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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #968

Experiencing Christ’s Resurrection

April 24, 2011

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 968 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

-- Brother Phil Enlow: This is a process that happens throughout our entire lives. No matter how far you get, no matter how much victory you experience, whether you may reach the point where God has just filled you with faith and you can raise the dead, and cleanse the leper, and all those things, but there will still be things that need to be changed. There’s still gonna be opportunity for us to need to know Him better, to gain greater victory over this area of our lives or that area, the things that nobody else knows about maybe, but you do.

I mean, think of how Paul struggled with pride. Don’t we all? We’re made of the same stuff. Well, the Lord had the prescription for him…let a devil beat on him a while and told him that His grace was enough. But I’ll tell you, we have a faithful heavenly Father who is so committed to making salvation real for us that He’s gonna do what it takes.

And as we’ve said any number of times, this is an individual thing. There is no grand formula that I can give you except to point you to Jesus. Jesus is seeking to make Himself so real to us that we can begin to connect the resurrection with our daily lives. Who here has arrived in that area? The truth of the matter is we blunder through our days and forget all about…it’s not like we’ve got to just constantly think about…but you know what I’m saying. We just don’t get the connection. And this is the case where we know something here but it hasn’t quite penetrated here. And I need it to penetrate down here.

And so this is why Paul says what he does. I press on. I haven’t got all this. I don’t…I’m praying for you because I know…not because I’ve arrived but because I know where the answer lies. I know that there is a reality to the salvation and to what God has provided in the resurrection of Jesus. I know there’s a reality there that you’re gonna need in your life. That’s what it’s about. God wants to change you into the image of His Son. But I know that there’s no shortcut to finding all that.

So he says, “…I press on…” (NIV). Why do I press on? “…To take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.” That’s the only reason anybody can preach this. It’s because this is a revelation of the way to get from point A to point B. God wants to make these truths so real that we will look at our situations and our needs and realize, hey, this is the answer. This is where the strength comes from. This is what this is about. God is seeking to take what He did in the resurrection and make it real to me now so that I can have victory.

“But one thing I do.” Oh how glad I am for this part. “Forgetting what is behind.” There’s not a person here who doesn’t have stuff that you need to turn your back on and just forget and put under the blood and say, Lord, you’ve taken care of that. See that’s what the cross is about. We’ve got a foundation in the cross where Jesus has taken our sins, period, upon himself. There is no barrier. I’ll tell you, we have the right to stand before Him, to come freely to that throne of grace that Carl was talking about Wednesday night, and find the grace that we need to help us in our time of need. And boy, like my dad was fond of saying, that’s all the time.

So Paul says, “…One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” That sounds like an effort to me, doesn’t it? I press on. There’s opposition. You can’t just go with the flow and go with your feelings. There’s…you set your heart to take hold of a principle like this, get ready. The devil is gonna come and throw all…pull out all his weapons against you. He’s gonna bring out every wrong thing there is about you, every bad thing you’ve ever done, every reason in the world not to believe the principles and the truths of God.

But God is looking for people who are willing to look past that and say, well, I’m not saved by any of this anyway. This is a salvation He has perfectly provided. I have every right to put my faith in Him. My faith is not in me anyway. That’s why I need to be saved. I need my sins blotted out. There’s so many of them, there’s no way I can have a relationship with a holy God if God didn’t do something about it. But, oh I need Him to come and to live in me and when I do it myself, I mess up and fall in the mud. How many times? Every time. Oh, as I said Wednesday night, we have such delusions of adequacy.

( laughter ).

We think we can live it. We tend to have a crisis-based faith. Oh God, I’ve got to get up and preach again. Help me. Lord, you know I can’t. Take over. And praise God, to the degree that He does, because there’s nothing in any of us. Oh God, I’m in a terrible, terrible dark place. I’m over my head. I’m about to drown. Oh God, come and rescue me. Help, give me the strength. And He does, and you say, all right Lord, I’ll take it from here. I’ve got it covered now.

Anybody here who doesn’t do that? That’s not what God is after. He’s after teaching us that we need Him all the time, that it’s not us that He’s called to somehow sort of live this Christian life. It’s impossible. You can’t do it. I can’t…nobody can do it. There’s not a human being alive that can live the Christian life. The only one who can live the Christian life is Christ, and that’s God’s plan, that He come and live in us, that He become the engine, He become the life, He becomes the motivation.

Well, making that happen on a day to day basis is a process. We don’t readily get out of the way, do we? Most of the time we don’t know we’re in the way! We just kind of muddle through life, and this is the way I do things. This is the way I think. This is the way it’s supposed to be. And, I can handle this. I am competent. I’ve got a mind to think. I’ve got a will to give energy to what needs to be done. I can handle this.

