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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #977

Living in the Light of the Cross

June 26, 2011

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 977 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

-- Brother Phil Enlow: A lot of our trouble in this area comes from the gap between the time that we become conscious of something in which we come short, and the time that we’re willing to lay it down and look at the cross and actually believe what God has said.

( congregational amens ).

Does anybody here suppose that God wants us to do penance? Is that the Gospel?

( congregational response ).

In other words, okay, you messed up. Go sit in the corner for a while and sulk. That may be a form of discipline down here that may be appropriate, but that’s not the Gospel. I’ll tell you, we have the right the moment we see and understand what we are, to come to Him and to be clean, as if it had never happened. Now see, that’s another aspect of the legality of all of this. Would God be just in punishing sins twice? Well, did He put our sins on Him?

( congregational response ).

You see, it wasn’t just that He took our penalty and said, well, I’m perfectly just but I’m gonna stand in for their penalty. No! The Scripture says, He became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. Boy, that’s pretty good righteousness, isn’t it? The righteousness of God through Him.

Most of us who’ve heard this truth in some form or other, have little trouble believing it in a general sense. But where I struggle sometimes, and I bet some of you do too, is really coming to the place where we see ‘our’ sin. Think of the worst thing you’ve done and the shame you felt if God brought you to that place, and suddenly you felt that shame.

Some of you have heard Brother Thomas’s testimony and how the Lord brought him, rough cut, bootlegger, party boy…brought him to faith. And the next morning he testifies to sitting down over a plate of eggs or whatever, and tears just falling in his plate. What was that about? It was such a sense of shame, such a sense of oh God, how could I have been…how could I have lived as I have lived? There was that deep sense of genuine regret and sorrow over what he had been, once God just took the scales off his eyes and he saw things as they were.

But do you know the amazing thing is when Jesus went to that cross…we know He didn’t go for any sin He committed…He took that shame upon Himself, and He didn’t do it just for you. He did it for everybody. The incredible sense of guilt and shame of a sinful world, every bit of it, He embraced. He became the guilty one. It wasn’t some little technicality. He became the representative of our guilt. He embraced, not just the penalty, but the guilt. And God’s punishment, the just punishment of a holy God fell on Him that day.

I’ll ask again. Does God hold us accountable? Does God punish sin twice I guess is how I put it? Well, if He doesn’t punish sin twice, and punished it there, why do we carry it around--why do we carry that burden around?

I think again of Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress and you remember there came a day after he finally got in the Way, through the gate and down the road--down the path. He came early in his journey to a hill. When he got there, that burden--that awful burden that drove him to this pilgrimage in the beginning was still there. There’s nothing he could do to get rid of it. It was hanging there, and he felt it, and it was a weight to him. He longed to be free of it. But all he had to do was come to the foot of that hill and look at the cross. What happened when he did that?

( congregational response ).

It fell off. It rolled out of sight. It was gone. He never saw it again. What a glorious picture…

( congregational amens ).

…Of what God desires for us! Not just in some general, okay, I’m saved, my sins are gone kind-of-thing, but this is, right now I have the right to walk in the light, and feel close to God, and know that He loves me and that He accepts me! That’s what Satan robs God’s people of, and he causes us to be afraid of the light. And we’re afraid of the light because it exposes our sins, but God doesn’t want us to stay there. What God is seeking to do for me, for every one of us, is to close that gap from the time that we become conscious and repentant of our sins, ‘til the point where we look at Jesus and know that that sin is gone.

( congregational amens ).

And we don’t have to carry that burden because He carried it to Calvary. Oh, praise God! Anybody here need a little help and encouragement in this area maybe? God does not want us to be afraid of the light of the cross. It’s not a place to be afraid of. It’s a place to run to. It’s not a place of condemnation and of a constant sense of frustration and I can never be, and all this stuff that the devil dumps on us. All we’re doing is assuming back the burden of our sins. Jesus took that burden and He took it into the grave with Him! It’s still there! As far as God is concerned that was blotted out as though it had never ever happened! Oh praise God! Does that begin to give a sense of freedom? Praise God!

