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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1078

Living by Faith in His Promise
Part One

June 2, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1078 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I’d like to begin, if the Lord can help me, where in a Scripture that is very familiar to us and one that Ben read recently, and just kind of use it as a jumping off point, and just pray the Lord will gather some scattered thoughts that I’ve had. But, I feel like we just need a continual diet of the Word of God to encourage us in our journey, in our battles, and every aspect of just walking with the Lord. Because I believe He’s with us and I believe He’s absolutely helping us.

The enemy certainly is coming against His people here in a way that ought to encourage us because he doesn’t care about people who are already dead. He’s got them, but he’s certainly wanting to derail and discourage any of God’s people. And we have every reason in the Lord to be encouraged. I certainly fight the same battles that you do, but we have the same Lord.

( congregational response ).

And He’s the One to whom we need to look.

( congregational response ).

And Romans chapter 8 has some awesome promises. Paul has been discussing the Gospel, what it is. From the beginning of the Book here, he’s really outlining why it is that we need it. We are totally helpless sinners…what God has done about it. He talks about living for the Lord. And then he gets to this wonderful passage here about the hope to which we’ve been called.

He talks about the fact that we are, verse 17, “…We are children, 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. (NIV). The promise of what God has laid before us is just beyond our imagining.

And oftentimes in our journey, it seems a little unreal, it seems a little unattainable, but God has wanted to continually encourage us with the reality that it’s not a matter of our attaining it in the sense of our strength or anything that originates in us. But we are entering into something that is divine. And so what he is describing in the particular passage is God’s part in this and the certainty of that.

And of course, you come down to verse 28 that we read so often, “And we know that in all things God works…” God works—God works. Get that. “…For the good of those who love him.” And he elaborates a little bit on what that means and who they are. He says, “…Who 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…” That is, the Son, that’s Christ. That Christ, “…Might be the firstborn among many brothers.

“And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this?” You know, this is a declaration of the certainty, the all-encompassing glory of God’s purpose and His plan for us. So, what is the proper response? How do we respond to something this amazing? “If God is for us, who can be against us?

Now has the devil come against anybody here? Has he tried to discourage and tried to assault your mind? Yeah, sure! That’s kind of like Christianity 101…you know, this is just the way it is. We’re called to a fight of faith, aren’t we? And, as I say, Satan is not gonna go against the dead. He’s already got them. But, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

Boy, there’s a lot in all of this, isn’t there? And this is, as I say, a jumping off point. I don’t know exactly where all we’ll go. This is, as I say, a declaration of God’s purpose, His design for people that He calls to His kingdom. And, I pray that if you haven’t heard His call, that you’ll listen, that you’ll open your heart and you’ll cry out to Him, because this is not something where you just join a religion and start being a better person and then hope that God accepts you in the end. It has nothing to do with any of that at all. This is a reality! You and I were born with a life that can never inherit the Kingdom of God!

( congregational response ).

Paul says in 1st Corinthians, chapter 15, “…Flesh and blood cannot inherit…” It doesn’t matter how good you are. It doesn’t matter any of these things, there’s no possibility of us having any part in what God has done apart from a miracle. God has got to impart to us a life—a new life, a brand new life, that we were never born with! We never had it before. It was not a part of our make-up, a part of our being, but He imparts it to a people, and it’s a people that He specifically calls. I’ll tell you, when He calls, He’s gonna show you how desperately you need Him!

( congregational response ).

And what you are without Him, and your hopeless destiny without Him! Praise God! It’s like…was it John that said, it’s a very simple equation? You bring it down to simplicity. God has given us life. Okay, so where’s the life? And this life is in His Son. Okay, so here’s life. God has put it in a certain place, if you want to call it that way, speak of it that way, but that life is in His Son! Okay so, “…He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son…does not have life.” It gets pretty simple, doesn’t it?

I’ll tell you, we’ve got to absolutely have Him residing, not just as somebody that hands us a ticket to heaven, but this is a Lord. This is Someone who comes in and transforms and calls us from a world that is headed for hell, turns us around and puts in our very being the life of God so that we can be pointed toward His purpose, participate in this thing that He’s called us to. He calls people according to a purpose and that purpose is, as has been said so many times, is that God going to change us.

Is God dealing with you in areas of your life that need to be changed? He certainly is me. And there’s plenty of them. And the reality is, as long as we are in this world, there will be change that is required. If you think that you’re basically okay and everybody around you needs to change so that your life will be less cumbersome, you haven’t got the picture. If you think that, you are really the one that needs some desperate change!

But oh I’ll tell you, God is going to conform us to what? What’s the standard? His Son! And, interestingly enough, His Son is what? The express image of God. Yeah, it’s like we said the other night and we’ve said it many times before…how do you know what God is like? You just look at Jesus and you’ll find out exactly what God is like, because God lived in His Son. He was absolutely the perfect expression of the very person of God.

But God isn’t satisfied with just the one Son. He has called many to live, to become a part of an eternal Kingdom! And every one He calls is going to be ultimately made like His Son. Now wrap your mind around that one if you can. That’s beyond my power to grasp. But I know what His Word says.

( congregational response ).

