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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1274

Saving Faith
Part One

March 5, 2017

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1274 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I don’t know, I’ve had some thoughts that have just kind of come to me a number of times recently. And as always, I sort of wrestle, is this You, is it You for now? You always have those kinds of questions and it’s good that we do question, because we don’t want to just get in a habit or a form. We need what the Lord has. But I’ve had some thoughts on, certainly a common subject in the scriptures, and that’s faith, because I think that it’s something that needs a little deeper understanding.

I’m always concerned…I know the Lord is concerned about people that grow up in our midst or the people who are just exposed to religion in general. You know, they profess a kind of faith. And the real question is, what is real saving faith, because there’s a kind of a faith that goes so far and believes many things—believes many good things, even experiences things from the Kingdom. But it stops short.

And, Hebrews 11 is where I probably will largely go, but the writer, as we’ve said many times, the writer to the Hebrews was writing to Jews who had grown up knowing the Law of Moses. They were, in their minds, keeping the Law of Moses and making the sacrifices…that was the way to be right with God.

And they were glad to hear about Jesus, and certainly understood in a measure, from what he’s saying in this Book…the author is recognizing that there are among them a people who have real faith. But he’s recognizing that there are others that concern him.

And, he warns over and over again in different ways about going so far and stopping short. And he uses the example of the Israelites and how many of them went out from Egypt and it’s pretty evident that they had a certain amount of faith. They walked…God kind of put them in a box, but still, they followed Moses. They went across the Red Sea. They said, Lord, speak to us and tell us what to do at Mount Sinai. They listened to the Law.

They went along for a long time. But many of them did not have enough to carry them through. They had a kind of faith that really wasn’t what was needed. A certain few did, Caleb and Joshua among them. And they were preserved, whereas whole generation perished in the wilderness.

Faith becomes…in the scripture faith is really the coin of the realm, is one way to put it. And you get a picture in the verse that is so often quoted in verse 6 of chapter 11, where it says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (NIV).

So obviously, no matter what else someone does or thinks that they are doing with respect to God, there is nothing other than faith that will please Him. You can work until you’re blue in the face, you can keep His laws to the best of your ability, you can devote your life to good works and helping little old ladies across the street, and it won’t earn you one thing when it comes to what’s eternal. So this is an impossibility!

But you know, I thought of another scripture and I didn’t even take the time to look this up, but it’s in Romans chapter 8, that I think helps to illustrate a point that I want to make in unlocking this subject. I’ll just refer to it. But anyway, there’s a scripture there that says, in effect, “…they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (KJV).

Now ‘in the flesh’ simply means operating in the strength of human nature. It’s just another way of saying that. In other words, you and I were born with certain kinds of abilities. We can think, we can feel, we can choose, but our abilities are, as we know from the scriptures and as we know from experience, if we’re honest…everything about us is hi-jacked by a wicked principle called sin. It absolutely undermines every possible thing that we might do, that would somehow, we might think, commend us to God. It becomes…it’s an absolute impossibility.

And I guess, the central point that I’m trying to get to, is this. What the Bible really calls faith is something that is completely impossible for a human being. You can scratch as deep as you want into human nature and you will never find faith. You can look at the most religious, the most zealous person on the planet, and if you’re talking about somebody who is doing what they’re doing in the strength of what they were born with, then it’s not faith. I don’t care what it is.

And obviously, we know people are different. Some people are very strong-willed, others are very weak-willed, but that’s not the point! What God calls faith is absolutely supernatural. And folks, if we don’t have it, we don’t have what we need.

Now, there’s something interesting in verse 1, in the NIV it says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” And there’s a little deeper sense in the language behind that than simply a kind of, well, I’m deciding to believe in God.

See, that’s what a lot of people call faith. They think of faith as sort of a leap in the dark, a blind, ‘okay, this sounds good to me, all this God stuff. I see people who seem to believe it and they’re happy, so I’m just gonna believe it.’ And they call that faith. And all it is, is just simply a human decision and that’s not what faith is.

