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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1050

The Hope of His Promise
Part One

November 18, 2012

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1050 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Praise God for the hope that we have in the Lord! Praise God! Turn, if you will, to Romans chapter 8. The Lord has kind of given me a fresh look at this in the last little bit. I hope that, by His grace, I can share some of it. There’s a whole lot more in here than you could get out in a message but…I’ve been writing and thinking about God’s promises with regard to the future and the fact that He’s going to have a church without spot and wrinkle or blemish when He comes. And just focusing on scriptures that I believe, promise that and lead us to believe it.

But you know, somehow it took me back to this passage in a way that I had never seen it before. And, you know, we have…Christians, believers have over the centuries taken great comfort from Romans 8:28, haven’t we? I mean, how many times do we look and we realize that where it says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV).

But I saw that in a new way, in connection with what I’ve been trying, with the Lord’s help, to write about, and to see that in its context as to what that purpose is, and what God intends to do, and how He intends to do it. Because, I mean, that’s a glorious truth that affects every believer and every age. But I believe, in a very particular way, it points to our day and it points to the hope that lies before us.

And when we talked about the hope that we’ll rise, and I thank God for that, because some of us will go by way of the undertaker. But there may be those here who go by way of the ‘upper-taker’ too. And we have a hope that covers both. We have a glorious hope that when we see Him, we’ll be like Him, and that’s really what this is about.

But anyway, he talks about things working together for… God works for the good in everything, and it’s to, “…those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” There is a people, in this passage, that this applies to. And there are many people that it doesn’t. And so, you just kind of go back and summarize what this passage is about and you see Paul’s teaching, his argument coming into chapter 8 has to do with different ways by which people try to serve God, at least, in their own minds, they try to serve Him.

One way is the way of self-effort and the law. We are going to qualify ourselves by what we do. We’re going to…when we detect something wrong in us we’re gonna try harder. We’re going to do all those kind of things that…you know, that’s our approach to God. I’ve got to measure up. I’ve got to be this. I’ve got to be that.

And then Paul comes to the point where he says, well, that’s a bunch of junk. You can’t do that. It’s not possible because our nature simply forbids it. We have a nature that cannot be conquered by self-effort. We are beyond that—way beyond that. And so the only way to Salvation, the only way to participate in what he’s talking about in chapter 8 is to come to the end of that and say, and cry out like Paul did, “O wretched man that I am!” (KJV).

The problem with a lot of religious people, they don’t know that. I mean, they have been sort of told it up here and they can sing, oh, “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!” But they don’t really think of themselves as wretches. You try to tell them that they’re wretches, really get down to it, and they’ll be ready for a fight, many of them. What do you mean? I go to church. I’m good. I do this. I do that.

But I’ll tell you, until a person is brought to that place, they’re not even in the game here, so to speak. You know, it speaks about those that God calls. Well, when God calls somebody, it’s not the same as somebody, some religious person leading somebody down the so called ‘Romans Road’ and getting them to pray a little magic prayer. It’s entirely different from that. It is a conviction in the heart that causes people to feel the weight and the guilt of their sins to the point where they feel the desperateness of their circumstances. They know that if they were to die that moment, they would go to Hell!

And that’s how serious this is. This is about Heaven and Hell. This is not about a good way and a better way to serve God. This is Heaven and Hell. Because there is no way that we can come to God by anything other than the blood of Jesus Christ that covers our sins. We can never be His without His literally coming in. That’s what it’s talking about. Because I need a power that is beyond me and I discover it all the time. God has ways of reminding me. Does He do that with any of you?

( congregational response ).

Yeah! We come face to face with our terrible weakness, sinfulness and our total inability to be a Christian. And thank God He hasn’t left us to that particular way of having to live! But as I say, I want to summarize and try to lead us through the thought, if the Lord can help me. But that’s where this begins.

And he says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” (NIV). That’s the starting point. And you know the question has to be asked, are you in Christ Jesus—are you in Him? “…Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”

There has to come a different power. You go back to chapter 5 or 6…I believe it’s chapter 5, and we discover that there’s only one power greater than the power of sin and death, and that’s the grace of God. That is a grace—that is a power that is able to be released in us but only at a certain point, when God calls a sinner and absolutely brings them to the end of themselves and they realize their only hope is to have God come in to live. I mean, their heart is surrendered to Him. We become, not our own but we, “…are bought with a price…” (KJV).