And I know that the things that He is working and His is bringing to pass in my life are designed for that! Here and there there’s little tiny inklings that maybe I’m getting it just a little bit, and it enables me to begin to say, thank You for things that I would not normally say thank you about. But recognizing in them that God is absolutely using things about me, weaknesses, difficulties, whatever it is in my life, He is absolutely employing them as tools in order to do something in me to cause me to feel my need, to cause me to cry out, to cause me to reach out after what He has given to me in Christ. Nothing will happen apart from God doing that kind of a work in us!

But God has called us according to His purpose and then, of course, He declares…what sounds very incomprehensible to us because we’re so limited in what we’re able to accomplish. You know, all we have…we have the present, and we look to the future, the past is gone, there’s nothing we can do about that except give it to Him, thank God!

( congregational response ).

Anybody here got a past you’d just like to be rid of? Well I know somebody that can take every bit of it on His shoulders.

( congregational amens ).

And do away with it, and we can start fresh this morning. Praise God!

( congregational praise ).

So if you’re carrying around a heavy burden, we’ve got Somebody that’s right here this morning by the Spirit who can take all of that burden upon Himself. And we can walk out of here with lightness in our steps and a certainty in our heart. Thank God!

So anyway, so now we’ve got this picture of many sons coming. And ‘son,’ again, is a de-gendered word here. These are God’s children. “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Only God can do that! Only God is so outside of time, so over all, so over everything that He can see the end from the beginning and know its certainty! You and I can try to do something and hope it works out. But God’s not like that. When He sets out to do something, ain’t nobody gonna stop it. Nebuchadnezzar discovered that, didn’t he?

( congregational response ).

He does as He pleases, “...In the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (KJV). Praise God!

And so, here we are in the middle of all this, in the process. And so again, “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (NIV).

Now connect the dots here. He’s talking about the purpose of God and all that we will be, all that He is engineering in our lives so that we will be like Him, and He’s saying, I haven’t left anything out. I have given you everything that’s necessary to make that happen. Praise God! Do you need that?

( congregational response ).

Has God just sort of said, all right I’m gonna wipe away your sins, here’s the Christian life, go for it? Oh man! We might as well walk away and throw up our hands. How can a son of Adam become a son of God? We’re gonna have to have a real divine miracle.

But as I say, I got to thinking about this and my mind went back to a passage in Romans chapter 4, and I’d like to just kind of go through this a little bit, and just remind myself first, and you as well, about what this process involves.

Now first of all, Paul is, again he’s opening up the Gospel. What is the Gospel? What’s it really about? The Gospel is a word that’s just thrown around so loosely, and for most people it just means turning over a religious new leaf, going to church—doing church, trying to be a better person. Sometimes it’s going to these small group seminars and learning all the particulars…you know, there’s good principles and all that, but oh it’s so much more than that. There’s a real transformation that has to take place.

But how in the world do sons of Adam with all of our sins ever get into this game? ‘Game’ is not the word, but you understand what I’m saying. We described over in Romans chapter 8 this incredible calling, becoming an heir of God, having a destiny that is certain. Who is this that gets in this?

That’s the question Paul has already answered in Chapter 4. Who was he just talking about here? Who are these who have been called according to His purpose, who love Him? All right, so he goes back to Abraham, uses him as an example. “What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God.

You know, we are very good at building ourselves up in our own mind, becoming ‘legends in our own mind,’ and trying to become legends in each other’s minds. We would like people to think well of us and so we put on a nice little religious pose, and we suppose that we are better than, and all that bunch of junk. I was gonna use a different word, but I won’t.

( laughter ).

But anyway, “…But not before God.” God is not impressed. God understands what you and I are made of and it’s the most ridiculous thing in the world for sons of Adam to try to act like sons of God, and suppose that God is gonna accept that. That ain’t gonna happen!

“What does the Scripture say?” Well, now we’re gonna go back to the Word, because the Devil will supply you with all kinds of reasons and answers that supposedly answer this question. There’s only one source of Truth that God has given us that we can rely upon and that’s His Word.

And He has preserved it for us in a way that we can always go back, just like Jesus did. What does the Word say? It is written! And if you are coming up with any sort of rationale outside of this, you are listening to the wrong voice! And I pray that you will open your heart to the simplicity of what God has said.

“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” That’s it! You know, there’s some religion out there that’s almost like God has built this glorious bridge across a chasm, and it goes almost all the way across. And so you get all the way out there and He says, now if you will just do this, and you will do this, and do this, then you can build the rest of the bridge, and then I’ll accept you. And it becomes, not just Christ, it becomes Christ plus what you do.

Folks, there is no doing, not this kind of doing. There’s some doing. There’s some cooperating with God, but if you’re trying to do anything that you think that by your doing that, that God will accept you, or look kindly upon you and receive you as His child, you are absolutely on the wrong track.

And you know, my mind often goes back to the testimony that we’ve heard, at least I heard it. I don’t know if you all heard it. But, that evangelist, that man who had preached for years and then came to realize that he himself just could never find any rest. And God ultimately brought him ultimately to a simple truth. What is it that God accepts? That what it comes down to! Will he accept anything you and I do? Of course not! But what is it that God accepts?

