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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1213

Breaking Chains
Part One

January 3, 2016

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1213 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I’d like to just read a familiar verse, but I want to take off…just use it as a jumping off point for something that I’ve had on my heart. And, it’s the familiar scripture in Hebrews chapter 12.

The Lord has just finished the chapter on the heroes of faith and how they had served God by believing His promises and God had rewarded them, even though some did great things, some suffered and died for their faith. Yet God was faithful in every case.

And it’s evident from looking at their lives that it was not a pushbutton experience, but many of them went through very deep waters. They faced many battles of many kinds and yet by focusing on the Lord and looking to Him, God enabled them to stand fast and to die in faith, as He says.

And heaven rewards them for that willingness and that trust in Him, because certainly we do not have that kind of ability, do we? Not one of us. That’s the message of the Gospel, is that, in spite of what we are, God has provided everything we need to be able to stand before Him in glory one day. We’re trusting not in anything we could do, but in Him.

But it is a race, isn’t it? It’s not something that just happens overnight. There is a race to run and that’s what the writer is talking about here. It says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (NIV).

I thank God that He’s the One that’s planned the race. He knows where we’re going. But the reality is, there’s not a person here who does not have things that tend to tangle us, that tend to hinder us. You know, the King James language is they beset us…sins that so easily beset us. There are ‘besetting sins,’ you’ve got the expression that’s comes from that.

And, as we serve the Lord and as we go through our lives, with experiencing Him, many times the Lord will bring to our attention things that we have just accepted as a natural, normal part of our lives. And, He’ll begin to put His finger on that and shine His light and say, this is holding you back. This is not from Me. This is something that belongs to the old life. It may be more than just something that’s occasional. It may be something that’s a real deep, strong hold, and a real deep chain—a strong chain that holds us back.

And you know, Paul, I think, in 2nd Corinthians chapter 10, he speaks of his ministry. And of course, there are strongholds of many kinds, but he talks about the ministry of not being with carnal weapons, not the weapons of the world…we don’t fight with the weapons of the world. Rather, the weapons that we have, have divine power. And the purpose of that divine power is to demolish strongholds. It’s to bring freedom! It’s to bring victory and the ability to serve God without those things that tend to tangle us up, and trip us up and hold us back.

And, I think every one of us would agree that God’s purpose and God’s heart for every one of us is that we enjoy the freedom that He purchased for us. But I’ll guarantee, regardless of what the issues are, there’s not a person here who doesn’t have something that’s so ingrained in your person, that it’s just one of those things that you’ve just sort of thrown up your hands and said, well, that’s the way it is.

Anybody want to say you’ve just gotten beyond all that and you’re free from everything? No! We sing, “I’m free, I’m free to be a servant of the Lord,” and I believe in many ways, the Lord has set us free. We may not be what we were, but we’re also not where God wants us to be. And, so that’s the burden I have, because I know there are people here who are struggling with different things.

And, it could be something as obvious as an addiction. That would be one thing. Nicotine, alcohol, drugs…those are things that become obvious to everybody. But not necessarily…it could be lust. That’s just become so much a part of our culture…in fact, I’ll read one scripture from 1st Thessalonians 4, I think, is the one I’m thinking of…1st Thessalonians chapter 4.

And this is Paul’s instruction to a very pagan culture, I mean, Christians who had come out of a very pagan culture, and sexual lust had just become so much a part of the culture that it wasn’t the easiest thing just to walk away from. I mean, this is just the way life is. Are we kind of there, in this country?

( congregational response ).

Yeah, all the things that used to be shameful, are celebrated today, or at least accepted as normal, natural. It’s just the way it is. And, it isn’t that way—it isn’t meant to be that way. Well, this was the case in this particular culture. They’d even gone further than we have yet, but anyway.

So in verse 3, Paul writes, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified.” That’s ‘set apart.’ And that’s…you’re not yours, you’re not the world’s, you’re not to use your bodies for the things the world does. You’re Mine…you belong to Me.

So it’s God’s will that you should be sanctified, and, “…that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God…” and so forth.

Down below in verse 7, “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” So that was the central issue in what he’s talking about here, but it really applies to everything, doesn’t it? It applies to a lot more than just that. But the one central thought he brings in that is that we need to control our own bodies.

The reality is that we live, though we have been made alive—those who have been born of His Spirit, but made alive on the inside—we still live in bodies that want the old way. And the question is, who’s in charge? And so, God’s will is that we be in charge. And so, it’s a fair thing to ask, if that’s God’s will, what is His plan for making that happen?

And you know, you go in many places, and God’s plan in their eyes is to harangue the people about sin, and get them to come down and repent of their sin, and then go out and try harder. Has that ever worked for anybody here? No, it doesn’t work. That’s just trying to impose law.

God gave the Law…in fact I’m getting ahead a little bit, because I want to go to a scripture that brings a lot of this out. God’s purpose for Law was never to provide a pathway to righteousness, but rather to show us that we needed a Savior.

( congregational amens ).

