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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1110

Walking in the Light

January 12, 2014

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1110 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: How can we hate the light? How can we fear it like we do? My God, you think about it. What is human life about? You look over in chapter 2 and he says to love not the world. See this plays into it. What are we…who are we really in fellowship with? What is our life really about? Is it about being one with Him and with His people, or are we really a part of the world.

Love not the world. Verse 15 of chapter 2. “Do not love the world or anything in the world.…” (NIV). Now when he says the world there, he’s not talking about the rocks and the trees, the planet. He’s talking about the spiritual order that exists here. He’s talking about what humanity and human nature stands for and he’s talking about the dominion of devils that rules over the darkness of this planet. That’s what he’s talking about.

But, if you simply grow up and follow your natural inclinations, you are a part of that kingdom, period. End of story. And, I’ll tell you, if that’s what drives your life, if that’s what you are really about, then you are not a part of this other. There’s no way. This is an absolute, something God calls people out of that, to become a part of this. There’s no way you can have your foot in both kingdoms.

So that’s why he says, don’t love the world. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” That sounds pretty mutually exclusive to me. Doesn’t it you? “For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” Once again you come right back to eternal life that all of this is about. Man, that’s the life I want.

But “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” Now the devil wants to make that intimidating, fearful, fear-producing, and that’s exactly the reaction that most people have, as I said. They were uncomfortable about that. They wanted to feel good about themselves.

You wonder why there is so much religion in our world today that seems to be geared to making people feel good about themselves? Think about what’s behind that. It’s so easy to cross that line and we’re more interested in pleasing people and making them feel good about themselves than we are in preaching the truth. Yet the truth is not something to fear. It’s something to run too.

You think of the Spirit of God. What are the fruits of that Spirit? Just nasty stuff like love and joy and peace and, you know, all that bad stuff that we hate so much. No! I mean it’s joy. Think of what there is and what the Lord has for us and the price is to let go—just exactly what has been expressed in so many different ways this morning. God is wanting to shine His light in places that we really don’t want Him to shine it. But oh, the fruit of that is to come to a place of joy and rest and freedom and all the good things that Jesus died to give us. Oh, Praise God!

What do men cling too? Hate, selfishness, pride, conflict. I mean, what else can you have if you’re living for self and you have a bunch of other selfish people doing the same thing? You’re gonna have nothing but a fight. Oh, God wants to deliver us and set us free. Praise the Lord!

But, I’ll tell you, we’re gonna have to be with Him or with the world. It’s gonna have to be one or the other. Right now it’s kind of blurry. You can’t always tell. That’s kind of where John was coming from because he was trying to help the people there to be able to distinguish between people who were really serving God and people that really weren’t. And that’s what you follow that theme throughout the whole book.

But one of them has to do with our attitude towards light and towards sin. “If we claim to have fellowship with him…” verse 6 of chapter 1 “…yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” So here you have something that has to get beyond the confession with our mouth. We say, yes, I’m the Lord’s, but is that reflected in what we live for, in the values we live by? What are we seeking out of life? Is it basically about pleasing me and doing what I want or is it Lord, I continually lay myself before you. Change me. Shine the light so that I…because I want to see the real deal, Lord. I know that I cannot see it. I need you.

Now this is a stupid illustration, but if you were to encounter a hand and that hand professed to belong to me, but every night it went home with Carl, you might begin to get the idea that hand really was Carl’s, not mine.

( laughter ).

Like I say, it was a silly illustration, but you get the point. It’s what we do that makes manifest what we are. You can say all you want too and so much profession in religion is self-deception. And you see the fruits of it. In verse 6, here’s someone who claims to have fellowship, yet he walks in the darkness. He’s really doing…he’s acting more like somebody in the world, the motivations, the centering of self, we lie and we do not the truth.

Then you jump down to verse 8 and you get more of the same thing. It seems like every even verse here for a bit. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Now where is the deception? Who are we fooling? We are fooling ourselves. Human nature is all about self-deception. We want to feel good. We want to feel righteous. Man, light that comes and begins to expose that will cause us to throw up a wall in a hurry. And we will start back-pedaling. We will start doing everything in the world to deny, to justify, whatever it is, that we’re going to mount a defense of self if self is on the throne.

I’ll tell you, you see it in Israel. Throughout its history the prophets would come and give the Word of the Lord that could have delivered them if they had acknowledged their sin and come to him. He would have filled their lives with good things. But the Lord said, “All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” (KJV). What is gainsaying? Somebody is always coming back, always got an answer. The Lord says you’re guilty and you say, well, I’m not. I didn’t really do that or I did it but I’m justified. There are a thousand and one ways that we have of dodging responsibility for what we are instead of saying, truth Lord.

