Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘The Works of Faith’

I Know Your Works

“I know thy works…”
Rev. 2:2, 2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1, 3:8, 3:15

This is God’s declaration to His Church. This word is spoken to every church in the Book of Revelation and is based upon what God sees. Somehow, with the passage of time, the marriage of faith and works became separated. Through erroneous teaching they became disassociated in many Christian circles. Faith became a noun; what men believed became their “faith”. Faith became a statement rather than a life. We have come to a very low point when faith now represents our doctrinal persuasion instead of the expression of the living Christ. In Jesus’ world faith was something He saw and heard. The Gospels are full of His response to their faith.

“And, behold, they brought to him
a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed:
and Jesus seeing their faith…”
Matthew 9:2

James tells us it is impossible to have and hold true faith without the corresponding expressions of works. John tells us that Jesus’ works bore witness to who He was. Everything living in God’s creation shows forth works which correspond to the nature within. Jesus spoke to the Jews in His day, “If you were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39).

“Jesus answered them,
I told you, and ye believed not:
the works that I do in my Father’s name,
they bear witness of me”
John 10:25

Within the household of faith many profess great and wondrous things concerning our beliefs but the works and expressions of our lives reveal something far less. The purpose of God in sending His Spirit of Truth into the hearts of men and women is to make our profession harmonious with our walk. To be people of the truth means that the things we say we do. The ministration of truth into our hearts is to make us true to the end that our words and our works bear witness of Him. Peter enjoins us…

So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
James 2:12

The enormity of the call of God to us! We are to become true, we are to be liberated from the religious lie of speaking one thing while living another. We are (by means of the living truth and through the power of the blood) to become the verity of the Life of Jesus. Jesus spoke to us concerning the works of faith…

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me,
the works that I do shall he do also;
and greater works than these shall he do;
because I go unto my Father”
John 14:12

Jesus declared that those who believed on Him would do His Works and greater. How is it the church can be so full of believers yet we see very little in terms of authentic, powerful, “greater works” which are to be the testimony of the life and faith of Jesus within our hearts?

It is here in this great contradiction of life where we are afforded the wonderful opportunity to consider our ways, to allow the truth of where we are to permeate our hearts and to pierce our very souls. The response of repentance and brokenness to Him is in itself the very beginnings of a new work of faith within our hearts. Only His Life and Nature can produce the works of the Son. “He that has the Son has Life”. Works are the revelation of the nature of any living thing. What it is determines what it does; a simple statement yet filled with eternal ramifications (1 John3:7-10) . People who are bitter are filled with bitter expressions. The works of men who are self-seeking will result in the eventual revelation of their motives. Those who profess great things without the corresponding works reveal the horror and deception of a vain religion.

“But wilt thou know, O vain man,
that faith without works is dead”
James 2:20

It is a day for us to consider our ways. It is time for us to contemplate the words of our lives in contrast to the works of our lives. Truth by its very nature must reveal that which is untrue. It is in the ministration of this that men turn and recognize the essential need of a Saviour. Men and women love the promises of God, we love to hear about our position in heavenly places and that we have been translated from death to life in Christ. We are satisfied with the hearing of these things all the while ignoring the validity of these things in our lives. This is the womb of deception. There is no greater deception than that of a religious self-induced one. People who are at ease with the hearing but devoid of the doing deceive themselves.

“But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves…”
James 1:22

The verity of His Life in us is revealed in a genuine and demonstrative love for His People. The innate cry for relationship with each one is the mere echo of His heart. The lack of concern over His Body in the earth is the piercing revelation of how far we have strayed from the Truth. For the sole purpose of truth is to bring us to the Love of God beating within our hearts. We have no room to glory in revelations and the understanding of God’s Word if our works betray us.

“But as touching brotherly love
ye need not that I write unto you:
for ye yourselves are taught of God
to love one another
1 Thessalonians 4:9

Who are those who are taught of God? Those who love their brothers and sisters! It takes very little scrutiny of our lives to conclude how little we know Him. Love is the revelation of the measure of truth which we hold in our hearts.

