What is Righteousness?

What is Righteousness?

“Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
and my record is on high.
My friends scorn me…”
Job 16:19-20

Throughout all ages those who preach righteousness have done so at great cost. The pursuit of righteousness and truth brings alienation and separates the wheat from the chaff. While many would live at ease, satisfied with doctrinal declarations and teachings, the true seeker of righteousness will know separation and loneliness. Loneliness is not only a result of righteousness it may also be the path into righteousness for it brings the heart to a new and deeper dependency upon God Himself. The cost is trivial compared to the reward of growing in Him. While many accuse of legalism the true seeker of righteousness (His righteousness) knows full well his inherent inability to walk in this righteousness apart from the Life of Christ within. His Life becomes the only hope of a life of purity and authenticity. The covering of the “leaves” of religion will never bring true peace.

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

Without righteousness there can be no abiding peace. When one is at home in God there is Peace. Where there is Peace there is a deep and settled Joy in the Holy Spirit. It is the Joy of God Himself beholding and approving our life in Him. These things cannot be apprehended by teaching and religious declarations; they must be wrought in our lives by the working of His Spirit within us.

“Anything the church doesn’t want to do it calls legalism”
A.W. Tozer

The pursuit of righteousness will separate even good friends. God’s end in His own is righteousness not popularity. In truth the separation from friends and companions is part of the way into this righteousness; it affords opportunities to grow in forgiveness and long suffering. It is the means to bring us into the very heart of Christ Himself as Job discovered in the trial with his friends.

“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,
when he prayed for his friends”
Job 42:10

The individual seeking true righteousness will discover sooner or later not only the bitterness of their own heart but an inherent ability to pray for those who withdraw themselves and even speak evil of them. That is the righteousness of Christ. Righteousness is treating others rightly regardless of how they treat us. God spoke to my own heart the other day this powerful truth:

“It is impossible to hold true righteousness
without knowing the Love of God”.

Love must cause us to treat others rightly. Righteousness is the fruit of love. Love is the very righteousness of God expressed in the deeds it produces within an individual’s life. Without Love there can be no righteousness, no real peace and no joy in the Holy Spirit.

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous…
In this the children of God are manifest,
and the children of the devil:
whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God,
neither he that loveth not his brother
1 John 3:7,10

Doing right is not optional for the true child of God.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Hearken, Hearken, Hearken Part Five

“HEARKEN”

PART FIVE
(Part FIVE of a Five Part Series)
ISAIAH 51

To Those who Know Righteousness

“Hearken unto me,
ye that know righteousness,
the people in whose heart is my law;
fear ye not the reproach of men,
neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
For the moth shall eat them up like a garment,
and the worm shall eat them like wool:
but my righteousness shall be for ever,
and my salvation from generation to generation”
ISAIAH 51:7-8

The Hebrew Word used here for “Hearken” is the same as the one used in Isaiah 51:1 for it is unto a people whose walk is pleasing unto God. This is a people who “know righteousness”. This Word is addressed to those who know the reality of a righteousness which is empowered and made real by FAITH; for the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus is alive within their hearts. They know the battle of Faith, that victory over sin is through the wonder of faith, and that by faith are they held in the beauty of His Life. It is to such that we see the gracious WORD of God encouraging and strengthening them to not be fearful of the reproaches of men, their reviling and scorn. It is a word to empower them; to consider the temporary state of their persecutors; the substance and eternal nature of their salvation in Him. We are reminded of our Lord and Saviour who for the JOY set before Him endured…

Looking unto Jesus
the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him
endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand
of the throne of God.
For consider him
that endured such contradiction
of sinners against himself,
lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds”
Hebrews 12:2-3

The power of this Word in our day is intended by Him to be a strong one of encouragement and exhortation to LOOK and CONSIDER HIM in the things that are to come upon us. In so intently seeking HIM we will be found living in the HOPE of the Joy set before us. We will find the same divine enablement to despise the shame and suffering. It is in the unction of this living hope that we find the same graces of spirit, the same peace and comfort of heart, and the same spirit of Glory to reveal in those moments HIS LIFE and Resurrection! How good is our God to send forth His Word to us now, before the storm breaks forth upon us, that we may be comforted, empowered, free from fear and hidden with Christ in God. He invites us to flee to Him, to enter into the very bosom of His LIFE even as Noah entered into the ark.

