of Israel” additional embellishments were added as they walked with God.

The “ribband” of Blue mentioned here is the result of an Israelite profaning the Sabbath of God. In the midst of this severe judgement God announces to the children of Israel to add to their garments the fringe of blue, which would ever remind them of His Holiness. By the sewing of this blue into their garments they were to ever be cognizant of this living truth. That blue was to become a part of their garments which were worn in the common course of their everyday life.

“And it shall be unto you for a fringe,
that ye may look upon it,
and remember all the commandments of the Lord,
and do them; and that ye seek not after
your own heart and your own eyes,
after which ye use to go a whoring:
That ye may remember,
and do all my commandments,
and be holy unto your God
Numbers 15:39-40

In the New Testament the Salvation of Christ is presented to us as “robes of righteousness”, garments of salvation and the garments of praise. It is a living garment (His Life and Covering) given to us upon the moment of rebirth through faith and repentance. A garment of pure white wherein the Spirit of God would “weave” into it the attributes and graces of the living Christ (see Exodus 39:2-3). While many today settle for a declared righteousness there is a failure to realize the necessity to “keep their garments white” (Revelation 3:4, 16:15) from the contagion of the world and the horror of religion. We are to so walk with God as there would be the ongoing embellishment of His beauty, holiness and graces woven into the very fabric of our lives (2 Peter 1:5-10). Failure to add these graces results in spiritual blindness and great loss to the believer’s reward in Christ. A salvation which grows into His likeness through the experiences of walking with Him.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my soul shall be joyful in my God;
for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments,
and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels”
Isaiah 61:10

These garments of glory are a picture of His righteousness becoming ours. It is in our being clothed in Him that His salvation becomes ours, His life being our covering and His righteousness becoming the breastplate of our spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:13-17). The day is breaking and the great tribulation is even now at the door of all them that dwell upon the earth. It is a day of the revelation of the Word going forth with great judgement as He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of the Almighty God (Revelation 19:15). Within the scope of this great and terrible day John sees a people who stand before the throne of God worshipping Him that “liveth forever and ever” …

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude,
which no man could number,
of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues,
stood before the throne, and before the Lamb,
clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands”
Revelation 7:9

Upon the seeing of this multitude clothed with “white robes” John enquired as to who  these were and from whence have they come?

“These are they which came out of great tribulation,
and have washed their robes,
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore, are they before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple:
and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more;
neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne
shall feed them, and shall lead them
unto living fountains of waters:
and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes”
Revelation 7:14

It is a day for us to walk circumspectly before our God. It is a time of entering into the Holiness and the Glory of the Lord. The only safe place in the hour that is upon us is a life which is “hid with Christ in God”. Being clothed in the robe of His Righteousness, bringing forth His judgements and justice, seeking Him with all of our hearts. For those who “dwell in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the Shadow of The Almighty” (Psalm 91:1).

“Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth,
which have wrought his judgment;
seek righteousness, seek meekness:
it may be ye shall be hid
in the day of the Lord’s anger”
Zephaniah 2:3

It is the life of dwelling and abiding IN HIM wherein the security and the ability to stand is ours. This is the day of seeking, doing and dwelling in Him for the storm is about to break and the foundation of everyman’s house will be revealed.

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine,
and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man,
which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came,
and the winds blew, and beat upon that house;
and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine,
and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man,
which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came,
and the winds blew, and beat upon that house;
and it fell: and great was the fall of it
Matthew 7:24-27

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST

“My beloved is mine, and I am his”
SONG OF SOLOMON 2:16

The relationship between the Christian and Jesus Christ is to be one of devotion and ownership. In HIM becoming ours we become HIS. This is no casual relationship; this is one of intensity and pursuit. It is one where we seek, desire and procure HIS affections. This is not a commonly understood theme in the teaching of today yet it is declared clearly in Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians…

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
and do count them but dung, that I may win* Christ”
PHILIPPIANS 3:8

Paul is not speaking of earning his salvation. He is describing his pursuit to win over completely the affections of Christ in his own heart. The Greek word translated here is used in other places in the scriptures where it speaks of the believing wife winning her husband over to the lord by her chaste behavior; or the recipients of the talents or the pounds having GAINED through their faithfulness to what was given. Paul was flat out in his desire to make himself the sole possession of the living Christ. In bringing his life to that place of pure delight in God he was making the Son the sole purpose and desire of his life. Sadly, today Jesus is often seen as an event in our lives, one that fulfills the religious criteria of a Christian, after which we may go out and live our lives. This has produced people who have spent very little effort in discovering the glory of a relationship with God that is a prize above all things. His beauty and wonder permeates the lives of those who have caught glimpses of His pure radiance. A casual attitude and apathetic approach to the Christian walk will leave its adherents in the vague world of teachings and concepts with no idea of the LIFE that is found in HIM.