You can’t explain people into that. God has to do a divine work of conviction that brings you to a point where you know it’s your choice to surrender or go on as you are and go to Hell. That’s exactly what it has to come down to. Praise God! That’s what this is about.

But anyway, it comes down and describes in verse, is it 5? Yes. “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires…” (NIV). What’s your life about? Is it about what your old nature keeps craving and you kind of…that’s what you think about, that’s what you live for, that’s what you go after? “…But those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

You’ve got two diametrically opposed ways of living, two directions, two principles. Everything about it is in the opposite direction. God is calling people out of a sinful world to a life of glory with Him forever. Ain’t none of our sin gonna go there with Him. We are going to be completely transformed and set free by the grace of God or we ain’t going.

That’s what this really comes down to. Thank God this is a work that He is willing to do! That’s what magnifies it because we are so completely unable and completely unworthy of any of this, that all we can do is just praise Him! All we can do is just rejoice in His goodness to us.

But anyway, he says, “The mind of sinful man is death.…” You see, that’s what I talked about. You’re talking about death and life, Heaven and Hell. “The mind of sinful man is death…” or the old nature, “…the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” See, that’s where the inability comes. Not only will it not, it can’t! You’re talking about an absolute complete control of another principle that rules this planet and we need God’s power to pull us out of that.

“Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” It doesn’t matter what you do. There’s only one thing that pleases God and that’s coming to Him in surrender. But he says, “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.”

See, that’s the key. There’s a lot of people trying to serve God and trying to go to church and participate in this and that. God’s never come in. How many of you have been on both sides of that equation? Yeah. I mean, there’s people here…now, I grew up in a lot of this. I certainly know about my nature. And I know what it’s like to try to serve God in my own strength and to utterly fail.

But folks, I mean there is absolutely a line of division between those who are simply religious and those that Christ comes in to live and to stay! It’s life. It’s death. Your eyes are opened. Talk about Amazing Grace, once I, “…was blind, but now I see.” So many people sing that and they don’t have a clue what it’s talking about. I’ll tell you, when Christ comes in there is a new life principle there. There is a life that cannot die—cannot be destroyed. It sets people on a road of utter certainty toward the hope that God has set before us. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

And it changes everything. It changes your viewpoint! Now, it doesn’t instantly make a saint out of you that’s perfected, or anything like that. But I’ll tell you, there is a life principle that is implanted in you that’s real. It’s a very real birth.

Okay. “…And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” That’s pretty plain, isn’t it? How many people today claim to belong to Christ, that He’s never come in? He’s never really taken the throne of the heart and taken up residence. I’ll tell you, there may be people here today that need this. This is not the focus, but this is important. I mean, none of the rest of this means anything unless God has performed this work in your heart and if He has not, you need to be crying out to Him until He does.

Let’s go on and read something, read a little of this. “But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.” And then he goes on to the hope that we have that if we have Him in us, one day it’s gonna take care of this body. Anybody ready for that? Yeah! Praise God! I’m ready, on every level, I’m ready for a new body. And it’s not just the aches and pains, it’s the propensity to sin that I want to get rid of.

( congregational amens ).

Praise the Lord! All right, he says, “Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” Now, how do you put those deeds to death? How?

( congregational response ).

By the Spirit! How many of you have tried some other way…to put to death the deeds of the body? It don’t work. You know, how many of you have been in the place where you say, I can’t believe I did that again. I promise Lord, I will never do that again.

( laughter ).

Yes you will.

( laughter ).

You’re a liar. Well, your intentions may be all right but you don’t understand. Folks, we have one hope and that’s the power of real Salvation, where God gives us a brand new heart and a new life. Then you got something to fight with. Then we’ve got a power that’s greater than that other power that wants to control us that we can yield to. Praise God!

“…Because those who are led…” verse 14, “…by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear…” Praise God! “…But you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father.”

I don’t know all the derivation of that, but I do know that I’ve heard others speak about the word ‘Abba,’ that it’s a very personal thing. Praise God! I’m reading a book now that was lent to me very graciously. An awesome testimony of a Muslim woman, and the title of it is, “I Dared to Call Him Father.” Now that’s blasphemy to a Muslim. I mean, their concept of God is so high, and so awesome, and so remote, that to suggest that we could actually have a relationship with Him and call Him Father is just absolute blasphemy.