Well, if that’s the content of your Christian life, that’s not the Christian life. That’s not the life God has given to us. He’s given us His Son to live in us. God help us. And Paul saw that. That was the thing. He didn’t just arrive at the destination and say, now here, like I say, push the button and you’ll get here. But this is the road, believers, you need to be on. Christ rose. Something incredible happened when Christ arose that didn’t just…so you can say, wow! Christ arose so that you can rise. Christ arose so that you can have the life that was in Him when He did rise. So that you and I can be energized to begin to see bondages broken, darkness flee, weaknesses made strong, or overcome with strength.

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” So you see this is where Paul is coming from. You’ve got a sense now of Paul’s own thinking about his own life, so that when he’s talking about…talking to these believers, he’s communicating with that understanding. Folks, I’m not giving you a destination. I am showing you the road. I want God to so make His life real, the reality of what happened in the resurrection, make that real, not just here, but in here so that you know how to connect it with life.

And then we see Jesus on a throne. He’s been appointed head over everything. So that he can sit there and be Mr. Big? No. For us--for us. Why? Because we’re part of Him. We’re the church which is His body. Is your head complete without your body? No. Well neither is Christ complete without us. That’s the amazing thing about the plan of God, is that we are, as it were, the rest of Him. And God is as committed to the body of Christ as He was committed to His Son.

His plan will not be done until we stand there redeemed completely delivered from everything that is wrong with us in this world. That’s what He’s committed to. That’s what the power of the resurrection is about. It’s that power that makes all of this possible. It’s the life that He had that absolutely is gonna fill everything. That’s what he says. He calls us the fullness of Him, the rest of Him…we’re the part that makes Him complete. Certainly not in what we are, but in what He has the power to make us.

But now what does it say of Jesus? “…Who fills everything in every way.” I mean what is in Jesus is going to eventually permeate everything…life, power, victory, there will be no more death, no more sin, no more suffering, none of these things. All of these former things we’re told in Revelation will be passed away. Oh praise God!

And of course, the familiar scripture, I’ll just kind of mostly refer to it, but he goes to describe where we start in this and why resurrection is necessary. “As for you, you were dead…” How were we dead? “…In your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air…” There’s a power, see, that is behind all of this. “…The spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.”

That’s a pretty hopeless description there, isn’t it? There’s nothing we can point to and say, look at me. God has shown me favor because I deserve it in this way or in that way. My God, I was dead. I wasn’t looking for Him. Paul wasn’t looking for Him. God, in mercy, reached out. What a glorious gospel we have to proclaim, and the motivation behind it, “…Because of his great love for us…” Why would He love His enemies? He tells us to love our enemies, doesn’t He? He says be like your Father in heaven. Don’t just be good to your friends, be good to everyone. Boy, we’ve got a long ways to go, don’t we? Lot of work, but He’s able.

“God, who is rich in mercy…” For his great love. He’s rich in mercy. He made us alive in Christ. See that’s where the resurrection begins to be connected with us. Because what happened on resurrection morning, I don’t know whether He was raised that morning, but that’s when it was revealed to us, anyway. They went to the tomb and He wasn’t there. That’s all I know. And he appeared to them and all the events that unfolded.

But something happened there that was not apparent, even to them at the time. And this is the truth that we brought out before. Where did you get your natural life? When did God create that? He created your natural life when He created Adam. When He created Adam and Eve, you and I were there. We were part of that life. Now it had to reproduce and reproduce and reproduce, but we were there. All that we are, naturally speaking comes from what was in him and became corrupted by sin. That’s the life we have. That life can never inherit that. Something else has to happen.

But oh, when Jesus came forth, there was…it wasn’t just Jesus. Just as Adam had in him all the billions of people that have come from that life, Jesus had in Him all the entire new race of men and women who would ever be born by listening and believing that Gospel. You and I were there. And that’s the thing that Paul wants these young believers that he’s so excited about to understand.

And I dare say, we just need a little bit more understanding, wouldn’t you say? Lord I do. God help us. You know the great danger in Christendom and we’ve seen it over and over and over again is that God will become real to a generation. You will have people who will get this in some measure. God will be real and there’ll be transformed lives, there’ll be living ministry. And what happens to the next generation? So many times it just becomes hand-me-down religion.