“My beloved is mine, and I am his”
SONG OF SOLOMON 2:16

This is a statement of mutual love; a declaration of pure holy love at the most intimate spiritual level. It is one that requires change and motion as we seek to become those vessels of holy delight to Him who is in turn our only source of joy and desire. Let the awe of such a possibility of relationship with the Most High God be the fire that burns within our hearts. For that fire (which is the very flame of HIS OWN love burning within us) will not only give us the focus to pursue Him but will, at the same time, burn away the impurities of our own agendas and desires. Men and women who have found this Pearl of Great Price throughout the ages declare in perfect agreement with the scriptures…

“My beloved is white and ruddy,
Chief among ten thousand.
His head is like the finest gold;
His locks are wavy, And black as a raven.
His eyes are like doves By the rivers of waters,
Washed with milk, And fitly set.
His cheeks are like a bed of spices,
Banks of scented herbs.
His lips are lilies, Dripping liquid myrrh.
His hands are rods of gold
Set with beryl. His body is carved ivory
Inlaid with sapphires.
His legs are pillars of marble
Set on bases of fine gold. His countenance is like Lebanon,
Excellent as the cedars.
His mouth is most sweet,
Yes, he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved, and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem!
SONG OF SOLOMON 5:10-16

*NOTE: κερδαίνω kerdainō; “He (Paul) was still forfeiting all that he had held dear. What for? He tells us, “that I may win Christ.” This latter expression does not refer to Paul’s acquisition of Christ as Savior, but to Paul’s appropriating into his life as a Christian, the perfection, the graces, the fragrance of the Person of Christ. The word “win” is the translation of the same Greek word translated “gain” in verse seven. This acquisition of the perfections of Christ, he elaborates upon in verses nine to fourteen”

Translation: “Yea, indeed, therefore, at least, even, I am still setting all things down to be a loss for the sake of that which excels all others, my knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord which I have gained through experience, for whose sake I have been caused to forfeit all things, and I am still counting them dung, in order that Christ I might gain”
WUEST’S WORD STUDIES

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

CHOICES

“…choose you this day whom ye will serve”
JOSHUA 24:15

Choices. The life of a Christian is a life of choices. Choices reveal the act and the exercising of a person’s will. It is here that faith is exercised and made strong within the life of every believer. We choose who we will serve. Serving the Lord has very little to do with going to church on Sunday. Serving the Lord is the daily doing of His will. In this day of apathy I hear men declaring that they can do nothing unless they get a word from the Lord. They are helpless, saying they cannot do anything unless they have a word, failing to realize that the Living One resides within our hearts to do His Father’s will! The Word of God is full of the expression of His Will.

“…rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS”
PHILIPPIANS 4:4

“Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the church”
EPHESIANS 5:25

“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine”
TITUS 2:1

“So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
JAMES 2:12

“…speak evil of no man”
TITUS 3:2

“These things speak,
and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.
Let no man despise thee”
TITUS 2:15

“But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you:
for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another”
1THESSALONIANS 4:9

This is just a small collection of scriptures requiring our daily attention and investment of our will into serving Him. The scriptures declare that we should be daily hearing His voice and doing His Will. Men who do not do, never grow. It is in the doing that we become strong. We are exhorted in 1Timothy to “exercise thyself rather unto godliness”.

Jesus said that we are the light of the world. We are to speak and demonstrate His Life, His Word and His Way into the world around us. It is in the doing of these things that we discover the need for His grace and power to grow into the things of Him. It is in the crucible of doing His Will daily that we come face to face with our weaknesses and stubbornness. The power of HIS Life in us makes us to LIVE beyond our own will and resources. These are the glorious choices of our will that bring the reality of the Son into our daily life.  According to the scriptures HE has and is making known to us His Will and it is our privilege to walk in it.