And I believe what the Lord is wanting to bring us to is the “truth Lord” part. Verse 10. “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” (NIV). I believe God wants us to seek Him, as has been expressed, but to seek Him with an honesty. What is He looking for? Is He looking for perfection? Is He looking for theological giants? He’s looking for simple people who just say, yes Lord.

You know what’s really interesting to me in this passage is that the people who walk in the light are the most conscious of their need and of their sin. If you don’t see a lot wrong and a lot of need in your life, something’s not right. How many can say that you know what I’m talking about?

( congregational amens ).

The more you seek the Lord, the more you cry out to Him, the more you’re conscious of your own need and you say, that’s terrible. Oh, what a thing to avoid. But, oh, it’s a wonderful thing, because when God’s light shines, it brings about sorrow. It brings about a repentant heart if we’re right. But it brings such peace. It’s not coming with an iron fist saying, what’s the matter with you? Why don’t you shape up?

It’s saying, look at what is wrong, but oh, I long to heal that. I long to touch it. I long to pour in the oil of my forgiveness and my love upon your heart. It’s not a condemning kind of thing. It’s a redeeming love that reaches out, not to condemn but to deliver. Oh, may God open up our eyes to see that in a fresh way—that we don’t have to be afraid to come, afraid to acknowledge the truth where the Lord shines it. Oh, how we mount a defense. God help me.

( congregational amens ).

But, you have people walking in the light. I’ll tell you, if you’re in the light all the time and there’s things that are wrong, aren’t you gonna see them much more readily. But the picture that I get here is not a picture of a perfect people, is it? The Lord knows that. Why would he say what He did in verse 7 if we were perfect? “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another.…”

So here fellowship becomes an action word. It’s not just a theoretical relationship. This becomes very practical. In other words, it absolutely…it defines the relationship, in a practical sense, that we have with one another. We live like people who share the same Spirit. If my right hand went to war with my left hand, something would be wrong. And, certainly, neither one would be being governed by me. They wouldn’t be serving me. They’d be somehow living separate selfish interests or serving selfish interests.

But, here’s somebody who walks “…in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” Now that “purifies us” is a continual kind of thing. It’s a present tense in the Greek. A present tense verb in the Greek actually expresses ongoing action. It’s not something that happens and now it’s over. This is a continual place. This is being…living under a fountain. This is living under a fountain that as soon as something happens it’s washed. You know, we can enjoy that so that even when we discover all the ugly things that we have to face in our lives, we can immediately come and say, yes Lord. Truth, Lord. But I bring it to you. I acknowledge my sin.

( congregational praise ).

I’m putting my hope and my trust in the promise that Doug mentioned awhile ago. I mean, how interesting the way that the Lord put this together this morning. Praise God! That’s a promise to us. He extends his love, not so that we will feel dirty and unworthy and grovel, but so that we would just come and say, truth Lord.

“There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins; And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.” Oh, thank you for the hope that you’ve given to us through Christ. Oh, what a place of blessedness this is— to be in the light, to not hide, not pretend, be what we are, but to acknowledge.

Look what he says down in verse 9. You get into the odd verses and you get the good part. “If we confess.…” now what is confession? Certainly, it’s being honest. It’s being honest. It’s where God says this is so and you say, yes, it’s so. Not, well, it isn’t quite like that.

We’re not gainsaying. We’re not trying to correct God, because that’s what gainsaying basically is. God, you haven’t quite got it right. You need correcting here. Oh, Lord, He doesn’t need any correcting. We are the ones that need the correcting. As long as you set yourself against God like that, He’s gonna be your adversary. My…I want to agree with my adversary, because He’s really my friend. He’s my redeemer.

“If we confess…” that’s all He’s looking for, is just a simple honesty. He knows what we are. We’re the ones who pretend and try to be something we’re not. We just have to be what we are. What a freedom! That’s not just to go out and say and do anything and say, oh well, praise God, I can live like I please. No, you haven’t got it right. Not if you’ve really got His Spirit in you and you’re cooperating and walking in the light, you’re not gonna want to go that way. If you want to go that way, something really is wrong. You need to be born again.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I want to just say again what we’ve said in the past. Why does he say not only faithful but just? This is a question of justice. Because if Jesus has already paid the price for our sins and then He punished us, that wouldn’t be just, would it? Oh, Praise God! God’s taking care of the justice part of all this. Sin has been put away. The court of heaven, the highest court in the universe, has been satisfied regarding everything you and I have ever done.
We can come and be free.

