Loading

About Us - Publications - Broadcasts - Audio & Video - Contact Us - Home

- Broadcasts -

Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1011

God’s Vision for the Church
Conclusion

February 19, 2012

Return to Transcripts

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1011 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: The religious system will never come to grips with what is really wrong with people. It’s the sin of rebellion and individual self-will. It never really comes to grips with that. God has a better way. God has a vision of what He has done in His church. You can see it in the beginning, and this has been alluded to.

When God anointed Peter to preach that powerful message, lifting up who Jesus was, pointing to the responsibility of those who had crucified the very One God had sent, their hearts were pricked. What happened? They were baptized. They repented. They turned to God with all their hearts! What happened as a result of that? What was the promise? They’d be filled with God’s Spirit.

You see the same spirit that came down upon the disciples was the Spirit of Jesus. That same Spirit entered into these people. That’s what made them a people. It was a people who shared the same Spirit. It wasn’t a matter of…well, I’m a Methodist or I’m a Baptist, or I’m one of these brands. It was a matter of…Jesus lives in me. I am connected. God connected me. I didn’t do this. When I surrendered my life to Him, God connected me with everybody else that is born of that Spirit.

And so they all just got on their horses and rode off in a million directions and followed Jesus in the sky. No. There was a practical unity of walking together, of caring for one another, of meeting together, of praying for one another, meeting one another’s needs. It happened on a real, practical level. It was not some mystical something.

I’ll tell you what, there is something that is real and practical if God has established as a context in which to fulfill His purpose in our lives. It is to make us one with each other. Praise God! Just look as some scriptures. I’ve used some recently but let’s go to a different one in 1st Peter. Let me just quickly read a passage. I think I’ve got enough time here. There’s things I want to get to, but in chapter 4 of 1st Peter, let’s just begin in verse 7. He says, “The end of all things is near.” (NIV). Interesting statement…surely it’s a lot nearer now, isn’t it?

( congregational response ).

This was written a long time ago. It says, “Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” Folks, we have no business being careless in this hour.

( congregational amens ).

You’re just trying to drift along, you’re going to drift right into Satan’s net and find yourself in a bad place. We’re going to have to be alive, awake, aware of what God is doing and saying.

( congregational amens ).

God has given us everything that we need to stand before Him in glory one day and to see the fulfillment of these wonderful songs that were sung tonight. They’re coming!

( congregational amens ).

That’s in our future. Praise God! “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” Folks, we are so picky about the little faults that we have. God is so wise. He puts us together with other people who have faults.

( laughter ).

Of course, He put you there, too.

( laughter ).

Where do we come off getting all bent out of shape about things that are wrong, that God’s working on them? God, give us a compassion for one another.

( congregational amens ).

God, shut up our gossipy tongues when that’s needed.

( congregational amens ).

God, help us to do what he says here. Now if there’s something really that needs attention, needs dealing, that’s a different story. But I’m talking about just the faults that we have. Put up with each other for crying out loud.

( congregational amens ).

That’s the thing. You have restaurant religion…you get tired of that you just go down the street. There ain’t no other street, folks. If we’re gonna walk with God and God’s people, we’re gonna have to be willing to stay the course and put up with each other while God does the work that He can only do in that context.

( congregational amens ).

How else will you ever die? How else will you ever let go of self. God has a plan that’s so much wiser than man and his ways. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one…” of you. Now here’s another picture that kind of parallels what Paul says in Ephesians 4. That’s the scripture we use so much about how every part contributes to the whole, and it’s a body. You’ve got the sense of people that are vitally connected.

Members of the body don’t just pick up and say, well, I’m going here today, you go there. You would have a rough time if your body decided to do that…the parts of your body. If they truly exercised an independence…that’s not God’s plan. God puts us together. He does it. It’s the way it pleases Him. It’s not according to our ambitions and our ideas. We surrender those. We say Lord, I’m Yours. You’re the Potter, I’m the clay. Just put me where You want me, empower me to do whatever. But this is the same principle here. He says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received…” To do what?