Faith without Works is Dead
Religion without Love is Vain

“Let us 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.
We have transgressed and have rebelled…”
Lamentations 3:40-42

God’s greatest gift to His people is the gift and wonder of repentance. The divine enablement to turn from our ways to walk and live in His. His mercy never ceases and His grace is new to us as we respond from our hearts in truth. Repentance brings us to new and wondrous places in God, it frees us from the weights of wrong thinking, wrong speaking and wrong doing. It is because of His mercies we can rise up and become in thought, word and deed expressions of a love “that surpasses knowledge”. A Love which is beyond all human ability and a love which is nothing less than the very life of Jesus living and reigning within our very hearts. Even so Lord come and find your resting place in us. Amen.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

THE WAY

“But also in this very thing, bringing in all diligence,
filling in your faith with virtue; and virtue with knowledge;
and knowledge with self-control; and self-control with patience;
and patience with godliness; and godliness with brotherly love;
and brotherly love with love. For these things being in you,
and abounding, THEY will make you not idle,
not unfruitful in the full knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the one in whom these things are not present is blind,
being shortsighted, taking on forgetfulness
of the cleansing of his sins in time past. On account of this, brothers,
rather be diligent to make sure of your calling and election;
for doing these things, you will not ever fall into sin .
For so will be richly furnished to you
the entrance into the everlasting kingdom
of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
2Peter 1:5-11 (LITV)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY
The works which Faith has wrought in us and through us becomes the very means by which we enter into His Kingdom.
B. Troxel

Read Full Post »

Faith: The Evidence of Relationship

“…for I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded…”
2 Timothy 1:12

Our relationship with God is not based upon the quality of our faith rather our faith is the result of our relationship with Him. Faith is the evidence in the life of one who is abiding in Him. It is the effect in a life caused by our learning of Him. This persuasion to stand in the midst of great trial, the ability to endure the seeming contradictions of this life, and to remain steadfast in the Word of God, is grounded in our knowing of Him. Faith is not a blind religious belief in a teaching or concept; faith is a “substance” which is rooted in the very character of God Himself. It is the fruit of a heart which has, in a corresponding measure, come to know HIM. Faith lays hold of that which it “sees” God doing and joins itself to Him. For this reason faith can never be without works; God is always working, always moving and always invading the lives of His Own.

Peter sees Jesus walking on the water and feels the draw and the impulse to walk with the Son. A living faith is one in which the heart (because of Love) ever seeks to identify with the object of that Love. Faith is simply the expression of Peter stepping out of the boat; it does not need nor seek the opinions of others in the boat for it sees Christ. The ability to rise up and step into the stormy sea is trust. Trust is the means by which faith is exercised. It is the terra firma upon which a man walks. Men who do not know God cannot trust Him. They may hold a religious creed that says right things, they may mentally ascribe to His Word, but it is in the actual doing that true faith is revealed.

“And they that know thy name
will put their trust in thee

Psalm 9:10

Relationship with God is the purpose of the New Testament. He called the disciples that “they might be with Him”. Their time spent with Him produced men who turned the world upside down.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John,
and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men,
they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them,
that they had been with Jesus
(Acts 4:13)

It is our relationship with Him that determines the cause and the effect of our lives in the world around us.

“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,
we persuade men…”
2 Corinthians 5:11

Those who know the terror of the Lord persuade men. The cause of someone seeking to persuade men of their accountability unto God comes from “knowing”. Men who know not, do not.

“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth,
the same shall he receive of the Lord…”
Ephesians 6:8

The cause in a person’s life to do good and bless others is effected by the knowing of God. Those who know not God live unto themselves. The reality of our relationship with Him is revealed and shouted out to the world everyday by the effect produced within our lives. This evidential expression is called “Faith”.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen”
Hebrews 11:1

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith…”
Galatians 5:22

FAITH BEING THE FRUIT (or effect)
Of the Spirit ruling in our lives

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

The Open Door

“For a great door
and effectual is opened unto me,

and there are many adversaries
1 Corinthians 16:9

Difficult and adversarial situations have no bearing upon the child of God. The Open Door into the things of our Father must be filled with opposition for this door can only be entered on the grounds of Faith; a Faith that is living, pressing and teeming with the life of God. Men who wait for all the conditions to be right will never know the hidden glories of God’s provisions.

“Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies”
Psalm 23:5

The rich provision of God’s table is served in the midst of our enemies. It is there we find the nourishment and faithfulness of our God to provide all that we need to accomplish His works in and through our lives. John on the Isle of Patmos was banished to a forlorn and desolate place for his testimony of God. It is there that he sees a great door opened and the heavens drawn back to unveil the deep and dramatic unfolding of the Revelation of Christ! We must not draw back from the doors presented to us. We must not consider the opposition and the obstacles that stand in our way; for faith never walks by sight. Many men and women of God sit in faithless inactivity waiting for the opposition to be removed before venturing into the things they have been called to.

“He that observeth the wind shall not sow;
and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap”
Ecclesiastes 11:4

The reaping in a man’s life is always in proportion to his sowing. Great testing is about to unfold in our day and it is incumbent upon us to be in the now of His Will; to step out of the confines of our world and into the open doors of His world. The way of truth is not an intellectual commodity; it is the Life of Jesus being lived out in my life today. When Jesus said “I am the Truth” He proclaimed truth to be His Life in me; not some doctrinal understanding of a teaching, but the very breath and power of His life in my own heart. Men who accomplish the works of faith are blind to the obstacles that stand in their way. They see through the barriers, they see through the weaknesses in their own lives and the limitations of their own resources for faith sees His Will and nothing else. It is a day to “lift up our eyes”, in order to see past the circumstances and be found “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

The Measure of a Man

PART ONE

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength”
Mark 12:30

In this day of declining fervor and passion for God and His purposes, it is always good to be reminded of the measure to which we have been called to love Him. Many in this day take comfort in His Love for us which, while it is incomprehensible and unmerited, is given with purpose and accountability. This Love wherewith He has loved us, when received as a mere teaching, has no real influence upon the human heart. The Love of God when received into the very being of a man will always produce change, pursuit and a love for Him in return.

“We love him, because he first loved us”
1John 4:19

Love received in truth will always bring forth a reciprocating expression of that love back unto Him who is Love. The validity and measure of the love we have received from Him is revealed in the depth and the corresponding love for Him. The call of God goes out in this day (as it has from the beginning of creation) to love Him with our whole heart. Without Love the New Covenant offers little to the people of God, for Love is the very fiber and matrix of all our actions unto Him. Religion is a dry and monotonous exercise in futility without Love. Faith lacks motive, power and purpose when it is held alone without the wonder of God’s Love. Faith needs to be mingled with Love to accomplish the great things of God.

“For in Christ Jesus,
neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength,
but faith working through love
Galatians 5:6 (LITV)

Paul exhorts us in Corinthians chapter 13…

“…though I have all faith,
so that I could remove mountains,
and have not love, I am nothing”
1Corinthians 13:2

People who are held within the grasp of a true sense of their indebtedness unto Him can never be static, inactive or apathetic in their pursuit of God. Those whose love for God rarely, if ever, has any influence on their daily life must reconsider the eternal ramifications of such a meager existence. True and active disciples are always being moved and led by the love of God beating in their hearts. Jesus in seeing the multitude had compassion

“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude,
and was moved with compassion toward them,
and he healed their sick”
Matthew 14:14

They who love little do little. A mere religious belief without the love and fire of God burning within the heart is the horror of religion. Woe to those who are comfortable to minister a Gospel without the fire of God in their hearts. Woe to those who are content with anything less than a pure desire to love God with all of their heart.

“…I have somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen,
and repent, and do the first works;
or else I will come unto thee quickly,
and will remove thy candlestick out of his place,
except thou repent…”
Revelation 2:4-5

Only “first love” can produce “first works”. People without love are barren and unfruitful in the things of God. The loss of first love in the Church at Ephesus (if not repented from) would result in the removal of God’s Presence from their midst. God’s love is the spring from which all His works flow and correspondingly so it is with His disciples.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another.”
John 13:35

Discipleship is the expression of a life which has been captured with the beauty and glory of our God. Love is the only constraint which binds the disciple to the life of following of Jesus.

It is this love alone which determines
the measure of a man in God.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

FAITHFULNESS

“To them
who by patient continuance
in well doing seek
for glory and honour and immortality,
eternal life”
Romans 2:7

Those who are truly seeking God’s glory, honour, immortality and eternal life reveal themselves as such by the patient and continual walk of well doing. It is in the reality of daily life the hearts of God’s own are revealed. Their very conduct day in and day out reveals the hearts of those who live unto Him. There are many who shine and seek to portray themselves as spiritual in the special moments when others are watching. In the sight of God it is by what we do in the mundane of life, out of the sight of others, that true disciples are revealed. It is what we do when we are discouraged, tempted and weary with the way that matters.

