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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #988

God’s Love Made Complete

September 11, 2011

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 988 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Every one of us has areas of our lives where we need to learn how to take the victory of the cross and apply it to specific needs that we are experiencing right now. And that means putting it to death. That means saying no. Jesus said, deny yourself, take up your cross. See, the cross is to be applied to you and to me and to the impulses that we have that arise from this old Adamic nature. We have the legal right because Jesus paid it all. Because He died and we died in Him, we have the right to say no! And God will back us up.

You see where Paul is not just giving us a bunch of rules to live by. He’s giving us a foundation and then saying, now you need to put this…you need to put what God has already done into practice in your life. You need to exercise it. You need to experience it. You need to take hold of the inheritance that I’ve given you. It’s real. If you just leave the money in the bank, it won’t do you a bit of good. But it’s there and you have the right to it. You are the heirs—you’re joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Praise God! Praise the Lord!

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature…” (NIV). And of course he specifies a number of very obvious things: “…Sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self…” See he keeps going back to what’s happened, doesn’t he? Always back to that foundation. Since this has actually happened, you need to act like it’s really happened. You need to put it into practice.

“…And have put on the new self, which is being renewed…” it says in this translation. That’s accurate. It’s the present tense in Greek. And the present tense describes something that is in the process of happening. It’s an ongoing thing. It’s not just a ‘okay now it’s happened.’ This is something that is happening. It’s taking place. It’s unfolding.

It “…is being renewed in knowledge in…” what? “…The image of its Creator.” You see how God just takes us right back to His image. We were created in His image. That image was ruined by sin, but God is still, through His Son, bringing forth a people who will be made into His image. Praise God! But do you get here what he’s saying? It doesn’t sound like this is something where all of a sudden…

( snapping fingers ).

…It’s gonna be…everything is gonna be just right. It sounds like we’re gonna be in a situation where there’s a whole lot of stuff that’s still wrong. I mean, why would he—why would Paul say all of these things to Christian believers if there weren’t a need? I mean, let’s not act super-spiritual here. The impulses he’s talking about, they’re there—they’re in your nature.

The thing is if you even think about it but don’t do it…think about the things that Jesus said. Jesus was trying to show the Jews to whom he was talking that their concept of the law as a very superficial thing didn’t really get to the heart of the issue. He says, if you…he says, you’ve heard the law. It says don’t commit adultery, but I’m gonna tell you that if you look at a woman to lust after her in your heart, you have committed adultery.

God’s not looking at just outward things, he wants real heart change. That can only happen by divine miracle. There’s a lot of folks who don’t do these gross outward sins who are guilty of malice, of anger, of rage, of slander, of all these other kinds of things, and they don’t see anything wrong with that. Somehow their attitudes, they have ways of justifying that part of it, but oh, I’m not guilty of…adultery. Oh…this self-righteous attitude. But I’ll tell you, God is looking to really deliver us inside and out from all these things. The only way I know is the cross.

You know Paul wrote to the Galatians about the approach that some of these false teachers were trying to bring to bear on their faith, bring them under the law as though that could somehow help them serve God. He said, that won’t do you a bit of good. I don’t glory in any of that. I glory in the cross, because it was through the cross that I was crucified to the world. The world was crucified to me. We parted company there. God absolutely built a wall between me and the world. I now have the right and the freedom to say no, and God will strengthen me and back me up in that, but I do have to do it. I have to be willing to be honest with what’s wrong with me and willing to focus on what God is wanting to accomplish.

But notice, just about all these things, in one way or another, have to do with what…earthly relationships, don’t they? So you see what’s happened in corruption of God’s image? All of our earthly relationships were poisoned, because self took over and if somebody does something that I don’t like, something rises up in me that’s of a negative nature. And I’ll tell you, God is seeking to have a people that are like Him. Is there anybody here who can say, well, I’ve made it, I’ve arrived? Oh God, we need to walk humbly before our God.

( congregational amens ).

