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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1003

Peace On Earth

December 25, 2011

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1003 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: So Paul is…he’s in a long theological discourse. I don’t want to get into all of it, but he has just spent chapter 3 establishing what we’ve been talking about…that there’s nobody good, there’s nobody righteous. If you think you are, then God hasn’t opened your eyes, and I pray that He will. I pray that God will open the eyes of kids who have grown up in this church and don’t know that they are sinners. That’s what God wants for everybody who will hear the good news of what He has done at the cross and what He’s done because He came into the world.

So Paul, at the beginning of this chapter, he goes to Abraham, a great figure in history, one that God has sort of established the pattern of how it is that men can relate to God. He says, “What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter?” (NIV). Well, what’s the matter? The matter is, how do you approach God? How do you become righteous? How do you become acceptable in His sight? That’s the question. That’s the big issue. How does that happen?

Well, what did Abraham discover? “If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works…” That is, what he did. If that was the case then, “…he had something to boast about—but not before God.” There’s a lot of people that boast in what they do. You think about the fellow in the temple that Jesus talked about. Oh God, I thank You I’m not like other men. I fast twice a week. I give my tithes. I do this. I do that and do the other. I’m especially glad I’m not like that fellow over there.

Oh I’ll tell you, that’s what…there’s nothing worse. You can talk about the ugliness of the sins that we hear on the news and things we know are there and we don’t even know about. There’s nothing more ugly in the sight of God than self righteousness! For us to be what we are and somehow come to Him with the delusion…oh God, I’m good and You ought to accept me. There’s nothing worse than that. There’s nothing from which people need to be saved any more than that. People need to be saved from their religion, as much as they need to be saved from their sin.

( congregational response ).

So here’s Abraham. If he was justified by works he had something to boast about, but not before God. God’s not gonna pay any attention to that kind of boasting. Men may. Men may look and say, there is really somebody. Wow! He’s a righteous man. Oh no. God’s looking at him as a very different evaluation of that.

But here’s the thing. What does the scripture say? Paul is going to the inspired record of God dealing with Abraham, and he’s gonna pull out the truth—the absolute truth about why Abraham was a man that God accepted. Why did God look upon differently than He looked upon everybody else? Yes, I understand there was a purpose involved. But that purpose did not ignore what was going on in that man’s heart and that man’s life.

It says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” So here’s one man. He brings his works. He brings his efforts to please God, to make himself acceptable to God. And here’s another man who knows there’s no way I can do that. But God has given me a promise. And I don’t just believe the promise, I believe the God who uttered that promise. I’m seeing right past words. I’m seeing Him—I believe Him.

I believe anything that comes out of His mouth because of Who it is that I’m putting my faith in, because the Good News that the angels came to announce that day did not have anything to do with…I’m gonna give you the secret. If you will do this, do this, do this, do this, you can be accepted by Me. No! It was a Savior. It was Somebody who gave us an entry into Heaven’s Kingdom apart from anything we could ever do, apart from anything we ever deserve.

And so we read in the scriptures that this is a gift from God. This is something that we can never possibly earn. We’ve been saved by grace. Well, grace means God’s helping you. God’s extending you something you don’t deserve. The fact is, your heart would never even be inclined toward God if God did not deal with your heart. It’s wonderful to have good seed to sow, to have a message that uncompromisingly lifts up Jesus Christ as your only hope for salvation. What He did is your only hope. It’s the only thing that stands between you and hell. We either come by that or we do not come.

We can have that message, but we need God to work with hearts. And that happens because people pray. God will deal with hearts and He will mold you and He will bring you to the place where you know you need a Savior. Oh, I pray that somebody’s here like that today. I don’t know. I can’t engineer any of that. All I can do is give out the message and say God, it’s Your Word. Just like Paul, he didn’t know what was going on that day, but he gave out the message, and God had somebody on the other end that was ready to receive it.

Remember what Jesus said about the soils? He says the Word goes out and it falls on different kinds of ground. It falls on some that’s so hard it just doesn’t even penetrate at all. The birds come and eat it up, and that’s the end of it. And there’s a lot of people like that. You can give the most wonderful message of hope and truth with the greatest anointing. Here’s Jesus Himself, by the way. He had the Spirit without measure. He was giving out truth and there were people who were in such condition, they had no capacity to hear it. See, you’ve got to have both ends of the equation. You’ve got to have something that’s real, but you’ve got to have somebody’s heart that’s ready.

