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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1131

Freedom
Conclusion

June 8, 2014

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1131 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: He has set us free, why? So that we can enjoy freedom. Think about what he’s saying there. It’s something that He has done that we might enter into something, that we might enjoy something. I tell you what, He’s done His part.

( congregational amens ).

Is there anything that He has left undone? Did He not cry on the cross, it is…

( congregational response ).

…Finished! Did He not rise from the dead victorious over death and hell and the grave? Did He not rise to Heaven to sit upon a throne, and has He not been given a name that’s above every name? I tell you, we have a Savior who has done His part.

( congregational amens ).

So He has set us free! And so what His desire is that we walk in the freedom that He has purchased for us. “Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (NIV). Of course, the context here Paul was concerned about the fact that they were being…people were teaching them to come under the law. But I tell you what, this applies to everything in our lives.

( congregational amens ).

We will be mastered by whatever we yield to, whether it is rightfully our master or not. We will continue to be enslaved by whatever we yield to in our lives. You know, you picture the animal that’s been confined to a cage. You could illustrate this several ways I guess, but let’s suppose it’s an animal that’s been confined to a cage. All its life that’s where it’s lived, and it knows it can walk three paces this way and turn around and walk three paces that way. That’s its life. That’s its world. It lives there! And it doesn’t know any different!

Now what happens if you were to open the door one day? What happens? Chances are that animal will do right like it’s always done. It will just keep right on, because why? That’s the way it’s been taught to think. God is looking to absolutely change the way you and I think about our lives, and what’s possible and how it’s possible.

“Do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery. Mark…” And so on…he’s talking about the fact that if you try to go under the law…I’m not so interested in the particulars of that case.

But anyway, let’s come down to the end of verse 6, “The only thing that counts…” Now what he’s been talking about is people who think that God will be impressed with my religious practices if I observe this day, and I observe that, and I do this, and I do that…God will be impressed with that. He will receive me because of that. And what Paul is saying is, that doesn’t count. If you’re depending on what you do, if you’re depending on coming here to church, if that’s what you’re depending on, then you’re depending on something that will never save.

( congregational response ).

I don’t care what church you go to, what label you wear! If you’re depending on anything that you do to try to reform your life, if you’re depending on any sort of effort, you’re absolutely doing something that’s in vain. If you’re depending on self-discipline that arises from you, in order to defeat some sin and some habit in your life, you are on the wrong track. You will absolutely get deeper and deeper and deeper. And so will I.

And I can tell you from experience, that’s how it works. Every time I have tried to trust myself and look to my own resources…I sink like a rock. Why? Because I’m depending on Adam. I’m depending on something that I was born with, that absolutely is as held to the ground as anything else. Again, it would be like trying to pick up my shoes and try to pick myself off the ground. I am just as subject to the law of gravity as what I’m trying to pick up. I need another life. I need another power.

So he says, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” The only thing that counts…folks, that’s the only thing that counts in your life and in mine this morning. There is only one thing that has the power to change my circumstances, and it’s faith.

Faith is not something where I’m believing in myself. This is talking about faith in the promises of God. This is talking about a look of expectation. Lord, I’ve got this issue right now. I’m not just dealing with my whole life, I’m not dealing with that stuff, I’ve got ‘this’ issue right now. Here’s where I’m at, Lord. I’m struggling with this. So what do I do about it? Do I try harder? Do I just struggle and struggle? Well, that’s what we do.

( congregational amens ).

But does that work?

( congregational response ).

There is one thing. Lord, I’ve got to come to You. I’ve got to stop trusting in me. My place here in this instance, this situation, is to put my confidence in You, Lord, because You alone have the answer.

Now you go back to Abraham. God promised him something that was totally impossible from every human standpoint. Not only did He promise him something that was impossible from every human standpoint, He waited until it was truly impossible for him even to have a child, let alone a nation.