There’s something very, very tangible, very supernatural about faith. You know, in the King James, it says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” That sounds crazy when you think about it. What evidence—what evidence do I have that God exists? I mean, you can say, yeah, look at the universe. But I’m talking about really, in here, what evidence do I have that there is a God, that His Word is true and all of that—what evidence do I have?

( congregation inaudible ).

Yeah. See, it’s not something I can muster up. It’s not just some decision where somebody gives me the reasonableness of faith. This is something that God has to do!

( congregational amens ).

God has to give me something supernatural! And when He implants that into my heart, then there is something in there. There is a little piece of God, is one way to put it. There is a measure of His Spirit that enters into my being and now I have something on the inside that is evidence of the reality of God, the reality of His Kingdom!

And somebody who does not have that on the inside is…’I don’t get it.’ They’re clueless as to what in the world this is all about, what’s going on. Folks, we can have kids grow up in our churches and they don’t get it. And we’ve had testimony after testimony of people who have grown up, gone out, come back. And their testimony is, I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand. I didn’t know what it was all about.

And there’s a reason for that, folks. We have got to have what this is talking about and it can only come from God! It is…the faith itself, this capacity for me to surrender and to put my trust in Him, is an ability that only God can give me! I don’t have it!

( congregational amens ).

See, what happened to the human race is, when we decided to go our own way, we became relentlessly rebellious and independent and self-willed and very much tied in with that is a spirit that is unable to trust, unable to really put my trust in God and His love and His purpose. There’s always gonna be that sense of reserve. I’m always gonna have…if I have anything at all towards God, there’s gonna be that sense of, I’m holding something back, I’m trying Him out.

You know, there’s a lot of stuff that’s called faith out there, where people are trying out Jesus. I’m gonna go to church for a while. I’m gonna hang out with the people. I’m gonna lift my hands when they do. I’m gonna pray. I’m gonna praise God. I’m gonna read my Bible. I’m gonna pray. I’m gonna try out this ‘Jesus business’ and see how it works.

Oh God, that has nothing to do with anything. I understand that when someone is being drawn, God is dealing with somebody, there is a time period. You know, there’s a time period for human conception. You don’t have a baby overnight. There’s a process it goes through. And there is with coming to the Lord.

But you know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about something that simply happens in the natural realm. And it’s people reacting in some way to God and to the things of God, and all they really have is something that they have somehow, for some reason, with some motivation, they have decided ‘I’m gonna follow Jesus.’

But if it’s not what we’re talking about tonight, if it isn’t God putting that spark in here, I mean really begetting a piece of Himself in here, where we’re born of His Spirit, there’s something real in here, we don’t have anything to stand on! And I’ll tell you, sooner or later—sooner or later, what you’re calling faith…God’s gonna see to it that what your real motivation is, what that reserve thing is, God’s going to put it right beside you and make you make a choice.

And I’ll tell you, I believe with all my heart that God brings people to those kinds of crossroads in their life where they have to make a choice! Am I going to go all the way with Jesus, or am I gonna draw back because I’ve tried Him and it didn’t work out like I expected. Is this the truth?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. Oh how we love to put conditions and imagine how it’s gonna be. But I’ll tell you, if you’re doing that, you are basically staying on the throne of your own heart. You are believing in yourself, not Him. You’re trying to use Him to satisfy some part of self, when real salvation is ‘from’ self! It’s ‘from’ me! I need saving ‘from’ me!

( congregational amens ).

Oh, I’ll tell you, only God can so work in a heart to where I can reach that kind of a conviction about my own need, to where I know the only thing I can do is throw up my hands! The only hope that I have is that God will be merciful to me because there’s not one thing I can offer Him except my brokenness and my helplessness. It takes a miracle of God to produce that kind of a conviction in somebody’s heart. And I pray—I pray, and believers pray that God will do this, because it isn’t a matter…I’m so conscious of this, even as I try to minister, I’m so conscious that it’s not just a matter of explaining it right. God has got to confront the heart!

