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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1272

A Call to Come Higher
Part One

February 19, 2017

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1272 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: You know, I’ve had a scripture that’s just come back to me over the last…it’s probably been months now, off and on: 1st Corinthians, a passage that we’re familiar with. And I just want to try not to get too bogged down in it, but just to get the message.

And the thought that the Lord keeps impressing upon me has to do with both of the needs that have been expressed here this morning. One is for people who have never really come to Christ and the other is for all of us who know Him, but need to get in that higher ground.

There are songs that we sing…you think about it. I mean, I can’t even call them to mind, but there are so many songs that we sing that speak of things that, I think, we know in a measure but I believe the Lord wants us to learn in a much greater measure. You know, “He is all I need, I will take Him now, for all that I need,” and, “His Life Is My Life.” There are so many things that are expressive of songs and truths that God has made real at one time or another, in our midst, going back what, 50, 60 years now?

And, I want to gain, I want to get it. I want to hear the Lord’s voice. I want to, like Ron says, I want to reach out. I want to grow and I want to get out of that narrowness of self, into the heights that He has given to me!

And, just to try to get the flavor of this, “Paul…” of course, “…is called to be an apostle…by the will of God…” (NIV). So you see, right from the get-go, you see God at work, don’t you? This is not about a man saying, hey, I’ve got a religious-something burning in me, I’ve got to go out and do something, make a name for myself. This is God, who reached out and arrested a guy who was God’s enemy and turned his heart completely around, spent years unlearning and relearning, and teaching and training, and then said, all right, I’m ready…you start going out. And, he did.

And of course, he went out with a whole different flavor than he had as a Pharisee. But he had a sense of who he was and who God was and what the message was. And I want to have that, because, God knows, God’s people need to hear the truth of the Gospel which is entirely about what God has done, and is doing, and about our taking a place of surrender and trust and faith in what He has done! You add anything else into it, like some form of self-effort, fixing me, you have corrupted the Gospel! And there’s such a simplicity to it that God wants us to get.

So he writes, “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified….” And that’s a fancy word that means “set apart.” In other words, you belong to the world but God says, no, you’re mine. I’m gonna set you apart for my purposes, for my kingdom. You no longer belong to that, you belong to me. You’ve been set apart.

And of course, it involves becoming like Him. We think of sanctification as becoming a kind of person who behaves in a holy way, whatever that is. And it involves all of that, but it really gets down to a heart issue. I have been set apart. I don’t belong to myself anymore.

( congregational amens ).

You know, if you’ve heard a gospel that says you can sort of add Jesus to your life, like we said recently, and just kind of get some benefits from some kind of relationship to Him, but basically, you’re in charge, that’s not the Gospel!

( congregational amens ).

The Gospel is one of complete surrender to Jesus Christ, and to God, through Jesus Christ! But anyway, “…to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…” Now, here’s where we come in. “…Together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you….”

But listen to the flavor of where this Gospel comes from, where the energy comes from, where the saving power comes from. “I always thank God for you because of his grace….” Remember, grace is that Divine influence, that Divine, enabling power, that comes to us when we are God’s enemies and begins to mold and work upon our hearts. There’s a revelation to a mind that is heretofore blind. But God begins to influence and chew up the soil and prepare it, and then He sows the truth of His Word in there and it grows to Eternal life.

There’s a Divine influence that has to bring us to God! We would never come! This is God’s idea, not ours. This is God’s plan, from all Eternity, to have a family, to have a people. And so, He’s the one who has come after us. We didn’t go looking for Him. Praise God!

“…His grace given you in Christ Jesus.” Given! I mean, just stop and think about that word. Not earned, nothing we did! We cannot ever look in the mirror and say, well, God saw this good thing in me and therefore…never! Not one thing!

We have…what was the word used one time? I think Ben used it…something like, we’re on a level playing field. I don’t care if you’re in the gutter or in the penthouse, as far as God’s righteousness is concerned, we are on absolutely level ground, we have exactly the same need. “All have sinned, and come short…” (KJV). We continue to come short of His glory.

But anyway, this is God’s, “…grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.” (NIV).

So, here’s Paul ministering, sent of God, given a divine anointing to preach the Word, and that Word goes out and it is confirmed because of the response that he sees in people. There’s a power that goes out from Paul and we see a result out here that that power changes lives! I pray that God will bring us to a greater and greater place where what we have will not simply be good information, but power that changes lives!

( congregational amens ).