And you had other people’s hearts, and there was stuff growing there, wasn’t there? There were other things growing in that soil. That means their lives really…that was what was important to them. They wanted to have the Word and the hope of eternal life, but they wanted to have their stuff too. That doesn’t work, does it? I’ll tell you, we’re gonna have to give our hearts completely to Him if we ever have the peace that He has promised through the Gospel. We’re gonna have to belong to Him. It’s not Him plus my dreams, and okay God, fulfill my dreams. It’s Him.

It’s our self will, it’s all the stuff that revolves around self and our thinking and our inclination—everything about us is about self. That’s what I need to be rescued from. If every time I move in that kind of a spirit, every time I do something in that way, all I do is just…it’s sin. It’s against God. It’s totally out of character with what He’s after.

And of course you had others. There was a lot of rocks in the soil. In fact, there was really a layer of rock. You had about this much soil, and then you had rocks underneath, and so the seed came up pretty quick, didn’t it? But all of a sudden, the sun got hot, and the roots had nowhere to go, and it just withered and died. And you see, sometimes people will come, and they’ll just oh yeah, that’s great. that’s wonderful—that’s wonderful. But the soil down underneath has just never been broken up.

I’ll tell you, we need God to break up the soil in people’s hearts. And I’ll tell you, if we have God’s Word and God is working, don’t you worry. We will see seeds spring up, and it will not just spring up to be a church member. It will spring up to everlasting life. And I’ll tell you, you can be one of those that has that peace. But here’s Abraham. He believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness.

Praise God! I don’t have a clock today. I have a wreath back there.

( laughter ).

I was trying to figure out what time it was. I see the ribbons, but they’re not helping me know what time it is.

( laughter ).

Praise God! “Abraham believed God….” That was the key. Where is your heart with respect to faith? Believing God certainly doesn’t mean I believe in me and God. That’s where religion leaves a lot of people. I believe in me, Lord. I believe that I’m a good person. I believe that I can live this life. I believe this…you need to believe in Him. I’ve walked this way long enough to know, at least I know it here and the Lord’s still working on the other part.

But I know that I cannot live, I know that this life…I know that there’s nothing in me that has any hope that I can possibly base any hope upon. I mean, not only just to be right with God but to be what He wants me to be! It’s got to come from Him. Man, its divine help that I need every step of the way. If God does not come in—if Christ does not come in and live in me and through me, nothing will come forth from this vessel but something that isn’t good. Every time I believe in myself, and that’s what we do—every time I believe in myself, I fall flat. Every time the Lord brings me down to that place. Oh yeah, Lord, I need a Savior. Lord, I can’t do anything, but I praise You that You love me.

I praise You that even though I’m this way, You’re not giving up on me either. Lord, I committed my heart into Your hands, and it’s safe there. Like Abraham, Lord, I believe You. My hope is in You, Lord. You’re the reason I can rejoice in the midst of all the trouble of this world because inside I’ve got an anchor for my soul that You’ve put there, Lord. And it’s not because I did anything to deserve it. It’s because I put my faith in You.

( congregational amens ).

I put my faith in Your promise. Paul says, “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.” Does your boss come to you, if you work for somebody else, at the end of week and say, I’ve got a gift for you? You’re such a nice person. You’ve done such a good job. I just want to give you a gift here. Out of the goodness of my heart, I’m giving you…no! There’s a legal obligation there. If you’ve contracted with him for wages and you do the work, he owes you the wages.

But a lot of people treat God like that. Their attitude is, I am this kind of person. I do this. I go to church. I’m a good person, God. You owe me. Now they would never say that, but that’s what really is involved. Oh I’ll tell you, I want to take the place of somebody that…God doesn’t owe me anything. If I got what I was owed, I’d be in hell. God’s shown me…I don’t know if I could take it if the Lord really showed me the whole deal. But He’s shown me enough to know that I have no grounds in this guy to have any, not one scintilla of confidence toward God.