“…as it was in the days of Noah,
so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
They did eat, they drank,
they married wives,
they were given in marriage,

until the day that Noah entered into the ark,
and the flood came, and destroyed them all”
Luke 17:26-27

Ω

“And so,
after he had patiently endured,
he obtained the promise”
Hebrews 6:15

Brian Troxel

Grace and Peace

GRACE AND PEACE

“Grace and peace
be multiplied unto you
through the knowledge of God,
and of Jesus our Lord”
(2 Peter 1:2)

Grace and Peace are the unspoken needs of the human heart. The absence of either results in the turmoil and unrest in the world in which we live. The lack of these things within the Body of Christ has contributed to the divisions and disunity of the Spirit in our day. The Grace and Peace spoken of here are not available to the human heart apart from an intimate knowledge of God through Jesus Christ the Lord. The Greek Word used for “knowledge*” here (see note below) speaks of an intimate and experiential knowledge, not an intellectual one. Many years ago I was working for a company that involved a lot of driving so I had a lot of time to spend seeking God. One day He drew my attention to a tree and said that for me to see that tree was a fact; but until I touched that tree and felt it I did not know the “truth” of that tree. So it is with our God. We may memorize the scriptures, read much concerning Him and even speak often to others concerning Him; but unless we have that intimate knowing of Him the power of that Grace and Peace will continue to elude us in our every day experience.

This Peace and Grace is ONLY made available to us “through the intimate knowing of God and Jesus Christ our Lord”. The grace and fruit of the Spirit cannot be known “experientially” apart from knowing God. He is the sum and source of all righteousness; without which we are cut off from the benefits of the New Testament. In Hebrews we are told that the Israelites could not enter the land of promise because of unbelief. This unbelief caused them to remain in the wilderness where they were cut off from enjoying the fruits and the provisions of the Land of Promise. It is through the medium of faith that we have access to knowing Him in an experiential way. It is by this knowing of Him that we grow into this GRACE. (“by faith we have access into this grace”; Romans 5:2).

It is in the knowing of Him that we are made partakers of His merits, His provisions, His grace and His peace. It is no wonder that Paul cried out in Philippians 3:10 “That I might know Him…”. There is no end to the fullness of God; there is no measure at which we can arrive in the knowing of Him. It is to this end that we fill up the remainder of our time here in the pursuit of “knowing” Him.

“Grace and peace
be multiplied unto you
through the knowledge of God,
and of Jesus our Lord”

*NOTE:
Cognate: 1922 epígnōsis (from 1909 /epí, “on, fitting” which intensifies 1108 /gnṓsis, “knowledge gained through first-hand relationship”) – properly, “contact-knowledge” that is appropriate (“apt, fitting”) to first-hand, experiential knowing. This is defined by the individual context.

Brian Troxel

THE WELLS OF ISAAC Part Two SITNAH

THE WELLS OF ISAAC

PART TWO

WELLS OF CONTENTION
SITNAH

“And they digged another well,
and strove for that also:
and he called the name of it Sitnah.
And he removed from thence,
and digged another well;
and for that they strove not:
and he called the name of it Rehoboth;
and he said,
For now the LORD hath made room for us,
and we shall be fruitful in the land”
GENESIS 26:19-20

Isaac, having removed himself from the well that he dug near Gerar, dug another well and again experienced contention and strife. This well seemed to be even more contentious than the first for he named it “Sitnah”. Sitnah in the Hebrew means accusation and hatred; it comes from the Hebrew root word satan. The severe meaning of the name indicates an escalated sense of contention; far more personal and malicious.

We all know from experience that we have an adversary. His name means to lie in wait to oppose or attack (satan). His strategies are varied as are the vessels through whom he works. The result of his influence within the Body of Christ has been much damage, sorrow and division. In this passage we see Isaac once again removing himself from this place to dig yet another well.

The journey in the things of God requires patience and persistence to discover a place of peace and rest within our own hearts. Forgiveness and fortitude must be the attitude by which we grow and walk within path of righteousness. These graces will enable us to be fruitful in the purposes of our God.

The persistent pursuit of peace and fruitfulness will always give way to God’s best for us. We read in Psalm 23 that the Lord our Shepherd leads us beside still waters where we can drink deeply of His abundant provisions even in desert places.

May the Lord teach us and lead us into such wonders; fellowship with Him and His people where the waters are quiet and sweet and filled with His presence.

Brian Troxel

LEARNING RIGHTEOUSNESS

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

Peace WITH God & The Peace OF God

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