I believe we can ask God, because what He has given us, it’s all ours. It belongs to us, not because we deserve it, because Jesus paid for it with the cost of His life and His blood!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! That’s the thing, as we go through this, that’s what the Lord has been just trying to impress upon me, that it’s my need, but it’s all of our needs. We live, so often…you know, we sing songs, and I believe, thank God, we know them in a measure and I don’t want to downplay that, but so often, we live as bragging like we’re billionaires and eating out of garbage cans! And I believe God wants to bring us into a spiritual place where we begin to experience what we say we have.

( congregational amens ).

Because, it’s ours! And I refuse to listen to the Devil that tells me it’s not mine because of me or because of something in me, I don’t qualify! Yes, it’s wonderful, but not for me. How many of you are falling for that lie?

( congregational response ).

Yeah! Well, yeah, I’ll put up both hands. I’ll be…I’ll just tell it like it is. But listen, “…because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore…” Therefore, because of all this Divine activity, this activity that began in the heart and the mind of God and began to be carried out in real people’s lives! “Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end…” How does that happen again?

( congregational response ).

‘He’ will keep you strong to the end! Boy, that sounds pretty good to me! Praise God! “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” See, the scripture was read about when we see Him, we will be like Him. He that has, “…this hope in him, purifies himself….”

You see how that kind of ties in? What we have is a promise of God of something that we have been given in Christ Jesus, that is something that we must lay hold…we are able to lay hold of, but in the doing thereof, God is at work. We’re not doing it in our own strength! We’re not doing it based upon our own merit, in any form! We have been given something! We have the privilege of laying hold of it.

And I pray that God will help us to catch a greater…starting with me, to catch a greater vision of what God has given me. So that, instead of sitting where I am, looking at all my deficiencies, I’ll start reaching out and saying, wait a minute, Mr. Devil, you have no right to tell me all the stupid lies that you’re telling me. This is mine! Jesus paid for it!

( congregational amens ).

End of story! I have a right to fight for this and to stand upon what God has promised, not what I can do. That sounds like a pretty good prescription, doesn’t it you?

( congregational response ).

Praise God! That’s the message that I see. You know, the more I’ve thought about this…it’s been a long time, I say, just kind of percolating. “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his son, Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”

That sound like what we have been singing this morning? Praise God! Or the song yesterday, “He Will Be Faithful to the End”? You think the Lord might be just trying to stir our minds and get our attention through all these things? Praise God! We need to be stirred up! We need to realize there’s more to what we have in Christ than just sitting here singing about it and not living it more than we do!

( congregational amens ).

Praise the Lord! So anyway, he goes into another issue where there is some division in the church and, I’ll just pause and say this. Many of the things that you see in the Corinthian church sound like they’re out of keeping with what he says about…you have everything you need, you have every gift, you have all you need. And yet, you see these real life situations that are some of them pretty serious.

You’ve got a man who’s taken up with his father’s wife. I mean, you’ve got…and strife in the church and discord of all kinds. They’re coming together and turning the Lord’s Supper into a drunken feast. I mean these are people not long out of heathen darkness. And yet, Paul is able to write to them, with a straight face, and telling the truth, saying, God’s called you into this. He’s given you every…you have everything you need! It’s not like, oh God, please give me what I need. He’s already given it!

( congregational amens ).

And I think that mentality that we have, many times, which is…oh God, I don’t have this, please give it to me, keeps us from having it! Because, He’s already given everything that I need. It’s mine! Praise God!

So anyway, he goes on and talks about, “…the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing…” and so forth. He’s talking about the difference between God’s wisdom and the wisdom of the world! You know, I’ll tell you what, we are influenced by the way the world thinks, a lot more than we realize.

What is the wisdom of the world about? What really underlies the wisdom of the world? Is it about becoming godly? No! It’s about becoming…it’s puffing up self! It’s all about how I can be a ‘better me’ in the world. A ‘better rebel’ is what it boils down to. I want to somehow find a path to success and pleasure and all the things that my ‘self’ just craves. Oh, how can I do it? What’s the wisdom? How do I get there?

God, help us! The wisdom of God is exactly the opposite! Oh, how foolish does it sound to say, the Cross is the way to my highest good, my highest purpose, my highest happiness? It’s to die!

( laughing ).

Yeah! Right! To the world, that’s utter insanity! But it’s exactly God’s plan, because what we have, this ‘self’ that the world’s wisdom seeks to prop up and work with and enhance, it’s not the solution, it’s the problem! I need to be delivered, not just from stuff I’ve done, I need to be delivered from what I am! And man, there’s no way I can possibly even begin to do anything about that. I have to come as exactly what I am.