You know, the disciples certainly didn’t have a clue what was going on when Jesus was crucified. They were terrified, confused, defeated, in hiding. They were behind locked doors. And that first Easter Sunday, what happened in the evening? Several things, but the one thing in particular in respect to the disciples…all of a sudden, they’re in a locked room, feeling not so good. And all of a sudden, Jesus appears right in the middle of them. He didn’t have to come through the door. He’s there all of a sudden, and He’s not just some kind of a ghost. One of the first things He does is ask them have you got a piece of fish. Ghosts don’t eat fish.

( laughter ).

This was a bodily resurrected Christ. And they had seen stripes. They had seen all the brokenness of His body that they took down, and was so carefully wrapped. Was it Joseph of Arimathea? And he got Nicodemus to help him. And they prepared his body and they put it in the tomb, in a rock tomb, according to their custom. Oh, they had to see all this. They knew that this Jesus wasn’t like that.

But you know in the wisdom of God, there was one evidence of what He’d been through that was preserved even in that perfect body. And I believe it was preserved so that there would be a perpetual reminder of what the cross was all about. What was that? What was the first thing Jesus did actually in the account? You can go back and read it if you want at the end of some of the Gospels. What was the very first thing Jesus did when He stood and appeared? Anybody remember? It says, He showed them His hands and His feet.

I’ll tell you, what a testimony to the fact that, yeah, this is really Me,…but a testimony to the meaning of what those marks represented. I have taken your sins upon Myself. The price has been fully and completely paid. And not only can not your sins keep Me in that ground, all the sins of all the ages could not keep Me in that ground. I’ll tell you, when you’re feeling the weight of your sins, remember that. When you’re feeling the shame that sometimes comes to us when we become conscious of something, we say oh my God, I didn’t know--I didn’t know what was motivating me to do that. I see so much self in things that I wasn’t even conscious, but it’s self on the throne. Oh God!

But how many of us stop there, and we try to live in that, and try to embrace that, and try to make it go away by repenting in the sense that I described earlier. I’ve got to do this. I’ve got to do that. I’ve got to put in some time here. I’ve got to put in some serious mourning time. Oh I’ll tell you, mourning will happen, but, I’ll tell you, God does not want us to live in the light or in the darkness, I should say, of what’s wrong with us, but in the light of the cross.

( congregational amens ).

I believe with all my heart that God’s people struggle in this area, because though we know it here, we don’t quite get it here. We need to come to a place where there is a willingness on our part to stand on faith based upon what God has said and to declare it in the face of the devil…to say Jesus bore my sins on that tree. I have a right, right now to be at one with God. I am as accepted as He was! What He came forth with is the life He gives to me! My sin could not keep Him in the ground! My sin could not separate Him from His Father! Think about that. Do you suppose that Jesus is accepted by His Father?

( congregational response ).

Oh yeah. Is there any gap because He became sin? No. All of the justice of God was taken care of on that day, and what’s available to us now is mercy and grace and forgiveness and cleansing to everyone that will look to Him and put their faith in what He did. That’s what the blood represents. That’s why demons fear it so. They will do anything in their power to blunt the simple message that Jesus’ blood cleanses the vilest sinner and makes him clean! We don’t have to carry it. We don’t have to do penance. We don’t have to do all those things. We can come to Him and we can walk in the light and we can be conscious of everything that’s not right. But the instant we are…

( snapping fingers ).

…We can say Lord, I repent. I trust.

( congregational amens ).

And you can take that big old gap that sometimes gets to years and shrink it right…

( clapping hands ).

…Until it’s instantaneous. That’s what God is after in our lives. Oh, I praise God!

Let’s go back for a moment just to 1st John chapter 1, which is where we read, I think, two or three weeks ago, whenever it was. This is where we read in verse 5, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another…” (NIV).

There’s a relationship here, but listen to this. “…And the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” This is describing an ongoing process! This means a continual cleansing! This is somebody who’s walking in the light. They’re not hiding and pretending I’m okay, I’m okay, when they’re not. But yet there is a continual instantaneous cleansing that is happening because, not only are they willing to say, yes Lord, I repent. I turn my heart to You. I agree with You about this. But I also look to Jesus and I don’t have to carry that one moment. I believe in what Jesus did.