“Having made known* unto us the mystery of his will,
according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself”
EPHESIANS 1:9

*NOTE: The phrase “having made known” is a Greek Aorist Active Participle best rendered “making known” unto us the mystery of His will… This is ever an ongoing revelation as we grow and mature in the things of our Father. Only a small baby is free from responsibility. The greater the Life in Him the greater the responsibility and the greater is the blessing. God is not looking for those who are like the horse who must be led by the bit and bridle (#1), He is looking for those whose will is compliant to HIS WILL. A ten year old child will know in a measure how to function in the home according to his development and maturity. A twenty-year old should have a far deeper understanding of what that should mean. So it is with the knowing of His Will. To be twenty years old in the Lord and to declare that there is nothing we can do is a tragic statement and a reflection of the apathy of the present day (#2).

1. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle…” Psalm 32:8-9

2. “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God” Hebrews 5:12

“The most important thought I ever had
was that of my individual responsibility to God”
Daniel Webster (1782–1852)

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

DILIGENCE

“giving ALL DILIGENCE, add* to your faith…”
II PETER 1:5

The key to spiritual growth and vitality is found in the heartfelt DILIGENCE of every believer. We live in a day when salvation is presented as an event rather than a life. In this scripture we see that it is a life of growing, a journey of development; in Corinthians Paul compares it to a race that must be run. Diligence is the passionate result of a LIFE that LOVES JESUS. It is the fruit of a heart that longs to know HIM more and to reap the great reward of a deeper growing relationship with HIM.

We are exhorted here in II Peter to add to our faith virtue, and to our virtue knowledge, to knowledge self control, to self control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness LOVE. Peter then goes on to say….

“For he who lacks these things is shortsighted,
even to blindness, and has forgotten
that he was cleansed from his old sins”
II PETER 1:9

Without the divine diligence working in our heart the ability to add these critical elements to our faith is missing and we become short sighted and blind in our Christian walk. There is no substitute for DILIGENCE. It is the heart beat of all who love HIM. In the Greek the word that is translated “ADD” is an *Imperative verb which by definition makes this word a command not a suggestion. It is the same verb form that is used when the Gospel is preached under the anointing of the Holy Spirit in Mark 1:15 where Jesus speaks “Repent ye and believe…”

“And we desire that EVERY ONE of you do show the same diligence
to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
That ye be not slothful,
but followers of them who through
faith and patience inherit the promises”
HEBREWS 6:11-12

The desire of every true minister of God is to instil and exhort every believer to maintain diligence to the very end of their life. Where there is a failure to admonish all to follow and seek HIM with diligence there will be a corresponding slothfulness in the people of God. They will be short sighted with no purpose in their walk with Him. They will have no vision to pursue and there will be no powerful ministration of the life of Christ within them. Short sighted Christians are passive and have no burden for the condition of the church or sense of their own responsibility to be faithful to the talents and the pounds that have been graciously deposited in their lives by the mercy of God. The day of the Judgement Seat of Christ awaits every believer and we will have to give an account for what we have been given. Woe unto the shepherds who have not presented a Gospel that urges the people of God to a life of diligence and faithfulness.

“Wherefore the rather, brethren,
give DILIGENCE to make your calling and election sure:
for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly
into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”
II PETER 1:10

* “The imperative mood corresponds to the English imperative, and expresses a command to the hearer to perform a certain action by the order and authority of the one commanding” Blue Letter Bible Greek Parsing Notes

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

LEARNING RIGHTEOUSNESS

“Let grace be shown to the wicked,
Yet he will not learn righteousness;
In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly,
And will not behold the majesty of the Lord”
ISAIAH 26:10 (NKJV)

Righteousness is not the product of our environment nor is it the result of favor being shown to us. If everything was to go our way, and the blessings of all that this world has to offer were given to us, it would not help us to learn righteousness. For Righteousness is an issue of the heart not of our surroundings. The righteousness of God is known on the basis of Judgment, not favor. In the verse that precedes this one (which gives us the flow of God’s thought here) it states…

“…For when Your judgments are in the earth,
The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness”
ISAIAH 26:9

The righteousness that is available to us in the New Covenant is because of the terrible Judgment that was poured out on our Blessed Savior. Men who fail to appreciate the reason for the cross are never really impacted by the corresponding grace that flows from Him. Righteousness is not only a gift it is a life that we LEARN by walking with Him. Men who take sin lightly will never learn righteousness; the change of whom and what they are is temporary and ethereal. Our environment and how we are treated will not change what we are in heart. Righteousness must be learned by walking and interacting with our God.