And that’s what he gets into down here. Like I said, I don’t want to get bogged down in all the little minutia, but there’s a scripture down here that’s come to me a number of times and this is really the focus of it in verse 30. He said, “It is because of him…” Now, who’s the him there?

( congregational response ).

This is God, the Father. What is the cause? How did this all come about? Did this come about because I…God was sitting off and I said, oh, I need God! Oh, let me go find Him! God’s not lost! We’re the ones who are lost. It’s because of Him, because, in eternity past, God had a purpose.

God’s heart was one of love. It was one, not to destroy, but to save and to rescue and to bring people, and to express the love that’s been talked about here this morning. Praise God! This is His nature! This is what it boils down to. If you want to sum Him up in one word, it’s love!

( congregational amens ).

And love is not what we think of as, basically, a form of self-love, what pleases me. This is getting the greatest pleasure out of doing for somebody else and particularly doing for somebody else that doesn’t deserve it! God delights in mercy!

I mean, you think about the things that please you. What pleases God is when He gets to show mercy to somebody that is at the bottom! That looks in the mirror and thinks, I have no hope! There is not ounce of goodness in me, nothing I can possibly point to that would cause a Holy God to pay any attention to me!

That’s when God reaches down and He gets the biggest kick, if you want to put it a carnal way. His greatest pleasure is to reach down and to show that one mercy and lift them up and give them a hope of eternity! The people that’ve got a problem, are the people that think they are something in this world. They don’t have a clue!

“It is because of him…” because of God, “…that you are in Christ Jesus….” So, the whole business, as we’ve said before, and we said in the earlier verses, the reason that I have a relationship, the reason that I am joined to Him, is because He did it!

( congregational amens ).

He brought me into that relationship. And you know, there’s two different ways that this relationship is put. It’s He’s in me and I’m in Him. Is that a contradiction? No, it isn’t! If I look at a branch in a vine, which is one of the illustrations Jesus used, is the branch in the vine or the vine in the branch?

Both, isn’t it? Yeah! They’re one, because they’re joined. There’s an organic relationship. There’s a living relationship between the two. So that, yeah, I’m part of the vine, as that branch, but oh, that life that’s in that vine is in me, too! That’s what gives me life! That’s what makes it possible for me to do stuff! I don’t have any ability in myself to do this. It’s all from Him!

God has given everything, and that’s the message. We just…we talk about the fullness of what He’s given to us and live as paupers so much of the time. And I sense God’s heart wanting us to go for that higher ground that’s been mentioned this morning.

It’s there! It’s not as though we have to work hard, strive hard, try hard to somehow qualify ourselves for God to say, okay, you’ve done enough now, I’ll dump a little blessing on you. There is victory, there is life, there is all kinds of stuff, whatever our need is this morning, it’s already been provided in Jesus Christ!

( congregational amens ).

Now, listen to this. It says, “…who has become for us….” Now, who’s the ‘who’ there?

( congregational response ).

That’s Christ. So, God’s put us in Him but He has now, “…become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”

You know, we’ve often said that our…what we have is not a religion. We’re not here to promote Christianity. We’re here to promote the person of Jesus Christ! John said it in such plain language! “He who has the Son…” Well, this is the message that we’ve heard of him, that He, “…has given us eternal life…” ‘Given us’ eternal life. “…This life is in his Son.”

Well, then it logically follows, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” Very plain, simple language, isn’t it, in 1st John chapter 5? I’ll tell you what, God’s gift to us is not rules to live by, not a religion to practice, it’s a Person to take up residence in the heart of one who humbles themselves before their need of Him and opens it up and calls upon, “…the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…”

( congregational amens ).

Oh, I don’t need a religion, I need Him!

( congregational amens ).

He fills every need in which I come short. It’s not an effort of rules to try to make myself different and better, and somehow improve myself. It’s Him! It’s not trying harder, it’s believing and resting more! It’s the exact opposite of what worldly wisdom would teach us. That’s why the first thing that He says there is He’s become, “…wisdom from God.”

You want to know what truth is? He has a name. His name is Jesus! I pray that God will help me and every one of us to begin to see our lives, our circumstances, our world, at every level…to begin to see it through His eyes.

You know, the first thing a sinner needs to see is themselves through God’s eyes. Because, when you really see what you are before a Holy God, then you will have nothing you can do. You will have either the choice of just blindly going on as you are, or surrendering, and saying, God, there’s nothing that I can provide for myself. I have no hope of standing before you and somehow qualifying myself to be part of your kingdom. You’re gonna have to do it!