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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1100

The Gospel in True Marriage
Part One

November 3, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1100 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Praise God! I’m thankful for an occasion like this that’s an occasion for great joy. It’s an occasion for great joy for more than one reason, isn’t it? And I appreciate the Lord’s visiting us. You know, the Lord visited a wedding probably more than once, but certainly one time we know about in the scriptures, didn’t He? And, I believe it’s an occasion for great joy for all of us.

It’s hard not to think about Ephesians 5 when you think about an occasion like this. I certainly came in this morning feeling very, very empty. And I guess, in one sense, I still am. That’s a good place to be. But there is some rich truth in this scripture and I just pray the Lord will highlight what He wants to say, because when Paul was writing, as he did, about marriage and the marriage relationship, in particular, he had a dual purpose. It wasn’t just about the marriage relationship. It was about the Gospel.

And I appreciate so much the Lord’s emphasis in the singing and just bringing to the forefront the hope that we have because of what Jesus has done for us. What a message! What a joy, what a thing that we have to lift up.

And so, Paul…in this passage, he’s talking about living for God in the world, and how we need Him. And He has built this upon the reality that God is doing a brand new work in those that He has called, those that He has given His Spirit to, those who are born, truly born into His Kingdom.

You go back into the previous passage in the previous chapter, and you’ll discover that Paul is talking about people who had something different. They’d received something they weren’t born with. It wasn’t that they took on religion, it was that God has done a supernatural work in their hearts and changed them. And that change is not a part of this old creation, it’s a part of the New Creation. There is literally a new creation happening.

But in the process of that happening and our experiencing that, there obviously is a working that is going on while we live in this world. We live still in bodies that still love the old things, and God has given us, however, the means of subduing that. But it’s a process of learning to do that and growing in Him. We start out as little babies, and we squall and make a mess, but God is patient with us, and patient with His children, and He loves us. And so, in the course of doing this—of setting this reality forth, Paul is highlighting our need in living for God.

But it comes into focus in our relationships one with another, doesn’t it? How we talk to one another, how we respect one another, how we honor one another, and the different relationships that God has called us to. I’ll tell you, that’s where you really see the reality of what God has done or not done. It plays out in how we treat one another and how we relate one to another. Anyway, I’ll get my tongue untangled here in a minute.

But anyway, he comes down and he talks about being filled with the Spirit and what that means. You know, if we are just operating in the natural realm, you know what’s gonna happen. We live in a world that is devoted to two things, pride and lust. You break it all down and that’s what this world is about, that’s what the world system is about. That’s what God is calling us out of.

And so, when there is something else happening, it has to come from God. You can be religious and be as proud and selfish about it as you can imagine. And we see that all around us. We see it in the Word of God. But that’s not what God has called us to. He’s called us to something entirely different. And that plays out again in our relationships.

But in verse 21, he kind of introduces something by saying, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (NIV). You know, we sing about Him, we sing words of worship and appreciation to the Lord, but you don’t see that just by singing words, do you? You see that in the attitudes. Do we have a prideful, self-willed, ‘I’m gonna get my way’ kind of a spirit, or do we have that humility about us? Because that’s a characteristic of the Spirit of God.

When God’s Spirit is literally living in us and operating through us, inspiring and energizing what we do and how we are, that’s what’s gonna come out. It’s going to be the Spirit of Christ, and it will absolutely change the way we live with one another.

But it’s at that point, of course, that he comes to this passage beginning in verse 22, he says, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” Everybody loves that one. “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

You know, we live in a time that doesn’t think much of this kind of truth. It never really has, but we have had in our past culture a certain amount of acknowledgment that this is so, but today there is a full-blown rebellion against this. But I’ll tell you, God is the One who has established all of these truths in the beginning, and they don’t come out of just a bunch of rules. They come out of His own nature, His own character.

As I said, this world is devoted to pride and lust. And you take two people that are under the dominion of lust and pride in some fashion or some form, and you tell one of them to submit to the other, you’ve got a war on your hands. And you’ve got somebody who is gonna be the top dog in that relationship and they’re gonna use that for self. They’re gonna be abusive, they’re going to be possessive, they’re gonna be…something is gonna be there that is not what God is talking about here, is it? And I’ll tell you, the greater responsibility that I see in this passage is that of the man, isn’t it?

( congregational response ).

I mean, you tell a man, you love your wife as Christ loved the church, you’re giving him an impossible task. We’re gonna have to have God living in us. We’re gonna have to have a right relationship with God if anything resembling that is going to happen. And at best, we fall far short.

But I mean, you think about what that’s talking about. I mean, isn’t that what the songs have been about this morning? It’s the love of God! I’ll tell you what, the message of the cross, what God has done for us through Christ, is just beyond belief for those who have experienced it!

And you see the description of this here…is the love that God has…or that Christ has for His church. It caused Him not to just say…He didn’t go out and say, hey, I like the looks of that one. I’m attracted to that person, or to this, or to that, or the other thing. I’ve really found something in there that just floats my boat. It just does something for me. That’s what I want. No. He went out to us. He searched us out when we were lost, hopeless, broken, had nothing—nothing but brokenness to offer to Him.

You know, we sang…the phrase came up in one of the songs…redeeming love—redeeming love. That’s a love that sees one that is…that has no hope of anything. But it chooses to set love upon that one, and for the purpose of pulling that one out of those circumstances and setting them in a glorious place. It’s the power to change!

That’s what God’s love is about! It is setting love on someone who does not begin to deserve it, and say, I am so excited because I know what I can do! I know I have the power to take somebody who is in that state and raise them to a place where they cannot even imagine what it’s gonna be like. Oh, I’m just so excited with what I can do. Praise God!