( congregational praise ).

Praise God! He’s faithful and He’s just. The death of Jesus enabled Him to be just and the justifier of him who is ungodly. “…Forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Praise God! What a picture we have here of the Body of Christ and the reality of His kingdom. Folks, we have been made members one of another. We share His life. If we have cut loose the ties to the spirit of this world and said, Lord I am with you, period. Come hell or high water, I am yours. I just turn my life…I turn my heart against what this world stands for.

Doesn’t mean we have an attitude of malice or hatred at all. Look at Jesus and how He reached out to sinners. But I mean, in terms of where is my loyalty? What am I about? What is my life about? If the parts of my body continue to…if they lived self-centered lives, I would be in a lot more mess than I am. But, I tell you, they have to serve me. I’m the one who lives in them.

The glorious thing is that when we come to this kingdom, He does not destroy…He does destroy the independence of our spirit where we’re just gonna go do our own thing. Nobody can tell us what to do. It’s my life to do with as I please. That He will destroy. But He will not destroy your uniqueness or your individuality. He made it. He made every one of us different. Each one of us is different from all the others and you’re special in His eyes. He wants to fill you and make you something particular in His kingdom.

What a thing to be able to destroy the independence of our spirit and yet make us to become one. He made us in the beginning to blossom and to be special in His eyes. We can only do that within the context of this fellowship, this relationship. The relationship that we have, like we’ve said in the past, I’m sure is a whole lot like the fellowship that a vine has with the branches. Not that they just kind of get in the same room every now and then and have fun, they live…I mean, they’re connected. You disconnect them and something bad is gonna happen.

There is a life that literally is shared. Folks, when we come together we share that life. The things that are true, I think this was said last week, the things that are true of coming together and observing the Lord’s Supper are true with just coming together. God is looking…you want God’s presence to be here in a greater and greater way? Listen to what was being said this morning. If there’s something in your heart, something in your life, bring it into the light and be honest.

But, bring it to the Lord in repentance and God will forgive you and just fill your heart with joy. If there’s something against somebody, make it right. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit. The unity of the Spirit is something that exists and we don’t have to achieve it. We have to keep it. God gave it to us—Ephesians chapter 4.

The picture I get here is that there’s no way to be wrong with your brother and right with God. There’s no way to be wrong with God and be right with your brother. It all goes together. We absolutely are one organism in the eternal sense. We share His life. It’s a life that lasts forever and we are in an imperfect state, but God has made a way where we can simply be honest and penitent and desiring Him to help us to grow and we will grow. We’ll be accepted.

We don’t ever have to, you know, when we see something wrong and the light shines, we don’t have to hide and run and cower and fear. Are we gonna have to…you know, we’re second class citizens now. We can say, Lord, you took care of that at the cross. I believe your promise. I receive it. Just cleanse me, wash me, wash me completely, day by day, moment by moment. This is a people that knows they have a need and God’s gonna show you.

You know, I was talking with Kenny before and he was expressing what I think a lot of us are feeling, that everything the Lord does brings us into a place of greater need, greater dependence, greater realization of how far we are short. But, it’s so that He can take us out of that so that we can just let go and let God have His way and say, Lord, I love you and I want to be part of your plan, part of your kingdom. I want to walk in unity with my brother and not pretend. If there’s something in there, don’t come into a service without dealing with this.

But, don’t come to the Lord’s Supper and say, yes, I profess that I am one with Jesus. I am one with what He died to produce on the cross. I have partaken of His life. I’m His child and I’m one with the fellowship of all who’ve received Him and all who’ve been made a part of that relationship. Don’t do that if it isn’t so, but don’t be intimidated. If you’re just in an imperfect state but you have an honest heart before God in a humble heart that says, Lord, I am in need, but I’m trusting in you, then you do it with joy. You are received and so am I.

What a glorious, faithful Lord that we have. What a glorious kingdom we have! May God give us a greater sense of what he has called us to. It’s a fellowship that will never end. The life that we have is the same life that was in Jesus when he was laid in the tomb. Death could not conquer it. Death cannot conquer this life. He rose forth from that tomb, but He was only the first fruits. When Christ comes, every other one who was in that grave is gonna come forth with that same life. Oh my. Hasten that day, Lord. Hasten that day. Get us out of here!

But, in the meantime, bring us through it and He will. And He’s gonna use every part of it to show us our need, to set us free, and to prepare us for all the glorious things that He has won for us at the cross. That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding greatness of his love toward us. Ephesians chapter 2. Don’t we have a wonderful Lord this morning. Praise God! Praise the Lord!