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Posts Tagged ‘law of sin and death’

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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“HEARKEN”

PART FOUR
(Part Four of a Five Part Series)
ISAIAH 51

To those who slumber in this day.

TWO LAWS
TWO COVENANTS

“Hearken unto me, my people;
and give ear unto me, O my nation:
for a law shall proceed from me,
and I will make my judgment to rest
for a light of the people.
My righteousness is near;
my salvation is gone forth,

and mine arms shall judge the people;
the isles shall wait upon me,
and on mine arm shall they trust.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look upon the earth beneath:
for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke,
and the earth shall wax old like a garment,
and they that dwell therein
shall die in like manner:

but my salvation shall be forever,
and my righteousness shall not be abolished”
ISAIAH 51:4-6

The literal translation of Isaiah 51:4 is “…For a law from Me shall go out…” (in other words this is the law of His own being; it proceeds out from Him to His own). The people being addressed here are satisfied with a declared righteousness. Overcoming, victory over sin and growth in righteousness are not elements of their everyday life. They have settled into a religious experience which is uneventful and static. The Lord is here proclaiming to them that there is A LAW going forth from HIM; a law of life that saves us from the law of “sin and death”. This LAW is the basis of the New Covenant and it speaks of something far greater than a legal righteousness. It has come to free us to live and dwell within the life and power of the SON! As the scriptures declare…”That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:4).

We are struck with the power of these two laws; the Law of Moses (Acts 13:39) and the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. These are two distinct LAWS that govern the ministration of the two covenants which God made with HIS people. Both are clearly mentioned in the Old and New Testaments for us to see and be instructed. In the Old Testament we first see the giving of the LAW (torah) at Mount Sinai, and later we see the promises of God pointing to a LAW (torah) that would go forth from Mount Zion. Paul clearly refers to these in the letter to the Galatians as does the writer of Hebrews…

THE FIRST LAW

“…which things are symbolic.
For these are the two covenants:

the one from Mount Sinai
which gives birth to bondage,
which is Hagar

for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia,
and corresponds to Jerusalem
which now is,

and is in bondage with her children—
but the Jerusalem above is free,
which is the mother of us all”

GALATIANS 4:24 – 26

THE SECOND LAW
(Romans 8:2)

“But you have come to Mount Zion
and to the city of the living God,
the heavenly Jerusalem”
HEBREWS 12:22

These LAWS govern the scope and the relationship of these Covenants. They set out the WAY of approach to the Almighty God and the context in which HIS blessings are to be received unto the purpose of God restoring fallen man unto righteousness.

“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)

The Law that goes out from Mount Zion is a Law of Life and Divine Enablement. It is a Law that is the governing principle of the New Covenant. It is the LAW that separates between the living and the dead; a law that can only function, govern and be active within the lives of those who have the Life and Power of the SON by faith. This law cannot be known apart from the SON for it is the “Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”!

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh,
God sending his own Son

in the likeness of sinful flesh,
and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

That the righteousness of the law
might be fulfilled in us,

who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit”

ROMANS 8:2 – 4

The LAW OF the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus HAS been given; given so that we may walk in the righteousness of God in this world because we walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.

This “HEARKEN” is written to people who cling to their “rights” to live as they please and to hold on to the sins of the flesh; after all (so it is reasoned) they are now under grace. This HEARKEN is spoken to people who must be reminded that “His salvation has gone forth” (freedom from sin) and “that His arms shall judge the people”! These are  people who believe that they are no longer responsible for the consequences of their choices or their actions. This is the “Religion” of our day and the reason the World has seen so little light. It is the reason that the church has so many defeated Christians.

This “HEARKEN” is written to a people who need to be exhorted to “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath”. They are being reminded that they are “seated with Christ in heavenly places” and that they are to “seek the things above” not the things of the earth. They are reminded here that “the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner”. It is a sobering word given in a sobering time.

In Romans 7, Paul describes the Christian Life lived without the POWER of the Law of Life in Christ Jesus,

“For what I am doing, I do not understand.
For what I will to do, that I do not practice;
but what I hate, that I do.
If, then, I do what I will not to do,
I agree with the law that it is good.
But now, it is no longer I who do it,
but sin that dwells in me.
For I know that in me
(that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells;
for to will is present with me,
but how to perform what is good I do not find.
For the good that I will to do,
I do not do; but the evil I will not to do,
that I practice.
Now if I do what I will not to do,
it is no longer I who do it,
but sin that dwells in me.
I find then a law, that evil is present with me,
the one who wills to do good.
For I delight in the law of God
according to the inward man.
But I see another law in my members,
warring against the law of my mind,
and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin
which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am!
Who will deliver me from this body of death?
I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
ROMANS 7:14 – 25

(Romans 8 is God’s answer to Romans 7!)