And yet I have a confidence toward God. So how does that put together? How does that go together? That’s simply because God has done something about my problem. God took my sins and He put them on His Son. His Son willingly took the burden of my sin. He received every penalty, all the wrath, all the retribution that could come from the law that I had broken. He didn’t break anything. I did. All of it was poured out upon Him and He willingly took it…not just willingly, joyfully!

In spite of the pain, there was a joy in his heart because He could look past the pain and past the death and past the world. He saw the resurrection. He saw a new creation coming forth. He saw His brothers and His sisters. Many are here today. He saw you and you and you. And every time the devil screamed in His ear, “What are You doing? You’re innocent. You shouldn’t be doing this. This is crazy,” He said, “I’m going through. I’m not doing this for Me. I’m doing it for them, and I’m doing it to glorify God.”

( congregational amens ).

God has opened a door of hope through what Jesus did on the cross. That is your only hope.

( congregational amens ).

If there’s anybody here who thinks you can come to God and be one of those upon whom His favor rests on any other ground, I’m telling you today you have a false hope. I want to lift up Jesus.

( congregational amens ).

The principal applies. God has promised you that if you will humble yourself, if you will repent and turn from your sins, if you will put your life in His hands, He will forgive your sins and you can be right with…you can have peace with God!

( congregational amens ).

The state of war, the state of enmity can end! And suddenly, you were over here in the enemy’s camp, and now you’re over here. And His peace can come in. And nobody has to tell you…in fact, they can’t even talk you out of it. When God does something in here, you will know something has changed.

( congregational amens ).

My Bible says, “…If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Old things have passed away. Behold all things have become new. Does that mean we become instant saints and instant perfect people? Oh no. The fact is what we’re talking about today is coming into that relationship where we have peace with God, is really the starting point.

Didn’t Paul say that I’m persuaded that…well, there’s two different scriptures. I’m getting confused. But he talked about, “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (KJV). So there’s a process. There is a salvation that comes from that point on! When you come to faith in Christ and God gives you peace in your heart, that’s when salvation begins. That’s when God goes to work on your heart. That’s where He comes in and begins to empower you to be a different person.

Coming to church and learning how to be a Christian on the outside is worthless. Nothing avails in this kingdom except a new creation, and only God can do that, when we come to Him as the other man in the temple did. You know, we talked about the man who comes in bragging to God about how good he is, and thanking God that He’s not like everybody else. But there was another man in there, and he was a sinner, and he knew it. And he knew it to the point where he didn’t even lift up his head. He knew that if he didn’t find mercy, he was a goner. He knew that only one thing stood between him and hell…that was that God who would have mercy on him.

“God be merciful to me a sinner.” He took the place…that’s the only honest place anybody can ever come to. I’m a sinner. I’m what you say I am, Lord. I offer no defense. I’m guilty. I deserve to be judged. I deserve to be rejected.

But you know, buried in that word “mercy” there’s a deeper sense, because that word mercy is connected with sacrifice. And he was really appealing to God. God, I’m not asking You to just have pity on me and overlook my sins. I recognize that I deserve this. I’m not just sort of begging for…just excuse my sins, Lord. Just have pity on me, oh God, I’m such a poor sinner. Oh God.

You find a lot of folks that when you pin them down, a lot of times they’ll resist and resist and resist until it’s obvious that there’s no more resistance. Then what happens? All of a sudden you watch people switch gears and suddenly try to elicit your pity. That wasn’t what this guy was saying. This wasn’t a self pity. Oh, I’m so bad, I’m this…I’m terrible. I want you to have pity on me? No. He was pointing to the sacrifice. He knew that for him to have his sins erased, for him to have a hope before God, something was gonna have to be done about his sins that separated him from God, and he was looking to a sacrifice. He’s saying God, I need a sacrifice for my sins. I need someone to bear my sins. I need…I want what only You can offer me, Lord. I need mercy—I need the mercy that comes because someone else has taken my sin upon themselves. I acknowledge it. You are God.