“I know thy works”
Revelation 2:2, 2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1, 3:8, 3:15

Contrary to the popular teaching of today, God beholds our works. He knows that what we do reveals who we are. The foolish notion that a man can have faith without works is fully acceptable in many churches today. These are not works to earn our salvation; they are works that REVEAL our salvation. These are the works produced by a living faith within the hearts of His own; works which are inspired by the moving and prompting of the Holy Spirit; works of such a nature that the heart and love of God are evident. It is in the patient continuance of such things we seek for “glory and honour and immortality, eternal life”.

“But wilt thou know,
O vain man,
that faith without works
is dead?
James 2:20

The true and living faith in our hearts must produce the works of faith just as the electrical current running through a light bulb must produce light.

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

WHAT IS TRUTH?

“What is truth?”
JOHN 18:38

This is such a profound and penetrating question stemming from the brief encounter of a Roman governor of Judea with Jesus the Christ. Pilate’s question, though in most respects more rhetorical than honest, still echoes the eternal cry within man, “What is Truth?” His question was in response to the reply of Jesus in the preceding verse…

“To this end was I born,
and for this cause came I into the world
that I should bear witness unto the truth.
Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice
JOHN 18:37

In light of the general condition of much of the church today this is a most disturbing statement. Jesus in speaking of truth, and those who are of the truth, reveals it primarily as a relationship rather than an intellectual commodity. “Everyone that is of the truth HEARS my voice”! Our land is filled with teachings, sermons and didactical dissertations. Debates over scriptural interpretations, and the nuances of men’s understandings, have contributed to a carnal denominational system with the result that many no longer understand what TRUTH is. Much of the teaching today is purely informational, filled with scriptural facts to support OUR belief system, OUR statement of faith and to reinforce OUR standing in God. The Book of Acts is taught from a historical perspective. We have our charts and theoretical ideas on end time events. We love to hear the latest teachings on “deeper” things in the scriptures and we talk of the “rhema” word. We sit and talk esoterically of concepts that tantalize the mind and tickle the ears but are left bereft of any actual doing. These things become spiritual narcotics that render the believer empty of the works of Faith* and the revelation of the Living Christ.

In EVERY letter to the Church in the Book of Revelation Jesus speaks the same thing…

“I know thy works…”
REVELATION 2:2, 9, 13, 19, 3:1. 8, 15

He is not interested in our words per se (1Corinthians 4:20). He knows that our works reveal our faith (James 2:20 & 26). If they who are of the TRUTH hear His Voice, then they who are of the Truth must also be those who DO the truth. To hear His Voice means that HE is communicating HIS WILL to us. If Faith comes by hearing then it must be that to hear HIS voice culminates in our DOING of HIS good pleasure. Growth and development in the realm of light comes in our doing of truth.

“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light”
JOHN 3:21

The pathway of life is through the medium of DOING. Truth by its very nature must produce HIS LIFE in the one who is OF the truth. For in the hearing of HIS WORD HIS LIFE and substance is communicated into the heart of the one to whom it is spoken. HIS WORD is not a sermon it is in reality HIS VERY SELF, not bits of information but the very life of HIMSELF who is the LIFE.

“…the words that I speak unto you,
they are spirit, and they are life”
JOHN 6:63

We think that by knowing all the scriptures concerning a certain subject that we have the truth of that particular thing. We fail to realize that truth is a life not a subject. All Christendom can quote John 3:16, but there are those who have turned the world upside down when they have touched the heartbeat of that wondrous LOVE. It is one thing to hold a scripture in our intellect, it is another to be radically transformed by the power of the ONE of whom it speaks. It is in hearing HIS voice and responding to that living truth that we become expressions of His heart and Life.

Ω

“Truth lies in character.
Christ did not simply speak the truth;
he was Truth—truth through and through,
for truth is a thing not of words but a life and being”
Frederick William Robertson (1816–1853)

* Note: Paul states that we are not saved by works but we are saved UNTO good works (Ephesians 2:8-9) where the works are not the basis of our salvation; they are the revelation and the result of HIS LIFE in us.

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »