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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1034

Forgiveness
Conclusion

July 29, 2012

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1034 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Do you think David was the only one that was gonna fail? No, but he saw…having come through this terrible thing, having reached out for God’s mercy, learning something in a deeper way about God, taking a more sober look at his own life and his own heart and his own need…all of this…if he would really reach out and have God do the work that was needed at that moment, he was actually going to be in a better place to help somebody else and encourage them and be able to say, I was in a ditch! “This poor man cried…” as he did in another Psalm, “…and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” (KJV). “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

( congregational amens ).

That’s what God is looking for from every one of us. It’s not just you and Jesus. You are connected, I’m connected. What happens to me affects everybody else. I want to be a positive force. I can’t be that without God taking control. I have no power to help you and you have no power to help me, except God live in us. Praise God!

That’s what being part of the Body of Christ is about. It’s Him living in us. It’s Him energizing, Him directing. But even things like what David went through can cause us…you know, we don’t jump in the mud to say, oh God, I’m gonna have a great spiritual experience here. But the best you and I do, we’re gonna find ourselves in that place sometimes! Let’s let God take that and use it for good! Let’s let Him work in us so that we can help one another.

“Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.” (NIV). And that’s a positive statement, isn’t it? He’s recognizing, God, if you do what I need done so desperately in my life, there’s gonna be good things, there’s gonna be good fruit come out of this. That’s what I long for, Lord. I’m just not looking to feel better. I want to get back on line. I want to get back into the center of Your purpose, oh God. Do something for me in my heart of hearts.

“Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.” Not mine…my tongue’s gonna sing about You, Lord, how great you are…a God who can deal with something like I just messed up and did. “My tongue will sing of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.”

Now here’s the…it almost sounds…you put two or three of these verses together about sacrifice, it almost sounds like a contradiction, but it really isn’t. He says, “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.” Later on he says, yeah, we’re gonna offer burnt offerings and it’s gonna be great. You’re gonna accept it. What’s the deal there?

The deal is He’s talking about something superficial. He’s talking about some outward thing that you do that’s sort of, almost a religious ceremony—almost going through the motions of…well okay, I messed up, I will pray a little prayer…I’ll try harder, I’ll do better. There’s nothing superficial about this. David is saying, there’s nothing I can do outwardly. I’ve done all this…I can’t just go take a bull and slaughter it, and say, okay, that takes care of it. You get what he’s saying?

( congregational response ).

It’s not superficial. This has got to be a heart operation. That’s why he goes on to say, “The sacrifices of God…” The ones that He’s really, really looking for, “…are a broken spirit…” Now they were under the economy of the Law and looking forward to the sacrifice of Christ, they did sacrifice animals. That was appropriate to do. But if the sacrifice of an animal does not come from a broken heart that has a godly attitude toward sin, then it’s just an empty form!

And I’ll tell you, the Israelites who even did these things over the centuries, so much of it was an empty form. And God said, I hate your sacrifice—I hate all this stuff! Take away all your noise, the noise of all your worship, it’s empty! Your heart’s not in it! You’re just doing it as an outward form of religion and I hate it!

That’s what David is getting at…saying, God, the sacrifice You really are looking for is not just an animal, it’s in here. Praise God! “…A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Are you in a place this morning where you think God despises you because of what you have done or what you are? You think He’s rejected you? Listen to what he says. “…A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” That’s the very thing God is looking for.

Everything that David experiences and expresses here…I’ll tell you, I almost see the goodness and the mercy of God in allowing him to go through this terrible thing! Think of what it has done for the multitudes of God’s people who have been able to read the prayer that he poured out of his heart, and to learn what it is that God is looking for from us. Oh God, if you’re trying to be a good Christian in your own strength, you don’t have a clue what your real need is.

But here’s a man after God’s own heart. This is what repentance looks like. It’s an honesty of heart. It’s a looking entirely to Him, it’s recognizing that the issues are the things that flow from here and not from anywhere else. But now you come right back to what I said earlier that it’s not just about David and God, is it? He’s not just thinking about me…once I get my heart clear, I’m free from the guilt of this thing, everything is great and grand, we’ll just go on. He’s saying, oh God, my heart is not just about me. I have a responsibility here.

