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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #997

A Call to True Holiness

November 13, 2011

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 997 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Folks, we’ve got some repenting to do. We’ve got some heart searching to do. We need to be able to pray like David, “Search me, O God...” (NIV). But don’t touch that area. No! We can’t do that, can we? We’re gonna have to say, Oh, God give me the grace to face the needs that there are in me. Not to look down the row and see all the things that are wrong with everybody else, but Lord…just to come into your presence and say, Oh God, search my heart. Help me to have a sensitivity to things that displease you.

We just go right along with the stuff that we listen to. What kind of music do you listen to? Who’s the author of that stuff? Where do you go on the computer? What do you look at? What kind of movies do you like and you kind of snigger at? What’s the topic of your thought life? The attitudes toward the sexuality that has just enveloped our society?

God made all these things, but He didn’t make them to be what they are in our world. We need to stand up and say so. There isn’t a day goes by that the wickedness of this world doesn’t just belt you in the face if you pay any attention to the news at all. But God has better for his people. He is wanting us to take seriously the things that He says in His Word.

But, oh God, how many times I can think back of, maybe it just the way I reacted, but I’d hear somebody talk about this side of things. Oh, you’ve got to be holy. You’ve got to be holy. What’s the effect…has that affected anybody else the way it’s affected me sometimes? Oh my God. Oh the bondage. Oh the agony. All the stuff I can’t do. It’s a bunch of negative—it’s like sucking this out and sucking that out. Pretty soon you’re just trying desperately not to collapse!

Oh God, if you and I had to be what God wants us to be in our own strength, we’d have no hope. As I said recently, I need God to work in my “want to.” Every part of me has been so affected by what the world is around me, I need God to open my eyes to say, wait a minute. God says I hate that stuff. Why do you—why are you like that? Why do you think the way they think? I’m supposed to be changing your mind. I’m supposed to be renewing your mind. You need to turn yourself over to me so I can change the way you think.

Don’t use grace as an excuse to just go on and do what you really want to do. I have called you out of that. I’ve called you to be a peculiar people, a special people. I want to pour out my Spirit upon you but I can’t do it if you’re gonna live in sin, if you’re gonna be tolerant and just careless, allowing the world to define your values. I can readily understand there’s not too many amens to this but there ought to be. Praise God! I appreciate the honesty there.

I’ll tell you what, you think about the things, just this passage right here. God wants us to be his temple. You think about Solomon’s temple when he came to dedicate it, and they had everything just the way it was supposed to be. What happened? God’s presence filled the temple like a cloud, the priests couldn’t minister. God’s presence came down. Do we really want that or do we just want to go on with the form of believing the right stuff, doing the right activities, and just living our lives and being tolerant of things that we know aren’t right in our lives? I’ll tell you there’s a God who loves us Who is merciful.

( congregational amens ).

And He doesn’t—this burden that’s upon His heart, I believe, is not one to condemn. It’s one to reach out and say, don’t you know that I provided all of this that I’m asking of you in the gospel? Don’t you know that Jesus Christ—the life of Jesus Christ has the power to save you? Isn’t that in Romans chapter 5 as well? Four or five, one of those, I believe it is five. That’s what grace is about.

Man, I wake up every day and I’m aware, Oh God, I need grace today. There’s stuff that will get me. There’s stuff that will rule over me if I don’t look to you. I thank God, if I’ve repented of my sins and I’ve really given my heart to you and I’m looking to you, I thank you that there’s a place of forgiveness. I thank God that I can go to him and say, oh God, I’m sorry. Lord help me—help me to grow. Help me to learn from this. Help me to go on. I thank you that there’s a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

But you think about another line from a hymn. “He breaks the power of cancelled sin. He sets the prisoner free. His blood can make the foulest clean. His blood avails for me.” Something like that. I’ll tell you what—it’s wonderful to have your sin cancelled, but it’s even better to have the power broken. Do you really think the Christian life is just one of living in utter frustration and utter hopelessness and never really overcoming anything? Or has God made provision?

I believe with all my heart He is seeking us, starting with me. This is something that has been going through my head for a while now, and it’s one of those things where, who am I to stand up? I need this as much as you do. But thank God. It’s like I said the other day though, I’m not worthy to say any of this but He is to have it said. I’ll tell you He loves the people of this church. He gave His Son for us. He gave His Son to redeem us from the power—not just the guilt, but the power of sin so that we can be His people and He could live in this temple and make Himself knows to this world. Praise God! Praise the Lord!

Look at Titus. This is a pretty good example of where the grace of God fits in. Grace of God is not just an attitude that He has and a choice that he makes to overlook sin. That’s the definition of—the unspoken definition that has almost captured a large part of the church world—a large segment of it anyway. But that’s not what grace from God’s point of view is.

Listen to this in Titus 2:11. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us.…” Now grace is [not] just sort of a kindly attitude. Grace actually has an influence. It has an effect. It imparts to us knowledge we didn’t have before. It imparts to us a way of looking at ourselves, a way of looking at the world, a way of looking at life that we didn’t know before. It’s a knowledge that comes from God, only it comes because God exerts an influence upon our hearts by the presence and working of His Spirit.