Of course, that didn’t stop God, did it? But what it did was to take it beyond the reach of anything Abraham could do, except to say, Lord, I believe You. I don’t understand how this could be. I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. But Lord, I know something about You. I know that You’re a God who can be trusted. I know that You’re a God who has all power. Nothing is impossible for You. And so God, I put my hope, my trust in this need, this situation I’m facing right now, I’m trusting You. My confidence is in You.

And, it says, “…faith expressing itself through love.” It’s not just, as I said, about Abraham and his reaction of faith to God. It was not a reaction where he just sat there and believed in some vague, intellectual sense. It was not simply information, was it?

You remember what James said about faith? He had encountered some people who claimed to have faith, didn’t he? They had the truth. They believed it intellectually. But the problem was, it didn’t make any difference in their lives. Now think about our lives. I wonder how many things we say we believe, and it doesn’t really make much difference, does it? We sing it. We assert it. And then we go out and act like it’s not true. Kind of quiet…oh God, help us.

( congregational amens ).

God, help us to have the kind of faith that comes from Him where He ministers that confidence, that life that comes with the information. It’s not just the information we need. It’s the life of God that gives us the power to say, Lord, this is truly impossible for me. But You’ve declared nothing is impossible for You. Lord, I am leaning upon Your strength and Your ability. I cannot do what is required at this point. I have no power to do anything. But Lord, my confidence is in You. And I am going to step forward. I am going to act as if it’s really true. I’m gonna write that spiritual check, confident that there’s money behind it in the bank. I’m gonna stand and do what’s right.

But it’s faith that works by what? Faith expressing itself through love…God is looking to reproduce His character in our lives. And love is not something where it’s just me and Jesus feeling euphoric. This is where we begin to express the very love of God among each other. God is looking to build a community of His people that love Him, that are like Him. God, help us.

And the truth is He is helping us. Now you know, you’ve got a lot of folks that will hear something like this, about ‘oh, Christ has made us free!’ And they’re just natural people. They’ve never really been born of the Spirit of God, and what’s their reaction? Oh boy! My sins are gone, and I’m free to do as I please.

( congregational response ).

Is that how it is?

( congregational response ).

No, we’re free ‘from that’ to do as He pleases.

( congregational amens ).

I’ll tell you, if there is not that other life in you that motivates you, that pulls you towards Him, then that’s what you need to deal right at first. This is not a doctrine that’s gonna set you free to do your will, to do your life. This is something that…this is a reality. This is a salvation that’s gonna set you free from all of that.

Verse 13 deals with this head on. “You, my brothers, were called to be free.” Thank God we are free. We are free from Law. That’s a scary thing. That scares a lot of people. We’re free from Law! There’s no law that governs in terms of a bunch of laws and commandments. Does that mean we’re free to do as we please, and God doesn’t care? I mean, He used to be really uptight about sin, and now He’s more tolerant?

No! God is a holy, righteous God. There will not be one sin there. But the problem with law is it demands something of us of which we are not capable, whereas grace and the gift of His life puts a new life, and a new power, and a new motivation down in our hearts. It begins to change us from the inside.

There are a lot of religious people who learn how to behave. Remember what Jesus said about the Pharisees? He said, yeah, you’re like beautiful whited sepulchers. You’re like marble tombs. Man, people polish them up. Doesn’t that look great? But what’s on the inside?

( congregational response ).

Dead men’s bones…all kinds of corruption. God is not looking for actors. He’s not looking for people who are one thing in here and another thing out there. He’s looking for people who are changed, who have a new heart and a new spirit…

( congregational amens ).

…Who are changed from the inside out! And folks, there is a freedom that we have in Him! You know, it’s even a freedom to make mistakes without condemnation because we can come to Him, and be freely forgiven. We don’t have to live like we’re walking on eggs.

You know Jesus said…well, John said, I guess, Jesus through him in 1st John. It talked about how perfect love casts out fear. And in most modern translations it says, “…Because fear has to do with punishment.” How many of you here are living in a state of fear. You’re afraid if you make a mistake God’s gonna be mad at you. God’s gonna…you might just mess up the whole thing. Is that where God wants us to live?

( congregational response ).