That was part of the Scripture that Don read the other night. I have a great need to just walk humbly and say, Lord, I need you this day. I dare not ever think that I’ve arrived or think because I don’t do outward gross things that I’m okay. I need you to search my heart. Do what David said, Lord, search me. Look inside, Lord, not just the outward things, look inside. See if there’s any wicked way in me. Lead me in the way everlasting. That’s what God is looking for from His people.

But oh, thank God that He’s not looking for it to come from our resources. He’s given us His Son. Thank God!

And so here we are in this process. It should be obvious that we haven’t arrived. And so that has to be factored into our actions and our reactions, doesn’t it? I’m so glad that God sees and understands that I’m not what I will be. Do you really think that God looks down at us and He’s just constantly disgusted? What’s the matter with you? I’ve told you to be this way and you’re still that way. Why don’t you just grow up?

Is He constantly like that with us? No. God is…He perfectly understands the process of growing and maturing. Thank God that He is a merciful Father, that He’s not demanding instant perfection. It’s not perfection, it’s direction, isn’t it? He’s looking for us to want to go His way, to set our affections on things above, but He understands that we’re in a state of immaturity.

I think I’ve said this before. How many of you have reached a point in your life when you suddenly became aware of a very deep need you didn’t even know about? Well, do you think that God just discovered that? You think He’s saying, oh my God, or oh, My Self?

( laughter ).

I didn’t know that? If I’d known that I might not have started. I don’t know if we can pull this one off. This is awful. No! God brings us to the point where okay, now it’s time. You’ve grown. Now you can face this issue. And it’s something that’s challenging. It’s difficult. You’re gonna have to go through it. I knew about it all along. I loved you anyway. I received you completely anyway. My love was set upon you anyway, even though I knew all this was there, and guess what? There’s still more!

There’s all kinds of things that I know about. Just wait until you get down to the end of the way and you’re lying in bed and you’re feeling your weakness, and you get impatient with the nurse, or you get mad with somebody, and you’re struggling with your emotions about this and that. Do you think as long as your toes haven’t turned up yet, permanently, that…I guess if you’re in bed your toes are turned up, but not permanently. But do you think as long as we’re in this life that there aren’t gonna be issues, there aren’t gonna be things that God is gonna be putting his finger upon? Yet in all of that, God’s love is a constant. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

But now think about the implications for us. If He desires that we be like Him, doesn’t that have implications for how we treat each other? See. And that’s where a lot of our troubles come. We treat each other differently than we treat…than God does. You know that was an issue with, again, with what Jesus said to the people in the Sermon on the Mount, I believe it was. He says you’ve heard the law or you’ve heard…love your friends, hate your enemies. But I say love your enemies.

My enemies? You’re kidding. But He said no, love your enemies. Do good to them that persecute you, that hate you, that misuse you, mistreat you. Doesn’t your Father send rain upon the just and the unjust? You know, everybody loves their friends. You’re no better than anybody else if that’s all you do. But God loves His enemies and His friends, and He treats them with kindness. So do you want to be children of your heavenly Father? You’re gonna have to be like Him in that.

Oh, how easily we allow negative feelings about even one another, let alone people out here. God deliver us. God help us to be more like Him. Isn’t that what He’s reproducing? It’s His nature in us. I’ve got a lot of room for improvement, folks. Oh God, help us.

And so here’s this process when he says, “Here…” Here being in the kingdom of God, in Christ, “…there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all….” There is one life. When God has called His people, we possess, we share one life. That life is the person of Christ. We are so a part of him that the life that’s in Him is in us too. That’s why he says Christ is all. He’s the center. He’s the heart.

“…And is in all.” If you are His, He’s in you. Praise God! “Therefore, as God’s chosen people…” Do you want to know who is God’s chosen people? It has nothing to do with these earthly distinctions. Nothing to do with Jew or Gentile or any of that. These are a people who have been called to Christ, who have laid down their lives, who’ve been born of His Spirit. They are “…God’s chosen people, holy…” separated, “…and dearly loved.”