But God made Himself known to this woman in a tremendous way, and she got to where one day she dared to call Him Father. And I’ll tell you, He reached out and wrapped His arms of love around her and made her a new creature in Christ Jesus. But that’s what He wants for us. I’ll tell you, if there’s something in you that’s afraid of God, I don’t mean in a proper sense, where we respect, we have a fear of God that causes us to want to do what’s right, but I’m talking about that slavish, oh my God, I’m just…

( cringing ).

…God doesn’t want us to live that way.

( congregational amens ).

There’s a prophecy that when Jesus came, one of the expressions was that we may serve Him without fear all our lives. God wants us to have a relationship where we know that He is our Father. Do you know that this morning?

( congregational response ).

Or is there something in you that just feels kind of…like the proverbial ‘red-headed stepchild.’ You’re just not quite sure He’s…what He thinks about you and you feel like you’re such a mess, so unworthy that He would never think of you that way. Oh I’ll tell you, God longs for us to come to Him and bring all of our mess to Him and give it to Him and let Him wrap His arms around you. Do you think He doesn’t know about all of that? You think He doesn’t know what you are and what I am? I’ll tell you, Praise God, I’m so thankful that He does!

I discover all the time how desperately I need—I need to come back to this constantly. To know that I’m His son, I’m His child. He loves me. And He doesn’t love me because He found me and said, hey, there’s somebody that’s really cool, I’m gonna…they’re worthy. No! He got me out of the slave market of sin.

I have no claim upon Him, but that He chose…because of His own purpose—His purpose, this is His purpose we’re talking about! He initiated the action! He called me! I didn’t go looking for Him. He called me! He said, I want you to surrender your life and become My child, and I have set you on a road that leads to glory. Praise God! Praise God! Are you getting any of this? Is this making any sense to anyone?

( congregational amens ).

But here’s a key right here. “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” You know, it’s not my place to tell anybody that they know the Lord, that they’re saved. You know that? Not yours either. You know whose job that is? That’s God’s. I’ll tell you, there’s a lot of religious people that have never really experienced what I’m talking about right here.

When God bears witness, you’re My child! I’ll tell you, when there’s that kind of faith in surrender, when He brings it about, when He works with your heart, when He absolutely enlightens your mind and energizes your will to say, yes, Lord, I am what you say I am. I surrender. I put my faith entirely in Your power to save me. I cannot do a thing, but I take the place of a lost, helpless, unworthy sinner gladly. I put myself in Your hands and I believe in Your power, I believe in Your Son, I believe in what He did for me. I’ll tell you, when that really happens in your heart, there’s a witness of peace.

There’ll be all kinds of struggle going on before that. You’ll be…in fact there will be struggle. Most of the time there’ll be a lot of fight going on in you, but when you lay down your arms of rebellion, there is a witness…you’re Mine. And I’ll tell you, if you ever really experience that, you will never, ever get rid of it. Praise God! I’ll tell you, when the seal of His Spirit comes, you’re His! You may come the hard way but you’re His! Praise God! Anyway, that’s who this is talking about.

But now he says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs.…” So now He’s taking the fact of who we are, and what our relationship is with Him down and looking ahead to the end. Now I want you to see this throughout this entire passage. It is looking ahead to what we will be. “…Then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

I’ll tell you, Kenny was talking about wrapping our minds around the finished work of Christ. This is something that I have a hard time wrapping my mind around. That because what God has…because of something God has begun in me, that one day I will shine like the sun. Think about that. Think about what the Lord revealed to the disciples when they went up on the mountain with Jesus that one day. All of a sudden, they saw not just the outward flesh that He occupied at the time, they saw the inward man. All of a sudden He began to shine like the sun. I’ll tell you, you see the attributes of divine life just coming out, and you see this everywhere in the scriptures…Glory. Do you actually believe…now I see these blank stares.

( laughter ).

You’re just like me. You have a hard time getting a hold of this. But this is what God has called us to, folks. Do you really believe that the God in whom we have put our trust has the power to take sinners like us and transform us into His sons…now son is a de-gendered word there, that’s just His children, and absolutely bring us to a place where we shine like the sun?

You know, you look at the visions that people had of Jesus. You look at Isaiah when he saw Him sitting high on a throne. I mean, he just…there was a radiance there that caused him just to fall down and just realize in the light of who He was, what Isaiah himself was. And you think of John and the vision that he had in Revelation chapter 1. What happened…what was his response to seeing the glorified Christ?