( congregational amens ).

Oh how we need Him! I mean, someone could stand up here in brogans and broken English, and if God’s Spirit was in it, it would do more than an oration! We need God to come and confront! There’s got to be an encounter! There’s got to be an encounter that touches that deep thing in you that is the real motivation for your life and mine. Oh, how lovingly, how patiently He does it!

But oh, I’ll tell you, the people that he describes in chapter 11…you want to see what real faith looks like? You look at their lives and you’ll see some of the characteristics of people who have met God, and they’ve met Him in such a way that it’s no longer about the issues! See, the Israelites could go along with God about ‘this’ issue! And then they come to another one and they wrestle with it. Okay, I’ll go along with You on this, I’ll go along with You on this. But God knew that down deep in their hearts, they didn’t believe ‘Him’!

( congregational amens ).

See, it isn’t a matter of evaluating issues! Because if that’s how you’re serving God, you’re still on the throne! You’re calling the shots! You’re deciding what’s right and what’s wrong. Oh, I’ll tell you, you look at somebody like Abraham. He is listed, he’s given to us as the Father of Faith. God birthed something in his heart that was real! It carried him through all of his days, through all kinds of trials, and the biggest trial was waiting.

I’ll guarantee you, nothing worked out the way Abraham expected it to! But there was something, God alone knows…I’m not gonna try to get into the sovereignty and the human will and all that kind of stuff. All I know is that God went to this idol-worshiping man in the middle of an idol-worshiping culture and met him in such a way that Abraham put his faith in that God and His promise.

And that faith, that ‘something’ that entered into his spirit, oh, it enabled him to believe and to stand in times when every possible way that faith was tried—every possible way! Waiting 25 years until everything was impossible! You know, God is gonna show us that that is a matter of something that only He can do. How many of you have been in impossible situations, or you sensed total impossibility in you, and you’ve been led to just cry out and say, oh God, I can’t fix this, but You can. I’m trusting You? Because that’s what He wants!

( laughing ).

( congregational amens ).

God, we make it so hard on ourselves. We struggle and strive and try and try, and God’s just waiting for us to give up and say, Lord, You’re the Savior. I’m just trusting in You…I’m resting You today, instead of striving, trying to be a Christian. Oh, I’ll tell you what, that thing that He births in us is amazing and it’s real.

But it carried Abraham through all the issues of his life. He had a son by a handmaid. It was part of the culture of the day. It was a way to have an heir. And, God blessed it, in a way…there were promises that were given. But that’s not the heir, God had to tell him. And oh, Abraham had to be willing to let that son go. “O that Ishmael might live before thee.” You sense the yearning and the love and the quality of the heart that he had. It was real! But yet, he had to say, God, I don’t understand but I know You do. I know You love me. I trust You.

( congregational amens ).

There’s no question as to what I’m gonna do. I may have to really look to You for the strength to do it, but there’s no question here. I’m not sitting here deciding issue by issue whether I’m gonna obey You or not, I believe You.

( congregational amens ).

My confidence is so firmly fixed in Your Person because You put a measure of Your own Spirit in me that connects me to You. It imparts to me an ability I don’t have in myself. Oh God, we’ve got to have that, folks!

( congregational response ).

We’ve got churches full…all over the place in America! Thank God there’s a remnant that have what we’re talking about! But there are so many that have what they call faith and it’s not the faith that He’s talking about in this Book! How does God do that, by the way? How does God give faith?

( congregational response ).

By His Word, doesn’t He? We all know the scripture! Romans 10, faith comes…

( congregational response ).

“…By hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Okay, but what is it about the Word of God that makes it different from some man who just comes up and spouts out great ideas?

( congregational response ).

It’s God’s Spirit. It’s not just ideas. You remember how Jesus said, “…the words that I speak unto you,” are what?