And so he says, “In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem.” He’s talking about the spiritual needs of the people over whom God had set him as a ruler. You see the heart that was not just concerned about him, but concerned about the people that God had placed in his care. Has God not placed one another in our care? What we do in our walk with God…I’ll tell you, it needs to be about the Body of Christ.

( congregational amens ).

Yes, our place in it, our part, our responsibility, the measure of God that flows through our part…but oh God, there needs to be a heart that says, oh God, build up the walls of Jerusalem! Build up the whole Body of Christ. Man, when I get in a place like that, and I do, just like you, my tendency is just to think about me. But you know, part of growing up, part of being mature is saying, oh God, this isn’t just about me. And I’m not the only one. And I pray for my brothers and sisters who are in this place. I pray that You’ll reach out Your hand of mercy, the same mercy You’ve shown me…help them. Help me to be an instrument to help them and encourage them. Lord, I pray for them! Man, that’s a good way to get out of yourself.

( congregational response ).

I’ll tell you, there’s something that’s gonna flow into us when something like that flows out. I mean…not just a form. I’m talking about really giving our hearts…because a heart of God that’s flowing in us, there’s a real sense that God is concerned about others and they’re in the same weak place I am. They have the same needs. They’re made of the same stuff. Oh God, help them, right now, where they’re at.

I’ll tell you, God will just move in greater ways in our lives. This is part of growing up in Him. In all things, this honesty…but this heart for the whole of God’s purpose. Now this is where he comes back and he says, “Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you; then bulls will be offered on your altar.”

That’s what sounds like such a contradiction. He’s just said You don’t want that! And he says now, then it’ll be something that’ll great and You’ll love it. But you see what the difference is…the difference is it comes from the heart. There’s a real repentance that’s behind what they’re doing.

Man, that’s what Jesus reacted so strongly to with the Pharisees. They were just so full of their own self-righteousness, ‘cause they were just following a bunch…they changed the Law of God into a bunch of religious rules. And as long as they kept the rules, they thought, well, by that I’m righteous. Oh Lord!

You think about Paul. He was in that place when he was Saul, the Jew, the Pharisee. All he had to do was meet Jesus, didn’t he? And suddenly his entire world flip-flopped, and he suddenly realized. And yet, even there, you see experiences…I see a parallel between what he experienced, maybe it wasn’t one grand thing, or one large thing.

But Romans 7 and 8, you see Paul coming to that same place. Oh God, who’s gonna rescue me? He begins to understand where sin comes from. It’s not just these little superficial mistakes that I make. It’s what I am! Sin is what I was born…everything about me, the way I was born is contrary to what You’re after, Lord. But in spite of that, You loved me enough to send Your very Son.

( congregational amens ).

Does not that magnify the grace of God?

( congregational response ).

It sets it in its proper place. The more we see what we are, the greater our apprehension of what He has done for us, and how awesome it is that He would come and become sin for us so that we could become the very righteousness of God in Him. Praise God! But I’ll tell you, you never ever, after that, will see in the life of Paul this self-righteousness. You never see him get to the place where, in his own mind…okay, now I was a sinner back there, but now I’m good. Never ever see that, do you? You know, I remember years ago, somebody, not from here, kind of objected to the song, “Sinner Saved By Grace.” “I’m just a sinner, saved by grace.” That’s not right!

( pounding fist ).

You’re a Christian now. You’re righteous. You’ve been changed. You’re a different person. It’s wrong to call yourself a sinner! Well, maybe there’s one aspect of truth there. But Paul didn’t get that memo.

( laughter ).

Look at what he said in, I think it’s 2nd Timothy, 1…one of the Timothy’s anyway…maybe it’s 1st Timothy, but I’ll find it when I get there. Yeah, it’s 1st Timothy, chapter 1, verse 15. Now he prefaces what he’s gonna say by saying, “Here is a trustworthy saying…” You can bank on this one. Here is something you can absolutely bank on. “…That deserves full acceptance.” Don’t you hold back on this. You embrace this with every part of your being. This is Truth, guys. You can bank your life, your soul upon this Truth. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” That’s glorious. But you know, he doesn’t stop there, does he?

( congregational response ).

“…Of whom I am the worst.”

( congregational inaudible ).

Yeah. It’s a tense situation. He doesn’t say, ‘I was—I was the worst sinner, but He saved me.’ I am!

( congregational response ).

Paul understood that in me, that is, in my flesh, my natural man, dwells…

( congregational response ).