( congregational response ).

Fell down like he was dead. Of course, the Lord lifted him up, didn’t He? Thank the Lord! But I’ll tell you, that’s what God has before us. There’s people here, they’re gonna stand there in Glory one day, and we will be as radiant as the Son of God.

( congregational amens ).

Get a hold of that. That’s what this passage is about. You just keep…follow the thought through. It says. “I consider…” verse 18, “…that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with…” With what?

( congregational response ).

“…The glory that will be revealed in us.” See, this outward man, there’s nothing glorious about him, in case you hadn’t noticed. There’s nothing glorious about us, but if Christ is in you, you have got One in here who has all the attributes of deity, all the purity, all the holiness, all that you and I will ever stand in need of.

And I’ll tell you, one day that inward man will absolutely break through, and God’s gonna say, here is what I have done. And I’ll tell you, the world is going to see a people that will be radiant. Our feet will not even stay on the ground if we’re here. If we’re in the grave, we’ll come forth in absolute power and victory. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

I know you’re all thinking about this, but this is a hard thing to wrap your mind around, isn’t it? Why is that? If you’re like me it’s because you see what you are right now. And you say, oh, yeah, sure. Maybe someday, somehow, okay I believe this. I believe it as a proposition, I believe it as a doctrine, but do we really live with the understanding this is what God-is-going-to-do? Do you believe He’s going to do it in you? Do you believe you, and you, and you, and whoever has put their trust in Christ, and He has come in to live, this is our destiny, folks?

( congregational response ).

This is not something we thought up, this is God’s promise—this is God’s promise! “…Not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.” This creation is just…it’s in a mess, and it’s gonna stay a mess until God gets done with the work that He’s going to do in us. And then there won’t be anymore curse. There will be a creation that will be filled with the life and the glory of God. There will be no death, there will be no sorrow, there will be no suffering, there will be none of these things that we know here. Praise God!

And he talks about it being set free from all of that. It says, “We know…” verse 22, “…that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons.”

Now there again he’s pointing to the very end. He’s pointing to the promise of God that when He comes we will be like Him. You sometimes experience that? Anybody here know what I’m talking about? There’s just a yearning that rises up in your heart sometimes. Where do you think that comes from? You think that’s just you or do you think that God sometimes stirs the heart? And He turns our mind towards Him and He lifts our heart toward the hope that He has set before us! And there arises a yearning, sometimes you can’t even put it into words!

And guess what? That’s exactly what he says. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.” Do you feel weak this morning? I’ll tell you, we’ve got One with us that can handle it. “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

I’ll tell you, there’s somebody around who understands when you and I have that inward yearning towards what is to be and what God has promised. Oh God, I long for the day when I don’t have to live with this…this guy anymore…Lord, when I’m set free from all that this world represents. Oh, God, come! How many times does God stir up that sense in us? And sometimes you can’t put it into words.

But this Word says right here, this is God’s spirit in us yearning. There’s Somebody who understands every word, if you want to put it that way. He’s the One who has brought that yearning to us. And I’ll tell you, He is at work to fulfill those prayers and to answer them. It is a certainty. It is as certain as you and I are sitting here this morning, maybe more so. Praise God! Do you believe this?

( congregational response ).

Is this just nice theory or nice doctrine? I’ll tell you this is real.

( congregational response ).

And so here it is. We’ve been talking about God calling people, God inhabiting people, calling them His sons, setting before them a hope of glorification, and it is in this context, it’s connected to that subject that He says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.…” That’s what it’s about! It’s about producing in us that final product, if you will, of what God has called us to!

We, “…have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he…” the Son, “…might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Praise God!

That’s one of the most awesome things I know about, is the fact that Jesus actually is…in the economy of God, He is our brother! Now He’s our Lord. He’s our Savior. He’s all of those things, but He is our brother! And God began all this with one Son. But He’s going to end all this with many sons who have been called out of all of this darkness, have been made like the first One, so that together we will serve Him in glory and power and liberty forever!

You want to see some scriptures that confirm some of this? Some of you probably already thought about Hebrews chapter 2. Just take a quick look at this because it covers the same subject. Let’s just quickly read here in verse 5. “It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: What is man that you are mindful of him…?”

That’s a good question. Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and said, why in the world would God be interested in somebody like me? Well, if we’re honest, everyone of us could say that.