( congregational response ).

Spirit and life. Yes, there were sounds involved! Yes, there were ideas involved. Yes, there was a physical process involved, but what they conveyed was a measure of His Spirit and His Life! And it made all the difference in the world in what happened on the receiving end, didn’t it? You remember how Jesus talked about the sower? He likened the Word to a seed that a farmer went out and sowed. And he sowed it in different kinds of ground, didn’t he?

( congregational response ).

And those different kinds of ground represented different kinds of people. But one of them was so hardened, so trampled down that the seed couldn’t penetrate at all! It sat there on the surface and the birds came and took it away! You know, if we look around the scriptures, we can get a picture of what He’s talking about there. What’s that talking about?

( congregational inaudible ).

Those are devils! I’ll tell you, demons are real!

( congregational amens ).

And I’ll tell you, where the Word of God does not penetrate…in the first place, the condition that causes it not to penetrate is a fruit of the Devil at work to harden the heart, to work with human nature and to minister his spirit to such a degree that that heart is utterly resistant to the Word of God. Oh, what a horrible place to be. You know, that’s where the world’s going?

( congregational response ).

Strong delusion is where there is a conviction that something is true and it is absolutely a damnable lie from hell designed to destroy. But oh, the Word of God goes out and it lands sometimes on that kind of a heart, but it doesn’t do any good, does it?

But there was another kind of soil where, oh the results were immediate! Haven’t you ever seen that? Where you see somebody just lap up the Word…oh, that sounds great! That’s awesome! That’s wonderful…I believe it, I’m rejoicing in it? And something seems to pop right up as a result of the influence of that Word on their heart. What’s the problem?

( congregational response ).

Down deep, there are those stones, rocks. There’s no soil there. What’s down underneath is hardened. It’s resistant. It’s like something else has just got control of the inner life! God…if we’re saved, we’re gonna have to give Him all of our lives, the inner part and the outer part, the part that nobody even knows about!

( congregational amens ).

God has the power to heal the deepest places in the life, but He’s got to have them! We have got to have a conviction that we can give Him those places and trust Him to do what is needful in our lives. But here’s a case where somebody has got these reserves in their life. These things that…yeah, I want this, I want that…they want cafeteria religion is what they want.

They want to be able to pick and choose the good parts, the tasty parts, but they don’t want the part that causes them to say, I’m giving up my life. I’m willing to die, I’m willing to suffer and die for You, Lord, if that’s what it takes. This is worth everything to serve You! They don’t get that part. And so when something comes along that touches one of those areas, that’s it! I’m out of here! See, these are among the people who ‘try’ Jesus.

And the third category were people who started and they ran for a while, but there were other things that came in, there were interests in this world. They were more interested in the things of the world, and the things in their life, and all that began to crowd in and began to choke out the Word, and it became non-effective in their hearts and their lives!

And what is that? You still see self on the throne, don’t you? You see the root of that? It’s yeah, I want Jesus and I want to have this, but I also want this and I’m not really willing to go one way ‘or’ the other. I want a mixture. And so the real interests of the heart begin to rise to the surface and they take over and they take them down the wrong road. And the next thing you know, they’re way out in left field.

I’ll tell you, don’t you know there were people in Noah’s day who had heard the Word of God and somehow they had just gone down roads like this, and all of a sudden, the rain began to fall. And it was too late. See, these are eternal issues! God is not just blowing smoke. This is a real…these are eternal issues as to whether people hear the Word of God in such a way that it begets real faith in the heart. Oh I’ll tell you, if you’re at all uncertain tonight, you better be crying out to God!

( congregational amens ).

If what I’m saying disturbs you, you better be glad that it disturbs you, but you better say, oh God, help me…is right. Oh God, open my understanding! Lord, I don’t quite…I want to get it! I want You! I know that I cannot save myself! I know that I need You! But I cannot do what I need to do! Lord, bring me to that place!