Man, that’s a great phrase! Look in the mirror in the morning, especially in the morning when you wake up and…you don’t feel good. Whatever you ate the night before is still fighting you. Something is not right. You’re facing something, you know, a hundred thousand and one things going on in your life. You look in the mirror and say, you are dearly loved. God doesn’t promise He’s gonna take us through, everything is all gonna be sweetness and light. It’s like Don said, sometimes He hides His face. It doesn’t mean He’s not there. It just means He allows us not to be able to see it because we’re called to walk by faith and not by sight.

“…As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion…” And he lists a bunch of virtues here. But you know, I was thinking about this ‘clothe yourselves.’ You know our clothes typically express what we are in many ways. I mean the obvious example, of course, is if you go to certain parts of certain cities and you see ladies in a certain area and you kind of know something about them, don’t you? They have a way of arraying themselves to convey what their interest is and what they’re about.

Then you see somebody else and man, they’re just proud and just trying to really look great in the eyes of the world. We have a way of clothing ourselves and expressing what’s in here. It’s what people see. People don’t see what’s in here, but the way we present ourselves to the world. That’s something to think about, by the way. The way we present ourselves to the world is very revealing of what’s in here.

But Paul uses this imagery here by saying, look you have the life of Christ in you. He’s there. If you’ve been born of His Spirit, He’s there. But now, that needs to come out. That needs to be something that is seen. It’s not just something where you’re…okay, I’m a Christian. This is something where in our relationships we need to have Jesus, not just on the inside, but on the outside. And so these virtues that he talks about are like articles of clothing and he says to put them on.

Clothe yourselves. I think it says ‘put on’ in the King James, doesn’t it? But it’s the same basic idea. You and I need to do something. This doesn’t just sort of happen. This is something where we consciously participate. Lord, You are in me, but I want to be on the outside what You have done in my heart. Praise God!

What an opposite this is to legalism where we try to do something about the outside like Hagar the Horrible. We try to act on the outside in a certain way and pretend when we’re really different in here. But now Paul is saying just the opposite. God’s done something in here, but now you need to let that be on the outside. You need to make choices that allow that that is in here to be on the outside. Praise God!

So, what are these things? They’re compassion. You know, how do we look upon each other when we see needs? How judgmental we are. Lord, have mercy. We hold one another to a standard that we don’t want anybody to hold us to, if we’re honest. That’s our nature. We’re all that way. Man, you see something wrong and…get all wrought up. God help us to have a different spirit about that. Praise God!

Compassion…isn’t that how God looks at you? Doesn’t He see beyond fault and see need? Isn’t that what He wants us to do? Praise God! Compassion. It’s really actually caring, and seeing the need, and seeing people have needs, and wanting to help rather than wanting to do this. Oh, Lord help us.

Kindness. “Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Nobody here was born with these, were you? Not the first time. But you know it takes an effort. It takes a conscious effort to say no to these things that want to rise up in us, and to say no, I yield to Him. I choose to have compassion for my brother and my sister, because I know that like me, they’re a work in progress. I know that they have great needs and maybe I’m strong in the area they’re weak in, and so I look down on them and I say, what’s the matter with you?

You know, we have that kind of a spirit. When the truth of the matter is, they’re probably strong in an area you’re weak in. And the Lord wants us to be like Him and to have a spirit of compassion one for another, where we can pray, where we can love. Yes, there’s a time for ministering correction in the right spirit, but the problem is we don’t do that. We try to straighten out instead of letting God…letting the flow of God’s Spirit change people’s hearts. God help us.

Because, we’ve got so much that we need to see God change, and it’s necessary, as I said, for conflicts to happen, because they bring these things out. They give us the only opportunity we’re really gonna have to exercise, to say no to the flesh and to exercise the Spirit of Christ in that situation. It’s only as that is exercised that it grows. If the Lord let the sun shine all the time we would never grow. We would never become what he has purposed that we become.

And so he says, “Bear with each other.” Now you know, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Well, did the Lord forgive you? Yeah, well then the Lord wants us to be like Him and forgive each other. You know it’s like Steve said in a meeting the other night. We were talking and he says, the very fact that the Lord tells us to forgive each other, by itself tells us that there’s gonna be things that need forgiving. Duh!

( laughter ).