The glorious thing is that when He comes in to live, He makes us His children. What an awesome thing! Now your child might be naughty and need a spanking, but they’re your child. And if you’re the kind of parent that you ought to be, there is a love that…they can’t really escape that. They can’t do something…and now if I do this I’m afraid Mommy won’t love me anymore.

But do we let the devil talk us into that position with God sometimes? That’s part of being a free people, is realizing that we are accepted. We are accepted as His children in the beloved. We don’t have to walk on eggs around Him. We can love Him, and if we make a mistake we can come and say, Father, I’m sorry, help me…and know that we’re loved. We don’t have to do penance. We don’t have to do all the kinds of things to kind of earn our way back into His favor. He loves us.

But it says, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature.” Well now, if that were impossible, why would Paul bother to say that?

( congregational response ).

See, we’re human beings. We’re in a process of being changed. There’s a lot of the old stuff still clinging in here, a lot of habits, a lot of things that have gotten buried in our psyches that are there, that God is longing to root out and set us free from.

“Rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Well, how do we do that? You mean there’s no seminar we can go to, to learn how to do that…

( laughter ).

…Nobody’s book we can read? No. It’s a power of divine life. It’s His love. Once we open, truly open our inner beings to His love, and accept the fact, the truth that He loves us in spite of what we are, that His love has the power to change what we are, it is only in that that we begin to have the power to love one another. It’s a fruit of God’s Spirit in us, isn’t it? That’s what God is seeking to reproduce.

But boy, here’s the reality. “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Now, I know I’m talking to saints here. You would never…

( laughter ).

…You’d always say the sweet thing, always do the right thing. We’re not walking in the freedom that we’ve been given, have we, are we, when we do that? So what the issue is, is now as a Christian…let’s say that you’ve got somebody who really, truly has been born of God. You’ve got two sources of life, if you want to put it that way, living in you. We have still got this old nature in these bodies. It wants what it wants. It will not be…there’s nothing to do but to put it to death. It’s like the man who can fly now. That’s the only way he rises above the power of gravity, it’s by the power of a different life.

But we’ve also got the life of Christ in us…and we ‘can’ say no. We ‘can’ do the right thing even though ‘we’ can’t, but in Him we can. But oh, what a challenge it is sometimes to believe that. We’re like that animal that knows how many paces it can walk in each direction. Oh God, open our, open my eyes to see this.

( congregational amens ).

This is one of these things, I’ve said it before, that I can, intellectually, I can sort of wrap my mind around it a little bit. But oh, the habits, the things that God wants to address in our lives to set us free so that we can be a free people!! We don’t have to live under the dominion of the old man! We can enter into the freedom that Christ has given to us.

“…Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.”

Now, here’s where it will probably get quiet. “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like.” So obviously he means us to understand this is not an exhaustive list. But these are characteristics that come out of that old nature.

And folks, every one of us under the right circumstances can give vent to that old nature. All of a sudden, that poison just spews out of our mouth. All of a sudden, there’s something that enters into our spirit, and bitterness and anger take root there. God wants to set people free!

( congregational amens ).

You know, I’m conscious when I think of myself, particularly, I’m not just thinking about somebody, I’m thinking about me. What is it that begins to give us freedom, if any of these things begin to have a hold in our lives? What is it that gives us freedom? We try hard and cover it up, and just try to suppress it through…no, it doesn’t work. There is only one thing that’s ever worked. I’ve got to be dead honest. If there’s something going on in my heart and my spirit, I’ve got to call it what it is.

( congregational amens ).

If somebody does something wrong to me and I’m angry about it, the problem is not what they did. The problem is that I’m angry. Where does that anger come from? It comes from my old nature, and I need to be able to go to God and say, oh God, I’ve sinned. I have no justification for my anger, for my…whatever it is, I have no justification for it. But I bring it to the cross. I recognize that You took my sin upon Yourself there, that I can be free from that guilt right now. Lord, pour in Your life in the place of that that I felt. Give me a spirit of love and forgiveness that doesn’t hold anything against anyone.