( congregational response ).

“…To serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” Praise God! You know it’s like the parts of the body. What would be the case if somebody says, well, I ain’t gonna do that, I’m just gonna pinch it off. Everything south of that would suffer, wouldn’t it? God has fixed it to where life—His life, his grace, is all that we need to be what God wants us to be. It flows through one another. That means you’ve got something that I need.

( congregational response ).

You’re just as much a minister as I am, because God’s grace takes different forms, doesn’t it?

( congregational response ).

You can’t put everything in one category. Everybody has the ability and the responsibility to yield themselves to God, to grow in Him, and to express His life one to another in a way that will cause the whole to build up and become what God intended. So he gives examples here. “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.” That ought to make us think and pray, and say, oh God, I can’t do that. Oh God, you’re gonna have to help us.

( congregational amens ).

“If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” Simple picture isn’t it. But everywhere you’ve got this sense in the purpose of God, of being built together.

I’ll say one thing here for a bit. I want to read the scripture because I posed the question about authority. Where does authority lie? We already said it doesn’t lie with you being the highest authority, nor is it other human beings who have this dictatorial power over you. Neither one of those is of God.

( congregational amens ).

But let’s look at the picture that we’ve seen before I think in chapter 5. “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder.…” Now that right there that tells you something. Here is the apostle Peter, the fellow who was used of God on the day of Pentecost in the launching of the church. This is somebody high in the Kingdom of God, as we would see such things, and he’s writing to elders. He says I appeal to you. I don’t command you. I appeal to you as my ‘underlings’…no, as my fellow elders.

You see the spirit? You see the spirit of it. Just hold this for a second and I’ll refresh a scripture that you know in Luke chapter 22. Keep your finger in the other place. ‘Cause Jesus talked about this question of authority. Verse 24 of Luke 22 there was a dispute. They got in an argument. These wonderful apostles-to-be, apostles-in-making, they got in a fight. And the subject of their fight was, who’s gonna be the greatest. Real spiritual stuff.

( laughter ).

“Jesus said to them, the kings of the Gentiles lord it over them.…” Now you’ve got dominion authority pictured there. This is the way society works. It certainly did in that instance. The kings lord it over them…I’m in charge, I tell you what to do. Listen to this deceitful point he makes. It says, “…And those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.” I’m just such a noble character, I’m telling you what to do because I love you so much. Give me a break.

( laughter ).

People exercise power because they’re in love with power. It’s self, either way it’s self on the throne. But here you’ve got people who acquire power. They use it to control others and they lie to themselves saying, I’m your benefactor.

Listen to what Jesus said, “But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.”

See the spirit. So even where people do have authority in the sense that they’ve got a higher position watching over others, it doesn’t have anything to do with the type of authority that’s exercised in this world. It doesn’t mean there isn’t authority now that needs to be respected. That principle still holds. But it is not a bunch of people asserting their will over somebody else, and trying to bend them and make them bow, and telling them to shut up and don’t ask questions. That’s not the kind of authority God’s is interested in. We don’t want that.

But listen to what he says. He appeals “…as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings…” back in Peter, “…and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed.” Praise God! In Peter’s mind, he’s standing beside these brothers. He’s standing beside them and saying, brothers I’m gonna tell you some things, but I’ll tell you, one day we’re all going to stand there in glory. This is what we’re living for. This is what lies ahead for every one of us.

But here’s where we’re at now, “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers.” So you’ve got some that do have a responsibility to watch over others. If that gift, if that ability comes from God, is that not to be respected as something that comes from God, even if it’s imperfect? You see God uses the imperfections a lot of times to bring out rebellion, doesn’t He?

( congregational response ).

So be shepherds of God’s flock, but he says, “…Not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be.” So you’ve got this one possible problem. Here is somebody, they just don’t want to do it. They’re not really willing. But he says you need to be willing, you need to do this willingly. This needs to come from your heart, not because it’s a duty. Okay?

