Preaching Righteousness

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
www.aword.info

Hearken, Hearken, Hearken Part Four

“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

EFFECTUAL PRAYERS Righteousness Part Three

EFFECTUAL PRAYERS

PART THREE

RIGHTEOUSNESS

“Likewise, ye husbands,
dwell with them according to knowledge,
giving honour unto the wife,
as unto the weaker vessel,
and as being heirs together of the grace of life;
that your prayers be not hindered*
1PETER 3:7

Religion has a way of isolating a man’s walk from his relationship with God. Truth, on the other hand, brings linkage and accountability. Truth connects the authenticity of my actions, thoughts, and interactions with others in relationship to my Heavenly Father. The above verse when properly translated states “…that your prayers be not *cut off” (see note below)! The severity of this ought to bring a re-evaluation of the importance of our daily life. The effectiveness and acceptability of our prayers unto God can actually depend upon how a man treats his wife. May God grant us the ability to consider our ways and give us a desire to acquaint ourselves with the truth of the New Testament. Religion infers that it does not matter how we conduct ourselves; God will ALWAYS hear us. Religion has a way of anesthetizing our conscience; truth makes our conscience tender to the things of God. A religious prayer has little or no power or faith for it does not proceed from a life of confidence. It is not anchored in a life that is compatible with God. The power of such a prayer is offered on the basis of a teaching or a religious concept. In contrast the prayer offered by a righteousness man avails much; it is founded upon the ministration of faith, the only medium by which a true and real righteousness can be experienced. Peter goes on to say…

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous,
and his ears are open unto their prayers:
but the face of the Lord
is against them that do evil”

1 PETER 3:12

Righteousness in the New Testament is more than a legal term; it is a life empowered by a living FAITH. The righteousness which is the result of faith cannot be manufactured by human strength. It is a life that NEEDS the strength and power of God Himself in our hearts. Our need for Grace is proportional to our desire to walk in righteousness. It is by this very ministration of Faith that our prayers will be effectual and fervent.

“The effectual fervent prayer
of a righteous man availeth much”
JAMES 5:16

It is essential that we (as God’s people) begin to link righteousness and faith to our relationship with a Holy God. Failure to comprehend this is what produces weak and ineffectual prayers. Unbelief infiltrates the people of God because of unanswered prayers. The result is an increase of a powerless and impotent religion.

We must see that the order and power of God in the home is the womb of power and reality in the true Church of God. Peter sets before us the atmosphere and beauty of how a Christian home should be…

*(SEE Note Below)

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold,or the putting on of clothing—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered (not cut off)
1 PETER 3:3-7

To ignore the Word of God is to nullify the means by which His Power is made evident in the lives of His people. Religion mocks the promises of God as did Ishmael the child of promise. It is in taking heed to His Word that we will see the power of God restored in this day. Righteousness must start in the home, in the workplace, and in the secret places of our hearts. It is a day for us to…

“…search and try our ways,
and turn again to the LORD.
Let us lift up our heart
with our hands unto God in the heavens”
LAMENTATIONS 3:40-41

The way to powerful and effectual prayers is by the ministration of truth being embraced by the people of God. The birthing of such effectual prayers lies with men and women who have known the need for repentance and change in their own lives. Prayers uttered from such lives well know the grace of God, the Love of God and the Power of God to change circumstances and hearts for they have experienced those very things. The righteousness by faith produces broken and contrite hearts and frees us from a religion that would seek to isolate how we live from the power and authenticity of our prayer life. The latter days are upon us and it is a time for us to reconsider how we live that we may draw upon the God of all Mercy His promises to us concerning this day.

When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them
DEUTERONOMY 4:30

*NOTE: Greek Word G1581. ἐκκόπτω ekkoptō; fut. ekkopsō, from ek (G1537), out, and koptō (G2875), to cut. To cut off or out, as a branch from a tree (Rom. 11:22, 24 making the verb parallel with ekklaō (G1575), to break off, in Rom. 11:17, 19, 20). To cut down a tree (Matt. 3:10; 7:19; Luke 3:9; 13:7, 9); the right hand (Matt. 5:30; 18:8; Sept.: Jer. 6:6; 22:7); one’s hand or foot (Matt. 18:8). Metaphorically, to cut out or off, meaning to remove (2 Cor. 11:12); in 1 Pet. 3:7 (TR), “that your prayers be not cut off” (a.t.) or rendered fruitless.

*NOTE: These scriptures along with many others are considered “legalistic” by a large segment of the church in our day, but what people fail to realize is that this description of how men and women should conduct themselves is the FRUIT of the indwelling Spirit of God not a carnal conformity to the teachings of men. Religion has a way of nullifying and robbing God’s Word of its power in terms of people’s experiential reality. People who outwardly conform to a “code” of religious conduct without the inward reality actually negate the beauty and power of all that God intended. Likewise those who mock and ignore these Words of God have already robbed themselves of the power of the LIFE of God revealed in them.

“Making the word of God of none effect
through your tradition,
which ye have delivered:
and many such like things do ye”
MARK 7:13

Peter is not describing a legal requirement for spiritual attainment; he is setting forth the revelation of what the Spirit of God produces in lives that are governed by Him. Effectual prayers arise from the hearts of those who are faithful to yield themselves to the Law of HIS LIFE (Romans 8:2) in Christ Jesus.

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Brian Troxel