And so, the Law is good if you use it aright. And I went ahead and I printed out a scripture that I’m gonna go to here, because I bought a…it’s in the NLT. I like the way they render a lot of scriptures. They make it very, very plain. I just want to go through some truths again, but I want to use this particular version ‘cause I think it brings out, with a certain amount of plainness, because if our walk, if our ability to walk and to live the Christian life is somehow dependent on trying harder, we are everyone in a world of hurt.

And the only sensible thing would be…let’s just let it be. Let sin lay. As long as it’s not too gross, don’t worry about it too much. After all, the blood was shed, it was all taken care of. And that’s the way a lot of people approach it. Do you think that’s what God really wants?

( congregational response ).

No. You know, the scripture says in Romans 8 that He who has begun a good work…well, that’s Philippians 1. But, He who sent His own Son, “…how shall he not with him also freely give us…” (KJV). What?

( congregational response ).

“…All things?” So in other words, God has provided everything that you and I need to live the Christian life, and the question becomes accessing that and being able to lay hold of what God has given to us and making it practical in our lives. So that’s really where God is going with this. That’s the essence of His message.

And so, Romans is a tremendous Book for unfolding…unpacking the Gospel, what it really is. And so, you get to Romans chapter 5. We’ve been there so many times, but I think there are things I want to try to see if the Lord will help us to get in a clearer way…I know I need it. How many of you need to get this in a clearer way?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. It has become something that we sort of know, we sort of acknowledge, but it doesn’t really change anything much. Well, it needs to change things. God wants to change things and He’s made a way where they can be changed.

And so we see God’s love for those who were His enemies. He came and Christ died for us, not after we began to look for Him and say, oh God, help me. He came while we were still His enemies. And he reached out and worked in our hearts and He absolutely took care of the barrier that separated you and me from God! Namely, the fact that every one of us has committed sins that mount up to heaven.

If you’re talking about trying to measure our lives by the standard of God’s nature and God’s being, forget it! We’re just not like Him. All you’d have to do is get one glimpse like Isaiah did and you would know that, hey, we’re not like Him. And so those sins, mounted up to heaven, were an impenetrable barrier to you and to me. There’s no way we could deal with that. But He did!

And that was what Christ did on the cross for us by taking the penalty. I mean, you think of the amazing grace of God, who was able to satisfy…who was able to show mercy without destroying His own justice! Think about that! Because my sin, the sin that separated me from God was fully punished! The justice of God was completely satisfied for everything that I was ever guilty of!

God punished that because He assumed my guilt. And so, God is able to look at me and say, now we can have a relationship. Now I am free to come because I’ve cleansed you. There’s no longer any stain of sin, once you’ve put your trust in Me, and you give Me your heart, and your heart begins to turn towards being free from sin and walking My way…you’re repenting of it!

You’re not trying to find a way to have it and have salvation, too. You’re wanting to turn from that and be set free from it! That’s repentance! Take a different road! Now I have cleansed you and now I’m free to come in to give you a brand new life.

But it’s that life that makes the difference! It’s not simply getting rid of our sins and saying, okay, good luck, I’ll see you in heaven. This is Someone who comes to the inside, who gives us a brand-new heart and a brand-new life.

And it is that life that saves us, as we’ve pointed out so many times. His death reconciles us to God. But it’s the life of Christ that saves me, because salvation is the transformation that I need from being a child of Adam to a child of God. And I can’t do that. And He knows I can’t!

What a horrible message it is to try to harangue people to be something they’re not, where He has made the full provision that I can be someone that I’m not in myself.

But you look at the roots of why we have these issues in our lives to begin with. How is it that we get so hung up on an addiction, a characteristic of our personality that is just…can’t forgive, gets angry, you name it. Whatever there is that’s just not of God…those things get deep roots and deep holds in our lives, and God longs for us to be free.

But you get to verse 12, and I’m just gonna kind of try to move through this, not try to read everything necessarily. But, “When Adam sinned…” (NLT). I love the language here. There’s a clarity to it. “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

“Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did.”

Now basically, he’s pointing out the fact that even where people don’t know the Law of God and don’t defy it, there are consequences to the way we live. Sin just simply, naturally results in death. Now you talk about the judgment of God, that’s called the second death. There is a judgment of God that is the second death for people who have defied His Law. They knew about it and they went ahead anyway. But I mean, here are people that he’s referring to and they just lived natural lives and they died, as a consequence of living out this corrupted, this sin-corrupted life that we all got from Adam.

And so, he goes on to describe the fact that Adam…you wind up having two families. You have a family that was produced out of Adam’s life. And you and I, every one, were born into Adam’s family. And the reason we are sinners is because we were born into a line of sinners. We didn’t have to do anything to become sinners. We’re not sinners because we commit sins. We commit sins because we are sinners. And so, there was something that passed down to every single one of us and our natural inclination in life is simply to serve and to gratify whatever is going on in here, whatever desire arise from us.

