Godly Sorrow

Godly Sorrow

“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorry,
but that you were made sorry to repentance”
2 Corinthians 7:9

Godly sorrow is the fruit of godly ministry. The truth of God connects our everyday walk with our future inheritance. The man who buried his talent in the ground determined his future inheritance in God. The one who built their house by hearing (without doing) the future collapse was the result of his present error. To give in to temptation today may determine bondage and sorrow in our future.

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness?”
Romans 6:16

The greatest gift of God to us is the gift of repentance. It frees the heart, destroys condemnation and its riches are filled with goodness, mercy, and peace in our Saviours’ love.

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It is a good example for us to consider the construct of the Hebrew Language in order for us to understand the connection between our present doings and our future inheritance.

Hebrew understandings
of Tense and Time

Unlike today, the very construct of the Hebrew language when all the tenses are simplified essentially consisted of two tenses; past and future where the future tense incorporates the present.

[“In the Bible there are only two tenses… yes, only two (ken, rak shnaim,) past and future. There is no (ein) present tense in the Bible!” Yaron-Lessons in Hebrew]

How we have lost this critical truth in God! The Ancient Hebrew language was the only language that evolved through God’s dealings with them. Their whole history was determined by their relationship with God. If they departed from His truths and His ways they experienced judgment, captivity, and futility and if they walked with Him blessings and prosperity graced their nation. Because of this vital concept, they understood that their present doings determined their future; they did not compartmentalize present things from future realities. It is this powerful concept which conveyed to them the healthy fear of the Lord causing them to weigh their present actions with tomorrow’s outcome. Without this linkage, there is no true ability to understand God Himself.

We live in a day and speak in a language where past, present, and future tenses have no connection. This ethos has invaded the Church, its gospel, and its understanding of God; for of a truth, our presentation of Him is the reflection of our understanding of Him. A gospel that separates my present walk from any future implications robs His people from “walking circumspectly” before the Lord. Forgiveness has become the panacea for unholy living. Not long ago in my personal time with God, He impressed upon me a powerful truth “An individual’s concept of sin reveals their estimation of God”. Where sin is treated lightly it is because God is lightly esteemed. Repentance and godly sorrow are the hallmarks of a life growing in the wonder and the dynamic of God. Wherever and whenever the ministry of God fails to present God as He is “godly sorrow” is lacking and men and women walk in a salvation filled with regrets and sub-standard living.

“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you were made sorry to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly way, that you might suffer loss by us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation, which brings no regret…”
2 Corinthians 7:9-10

Whenever God is lightly esteemed sin will abound. Paul in his presentation of grace in his Epistle to the Romans declares “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid” (Romans 6:1-2). When grace is taught in an unrighteous manner where the stain and the contagion of sin have been compromised the Light of God is dimmed and the rampant culture of decay and lawlessness will lay hold of His church and correspondingly a nation will fall in its own folly.

“Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool,
but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.”
Proverbs 10:23 (ESV)

Another translation says…

“It is as sport to a fool to do mischief:
but a man of understanding hath wisdom.”
Proverbs 10:23 (KJV)

Where sin and evil are treated lightly, wisdom and understanding are marginalized and the result will be chaos and lawlessness. This is true whether it be in our own personal life, the family unit, or the household of God.

The true ministration of Christ brings us to godly sorrow, repentance, and the joy of His salvation.

(Unedited excerpt from coming book, comments welcome)

Brian Troxel

What is Truth?

What is Truth?

“What is truth?”
John 18:38

Jesus felt no compulsion to answer this rhetorical and ostentatious question of Pilate. Nor does He respond to those today whose ideas of truth lie only in statements and confessions. Without a living relationship with Christ, truth is merely an opinion, a belief, or a concept born of predispositions or persuasions. There is nothing concrete or absolute in its origin. Some believe one thing; some believe another thing. If truth is simply esoteric in nature and exists only in intellectual assumptions, then the philosophical question “What is Truth?” bears testimony to a lost humanity declaring its own existence as futile and vain. The span of time “lived” between birth and death is inconsequential. Death is merely the end of a consciousness that evaporates into oblivion. Feelings, relationships, and the myriad of human experiences have no real value or meaning.

Religious Deceptions

The comforts of religion are that it assuages the torment of this thought by providing an antidote of belief; somehow the belief itself will mitigate my wrongness and assure me of a noble end. Rather than seeing the need for repentance and change, my rightness is based on an affirmation. Religion dissipates the gnawing and persistent desire to answer this question in earnest. The belief alleviates the need for a definitive answer. It makes me think that if I believe right, I will personally be right regardless of the life I live. The deception is that I can profess to have truth without the need to become true.