And God’s promise is not just live in the light and be conscious of yourself as a sinner, but be conscious of Jesus as a Savior, be conscience of blood that has the power to cleanse you this moment. As I said, don’t wait for a feeling--don’t wait for a feeling. God is looking for a people who will take hold of His Word and believe it. And I’ll tell you what’s gonna happen. I believe we’re gonna get to times when our feelings begin to come into line. We’re gonna lead the train, as it were, with the engine of faith. And that old caboose of feelings is gonna come along. It doesn’t have much choice, it’s hooked. We can let the caboose lead, and you’re gonna go right down the hill…or we can let faith lead and bring the emotions along.

And I’ll tell you, God wants us to live with a joy. Let’s go back to the revival under Nehemiah, when they read the Law to these people who had just been so disconnected from God’s covenant and His laws that they were just weeping and crying, oh, how wicked we are! They had to stop the people and say no! You don’t get it! You don’t understand! This isn’t a day for weeping, this is a day for joy! The joy of the Lord will be your strength. That’s what God is wanting to bring out of our walking in the light, is a people who are full of joy! Yes, we are needy sinners, but Jesus has paid it all!

( congregational amens ).

We don’t have to live under a shadow or under a cloud. We can declare in the face of the enemy, Devil, He has forgiven me!

( congregational amens ).

I am as accepted in the eyes of a holy God as His Son is, because I’m in Him. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

Does anybody need this?

( congregational response ).

“…If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” This reminds me of what’s written in the prophet Zechariah, I think, about a fountain being opened for sin and uncleanness. It’s not just a one shot thing. This is a continual fountain that cleanses because whatever you and I encounter in our lives, all the brokenness, all the ugliness, all the things that are wrong, God knew about that from the foundation of the world, and He already took care of it. He did what you and I could never, ever do. Why do we linger? Why do we walk? Why do we live in a state of unbelief and condemnation when Jesus paid it all? Praise God!

I just praise God for what He’s done this morning. I mean you could go on. You could say the same thing in a lot of other ways. But I’m gonna finish with this I think. And that’s the passage in Hebrews 6. I think I will just turn over there. I referred to this recently. And in this particular translation I’ve got a sub heading which, of course, is not part of the original text, but it’s a very appropriate one.

It says, “The Certainty of God’s Promise,” because there is no question what God has promised. Has He not promised that we can live in a state of harmony and fellowship and friendship with God? Is there any question that God has promised that? Is there anybody here, you say, well no, God hasn’t promised that at all? No. God has clearly promised in His Word that we can be clean from our sin. There can be nothing. We can be in a state where there’s nothing between us.

We don’t have to come to Him and sort of…live in this state of uncertainty. I don’t know whether I really belong here or not. Anybody experience that? Yeah. I don’t know, I just…I’m uncertain about how He really feels about me right now. I don’t know if I’ve got the right to come and pray or not. Oh. You’re just weighed down with all this stuff. What happened? You’re looking at this, instead of that. You’re looking at your sin instead of the cross.

But listen this in verse 13, “When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, I will surely bless you and give you many descendants. And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” So of course the writer here is not talking just about that promise but he’s talking about the principle when God promises. But you know embedded in God’s promises to Abraham was what we’re experiencing because he said, in your seed will all nations of the earth be blessed. Paul tells us the seed is Christ, that the blessing God had in mind when He called Abraham was the salvation of men that was promised through Christ.

And so he goes back to a human principle, “Men swear by someone greater than themselves.…” They’re trying to convince somebody that what they’re saying is meaningful, it’s truthful, you can depend on it. So I’m not going to just say what I’m going to say, I’m going to swear by somebody to give it added weight in your mind that I really mean what I say. “Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.”

So here’s God wanting to communicate something with you and with me today, and He’s saying I love them. I really, really want them to get it. I want them to believe in this. I want them to be able to be so certain that they will stake their souls on what I have said that is true. That’s what this is about. So what did He do? “…He confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled…” We’ve fled from sin and the darkness of this world. “…To take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.”