But here’s another problem that can arise, and certainly you see this everywhere in religion. “…Not greedy for money….” Oh God, religion is big business. You’ve got people who are living high on the hog, taking money from widows to live high on the hog. God, help…I was gonna say I don’t want to be there, I guess I will, on the Day of Judgment, to see what’s gonna happen to some people that are like that.

( congregational response ).

Wow! Lord, Lord, didn’t we do all that great stuff? Depart from Me you that work iniquity. I never knew you. “Not greedy for money, but eager to serve.” The motivation is not for what we get, it’s for what God gives us the ability to give. God takes care of needs. See the whole point of God’s economy is, it’s a giving economy, it’s a giving spirit. But somehow within the context of that, everybody also receives! Praise God!

And here’s the other thing, “Not lording it over those entrusted to you…” That’s what Jesus had referred to earlier, not lording it over. “…But being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

“Young men, in the same way.…” That’s an interesting way to put it. He just doesn’t say, young men be submissive…young men in the same way. What he’s saying is that the office of an elder, doing what they’re doing, it’s a submission. Far from lording it, it is an act of submission, it’s an act of service. We’re submitting to the will of God to act on behalf of the body.

( congregational amens ).

That’s got to be the motivation behind it. If it isn’t, it’s something that’s not right. Something God’s going to have to work on. But, “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older.” But then he takes a step back and says, “All of you, clothe…” all of you—all of you “…clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

So you see the character of the kingdom that God is seeking to build. There isn’t this, ‘I don’t agree with that’…that kind of a spirit. Who are you? God help us to have a spirit that reaches out to God with a humility and says, I could be wrong.

( congregational amens ).

Every one of us is capable of being deceived. We don’t know our own hearts. God, the people that are running around saying I’m following Jesus, and it’s just the vanity of their own mind in so many cases. God, help us. But you know, I think a lot of times we take a break right here, we close the thought, wrap it up and put it on the shelf and say, well that’s one thought, let’s start something different.

Look what he says in verse 6. “Humble yourselves, therefore…” Ooh, there’s a pesky word. Better get it back off the shelf. We’re not quite done with that thought here. We thought we were all wrapped up here with what we’re supposed to be toward each other, now we’re just dealing with God.

Get this. This is not a minor point. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand…” What’s he saying? He’s saying this body life, this spirit of mutual submission, mutual humility, you’re not just submitting to one another, you’re submitting to God. You can’t separate this. You can’t be out with your brother without being out with God. That’s a sobering thought, but isn’t it the truth?

( congregational response ).

Is that not what he’s saying here?

( congregational response ).

Why would he put the word, therefore, in there? You’ve got to find out what it’s there for. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

I’ll tell you there is a glory that is coming in this world. There’s something that God has purposed to accomplish in this world. And I’m stepping out here by faith because it sure doesn’t look like it. You look at the religious mess, the confusion of this world today, and you say God’s going to have something when he comes? But his Word says he will.

( congregational amens ).

And I want to be one of those people that stands for that, that points to that, that believes His promise. I want to go back to Ephesians chapter 3. I’ve used scriptures in here quite a bit lately, but there’s one I kept passing over…because I had something else I was focused on. But listen to what Paul describes when he’s talking about the unsearchable riches of Christ!

That ought to encourage us right there. We’ve got everything we need in Him. What God has purposed to do, is not dependent on your ability or mine. It’s dependent on Him and His purpose and He’s got everything that’s needed.

But he says in verse 9, “…and to make plain…” Well, let me back up, I’ll start this, verse 8. “Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me…” Now how did Paul get what he got? It was…

( congregational response ).