Just in the way he approached…oh God, be merciful. Look to the sacrifice, God. I don’t point to me. I point to the sacrifice. Have mercy upon me a sinner. What were Jesus’ words about that? What did He say? He said this man went forth from that place justified. You know what justified means? It means he had a completely clear legal record before God. His record was so clean, it was as if he had never ever sinned in the first place. What an amazing gospel we have!

( congregational amens ).

Do you understand that God can take all the ugliness of your heart, the stuff you don’t even want to even admit is there? God can do away with it! None of it has to be a barrier between you and a Holy God. We can have peace with God here! I know we’re gonna have perfect peace there! But man, I need peace here. I need something inside of me…Someone inside of me, Who when I have to live my life in the midst of trouble, I am connected with Him, and I know it’s gonna be okay. He loves me. He has accepted me.

My faith is not for one second in anything I could ever be or do. My faith is in Him. I look to Jesus. I say, Father, He took my sins upon Himself. I believe in Him with all of my heart. Lord, I don’t want to go that way anymore. I want to go Your way. I understand that I can’t live this, but I believe Your promise. I believe what You have promised me through Your Son. Come and live Your life in me and change me and make me what you want me to be. And salvation begins.

But you look at Abraham and how the promises that he received, he had to do some standing in faith, didn’t he? Some of you know something about that, don’t you? Some of you have had a real battle coming to faith in this area. But I’ll tell you, God is looking for people who will be so fixed in their confidence in what God has said to your heart, that nothing will turn you aside.

It didn’t say Abraham felt God’s warm gooey love, whatever. It didn’t say he felt something, because there were a lot of times he didn’t feel it. He didn’t say, Abraham believed God and he kind of went along for a while, but he put a deadline on it. Okay God, if You go past this point I’m not believing anymore. No. He believed God, period. So the promise that he was talking about took something like 25 years to come to pass.

But Abraham, the scripture says later on, he was strong in faith. He gave glory to God. “Against all hope…” in verse 18, “…Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations.” It talks about how he was tried in his faith in verse 20, “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith.…”

God will strengthen you in your faith if you’re willing to believe Him. That’s what grace is about. That means God will help you if you want to be helped. If your heart is to believe Him, God will help you to do that. “…But was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God…” Now how can he do that? It says, “…Being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” I’ll tell you, God has the power to save you and me completely, to blot out your sins, as we said, as if they’d never happened, to save us to the nth degree because of Jesus.

I praise Him this morning. Is there any reason…you understand now why chapter 5 begins…I’m not gonna go into this, but just to make allusion to this point. Have you ever wondered why chapter 5 begins as it does? Now you know Paul didn’t break these up into chapters. Men have done that just so we can help find stuff.

But he says, “Therefore…” (NIV). In other words, based upon what I’ve been telling you, “…Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God…” There’s where it comes. We have it! It’s ours! It’s our right to have state of peace where there was a state of war between us and God. The world will listen to some of the music that’s being sung, and peace on earth, oh, let there be peace. Let us all, as I said, hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.”

But it should have a different meaning for us. God has peace. But there is a very clear message in the Gospel. God’s peace is for those upon whom His favor rests. Well, who are they? They are people who hear His Word, and they believe it from the depths of their heart, and they turn from their sins, and they put their faith in Jesus Christ, and His peace comes in to stay.

I pray that, of course, all believers would be encouraged…and just thinking about these things encourages me. It refocuses my mind upon what we have in Jesus Christ. But I’ll tell you, if you’re not at that place, I pray that you will turn your heart and cry out to God until that peace comes. I’m not talking about a superficial emotion, because you’re gonna have times when you don’t feel the emotions that you think you ought to.

All of us are in that place. But I’ll tell you, His peace is deeper than that. He wants you to know in the depths of your heart, not because someone says so, but here…God’s witness to you, just Him and you—God’s witness to you. You’re my child. I love you. I’m never gonna leave you. I’m committed to you just to save you completely because you’ve put your trust in me.

That’s what peace on this earth is all about. And I’ll tell you, if we have that peace in our hearts, other people are gonna begin to feel that, and God’s gonna use that light that’s in us to bear witness to others, and He’s gonna call all of His to this peace that those angels sang about on that day. There is peace on earth, but it’s not what they think. It’s what the hope of the Gospel brings to the heart that puts their faith in Him. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).