I believe with all my heart God is seeking to deliver us and He is delivering us. We need to have a living relationship with this God! Not just hey, we’ve inherited a Bible Tabernacle religion and we’re gonna carry it on, hand it down to the next generation. That’ll be good enough. It is not. We need to know Him! We need to know the same things that those who went before us knew. Not just things, but Him! We need to have a living faith in us that changes our lives, that we can impart to others that changes them.

I can’t do that--I can’t do that in myself. All I can do is stretch forth my hands as the Lord said to Peter. Let Him do the girding. But that doesn’t apply to me, just only, that applies to everybody, every believer. When you get up in the morning there’s only one thing to do, stretch forth your hands and say, oh God. Carry me places maybe I wouldn’t go but oh, walk in me, live in me. Lord I am helpless. I cannot live this life. Yeah, I can do stuff, but that’s not the Christian life.

The Christian life is handling the things that are on my plate every day, but it’s You in me handling them. It’s You in me infusing Your character, and Your love, and all these things, all these abilities, and Lord, when there’s mountains to move, You can move them. When there’s crises that come, You’re there. I am not just suddenly going into crisis mode and saying, hey God, I was on my own and I was doing great, but now I need You. You need Him all the time. I need Him all the time.

And so he goes on and says He “…made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us…” Just in case you didn’t get it, he says it again. “God raised us up with Christ.” Now we need to be able to say this, God raised me, us-- God raised me up with Christ. That’s the meaning of this event that is commemorated on Easter Sunday. It’s wonderful that He won the victory! It’s wonderful that He provided salvation! But he wasn’t alone on that day! We were there and we need to see that it connects with our lives.

“…Raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms.” Anybody here that’s really got a full handle on this? You know all about it? I daresay we’ve got some learning to do, don’t you? I believe it’s the burden of God’s heart, not that we be educated with these ideas, but that we begin to learn them and that’s an individual walk with Him. Praise God! It is by…”…In order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

You see the sovereign hand of God in all of this? I mean this is something that should give us rest. It should give us hope because every time I look in the mirror if I were to try to look at that guy and say, that’s hopeless in many ways. But it’s certainly hopeless with respect to spiritual things. I can’t look and find any reason to have confidence. But oh when I look away from me and say, Lord, You have the power to save me. You can save the lowest of the low and set them on high as sons and daughters of God because we were in there. Just as I was in Adam, so was I in Christ. Oh, praise God!

This is the burden of Paul’s heart. I believe it’s the burden of God’s heart for us, that we would come to connect the dots. You know we have an expression called an ‘aha’ moment. You sort of…you know what I mean, don’t you? It’s when you’re going along and all of a sudden…duh! It dawns on you--something really dawns on you and it becomes real, and you understand and you know what’s going on. And where you’ve been just sort of blindly going, all of a sudden you realize the why, and the where, and the who, and whatever’s is relevant to the situation. Aha! Now I get it. This is what God is seeking to do in us.

And I believe until our toes turn up, if we will follow Him and listen to Him and learn from Him, our life is gonna be one ‘aha’ moment after another. And the ‘aha’ moment I need right now is to realize where the ‘aha’ moments come from. It’s from looking to Him and realizing that the resurrection of Christ on that day is relevant to my life now, in a practical sense. Then God can begin to connect the dots with the issues, with the specifics of my life and with the specifics of your life, because we’ve got them. You can sit there and look pretty all you want to, but we are a needy people.

( congregational amens ).

We need God to get down and do heart operations and begin to show us what He’s done for us so that we can begin to walk in it and benefit from it. That’s what made Paul so hungry to know Him…but the power of His resurrection. Lord, I see these things in me but I know what happened there, but oh, God I need that here. I need that in my circumstances. I need that to transform my abilities, my thinking, everything!

But even there, I understand it’s a journey. Lord, thank You for showing me the way. Help me now to simply look to You every day and make this journey with You. Bring me to those ‘aha’ moments so that I don’t sit there and muddle through the rest of my life with the same old same old, and never realizing what You did for me when Your Son died for my sins and rose to a newness of life and I was there. Lord, help me not to be like the man who lives a homeless life while he’s got millions in the bank…but to realize the riches of what You’ve given in Christ. I need Him.

I just sense His heart wanting us to connect those dots, and understand and begin to connect the resurrection with things that you walk through every single day. And He is walking with us to help us to teach us if we just tune our ears to Him and learn. He is able. And man, I sure cannot tell you this as somebody who has made any great progress. But I’ve tasted it. So have many of you. You know how the Lord has brought you through times when you were helpless and God made you able. Well, He’s with us all the time.

( congregational amens ).

And He wants to be real in our lives so that we will know the power of His resurrection on a day to day basis and He will get the glory. Praise God!

( congregational praise ).