TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS

TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS

“Oh my soul you have said to Jehovah,
You are my Lord; My goodness is nothing apart from you”
PSALM 16:2

True righteousness in the life of the individual believer is always His Righteousness. It is as real as He is for within the power of true faith there is a laying hold of His Life. Faith is not an ethereal or make believe thing; it is the living conduit by which the Life of the Son becomes ours. The branch does not “pretend” to draw in the life of the vine. It does not try to put forth a good show of imitating what the life of the vine might look like; it lives by the unconscious daily ministration of that life.

In the religious world today we have many kinds of “righteousness”, from the declared judicial righteousness to the rigorous and strict self-made righteousness on either end of the spectrum. The declared one is generally filled with apathy, contradiction and carelessness. The self-made, strict one is filled with striving, contradiction and varying degrees of pride and condemnation. Both these extremes will, in some form or another, be part of the journey of a true believer. However as we grow in Him we begin to discover the need for a true and lasting power to sustain a righteousness that is no longer made up of smoke and mirrors or of self striving. The sincere heart begins to search out the true source of real righteousness with an unfeigned display of genuine life.

True Righteousness is a relationship with Christ. It is not a doctrinal position (though the initial steps of a child of God start there); it is as vital as the branch abiding in the vine. Only a real relationship with Him can bring forth a real righteousness. Within this relationship there is a continual current of interaction between the parties involved. Jesus Christ the vine pouring into us the power, substance and desire for righteousness, and we the branch receiving from this flow the divine enablement to embrace the cross and make the received righteousness a living reality. It is in this precious outworking of life that we grow into His Righteousness by the wonder of a living faith. Paul declares in the book of Roman’s…

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,
for it is the power of God to salvation
to everyone believing both to Jew first, and to Greek;
for in it the righteousness of God is revealed
from faith to faith; even as it has been written,
“But the just shall live by faith”
Romans 1:16-17

It is clear that the Gospel of Christ (not men) produces a revelation of the righteousness of God from faith to faith. A life that is not expressing a growth in righteousness is not living in the Gospel of Christ! When men teach another gospel, one that leaves out the cross of Christ, the result is an impotent and powerless message in which victory over sin is preached but never realized. We can grow into the realization of a life energized and sustained by the living Christ or we can settle for a form of righteousness which is devoid of any real and lasting vitality. Faith is the medium and His Righteousness is the crowning jewel of His work in us.

“For me to live IS Christ…”
PHILLIPIANS 1:21

Brian Troxel

PRIDE – The Great Destroyer –

PRIDE
The Great Destroyer

“But when his heart was lifted up,
and his mind hardened in pride,
he was deposed from his kingly throne,
and they took his glory from him”
DANIEL 5:20

Pride has been the downfall of many. From the lowest of men to one of the highest angelic creatures pride has corrupted and destroyed. We see it everywhere; in the halls of government, the justice systems, the corporate world of business, the world of sports, the dark corners of crime and even the pulpits and pews of the religious world. Pride is the contagion of the human heart. It lifts its head in the high thoughts of men and is the same power that causes men and women to wallow in discouragement and despair. It is a power that feeds on the selfishness of man. It is the “ME” that it thrives on. It fastens itself to the enlargement and gratification of the need for recognition and sympathy. It is insatiable in its desire for attention and acknowledgment. It cares little for the needs of others unless there is something to be gained by doing so; even its good is corrupted by the self-serving motive that lies behind its deeds. It will make men become whatever is necessary in the acquisition of its end. It will serve one master for a season until a more useful one comes along and then it will change as a chameleon in a new environment. It has no loyalty and hates truth though it will use it for its own ends. In the end, however, it will be the means of destruction for all who live by its sway. The only means of deliverance is through the power of TRUTH. Truth is the means by which humility is born. Truth is the tree upon which the fruit of the Spirit is produced.

Truth is not a fruit. It is the only means by which fruit can be produced. The Holy Spirit is never called the Spirit of love, for even love is the key fruit of truth.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law”
GALATIANS 5:22-23

It is in the ministration of the Truth that the fruit of the Spirit is formed. For in the ministration of TRUTH we see the condition of our own hearts and of those around us. It is in seeing HIM that we truly know ourselves and, in seeing ourselves, we are no longer surprised by what we see in others. Truth is the leveler of all men. Truth is only known in the seeing of Him and in the seeing of Him we are transformed by HIS GLORY. There is no change, of any lasting value, wrought within the heart of man except by seeing HIM who alone is true.

“But we all, with open face
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image
from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord”
2 CORINTHIANS 3:18

Isaiah, a prophet of the Most High, had been commissioned by God to prophesy for some time in Israel but in chapter six we read…

“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up … Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts”
ISAIAH 6:1,5

One glimpse of the majesty of the Lord and Isaiah was undone. In the beholding of the Holy One he not only knew his own condition but he was made aware of the general condition of fallen man. A man who has touched that Holy Presence is no longer swayed by either the accolades or the criticisms of those around him for he has seen the One to whom he must give an answer. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the chorus of voices shouting Hosannas the scriptures declare that “Jesus did not entrust himself to them” for He well knew how fleeting were the praises of men. A short time later that same crowd was shouting “crucify Him”.

“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man”
JOHN 2:23-25

“On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord”
JOHN 12:12-13

God’s answer to all men is truth, living truth, that penetrating ministration of HIS LIFE that cuts asunder the heart of man, piercing us to the very separation of bone and marrow even to the dividing asunder of the thoughts and intents of our hearts. It is at the very core of who we are that our motives must be laid bare in order for mercy and grace to bring forth the fruit of His Spirit within us. Humility is the garment of all who would participate in the ministration of truth to others for it is the grace that frees us from the opinions of men to speak and do as HE leads. Meekness is the power to persevere under the most strenuous of ordeals with the patience and steadiness of Christ Himself. Joy is that inward sense of His approval that strengthens and encourages us with a power that is unconquerable and radiant. Joy is not to be confused with cheerfulness or happiness.

As we contemplate these and other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit, and realize the immensity of their power and glory, we are reduced to a singular pursuit of HIM in whom alone we have hope of their realization. They are never to be “our” fruit. They are, and always will be, the Fruit of the Spirit. For them to flourish we must live and abide in HIM.

“Abide in me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself,
unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you,
unless you abide in me”
JOHN 15:4

Brian Troxel