Oh how easily the devil brings us into bondage. How little do we walk in the freedom that the Lord has given to us. Oh God, help us to take the path of humbleness and honesty before Him, to be willing to take responsibility for what goes on in us, to call it like it is, not to come like the Pharisee. Lord, look at me. Look what I did, or I was justified in this and that and the other. No. There’s nothing that justifies the expression of this flesh and its nature.

But I’ll tell you, if we’ve been born of His Spirit, we have another life that’s in there. And look at what comes from that life. Verse 22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Interesting. Oh my, there are all kinds of ways men come up to try to muster up what they call self-control. And what it basically boils down to is they’ve come up with a way to screw on a lid on a pressure cooker.

( laughter ).

They haven’t done a thing about what’s going on inside. But by God, they’re gonna screw a lid on it so everything looks great — until the heat gets turned up high enough. Then you’ve got a real bad explosion. God wants to turn the heat down. God wants to give peace and freedom on the inside, freedom!

What is freedom? To do what we please? It’s freedom from all these things that would rule us and control us! It’s free from lust and envy and all those evil things, so that we’re free to enjoy His love. When things happen to us, and people do stuff against us which…it happens to every one of us. Where do I get the strength?

I have to go to Him. I don’t have it. I don’t have it. He’s the One who allowed it. He wants me to see what I am so I can bring me to Him, and say Lord, I need you. I need the freedom that You purchased for me right now. You have already purchased the freedom. It’s mine! I have the right to lay hold of what You purchased for me at the cross.

You think about what the Lord said in 2nd Corinthians chapter 3. That’s why we need to ask God to help us in our services. And I just leave this morning with you. I can’t say I’ve felt any great exhilarating something. But I feel the need, and I sense it in my self and in others that we need Him! And it’s not information that we need. We need God’s Spirit.

( congregational amens ).

We need something that comes from His heart to us. And you know what it is that we need in that context? Let’s suppose you’re in a place where there is a ministry of life through the Word. But let’s suppose your heart is kind of closed and resistant, and you’ve got your own ideas, and your own…are you going to get what the Lord has for you?

( congregational response ).

No. But listen to what Paul is talking about here in verse 16. “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil…” There is a blindness. “…The veil is taken away.” Have you ever seen a time in history, or at least when we’ve been on Earth? Have you ever seen a time when there’s been greater blindness in every aspect of life? Blindness! What’s going on? It’s people who have said, no, people who have resisted when God has come calling. Folks, when He comes calling and points out and shines His light in the dark places of my heart, I want to say, yes Lord.

( congregational response ).

I want to be able to say, truth Lord. I want to have an open face. “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” I don’t know what else to say. You think the Lord wants us to be free?

( congregational response ).

Has He given us what we need to be free?

( congregational response ).

Is there a situation that comes into our life that He hasn’t allowed? Do we have an excuse to react according the carnal nature? Has He given us the resources that we need? Can He give us the wisdom that we need if we’ll reach out to Him and take a hold?

And if we will believe His promise, as Abraham did, and act upon that promise as though it’s really true, because it is, is that not like taking wings and being able to rise off the ground though we are human beings? I tell you, the Lord has given us everything in Himself that we need. And I pray that it will be said of us in a greater and greater measure, not for our glory but for His, ‘there is a free people.’ They’re not just religious. It’s not that they just know how to put on a good show. God, I don’t want a show. There are people who actually are experiencing the freedom that Jesus went to the cross to purchase. I want it. Do you?

( congregational response ).

Are you a candidate for more freedom than you have right now?

( congregational response ).

I am too, and I believe that with all my heart, God is seeking to lift us out of every form of unbelief, every form of self-effort to fix what we’re unbelieving about. How quickly do we stay in the same realm? Let’s move all this over into the realm of saying Lord, I can’t, but You can. You’ve given me a brand-new life, and if you don’t have that life, cry out to Him until He gives it to you. He longs to bring you into a place of freedom. Don’t cling to the things that bind you. Don’t stay in the prison when the door is open! Believe Him! Trust Him…because in Him there is freedom. Praise God!