And we’re all different. Every one is a complex, unique individual, but yet, there is a commonality to it that we were able to characterize different situations. But I’ll tell you, we go through life and we take hard knocks, we experience rejection, we experience different negative things in our lives, in our interactions with other people, and they cause reactions in us.

And some people will turn…well, let’s just take an obvious example. Some people just turn to alcohol to dull the pain. And alcohol is a strong, addictive drug! And pretty soon, it doesn’t take very long before they’re not in charge anymore. They have a master and that master rules over them and they can’t get rid of it. I mean, it’s a terrible battle to try to stop!

But you can take every other thing along that line. The ways that people try to cope, or the ways that people simply respond to natural desires…I mean, we live in a culture today, like I say, that is so sexualized that it’s just…can you not see the hand of Satan?

( congregational response ).

Who is just pulling on everything natural to try to bring us into a place where he’s in charge and we’re not. I mean, you think of a simple thing like pornography…there’s never been a time when that’s been more available. And I’ll guarantee there are people here who can tell you that is very, very addictive.

( congregational response ).

Sometimes you cross a line, you make a small choice, and the next thing you know, you’re way down the line somewhere and you just can’t stop. And how many of you think that’s the way God wants us to live?

( congregational response ).

How many of you’ve got the strength in yourself to just say, oh, I can blow that off?

( congregational response ).

We need something outside of ourselves. We need saving. We need helping. And so, he goes on and he describes a number of things, but basically you wind up here seeing a picture of two different races that, not only…when Christ came, He came to, first of all, take care of the sin that Adam committed.

Through what God did in Him, all of the sins that were committed by Adam’s race were put away and paid for. And a way was opened for a people to partake of another kind of life to actually be born into another race.

I hope you’re one this morning that’s been born into that other family! Because if all you’ve ever been born into is Adam’s family, you are headed for death and judgment. But I’ll tell you, God has started a brand-new family—a brand-new creation. When He sent His Son, and His Son came and did what He did when He burst forth from that tomb, there was a life by which He came forth. There was a power, there was a life that was stronger than the power of sin and death that ruled the human race.

And that’s the point he makes. I didn’t take time to mark some of this, so I’m gonna have to find my way. This is not exactly like reading something that I’ve marked up in the scriptures, but anyway. Let’s look at verse 17. It’s one of the key ones we’ve used before. I believe that’s the one.

“For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.” So you see it’s not just the guilt of sin, it’s living in triumph. That’s God’s plan. God has made provision where you and I can be in charge, and sin not be in charge!

( congregational response ).

Anybody not need this?

( congregational response ).

Yeah, that’s why he says, we’re running a race. We’re not there yet. He’s not teaching sinless perfection. But what he is saying is, there is a power by which we can live the Christian life.

( congregational amens ).

It’s the life that comes from our Savior! And, the illustration that Jesus gives us in John 15 that we’ve used so many times, the vine and the branches. How foolish it would be for the vine to say, ‘come on, branch, your purpose is to produce fruit. Stop producing so many useless leaves. Put you energy into…let’s see some fruit here.’

That’s not how it works, because that branch has no ability in itself to do that. But if it draws the life that’s in the vine, now you’ve got something that’s gonna…I mean, fruit is gonna happen! Because it’s the nature of that life to produce fruit! And that’s where we…God wants to bring us to a place where we are living by His life and not by the life of Adam. We’re not simply giving into it and accepting things, and just living lives where our feet are constantly being tangled up and we’re not really effective for the Lord. I’ll tell you, God is wanting a people that are free.

( congregational amens ).

When Jesus came to the point where He went to the cross, was ready to go to the cross, do you remember what He said? He said, Satan is coming but he won’t find anything in me, there’s nothing in me. All His life Satan probed our Savior looking for a weakness, looking for an area where He would compromise, looking for an area where He would believe Satan’s lies more than He would believe the Word of God.

You see that in the wilderness. He was there for a reason and Satan tried to tempt Him to put His flesh first, and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” (NIV). You’re hungry. What’s the big deal here? But He was there in the will of God.

And on and on through the temptations there, he was trying to get Jesus to listen to some form of wisdom, and there is a wisdom behind sin. Oh, how Satan, how he can package it in our minds so it seems almost okay. Do you know what I’m talking about?

( congregational response ).

It’s not that big a deal. It’s this. It’s that. Oh my God, I just pray that He will shine the light where it needs to be shined. Not because He’s angry, not because He’s trying to be condemning, but because He longs to see us be free! Wouldn’t it be something if we could come in here and really, really live in the freedom we sing about?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. Now I’m thankful for every bit of freedom that He’s given us! Thank God! I believe we’ve experience it and I believe we are experiencing it, but I believe there’s more. There’s more that He wants to bring. But…you think about this…God’s wonderful grace and His gift of righteousness!

Now the gift of righteousness is that I am given a standing before God. It’s like I have a page in God’s record, and He writes under my name, ‘righteous.’ Well, I’m not…I certainly did not earn that. If He went by my performance, I would never have that righteousness. But He gives it to me and it’s the righteousness of His Son that is literally put to my account!