The true child of God knows of His discipline and His chastening. It is of necessity that we know of this in our lives. For it is in these things that we LEARN and GROW in righteousness.

“My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord,
nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth…”
HEBREWS 10:5-6

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous,
but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth
the peaceable fruit of righteousness
unto them which are exercised thereby”
HEBREWS 10:11

How good and right are His ways with us. As a loving Father with a child HE deals with us according to His plan and purposes. Joseph did not know that the path laid out for him was the means by which he was made ready to rule and reign. God waited and watched carefully over Joseph until the “Iron entered into his soul” and his word came!

“He sent a man before them, even Joseph,
who was sold for a servant:
Whose feet they hurt with fetters:
he was laid in iron:
(Hebrew “Iron hath entered his soul”)
Until the time that his word came:
the word of the LORD tried him.
The king sent and loosed him;
even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.
He made him lord of his house,
and ruler of all his substance:
To bind his princes at his pleasure;
and teach his senators wisdom”
PSALM 105:17-22

His judgments are always meant to be remedial and redemptive in purpose. Men who spurn His discipline and harden their hearts toward Him pay the bitterest of prices. For it is those who are “exercised” by His chastening that receive the peaceable fruits of righteousness. May we be a people who are quick to submit ourselves to His dealings that we may grow in His righteousness and love. He knows the things that lie before us and His preparation work is that we may become “vessels of honor” unto His Glory in the days ahead.

“…Or despisest thou the riches
of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering;
not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart
treasurest up unto thyself wrath
against the day of wrath and revelation
of the righteous judgment of God”
ROMANS 2:4-5

Ω

“The steady discipline of intimate friendship with Jesus
results in men becoming like Him”
Harry Emerson Fosdick

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

HOLY WORDS
HOLY LIVES

“Now when they heard this,
they were cut to the heart…”
ACTS 2:37

True and anointed Words of the Holy Spirit convict and bring men to places of decision and repentance. They are Words that are living, powerful, penetrating and convicting. They are words of truth that reveal all that is untruthful; words that bring men and women to places of CHANGE. Faith without works is dead and so is repentance without change. John the Baptist declared in his day…

“Therefore bear fruit in keeping*
(Grk congruous or of equal weight)
with repentance”
MATTHEW 3:8

The depth of our repentance is revealed by the depth of change wrought within our lives. Where there is little change there is little power in the words spoken. How accustomed we have become to powerless sermons and teachings that bring information without change. Every Sunday, all across our land, sermons are given and songs are sung in our many gatherings yet we see so little in terms of CHANGE in the lives of those that hear. If there is no conviction there is no repentance and if there is no repentance there is no change.

The disciples of Christ were of the common sort. They were fishermen, tax collectors, political zealots and such. They faltered, misinterpreted him, misunderstood him, and had very little inkling of the call that was upon them. However, after three and one half years of being with HIM, walking with HIM and waiting and seeking the promise of the comforter, on the day of Pentecost they became flaming ministrations of the HOLY SPIRIT! Let us consider the contrast of what we see in our land today.

Where are those words of life that bring conviction and change? Where are the hearts of those who would dare seek to represent HIS TRUTH in this hour? Where are the sermons that cut men to the very core of who they are? Where are those who cannot continue with a religion that has no power or reality?

We are more concerned with sympathy than conviction. We surround ourselves with those who make us feel good about ourselves. We associate with those who will not and cannot challenge us beyond the depth of our present walk. The unsaved and unbelieving are comfortable in our midst and can sit in our meetings without the slightest concern over their condition. Why and how can this be?

We speak of witnessing rather than being witnesses. We speak of truth as something that can be held in our intellect rather than being a power that produces change within ourselves and in the lives of those around us. We cannot compromise with sin in our own lives and expect to have a word that will convict others. If that Word of Life does not produce change within us, how can we give to others what we have not experienced ourselves? It is a day to consider our ways; a day to objectively consider what we have wrought in this life. Have we impacted the lives of others in terms of righteousness and truth and pointed them unto HIM who can transform into vessels of righteousness and glory?

Holy words proceed from Holy Lives

Ω

“Let us search and try our ways,
and turn again to the LORD”
LAMENTATIONS 3:40

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 74 other followers