No good thing. You know, that’s a revelation you and I need. If you haven’t got it, we need that. Not so that we’ll give in to it. Not so that we’ll just say, oh well, it doesn’t matter, I can’t do any better. But so that we’ll turn to Him and embrace the salvation that He’s given.

If you’re one of those that says, oh, I can’t believe I did that again! Well, I guess I can understand that. I’ve been there. But again, where does that come from? It comes from a wrong understanding of what you are. It’s pride. You’re measuring against somebody else and you think, well, I’m better than that. I shouldn’t do that.

Well, if you go by your own strength, you will. Like the guy who drinks and says, I’ll never do that again, I promise. How does that work? It doesn’t. You don’t have the strength—you and I don’t have the strength to promise to be different than we are. If we could do that, we could save ourselves! We could change ourselves into what God wants! That’s the whole point! I can’t! I need a Savior!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! But you know, this gets into something else and I never did make this connection before, and I don’t know that the Scriptures are meant to be necessarily connected, but I think there’s a truth here that we need. Matthew chapter 18…’cause one thing the Lord seemed to quicken to me as I was thinking about this, is, once again, this is not just about me and God. This is not just a private little deal between me and Him, where as long as I get that right, everything’s cool, everything’s grand, everything’s as it should be. There is a sense in which I don’t need to just deal with the vertical, I need to deal with the horizontal.

And there’s a situation here that Jesus is talking about—there’s an illustration that Jesus is talking about that absolutely bears on what we’re talking about today, that is an honest assessment of what we are. Now this goes back to…well, I’m gonna read this. Let me pick this up here in verse 21. “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” No doubt he thought he was being very righteous and generous in his offer to the Lord. I’ll forgive them seven times, Lord.

( laughter ).

Now, you know, a lot of times we’ll lift this out of the context and forget where it’s placed. Let’s back up a few verses and see what the context is. Why would Peter come up with a question like that? This wasn’t just out of the blue, was it? Go back to verse 15. “If your brother sins against you…” That’s what the context is. Jesus volunteered this Truth. “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.”

See, this is a private thing here. “If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along…” and so forth. He goes through the principle of trying to help somebody. But yet, sometimes you run into somebody who just will not be helped. They’re gonna have an adamant spirit. It doesn’t matter if the whole church recognizes the condition they’re in and bears witness to it, they’re gonna say, I’m right and you’re all wrong.

And Jesus said in that context, “…Tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” You just recognize this is somebody who has a different spirit. They’re not really a part. “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

See, you’re talking about the context of the Body of Christ here. This is the relationships with one another. This is part of the ‘one another’ thing. So now it’s in that context that Peter brings up this issue. Okay, Lord, so my brother sins against me, what’s my responsibility? How often do I have to forgive him? Now of course, you all snicker because you know the answer to this one. “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Or seventy times seven…it’s a lot anyway. It’s high enough, you’re gonna lose count and you’re not gonna worry about it.

This is not an issue of how many times and then there’s a limit, and then you cut them off. This is a condition. Folks, if we’re part of the Body of Christ, there’s gonna be stuff that happens. There’s going to be offenses. There’s going to be things that people say and do that are wrong against one another. That’s part of being what we are. We don’t try to be that way. We want to grow, we want to learn. But in the process, we’re gonna mess us and there’s things that are gonna happen. You can’t put people together and not have stuff happen. But isn’t God wise to put us together so He can knock those rough edges off? Of course, that applies to everybody else, ‘cause all my rough edges are gone. If everybody else would just get right, I’ll be okay.

( laughter ).

But Jesus, of course, told the story, a parable here. “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. Be patient with me, he begged, and I will pay back everything. The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. Pay back what you owe me! he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, Be patient with me, and I will pay you back. But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.

“When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. You wicked servant, he said, I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” That’s sobering. Now, who do you suppose the characters represented based on what Peter had asked? The king represented…

( congregation inaudible ).

God. Who did the first servant represent?

( congregation inaudible ).

He’s talking to…of course, He’s talking to Peter. He’s answering Peter’s question. Who was that servant? Well, it was Peter. And of course, by extension, it’s every one of us. What the Lord is doing here is showing a comparison between the things that we do to one another as compared to the things that we do against God! Let’s see this from God’s point of view. We see it from ours! We say, I was doing good and they sinned against me! But how does God see it? He says, your sins against me—your shortcomings against me are like the national debt…growing.