There’s no way you and I could know anything if God didn’t enlighten us. If God’s Spirit did not literally turn the light on and give understanding, you and I would wander in utter darkness. We would have no clue, no hope. But see, God didn’t leave us there.

“…the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us…” It teaches us to do what? “…to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” Now that’s what grace is about. See, it’s not just about, oh, God’s tolerant of your sin. You don’t have to worry. You’ll never outrun his grace. Just, you know, almost like you can sit back and not put forth any real effort.

I don’t know how many people that applies to, but I’ll tell you it applies to a lot. That way of looking at grace has absolutely permeated religion and it’s just as wrong as the holiness side that tries to get people to live up to a religious standard, but does not impart the means of doing it. Usually it substitutes a man-made standard. You know, how long is your dress? You know, all these kinds of dos and don’ts. How long is your hair? as though that’s the measure of holiness.

That’s not holiness. God is seeking to bring us into a Christ-likeness of heart and spirit. You will find that permeates into these little external things. But, I’ll tell you, it’s something that comes from the heart. It’s a change of our spirit and our heart that people sense. There’s something different. God lives there. Not only does He live there, not only does He convict me, but He draws me. I sense the love. I sense the message of mercy. I sense the message of hope.

Some people are gonna be as mad as hell when you manifest the Spirit of Christ. A lot of times it’s gonna be the religious crowd. But I’ll tell, you we need to have the reality of Christ’s presence in our midst and this is part of it. This is what grace does.

Folks, I am a candidate to experience more of the grace of God. I don’t have the strength to be anything that I read about in here. It’s not here. It’s not in you either. That’s why we need grace. That’s why we are saved by grace. God extends to you the power to repent. He extends to you the power to believe. He extends to you the knowledge of your need. He extends his life to help you live for Him and to become what He wants you to be. Praise God!

“…to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Now listen to what he did. He said, “…who gave himself for us....” Man, I don’t own myself. He bought me. What He did has established a relationship where He…I am His. He gave everything for me. He gave Himself.

Why did He do that though, to what end? Why would He do something like that? “…to redeem us from all wickedness....” Why is there wickedness that we have lost sensitivity to? Why are there things that we know in our heart of hearts, God just can’t be pleased with that? That’s not the way He does business. And yet we just…well, that’s just the way it is. That’s the world we live in. No. God is looking for a people who are different. Not religious and obnoxious, but different because Christ is there.

“…gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” That’s what grace does. I’ll tell you when the grace of God goes to work on your heart, it will change your way of thinking. It’ll change the way you look at yourself, at the world, at everything. But it won’t just do that and leave you there helpless to do anything about it. It will impart to you the strength you need.

I’ll tell you, as many of us who could testify that there’s areas of our lives where like what Douglas testified. We got to a point where it just, God I have no help against this thing. I have no hope. But Lord, I’m believing your promise. You promised to give me grace. You promised to give me strength. You’ve told me that I can say no. You’ve told me that I can overcome this thing. You can take this thing from me. Oh, God, I repent. But I don’t want to just keep repenting and repenting and repenting. I want to see you deliver me.

I’ll tell you, if that becomes the cry of each individual heart in this place and there is a wave of genuine repentance in our hearts from things that God would put his finger on, we’re gonna see God’s presence multiplied in this place. We’re gonna come in and there will be a freedom. There will be a conviction. There will be a joy. Man, do you think that God wants to suck all the life out from us and then leave us in these hollow little “holy” shells. No. He wants to fill us with Himself.

( congregational amens ).

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, self-control, all these wonderful attributes of God’s being that we block ourselves off from many times, the measure that He wants us to enjoy them. Because we don’t really come to Him and say Oh, God, I don’t want to just be forgiven. I want to be free. You promised freedom. You promised that your grace is greater than this thing that has controlled me.

I thank you that you’re merciful to me, that I can come to you and find a place of forgiveness. But God I want to go beyond that. I want you to come and change my heart and change my life. His purpose is to purify for Himself a people who are His very own, eager to do what is good. You can go through many scriptures. I’m just gonna go ahead and read one more. This is stuff to chew on and take seriously, isn’t it?

Ephesians chapter 5. You know, I think we read over…after a while we read over some of these things that Paul says and we say, yeah, yeah, that’s right and we go on. It doesn’t really change us. “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.”

Man, that’s a good place to start, isn’t it! Praise God! Do you know that’s how He sees you if you have repented and you’ve put your faith in Jesus? He’s not looking at you as some sort of failure that He’s tolerating. He’s looking at you as a dearly loved child. He sees your needs. But it’s in his love and his mercy he reaches out, not to condemn, but to rescue and to set free.

“…and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” But listen to some of the things it says here because this applies very much to our age where iniquity surely is abounding. We’re gonna have to wake up. We’re gonna have to be awake and we’re gonna have to be looking to God if we’re gonna absolutely have any saltiness, any lightness in this kind of a world. We need God, folks.