How many of you husbands think of your wives that way? I don’t hear too many amens. But God help us—God help us to appreciate what the Lord has done for us, because we call things love that aren’t love at all. They are absolutely energized by lust and by pride. We just want something that’s good for us and makes us feel good. And by God, we’re gonna get what we want out of it. It’s all about what I can get!

With God, it’s what I can give. It’s what I have the power to do! Oh my God, give us the…open our understanding so that we understand what he wants to reproduce in us. Oh Lord, we just need to…we need to see this. I need to see it in a greater way. But you think of what He has done. And I’ll tell you, what makes grace amazing…I mean, you can talk about all the greatness of what God has done…what makes grace amazing is when we see what we are without it.

And I’ll tell you, the world does not see this. With a mind that has been blinded by the powers of darkness, that is absolutely unable to see the light, “…of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (KJV). They are absolutely blind. And how do men evaluate themselves? How do they do it? They just compare themselves with one another. And oh, we are good at doing that and imagining that we are something, that we’ve got something commendable about us. You think you have something commendable about you? Compared to what? Because that’s the question. You know, the Bible says, “For all have sinned…” and do what? “…And fall short…” (NIV). Of what?

( congregational response ).

“…The glory of God.” That’s the standard. See, God didn’t create us to live like we live down here. This world is a lost, hopeless cause as a system. You just wait, if you don’t believe that. I don’t think the Mayan calendar has anything to do with it, but it’s gonna come. And it’s gonna come when the Lord says, ‘it’s enough!’ When the Gospel has gone forth and the last person who is ordained from the foundation of the world believes it, and understands it, and has their eyes opened, and sees it, I’ll tell you, that’s gonna be the time for God to come and say, it’s done. You don’t have to put up with this world anymore. I’ve got something so much better, you can’t imagine.

But oh, people think this is what it is, and this is what the world is about, and they’re totally blind. They have no idea what they are. I’ll tell you, somebody who is lost and in sin and overcome in the eyes of the world, you almost have an advantage—you almost have an advantage, because…a lot of your illusions about yourself are shot. All you have to do is look in the mirror and look at somebody else, and you say, man, I’m a mess. Well. the truth is, we all are!

( congregational amens ).

There’s not one of us who can look at another and say, I’m better than you. You’re not! I’m not! We are corrupted, hopeless sinners apart from the grace of God. And if you don’t think that, you haven’t seen—you haven’t seen it. You know, the Word says that, “…the preaching of the cross is…foolishness.” (KJV). But who is it foolishness to? Who is it that thinks that the preaching of the cross is foolishness? It’s the people who are perishing! See, there’s people who are on a road that leads…you talk about a fiscal cliff, this is an eternal cliff!

( congregational response ).

This is a cliff that…you fall off of that, it’s ‘all she wrote.’ That’s it! This world is absolutely on that road, and it’s racing toward what it thinks is the answer to everything, and it’s absolutely running off a cliff. Oh God…they just have no idea. If you think that there’s anything commendable about you, I just pray that…all I can pray is that God will open your eyes. And you know something? Believers, we can pray…but we can pray in faith. Did not Jesus say, “All that the Father gives me…” (NIV). What?

( congregational response ).

“Will come to me.…” That sounds like a very positive deal that we are a part of…that God is absolutely, in the midst of a broken world, He is sending forth a message of life and hope and every one for whom He has foreseen and foreknown, and I’m not gonna try to unpack all that. That’s in God’s hands.

But I’ll tell you, there is a people who will hear. Their eyes will be opened. They will not be coming and saying, okay, God, I’ve got some needs and I’m gonna try to be religious to fix it. They’re gonna come just the way…some of the songs that we’ve sung here. “I come broken to be mended.” I don’t come with any pretense…just as I am! “Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come…” that He invites. There’s no other ground to come to Him upon.

Praise God for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because that’s what this is really about! It’s about God, through His Son, seeking lost and broken, helpless sinners, setting His love upon them. And not just saying, I’m gonna give you a plan. Here’s how you can fix it. This is a plan that He has to engineer 100 percent of the power to save the best of us, if you want to try to measure it by human standards…there are no best. We are broken sinners.

We are…I’ll tell you, if you don’t think you are, my prayer is that God will absolutely bring you to that point where you see it. You look in the mirror and you just…you can’t believe God would ever love somebody like you because you’re so bad. You haven’t seen yourself unless you’ve seen yourself in the light of God’s holiness and God’s purity.

You look in this Word, and every single time that somebody had a real encounter with God, there was some manifestation of God, some expression of God, they were…where did they wind up? On their face. All sense of goodness is gone! They stopped looking at one another and saying, I’m better than you. They look at God and say, oh my God, I had no idea my need was so great. But you want to know what love is? If any man had ever been in God’s position in that circumstance, what would he do?

( brushing hands off ).

I’m done with you. You have failed to live up to my purposes. You are lost and broken. You are worthless! Into the trash heap you go! But oh, we have a God whose love, whose very nature would not allow Him to do that. He reached out…but what was the cost of that? My God, you think of His Son coming…just living in this world was enough! Just to have to leave heaven and come here!

Every once in a while you hear of somebody who has a genuine experience…I don’t think all the experiences that are out there are genuine, but I believe they are genuine experiences where the Lord has allowed people to see heaven. How many of them do you think want to come back? I’ll tell you, it’s a real act of submission to say…I’ve got more for you to do down there. Tell people what you’ve seen. But to have to leave that, and they’re just looking and just longing, and just trying to take it in. Do you have any idea what God has for them that love Him? Oh, I’ll tell you what…but Jesus, not only lived there, He was the Lord of heaven.