And God pressed upon that man’s mind? He said, I am completely satisfied with what My Son did on the cross to pay for your sins. I’m completely satisfied with that. The problem was, he wasn’t. He kept trying to quell the thoughts of his heart and the unrest in here…he kept trying to deal with that by trying, being more religious, praying more, reading his Bible more, doing something—doing! As though God would somehow accept his doing.

There is no way for anybody to ever come to God until they abandon that. So the Lord told that man…He said, I’m completely satisfied with what He did. When you become satisfied with that, I’ll save you. Oh, how proud we are. We don’t want to come that way. We don’t want to admit the simple truth that we are lost, helpless, hell-deserving sinners who have no hope before God except to come the only that He has opened. There is one way and it’s Jesus. And it’s what He’s done.

At this point, Jesus wasn’t in the picture, but there was a principle that God was establishing, because God who was outside of time was able to take care of all of Abraham’s problem because of what was coming. He knew it was coming! He knew it was certain! And so He declared Abraham to be a righteous man in His eyes upon what ground he believed in, didn’t He?

( congregational response ).

But what did his belief look like? His belief was expressed in obedience! God said, do this…he did it! God was calling him out of a world of unbelievers and He said, leave your country, leave your household, your family. Go to a land that I will show you. There was a calling out, there was a separation that was necessary.

Now I don’t know whether God will physically call you to leave your family, but I’ll tell you, spiritually, anybody that comes to Christ is going to have to strike out regardless of what anybody else does or says about it. Anybody who loves husband, wife, son, daughter…or his own life more than Me, cannot be My disciple. There is a call to obedience, to set out and to put your confidence in Him and to set your face toward the heavenly Kingdom and turn your back upon this one. And that’s what Abraham did. Praise God! And God said, you’re a righteous man.

Now Abraham was not depending on what he did. It was not like God said, all right I’m gonna give you a way to earn your way into my righteous standing. I’m gonna give you a way to earn it. If you will do this and you will do…no, it wasn’t that at all. He believed God’s promise. God promised him.

That was the very center, that was the heart of what God said to him! It wasn’t simply a command! It was a promise of what God alone could do! God was going to make him a father of many nations! All nations of the world were going to be blessed because of Abraham! That was what Abraham believed, and because he believed in the promise, he acted in accordance with that belief.

That’s the fundamental principle involved in every aspect of our salvation. It isn’t just getting in the door, this applies to you and me right now. This applies to you and me today, this morning. I need this. Praise God!

And of course, he elucidates this a little bit. He says, “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.” How many of you think God is…that there’s anything that we can do that will obligate God to do for us? No way! He blesses because it’s in His character and his nature to bless and to love, but man, there’s nothing you can do to walk up to God and say, I did this and You owe me, God. Oh, a lot of people act that way. They wouldn’t say it that way, but that’s how they act. Man, I stand by mercy only.

( congregational response ).

But I’m so glad to be able to commit my whole being into the care of One like Him who gave Himself, gave His Son. The pain, the agony, the humiliation that He bore is what I should have—I should have been there. It was due to me and He took it. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! I’m so glad to be able to just let go of all my efforts to try to become part of this incredible calling that He has given us. Oh man, just quit your trying and just give it all to Jesus. He is an able Savior. He has all…He’s able to save completely. God, “…Is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives…” I’ve got that backwards, but anyway it’s Jesus. He is able to save completely those who come to God by Him because He ever lives to pray. Aren’t you glad for that last part?

( congregational response ).

Do you ever get in a low place and you’ve just run out of gas spiritually, and the Devil is just hounding, and you just can’t even hardly pray for yourself sometimes. And there’s a groan, you’re just crying out. You know, even that groan is a prayer. God’s inspiring that. But you know somebody is praying for you. Sometimes it’s down here. It needs to be down here.

But there is Somebody over there…don’t you know the Devil would love to go up there and stop Him? He can’t get anywhere near that place. He can’t stand the presence of God. But there is Somebody right there who is conscious of your need at your weakest moment and He’s saying, Father, help them.

You think about the love that He showed to Peter. He knew Peter was self-confident and cocky, and thought he could handle everything. And He even warned him, you better be praying. Your flesh is weak. You’re gonna be facing a battle here, your facing a challenge and you’re not ready for it.

But what did He say? I’ve prayed for you. Before it ever happened, Jesus prayed for Peter! He didn’t say, well, what’s the matter? If you’re not gonna do it yourself, I ain’t gonna mess with you. He said, I prayed for you—I have prayed for you.

I want you to wrap your mind around that and remember there’s Somebody praying for you that cares about you in your darkest moment. He probably let you get in that dark moment because He wants to bring you down to a place where you will just let go of things. Anybody know what I’m talking about?

( congregational response ).

God’s kind of put you in places where you suddenly realize, hey, this is ridiculous. God is just constantly trying to put His finger on this and I’ve got to just let it go—let it go. What happened when you did?

( congregational response ).

Peace. Oh, how we struggle. Oh, how attached we are to things of this world, the things of this life. And God is so faithful to work in us.