This LAW that governs the life and reality of the New Covenant is available to the people of God by Faith. Not a faith that is in word but a faith that produces the deeds, the life and the reality. Paul, caught up in the apprehension of the fullness of this LIFE, spent his life in the pursuit, apprehension and the power of THIS law of life in Christ Jesus.

Let us take note of His admonition to us to live and walk in the LAW of Life in Christ Jesus. This is the LAW that is going forth from Mount Zion the heavenly Jerusalem (where the King of kings reigns). Let us give heed to live by the wonder of the LAW of HIS LIFE.

“For to be carnally minded is death;
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace…
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 8:6,13

Brian Troxel

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AS THEY WENT

“And it came to pass, that, as they went,
they were cleansed”
Luke 17:14

We want results.  God wants obedience.  The ten lepers mentioned here were sick, and they were outcasts.  They wanted healing, they needed healing and they cried out for healing.  The Word from the Son was a simple “go”.  Their condition had not changed but in spite of no change they obeyed and the cleansing came AS they walked, not before.  Leprosy represents the contagion of sin in a man’s life.

The human race is infected with this loathsome condition.  We see it around us, we see it in us and because of it we cry out for deliverance.  Men wait for change before they can do anything, the Son says walk and be made whole.  Faith requires no evidence to believe, it arises, always arises because it is independent of circumstances.  It matters not what our circumstances speak; our weaknesses are of no consequence in the realm of faith. Our failures have no legitimate claim to dampen our faith, for Faith rests in the accomplished work of the Son not the dismal failures of men.  Faith rests upon HIM for HE is its author not man.   Faith is not a “feeling” inherent in some people and not in others.  Faith is a power, a ministration of the Son, who HAS, IS and forever WILL look to any heart (regardless of condition) that will ALLOW God to show Himself strong on their behalf!

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth,
to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him”
II Chronicles 16:9

I am just beginning to realize that faith is the “fruit” of a relationship with its author.  It comes to us as a free unmerited “gift”, but its real development in our lives is the result of Relationship with Jesus!  It is in “walking” with Him in the common course of life.   It is in the “going” when I feel crippled myself; in the realization that my cupboard is bare and crying out to HIM for provision that my brother may be fed. It is in our own weariness that we find strength to encourage and refresh others!  This is the core of true relationship with the SON!  Why do we linger and wait for some “experience” before we can “do” anything?  The Son right now is speaking, He is shining with light, love and glory and HIS provisions have not been withdrawn.  Faith reaches through the clouds of discouragement and failure and lays hold of HIM who is faithful and true.  HE has come, IS come and will continue to be our portion in the days ahead!

“Faith is an activity; it is something that has to be applied”
Corrie ten Boom (1892–1983)

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WHO SHALL DELIVER ME?

PART ONE

“…who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

Romans 7:24

Death has many faces.  The Greek word used here is translated “death” 115 times in the New Testament.  In the scripture above and in many other places it is speaking of a death that is the result of a spiritual condition.  Somehow over the years in the Christian church we have become so numb to the power of His Life that we fail to see what His resurrection is to impart to us.  Paul is speaking here in Romans of a life that is an expression of death…

“… for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”

Romans 7:18 – 19

In response to this condition of willing to do good but not doing, and of doing what one does not want to do, there is recognition of a need for deliverance from the “body of THIS death”.  Romans 7 is not to be the abiding experience of the normal Christian life; it is a necessary part of the journey as we grow and develop our relationship with Him, but it is NOT our dwelling place!  Paul goes on a few verses later and declares…

“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

The Romans 7 experience is characterized by one key word…. “I”.  From Romans 7:14 – 23, the word “I” is mentioned 25 times.  Attempting to live the Christian Life in our own resources will always bring us back to the “death” herein described in Romans 7.  Romans 8 speaks of the LIFE in Christ Jesus!  It speaks of the LAW of Life in Christ Jesus; a LAW that frees us from the law of sin and death.  For the law of sin and death rules with an iron fist over the self life; it cannot be defeated by the self life no matter how good our intentions are.  Christian Theology cannot save me from the “body of this death”, it can only intensify it!  The end of all ministry MUST CULMINATE IN HIM.  It matters not how good someone’s teaching or preaching is; without the LIFE of Christ ruling and reigning in me its profits nothing.  The purpose of true ministry is to bring men into relationship with Christ Himself for HE ALONE can save us from our sins. HE ALONE can lift us into a realm of LIFE that is freed from the law of sin and death.  This does not negate ministry; it defines and empowers it with the realization that in the ministration of truth, living vital truth, are the people of God made free.  A ministry that leaves the people of God with an abiding experience of Romans 7 is not a ministry of TRUTH!

The purpose of TRUTH is to MAKE us free.  Truth is not words, it is not opinions.  Truth is the LIFE and POWER of the SON ruling and reigning within the hearts of men.


“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall MAKE you FREE”

John 8:32

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