…Grace, or what was given…yeah, it was given, but it was grace. There is a divine enablement. That’s the same thing that saves every one of us. We’re saved by God’s enabling power! But in this case it was a special ability given to him to expound this—to make it plain, to understand it. He was caught up, he says in one place, to the third heaven and heard things that were unlawful to say. God gave him deep revelation so he could share it with us. I believe God wants us to get some of these things. They are lost in a blizzard of ‘feel-good religion’ in our day.

But anyway, this grace is given “…to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.”

Now listen to this statement, this is what I passed over. “His intent…” God’s intention, this is what He wanted to do, this is what His purpose is. “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.”

God is setting up a demonstration. We are that demonstration. That demonstration is for the benefit of the powers and principalities that rule this world. God is saying, Devil, I’m gonna show you. You think you were so wise to set off on a course of self-will, I’m going to show you what real wisdom is. It’s not to be found in the expression of independence and rebellion. It comes about by laying that down and becoming one with a people and drinking of My Spirit and becoming like Me. That’s where wisdom lies, Devil!

( congregational response ).

I’m going to prove it to you! Not only that, I’m gonna prove it to you in the world that you rule.

( congregational amens ).

That’s the part that we miss. Can you imagine, like I said earlier, Jesus coming for this mess right now? Part of it upsets me…the very idea. It would be like Jesus saying to the Devil, well, I give up. You win. I set out to fulfill this grand ideal but I can’t pull it off. Got a bunch of people down there that just don’t get it. They’re just insisting on being split and splintered and everybody doing their own thing and they think…I guess I’m just going to have to throw up my hands, come in there and rapture them all out, take them to Heaven anyway. So much for the demonstration.

Think about that. Think about the implications of that. You know we’ve already seen God miraculously bring forth a church that was filled with His power and His glory. It’s not like it’s never happened. But is that it?

( congregational response ).

And then we’re going to begin with a bang and end with a whimper? God has something better in mind.

( congregational amens ).

I don’t know how, I don’t know where, I can’t figure out how. I could speculate on some of the factors that may come into play, persecution being one of them. But I’ll tell you, we serve a God who could bring slaves out of the mightiest nation on the planet, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with fury poured out. He can do what He wants to do.

( congregational amens ).

He can do what He wants to do.

( congregational praise ).

But listen so some of the expressions that are in this Word. As I said recently, I’m not getting this from Sears & Roebuck catalog. Go back to chapter 4 and the order of getting the body in order, getting it functioning, and he says…he gives a time frame or a temporal element to this, and he says, “…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” That sounds like a glorious ideal, it’s just totally impractical, isn’t it? That ain’t never gonna happen. We’d better convene a conference here and try to get everybody together. You think that’s going to do it? Jesus has promised to build His church.

( congregational amens ).

He is the only one that can do it. Our job is to listen to Him. Our job is to recognize Jesus Christ as the head—the only head of this church, and His word and His promises are true. No matter how ridiculous they sound when you try to compare them with what we see in the world. Do you believe God could actually pull it off?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. You want to be part of it?

( congregational response ).

Praise God! I’ll tell you, I’m just like you. I’ve got a lot of unbelief to even stand up here and preach these things, but they’re in the Word. What are we gonna do with them? Well, one thing we need to believe it, but you know just believing it up here ain’t gonna get it. We need to have a heart that’s committed to make it happen, to experience it, not like we could engineer it. But I mean, like we could say, oh God, make this happen. Make it real in me.

( congregational amens ).

Don’t just fix everybody else up and I’ll be fine. God, start here. Let me be one who comes into the light so, like Carl read the other night so, it will be evident that what I do, it’s God doing it. I’m doing it with His strength. I tell you, we’ve got a God who is gonna back up His word for people who dare to believe it, as impossible as it seems. But I want to tell you, your salvation is just as impossible as this. That’s what Jesus said, when the disciples asked who then can be saved? He said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

( congregational amens ).

If God can save you, He can do this. He can make us to be what He wants us to be in the earth.

( congregational amens ).

Let’s not give Him any rest. Let’s sign on for the process and be part of it. Praise God!

( congregational praise ).