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

Now you’re talking about somebody, that’s what defines their life. You’re not talking about a child of God who is struggling and wants to please God and God is bringing them out. We all are in that place. None of us has reached perfection. Talking about holiness is not talking about perfection. It’s talking about a direction. It’s not talking about the goal. The goal is out ahead of us, but it has been made sure by what Jesus did. But we’ve got to be on that road. You can’t just say, oh well, I’m in. That’s all there is to it. God is seeking to purify to himself a people. He has made provision for that to happen.

Okay “…in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.”

I’ll tell you it’s not a joke. Sometimes we treat it that way. God deliver us. It’s not a matter of going around frowning at everybody. I don’t think that’s what Jesus did, but I’ll tell you there has got to be a freedom in our own spirits from the hold of these things, so that, instead of it influencing us, we can be an influence for Christ. You’re not gonna influence everybody, but there’s gonna be people who will come to the light if there is light there to come to. That’s what God is seeking to bring. Praise God!

I appreciate the persistent emphasis that God has brought many times through Brother Joel on prayer. Well, that’s absolutely right. We need to pray. But this is an area that is necessary too. You can pray all you want. If there is no repentance for sin that we know about and there’s no real desire to go on and be what God has called us to be, prayer isn’t gonna help. There’s a point where we get up off our face and we do what we need to do in our lives and we say, oh God, I have sinned. Help me. I need you, Lord, to purify me and to set me free. I’ll tell you if the people in the church will do that, you’re gonna see sinners converted to Christ in this place in a greater way than we’ve perhaps seen.

“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead...” Now he’s talking about from…you’re living among the dead. You’ve almost become like them. People looking on can’t really tell the difference. You’re just kind of there among the dead people. Talking about spiritual dead people.

It says, rise, get up from there. “…Christ will shine on you.’” That’s a glorious promise, isn’t it? You know God is not calling us to these things to come out and just mock us and laugh at us because He’s…you know, he says, come, come and then He doesn’t help us. Oh, there’s a longing in His heart to set us free and to do for us what Jesus Christ gave His life for. Praise God!

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Then he goes on and talks about several things there. I don’t want to get on in the details so much, but you under…I’ll tell you, we need the Lord, don’t we? I believe He wants us to take this seriously, but I don’t believe that He wants us to react the way I confess I’ve reacted a lot of my life. As though…

( groaning ).

This just confers upon me a burden that I just can’t possibly handle. God’s requiring something of me and I’m just not up to it. If you feel that way, I pray that God will make real His grace, that everything He seeks of us, His hand is extended. There is a flow of power that is available to us. There is a throne of grace, is there not? What is that about? Is that not a place where we can go and find the strength that we don’t have?

That’s what salvation is about. There’s a constant—there’s always a place we can go. That doesn’t mean there won’t be battles. It doesn’t mean there won’t be times when we’ll fall in the mud and have to say, Oh, God, help me. Forgive me. But, I’ll tell you, we want to fail…we want to fail forward. We want to go forward moving toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus like Paul said.

Paul wasn’t claiming to be perfect in any of this. But he knew what his goal was. He knew what his purpose in life was. He knew that Christ had purchased him at the cost of his blood. He knew that he was called out of a world of sin and darkness to head for a kingdom of righteousness. Folks, if you’re content to be in the door, if you’re content where you’re at, I pray that God will wake us up and give us a fresh vision of what He’s looking for in his people.

( congregational amens ).

I believe He’s gonna have it. I’ll tell you, I believe…I’m sorry to say, I believe there’s people that are just kind of go along and you’re gonna think they’re Christians. You’re gonna find out that they’re not. I’ll tell you, it’s a time to check up. It’s a time to get serious and realize what this is about.

But, the more that God’s people—who really are His people, who have His spirit in them, will walk in the things that He has given to us in Christ, the greater the power and the presence of God will be in our midst. Look at what the church was after Pentecost. Do you think God was tolerant of sin then? What happened to Ananias and Sapphira? God’s presence was so great that was a capital offense against the Holy Spirit. They didn’t sin against some little weakness. This was a defiance of everything that God stood for.

I know many of you have heard the story about the little boy in Sunday School. Somehow, I guess, he was in an adult class and the teacher asked, why doesn’t the Lord do that today? Nobody would answer and he was waving, trying to get the…finally the teacher acknowledged him. He said, because if He did there wouldn’t be anybody left.

Well, sadly, there’s some truth to that. But, I’ll tell you, the same God who was in that people, they not any different than we are. He’s alive today. You think about the whole-heartedness with which they served God and loved one another. You think about the presence and the power that was there and if you go on and read in that account after Ananias and Sapphira were killed, man, everybody knew about that. What happened? You think, oh, I don’t want to join that. No. There were many, many more who gravitated to it. They knew God was real. They knew something. They knew God stood for something.

Do we? Are we just gonna dumb ourselves right down and be like the world. I’ll tell you there is a call of God to be His people in this hour. And I pray that we will answer that call. And as we do, God will be in our midst. I praise Him that what He has called us to do, He is also the enabler.

( congregational amens ).

That’s what makes the difference. That’s what marries this emphasis on grace and the emphasis on holiness. We need both. Both are real. I’ll tell you God will honor a people who honor His Word in this area. Praise God!