This is the ethos of much of the Christian landscape today. There is an insidious concept that I can be disobedient to the teachings of Christ without any ramifications to my eternal standing with God. I can claim to be in the right relationship with Him and yet disregard my accountability to Him. I believe a truth without it becoming true in my own experience. Consider forgiveness… (for example)

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions.”
Mark 11:25-26

To claim Him as my Lord and deny my brother or sister forgiveness is hypocrisy. How many of us hold on to unforgiveness and yet pray to Him without any thought to the ramifications of our standing before God?

Jesus is our only truth; His Life within me, changing me, convicting me, and transforming my behaviour. Profession without the corresponding life to validate it is deception.

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous,
even as He is righteous”
1 John 3:7

Let no man deceive us. Let us not deceive ourselves. Mere belief does not change an unrighteous life. Jesus came into our hearts to free us FROM our sin; not to allow us to remain IN our sin.

“What shall we say then?
Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
God forbid!”
Romans 6:1-2

Paul asks this incredulous question. It is an absurdity to him that it would even enter the minds of those who have truly experienced the power of Christ within.

“If ye know that he is righteous,
ye know that every one that
doeth righteousness is born of him”
1 John 2:29

God’s people to a large extent know little of God’s righteousness. This scripture only has power in those who understand “He is Righteous”. To those who know of this truth, sin is an offense to God. It is something that produces a holy war within our own being, something with which we cannot compromise. Its presence is a revelation that a portion of our life is still not fully His. Those who walk in the truth of Christ are convicted, in contrast to those who base their standing with God on a confession.

“And ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free”
John 8:32

Quoting scriptures, believing in the correct theology, and subscribing to sound doctrine will not free you or me from the power of sin and disobedience. The truth of which Jesus speaks is a power and a dynamic extension of His Life working within the recesses of our being. Jesus presents Himself as the truth; not knowing about Him, but He Himself. Our hope is not based on what we believe. Our hope is in Him living and ruling within, changing the very fabric of our being. Paul presents this truth unequivocally to us.

“Christ IN you
the hope of glory”
Colossians 1:27

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“…in our day Christ as the truth has… been abolished: we take Christ’s teaching – but abolish Christ. We want truth the easy way. This is to abolish truth, for Christ, the teacher is more important than the teaching… Truth is not a sum of statements, not a definition, not a system of concepts, but a life. Truth is not a property of thought that guarantees validity to thinking. No, truth in its most essential character is the reduplication of truth within yourself… Your life expresses the truth in the striving… The Gospel says that this is eternal life, to know the only true God and the One Whom He sent, the Truth (Jn. 17:3).”
– Soren Kierkegaard

Ω

“In Him was life;
and the life was the light of men
John 1:4

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Grace Grace

Thought for Today

Grace, Grace

We live in a time when the fire of God in our land has grown dim. The hearts of many have grown cold, where iniquity (self-will) abounds and sin is marginalized.  Many see the horror but say nothing at all for the sake of grace! This is a grace which is presented as a sentiment to ignore the sin and the loose living of those who call themselves by His Name. It is a word synonymous with compromise and hypocrisy. How we would do well to reacquaint ourselves with the unmerited Grace of God freely given to us in Christ Jesus…

“What shall we say then?
Shall we continue in sin,
that grace may abound?
God forbid…”
Romans 6:1-2

Is this the Grace of God?

Was it not Grace that caused the Son to “cleanse” the Temple in His Day? Is it not Grace that stands for the glory and honour of God in the day of apathy? Surely it is the true Grace of God which ministers a pure pursuit for holiness in all who call upon His Name (Hebrews 12:14). It is grace that produces a burning desire to overcome sin within our own hearts and to know the heartbeat of the Love of God for one another. It is Grace that must confront the complacency with sin and carnality in His House. A grace which is content with the current state of things in our land is not the grace of God. Instead it is a word used for compromise by those who rejoice “in the day of small things” (Zechariah 4:10). Grace has become a byword to justify sin, lethargy and wickedness. It is a word used to attempt to stifle the life and fire of God out of those who would contend for the faith. It is a word used to drown out the voices for truth and righteousness.

The True Grace

The true demonstration of Grace is when His people reveal Christ in such power that the hearers are brought to repentance (Acts 2:14-38). It is Grace that convicts us of our waywardness and worldliness, and Grace which moves us to the blessedness of broken and contrite hearts. This is the Grace which brings us into the life and the wonder of our God.

“And he shall bring forward the headstone
amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house;
his hands shall also complete it
Zechariah 4:7,9

The Grace of God working powerfully in the heart of Zerubbabel brought the completion of the House of God in the midst of all the opposition from within and without.

The Grace of God is given to complete His work within our hearts, not to comfort us in our sin and complacency.

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation
hath appeared to all men, teaching us that,
denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,
righteously, and godly, in this present world
Titus 2:11-12

What does the true Grace of God teach us?

To Live godly in this present world.

Brian Troxel