So we have a God who cannot lie. And the first thing is He said something. He made a promise. But then looking at us and our weakness, He says that’s not enough. My promise should be enough and it’s absolutely true but I’m gonna add some weight to this. I’m gonna confirm what I said with an oath. Well, who’s God going to swear by? There is no one greater. So what it says is, He swore by Himself! Not only am I gonna tell you this, I’m gonna swear by My own character, by My own Person. And so you’ve got two things to go here to give you a solid hope in what I’ve promised.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” I don’t know where anybody is in particular this morning, but I believe with all my heart that God is seeking to bring us into a covenant relationship with Himself in a deeper way…to enjoy more of the covenant. I believe many here are in His covenant, but we don’t always walk in what we have, do we?

And there may be somebody here who doesn’t understand. You don’t know what the Gospel is about. The Gospel is about you’re a sinner and you’re separated from God and there ain’t a thing you can do about it. But God has done everything that’s necessary about it. And He’s not looking for you to work your way into His favor. He’s not looking for any of that. He’s looking for you to declare spiritual bankruptcy and just come to Him and say, oh God. I’m sorry and I need help.

And then, but I see what You’ve done. I’ve put my faith in the blood that was shed. You put my sins there. That blood that flowed out of Him represents the death that was the just punishment for ‘my’ sin, not for His. He didn’t have any…for mine. And I trust in Your promise that You will give me the gift of eternal life. You will blot my sins out if I put my hope in Him. I pray there’s somebody here this morning…the Lord gets this in your heart and convicts you, but not just convicts you of your lost-ness, convicts you and shows you the Savior, His answer, because it’s true.

( congregational amens ).

His Word, His promise is true. He’s backed it up with everything He can think of, everything there is, His whole character. But I believe God is seeking to bring His people into a greater walk in the light, one where we don’t live lives of pretense and bondage and unbelief and struggle and condemnation and frustration and all the things that beset us so naturally, so easily. We all experience it. Don’t kid yourself. If you think you’re the only one, you’re not. And I’ll tell you, God wants us to walk in the light of the cross, to be honest about our need, to be penitent about that need, but to learn to continually…

( snapping fingers ).

…Instantaneously look at the cross, and put our faith in that, and trust in Him, and believe His promise, and thank Him. Why else would the writer say that we have the freedom, the confidence to come into the very Holiest of Holies by the blood of Jesus, a new and a living way? How else could we go? You think that was written to the Hebrews, Jews, who understood the sacrificial system. They knew that there was the Holy of Holies was at the center of their system of worship, and they knew you didn’t go in there or you were dead. It was that simple. There was a power, God’s presence was there and you were out here. You blundered in there, you were dead, instantaneously…

( snapping fingers ).

…Just like that. And now the glorious truth revealed as that curtain was torn in two when He died and said, it’s finished, is now broadcast. You don’t have to be afraid to go in there. Jesus has paid it all. Because of His blood, you have the freedom to go into the very holiest place of all, and know God and know He loves you, and love Him, and not feel like you don’t really belong there, like Isaiah. We belong because He has called us. He has made us His sons and His daughters.

Folks, may God give us a heart to walk in the light, all of it, the light that shows us our need, but the light that shows us God’s answer. And I’ll tell you, in His presence, what did David say? There’s fullness of joy. I don’t believe God wants us to go around with our faces hanging down, just burdened down with the weight of what we are, but to lift up our eyes with joy. Because no matter what there is that’s wrong, He has the answer. The hope that He’s given us is the anchor that we have. No matter what the devil throws at us, we’ve got an anchor. It reaches all the way into that holiest place and it will keep us and it will take us safely home.

So wherever you’re at today, I hope you will understand God’s heart. I hope we’ll all learn in a greater way to live in the light of the cross, all of it, the full message. Because if we get it all, we’re gonna be in a place of joy, and peace, and thankfulness, and rest, and victory, and yes, there’s gonna be things come up all along. But we’re gonna see God’s perfect provision and as fast as anything comes up, we can be free of it instantly by turning from that and looking to the cross, and giving Him glory and giving Him praise. Is He not worthy of all that we have?

( congregational amens ).

Bless His holy name! Bless the Lord!

( congregational amens ).