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Posts Tagged ‘Law of the Spirit of Life’

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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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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Let Us Build

Lost in the multitude of words and the intellectual dissertations of our day, where men work and sweat in order to build something for God, is the Call of God in the New Testament to bear His image. Jesus in speaking to His disciples said…

“A disciple is not above the teacher,
nor a slave above his lord.

It is enough for the disciple
to become as his teacher”

Matthew 10:24-25

Is it not enough for us to be filled with the heart of this call? Jesus built nothing nor had any desire to. He did not come to bring a new teaching; He came to reveal the Father’s heart. Discipleship within a man is a life of following, learning and being transformed into His likeness (2Corinthians 3:18). It is the call to forsake the way of the worldly man, the religious man, who is ever in search of building a legacy, a monument and a work which will declare his worth. (Compare the desire of Saul as contrasted with David). It is the basic instinct of fallen man. We see this need to build something for God even in the lives of His own disciples as Peter exclaimed on the mount of transfiguration … “let us build”. The words had no sooner left Peter’s lips when God Almighty spoke from the cloud “this is my Son…” He alone is the temple. There is no temple in heaven beside Him and as it is there so is it to be here on earth! While men seek to show their measure (or worth) by what they build, the true disciple is content in becoming conformed to His Image and likeness. Life is no longer defined by what men think or do; it is centered on being as Him. It is in the forming of His life in us that we are enabled to see His heart and His purposes. Inevitably the religious builders of this world will sooner or later reject the chief cornerstone in order to accomplish their own purposes.

“What is this then that is written,
The stone which the builders rejected,
the same is become the head of the corner?”
Luke 20:17

In order for any building endeavor (whether small fellowship or mega church) to succeed it must be accompanied by an agenda and the agenda always precedes the building. The agenda also requires a leader for men to rally around. (It is one thing to come together to have fellowship and a totally different thing to meet in order to build a fellowship or church organization).

“And they said, Go to,
let us build us a city and a tower,
whose top may reach unto heaven;
and let us make us a name,
lest we be scattered abroad
upon the face of the whole earth”
Genesis 11:4

This is the heart and the cry of Babylon; “let us build…let us make us a name, lest we be scattered”. While men may eagerly rally to be a part of these building programs, in the end it produces an offspring of adherents to the cause while the Chief Cornerstone is rejected. The Cross of Christ is lost in the greatness of men’s achievements.

Cain must always bring his offering (it is the only thing he knows); the work of his hands gathered from the planting of his agendas. Abel can only offer the life of another. One offering is accepted and the other rejected. The seed of Cain will always come to hate the seed of Abel. Ishmael will always mock the child of promise and in God’s time the Ishmael spirit must be driven out.

We are living in a day where the two are mingled, as the wheat and the tares, but the hour is upon us when we will see with great clarity the separation and the antagonism of the one for the other.

“Cast out this bondwoman and her son:
for the son of this bondwoman
shall not be heir with my son,
even with Isaac”
Genesis 21:10

We must have eyes to see and ears to hear that it is in THE SON that the full purposes of God lie. It is in us becoming bone of His bone that we are grafted into the tree of life and made heirs with Christ in God. It is WE who are built together as living stones…

“Ye also, as lively stones,
are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood,
to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ”
1Peter 2:5

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Peace WITH God & The Peace OF God

PEACE

“Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”
Romans 5:1

Peace is the fruit of Righteousness; the greater the depth of righteousness the greater will be the depth of that Peace. In the life of every believer we are to know by faith we have (present tense) Peace with God. This peace was secured by the precious Lamb of God’s supreme offering of Himself for us on Calvary. Not only is this an historic fact it is an eternal truth upon which we can stand even in the face of our own personal failures and defeats. It is by this eternal truth that we meet the accusation of the enemy with the power of this declaration. It is a Peace settled in heaven by the guarantor of our salvation. May HE ever be praised! This is the starting place from which we begin our journey in Him.

HE came that we might have life, abundant life. That Life begins with the declaration that we are His children and because of that we have peace WITH GOD. May the Lord open our eyes to the glorious reality that HE IS COME that we may go on in HIM to have the peace OF GOD!