You know, we think oh, it shouldn’t be wrong. That shouldn’t be. This just shouldn’t be. That shouldn’t be. Well, maybe not. But what is our spirit in the face of that. Are we patient? Do we see people in place…do we see need or do we just…bless God, I’m gonna straighten that thing out? As soon as we get in that kind of a spirit, we’re the one who needs the help and the deliverance. Because what you’re doing is injecting Adam into the picture…Adam’s life, Adam’s inspiration.

And of course, the devil jumps right on that. Man, he’s right there to get that going. He’ll light that fire and he’ll just sit there and whisper in your ear. God helps us to govern our own hearts and our own spirits, and to walk in the reality of what he’s describing here. Now you can see in Peter a lot of us, because he came to the Lord one day and said, how often should I forgive my brother? Seven times? See, what was Peter’s motive? Peter wanted to reach a point where he felt justified in being angry and being judgmental and really unloading on his brother. I can just see him, you know, “That’s one!”

( laughter ).

Two, three, seven, almost there. Man, he needs me to tell him off. This ain’t gonna change until I really unload. That’s it. All right, now I’m justified. No! We are never justified in the kind of a spirit that would come naturally to us in that situation. That’s why Jesus said, no, till seventy times seven. In other words, there needs to be a spirit that forgives.

You know, if you’re looking for an excuse, you say, well, I did my part, now I’m justified. No, you’re not—no, you’re not. That’s not the Spirit of Christ. That’s a choice that we make. And I’ll tell you what, God is seeking is a climate that is an expression of His nature of love. The more we embrace that, the more we understand it, the more we’re willing cooperate in these things, whatever it is that comes along, there’s gonna be stuff.

There will be things in your life and in our corporate life where we need forgiveness. We need patience. We need tolerance. We need a lot of things. May God help us to have that kind of a spirit toward one another. “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love.”

See this is the umbrella. You’ve got a collection of virtues, but what is it that actually contains all of these virtues? Love is the container. Love is the box. Love is the bag, however you want to express it. You’ve got this bag called love and you look inside and you see well, these are the specific virtues that are an expression of that love. But the thing that is utmost is the spirit of the love of God.

Oh, may God reproduce that in me. It will change the way I see you. It’ll change the way you see me. Yeah, we don’t do everything right. I guarantee you I don’t. But oh, we need to have a lot more patience, a lot more tolerance, a lot more love one for another, a lot more willingness to not do just like this…a lot more willingness not to be hurt. God help us to have His strength. I know there’s things that need dealing with at times. But you know, if we deal with them in any other spirit than what’s he’s describing here, it’s just gonna make a mess. We need the Spirit of God, because His spirit, His love is a redeeming love.

( congregational amens ).

It delivers. It reaches out. It embraces. It doesn’t come with a spirit of condemnation but a spirit of, there’s a need and I love you and I have made provision in Christ for you, and I want you to experience the freedom. Oh, I’ll tell you, so much would…this is just at the very heart of Christian life. God has absolutely put us together.

It says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” This is the word of Christ today. I don’t believe this is my wisdom or my words. These are…I believe these truths are something that comes from Him.

But now, what do we do with it? Do we just sort of, you know, just kind of hold it out here and say, well, I like this, I like this, but I don’t know about this. Let it dwell. Let it in. Let it work. Embrace it. Start looking in the mirror and saying God, I can’t control what everybody else does, but I can make choices about my own heart. I can make choices about me. Help me, Lord, to be the kind of a person you want me to be and let you work. Praise God! Praise God!

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Praise God! I’m a candidate. I need God’s help. I need him.

We need things…and the thing is they’re gonna happen. It’s not like we go out and make them happen. But, at best, we are weak. At best, there are things that are wrong with us…at best. So the issue is not whether these things are gonna happen, but what are we gonna do? How are we gonna be? What kind of a spirit are we gonna have? I’m a candidate to let the Lord live among us, to let his love be the governing influence. And I’ll tell you, if we have a people who do that, God will take care of details, and the devil will not have a way to get in because, Christ is the head of His body, the church. And our hope and our trust is in Him. Praise God!