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Laying the Axe to the Root

Laying the Axe to the Root

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Laying the Axe to the Root

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Dec 18, 2016
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Though the Word of God is likened to honey being savored, daily bread being enjoyed, rain bringing refreshing and a lamp giving direction, it is also like a fire burning up the chaff, a hammer breaking the rock into pieces and a double-edged sword piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. A combined effect of the Word as hammer, fire and sword should have the desired purifying effect on those areas of our lives that need cleansing!

There may be certain things in our lives that prevent God from working with us. Then those areas have to be dealt with.

Self, jealousy, pride and lust are some of the negatives that could hinder God from working with us. When we allow the Lord to lay the axe to the root and do a cleansing work in these areas of our lives, we will be better people not only for God but also for each other.

Ashish Raichur

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Dec 18, 2016
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Laying the Axe to the Root - Ashish Raichur

LAYING THE AXE TO THE ROOT

By Ashish Raichur, Pastor

All Peoples Church & World Outreach

This is a gift from us to you! It’s FREE!

LAYING THE AXE TO THE ROOT

Printed and Distributed by All Peoples Church & World Outreach, Bangalore, INDIA

First Edition Printed September 2008

Contact Information:

All Peoples Church & World Outreach,

#319, 2nd Floor, 7th Main, HRBR Layout,

2nd Block, Kalyan Nagar, Bangalore 560043

Karnataka, INDIA

Phone: +91-80-25452617, +91-80-65970617

Email: contact@apcwo.org

Website: www.apcwo.org

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version.

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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INTRODUCTION

Matthew 3:10–12 

And even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire

While introducing the ministry of Jesus Christ to the world, John the Baptist said that Jesus had come to do a purifying work. He used the analogy of the axe being laid to the root of trees that do not bear good fruit. John the Baptist also talked about separating the chaff from the wheat. In essence, both these analogies describe a purifying and cleansing work. The axe being laid to the root of the trees implies a much deeper work than merely cutting off the branches and leaves. Likewise, Christ came to deal with the root of the problem. He goes past the surface and deals with issues that lie hidden beneath what generally meets the eye.

While we emphasize the wonderful baptism of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Matthew 3:11, we overlook the fact that verse 11 is sandwiched between two verses that talk about a purifying work that Jesus came to do. Many of us have neglected the fact that His coming also signaled the time when the axe is laid to the root and when the chaff will be burned with fire. Although we are glad and overjoyed at the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the experience of speaking in tongues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit manifesting in our lives, we seldom pay attention to the purifying work of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is preceded and followed by a powerful cleansing work of the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives. It is a sad fact that most of us have not opened up our lives to His purifying work and instead opted just for the baptism of the Spirit. It is important that we allow the Lord to do a complete work in us.

Though the Word of God is likened to honey being savored, daily bread being enjoyed, rain bringing refreshing and a lamp giving direction, it is also like a fire burning up the chaff, a hammer breaking the rock into pieces and a double-edged sword piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. A combined effect of the Word as hammer, fire and sword should have the desired purifying effect on those areas of our lives that need cleansing!

The Bible says, And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word through the accompanying signs (Mark 16:20). Having read this Scripture, we sometimes hastily conclude that God will work with us, regardless of how we are. Though it is absolutely true that God desires to work with us, there may be certain things in our lives that prevent God from working with us. If there are things in our lives that (tie God’s hands and) prevent Him from working with us, then those areas have to be dealt with.

Self, jealousy, pride and lust are some of the negatives that could hinder God from working with us. When we allow the Lord to lay the axe to the root and do a cleansing work in these areas of our lives, we will be better people not only for God but also for each other.

1

LAYING THE AXE TO THE ROOT OF SELF

Very often our wholehearted desire to glorify Christ, and Him alone, gets tainted with the desire to promote our own name, the desire for positions of power and influence, or the desire for recognition of our gifts, talents and abilities. If we are not watchful, we will arrive at a place in life where we are motivated more by ‘self’ rather than the Spirit. The Holy Spirit will always glorify Christ (John 16:14) but ‘self’ robs the glory that is due to Christ.

The danger lies in the fact that most of us would never publicly admit that it is self that is motivating us. We may be well-meaning believers who pray, fast, worship and do all the right things. And yet, once we allow the searchlight of God to go past the superficial and shine into the deep recesses of our inner beings, we find that so much of what we do is birthed not in the Spirit, but in self. For most of us, the activity of the self is subtler than our abilities to recognize it.

What is born of the flesh (self) is flesh (self) and what is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6). These have two distinct origins and what is born of self cannot be converted to a work of the Spirit, no matter how well disguised.

Exodus 30:31–33 

And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. It shall not be poured on man’s flesh; nor shall you make any other like it, according to its composition. It is holy, and it shall be holy to you. Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on an outsider, shall be cut off from his people’

The holy anointing oil, symbolizing the presence and work of the Holy Spirit was not to be put on flesh, neither was it to be duplicated for other purposes. God cannot anoint what is born of self. In fact, there is a danger in imitating the work of the Spirit in the strength of the flesh (Exodus 30:33).

That which is born of the flesh (self) is flesh (self) and people who are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:8). So no matter how great a work, if it is done in the flesh, it is displeasing to God.

If

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