“And let the peace of God rule* in your hearts,
to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful”
COLOSSIANS 3:15

Here we see that this peace OF God is to rule in our hearts. It is a peace that rules and reigns within the concourse of our everyday life. It is to govern our conduct within the scope of our daily lives. It is to teach us the more perfect way of God. We are to walk in that Peace to such an extent that we recognize when we lose or trouble that Peace we are missing God on some point of action. The fruit of the righteousness of God in our lives is peace and when that peace is disturbed we can be sure that we are stepping out of His way to walk in our own. Peace is found in walking in His Way. The Way of Peace is mentioned in the scriptures as a path wherein we must walk to know of its reality. The Good News is that HE is come to guide our feet into the Way of Peace.

“To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace
LUKE 1:79

“And the way of peace have they not known…”
Romans 3:17

I know in my own experience that I have, without a doubt, peace with God and after forty years of walking with Him it is an unshakeable truth. But my heart longs for continued growth in the knowing of the peace of GOD that passes ALL UNDERSTANDING and is available to all who come to God by Christ Jesus. This PEACE OF GOD is of such a nature that nothing can affect its power, no outside circumstance nor any principality or power can disrupt its dominion in our lives. It is a peace that can only be known in the SON by the HOLY SPIRIT.

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”
Romans 14:17

May we not grow weary and may our hearts desire for Him to propel us into the depths of this covenant relationship with our God. For it is HIS good pleasure to brings us into to the full knowing of the Son wherein we discover the fullness of HIS righteousness by the which we know the fullness of the PEACE of GOD.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you”
MATTHEW 6:33

Ω

* βραβεύω brabeuō; fut. brabeuso. To be a brabeus, an umpire, director or arbiter in the public Greek games. In the NT, to rule, govern, and metaphorically to prevail, abound. Used intrans. (Col. 3:15, “the peace of God rule in your hearts”).

Brian Troxel

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An Open Heaven?

PART ONE

FAITH

“Truly, truly, I say to you,
you will see the heavens opened*
JOHN 1:51

How wonderful is the spontaneous response of Jesus to Nathanael’s heartfelt declaration “Rabbi, You are the Son of God!” An “open heaven” is really the ability of an individual to see and understand the things of God; to see past the appearance of a thing and to see the substance and reality of that which is real, eternal and true. The open heaven is not available based on our intellect, cleverness or schooling. It is open to all on the basis of Faith, Obedience and Purity of heart.

FAITH

“By faith we understand…”
HEBREWS 11:3

Without the faculty of FAITH the word remains sealed and uninviting. It holds facts and doctrinal statements that we may use to form a religious guideline by which we navigate this world with an understanding of its precepts. While there is great benefit to be garnered by these we are merely sailing upon the surface of the waters of life that he has for us. We can study the scriptures and put together sermons based upon a topical analysis of them with some profit to the hearers. There remains however that hidden dynamic pulsating with the breath and life of the Son. It is the precious function of FAITH to enable us to see THE SON in the reading of the WORD. While some see facts, concepts and precepts others see and hear the Living God and because of this they are pilgrims and sojourners in a strange land. They feel the futility of man’s ways and efforts and the absolute necessity of why Christ was crucified. They know that without the branch abiding in the vine they will wither and die. They are no longer content to dwell and gather in temples made with hands for they have heard and seen a LIVING TEMPLE “a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God”. The Word is no longer a historical document, no longer an ethereal book that tells us of things to come after we die. For those who by FAITH survey its sacred pages it is THE TRUTH that is LIVING and RELEVANT TODAY. As it states in the Book of Hebrews “TODAY if you will HEAR HIS VOICE…” Those who are content with the status quo, the division and sectarianism and the powerlessness of the religion of today, have not touched the heart and cry of the SON. Those who are not broken over the carnality, strife, emulations, and the spiritual poverty of the North American Church have not felt the heart of the Son; that same Son who wept over Jerusalem and the fate that awaited her. They could not see HIM of whom the scriptures spoke for they had not the faith of Abraham. Jesus said that “Abraham SAW HIS DAY and was glad”. Faith ever sees and beholds the Living Christ. An OPEN HEAVEN is the fruit and the recompense of the wonder of HIS FAITH living and breathing within our hearts.

Ω

“The Bible without the Holy Spirit
is a sundial by moonlight
DL Moody

*Spoken of the heavens, to open the heavens or to have the heavens opened or divided so that celestial things become manifest (Matt. 3:16; Luke 3:21; John 1:51; Acts 7:56; 10:11; Rev. 19:11) SPIROS ZODHIATES (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament)

Brian Troxel

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“DIVINE LONGINGS”

“Let us pass over unto the other side…”
MARK 4:35

The life of a Christian is to be one of movement and quest. It cannot remain static and unchanged. There is something about the Spirit of Christ in us that is ever pressing us to move on, to cross over and to know the life of continual growth in Him. All of creation shows us this; constant growth is the revelation of life. Growth IS the evidence of life and a life unchanged reveals a life unlived. In the wonder of our living God there is no point of arrival, there is no end, there is only growth and discovery. The glory of Him is unsearchable, His wisdom past finding out. His love surpasses knowledge and words such as “infinite” and “perfection” are inadequate to convey the matchless mysteries of Him. How can we not as Paul be caught up in the pressing toward that mark (Philippians 3:14), or as David spoke of in Psalm 42…

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God”
PSALM 42:1 – 2

This is the whisper of the Spirit of God within the hearts of His own. This is the glorious restlessness of His Life in us. It is not a disturbing restlessness; it is the restlessness of His Life in us to grow and become all that we have been called to. It is the restlessness of life that causes the young man to leave home and walk and grow and explore what life is to be for Him. It is the life that breaks open the egg shell; it is the life that births the struggle of the butterfly coming forth from the cocoon. It is the force of rivers causing them to flow back to the great ocean from whence they came. It is the longing of life that drives the salmon to swim upstream against all the barriers and obstacles in its way. Let us not quench that cry within us.

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled”
MATTHEW 5:6

Ω

“The yearning to know what cannot be known,
to comprehend the incomprehensible,
to touch and taste the unapproachable,
arises from the image of God in the nature of man.
Deep calleth unto deep,
and though polluted and landlocked by the mighty disaster
theologians call the Fall,
the soul senses its origin and longs to return to its source.”
AW Tozer

“Let us pass over unto the other side…”

Brian Troxel

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TEMPTATION

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation;
for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life
which the Lord has promised to those who love Him”
James 1:12

Temptation is neither a sin nor a sign of carnality. It is the everyday reality for all men. The issue is not temptation but the response to it within our heart that matters. It is through enduring and resisting temptation that the victory of the Crown of Life is received. Where there is no battle there can be no crown. The crown of life spoken of here is given to those who by the mercy of our Lord and Saviour have fought the fierce battles that wage in the secret places of our hearts and minds, often while no one is watching. They have known the utter weakness of the flesh, the deceitfulness of their own heart and the pressure that comes to bear upon them in their walk of faith. Left to ourselves the outcome would be certain and the end of the matter sure.

“But thanks be to God,
who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”
I CORINTHIANS 15:57

The Glory of this life of Faith in Christ Jesus is that we are not left to ourselves in the matter of overcoming sin. We are not orphans that are left to our own resources in this matter, nor are we to labour under the rigorous requirements of the Law by our own strength! We have available to us the wonder and the glory of “…the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death!” It is through HIM that we are made “more than conquerors”. In Him we are not only freed from the power of Sin but are indeed made alive that we can walk in the very Spirit of His Life and provision. Such things are not known by simply taking thought. These virtues of His Life are won in the arena of this life. It is the Crown of His life that we receive as we overcome and endure the hardships of temptation and trial. It is in these places that we learn the secrets of dependence and victory; the sufficiency of His Grace in contrast to our weakness; the discovery that “love endures ALL things”; that He is “…able to keep us from stumbling”.

These victories are to be known in the life of every believer. We not only have His rich provision for the victory but even in the midst of defeats and discouragements we have the assurance of forgiveness and mercy to rise up from every one of them and press the battle until the victory has been received.

“For a righteous man may fall seven times
and rises again”
PROVERBS 24:16

The life of the Christian is more than forgiveness, more than mere religious sayings and nice sermons; it is a life of pursuit, of victory and of overcoming as He overcame. It is in growing in Him, learning of Him and discovering the absolute necessity of abiding in Him that we find the wonder of His provision and mercy.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.
And this is the victory that has overcome the world even your faith.”
I JOHN 5:4

Brian Troxel

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