( laughter ).

They are so mountainous they will never be repaid! There’s nothing you can do! And yet, I have forgiven you! Look at this mountain of debt! Now here’s somebody, again, that’s done something to you. What’s that like compared to this mountain?

( congregational response ).

It’s like fast food lunch money.

( congregational amens ).

Who are we to not forgive one another when God has forgiven us? But you see what’s going on here with somebody who struggles with this, and really just can’t let it go, and has got to…’but you don’t know what they did.’ They don’t get it. They’re not really seeing themselves through God’s eyes. They’re not seeing that from God’s point of view, He has forgiven them trillions and trillions of dollars that it was hopeless for them to repay. They’re not seeing themselves as sinners.

Think about that. If you’re one that really struggles in this area, there is not a small bit of Pharisee in you. If you’re looking at yourself, comparing yourself to other people and imagining that you’re better than they are, you’re like the Pharisee who went in and said, I thank You that I’m not like other men. Yes you are—yes you are. I don’t care if you go out in the gutter. I don’t care if you walk up to Adolph Hitler. Now you can sputter and spout and say whatever you want, but you look into the heart of his heart and the heart of your heart, there is no difference! Yes, the circumstance is varied. Yes, he yielded himself to a master spirit and did awful things. But the same sin that drove him is in you.

( congregational amens ).

And God has had mercy on you! This has everything to do with the life of the Body of Christ! And you can recite Psalm 51 ‘til you’re blue in the face, but if you’re not willing to have a spirit of humility in recognizing what’s wrong in you and seeing by contrast how tiny, insignificant are the things that people do to you, and forgive them, you’re gonna carry that burden of guilt right away from all that praying…not gonna do you a bit of good.

( congregational response ).

God, give us an honest heart that recognizes what we’re made out of and how desperately we need a Savior, so that we can forgive one another and see things in their proper context. Man, it’s one thing to look from a human point of view. It’s another thing to step back and say, well God, how do You see it? He says, I see you with sins like the national debt and I’ve forgiven you because you came to Me and put your trust in Jesus Christ. And this little thing that has happened to you…yes, I know it seems big to you, but can you not forgive them of this little thing?

God, give us grace to see things in the light of His Word. You know, I see another area where this comes into play. You know, God saves sinners! And we would like the Lord to clean them up before they come here so they don’t mess up our cute little playhouse. But I’ll tell you, God just might want to save some prostitutes, some drug addicts, some people, who by the standards of this world are just the down-and-out despicable. They’re not like us. We don’t want to dirty our skirts.

How did Jesus react to people like that? He loved them. There was a compassion. He looked beyond their fault and saw their need. And God help us to so understand what we are that we not only have compassion upon one another, but we’re able to have compassion on people that He would reach out here. I’ll tell you, we need to be instruments of His…stop trying to be little goody-goody little Christians in our own minds and start saying, oh God, just fill me with Yourself, Lord. Help me to be like You. Change my whole way of thinking and doing. I’ll tell you, there’s a lot in this, isn’t there?

( congregational response ).

But, that’s part of spiritual maturity, as I said in the beginning. It’s having an honest appreciation of what we are and who we are. And if we do, we’re gonna have a genuine repentance that never looks at self, never wallows, but just comes and says, oh God, my only hope is in Your mercy. But I don’t just want You to do a superficial, wipe-it-off-the-books kind of thing here, Lord. I need a deeper work in here.

And I’m not gonna hide and pretend that it isn’t like it is. It’s exactly what it is, Lord. But You’re able, and I come because of Your character and Your purpose that You would work in me. And help me to have a right spirit toward other people. Help me to live in the light of all of this, so that I can properly relate to my brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ, and so that I can have a heart of compassion toward people that are down and out and need a Savior.

They’re caught by the power of sin. And you’ve redeemed me, Lord. That doesn’t make me better than them. But it gives me a message of hope where I can say, look, I’m a sinner, too, but Jesus saved me. There’s hope for you if you’ll call upon the name of the Son of God and surrender your heart to Him! You turn your case over to Him and He’ll save you. Praise God! Don’t we have a wonderful Savior this morning?

( congregational response ).

Praise the Lord! Praise God!

( congregational praise ).