TV Transcripts

True Repentance: Conclusion
Broadcast #1490
April 25, 2021

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1490 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Jesus took care of what I did. But oh God, why would I do the things that I do? I know God has got to get down into here and change this! I cannot allow myself to be satisfied with what other people think of me. I’ve got to say, I’ve got a relationship with a holy God who sees the depths of my heart. He doesn’t care about the stuff I do. There’s nothing I can do that will make up for what I am.

And so, David is really recognizing — oh God, I’ve got to get deeply honest, in the depths of my soul. Do you see the difference? This is not a small difference. It’s quiet in here. But it’s hard, but necessary truth.

Because what happens is so easy to happen, is that we can go through a repentance that changes our behavior and our appearance — what we call repentance. And we can adopt a religious way of life — churches are full of this — they’re full of it. And people, to all outward appearance, appear to be great Christians and nothing has ever changed in their heart.

Isn’t that the problem? Jesus said to the Pharisees, you know, you do all these righteous things but nothing — inside, you’re like dead men’s bones. It’s all full of corruption. Nothing has really changed in there. God sees that. It’s not that this is bad stuff, it’s just — God doesn’t care about that. I mean how many of you — well, I’ll wait until something he says later on in this passage.

But anyway, David is at least recognizing, this is not just a mess up in something I did, this comes from something in here, and I need help. I need You to cleanse me in here. I need You to do something in here.

“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean….” Now, I didn’t take time to look this up again. But I know that hyssop was a plant. I know it was a branch of some kind, whatever it was, they actually used it in the Law. It was actually the piece of — the kind of plant material that they used when they painted the door posts. Remember back in Egypt they had to put blood on the doorposts as a sign to the destroying angel. They applied that with hyssop. And there were other things in the Law. It became kind of a symbol of divine cleansing. And so, David is kind of referring to that.

“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity”. So again, now he’s talking about the need to be cleansed because I did stuff. How many of you know we need that?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. I mean, there’s a scripture over here in 1st John that really majors on that. Just hold your place there. But I mean, just go the beginning of 1st John, verse 6. If we claim — well, it says, “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….”

Now think about what he’s saying there. Is he talking about externals? No, he’s talking about something that gets right down into the heart, because God sees it all. So walking in the light involves a heart honesty, doesn’t it?

“But 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.” Thank God! There’s a provision for that.

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Boy, self-deception is a, like I say, it’s an easy thing. We need the Lord, we need one another. But here’s the promise, “If we confess our sins….”

Now, confess is not just admit. Think about it this way. I did something and God is, in a sense, the Prosecutor. He’s saying, you did something. Now, I could stand over here and say, but it’s not so bad. I didn’t really do it. You know, try to somehow defend, come up with some kind of a defense that minimizes what I did. Or I could admit, yes, I did.

But I’ll tell you what confession is. Confession is, I’m gonna step over here with God and look at that thing and call it what it is. I am 100 percent in agreement with the Prosecutor and everything He says about it. There is a confession, an agreement. If we confess our sin, we’re taking God’s side against what is wrong in us.

Folks, that’s the only hope we have. I have got to be 100 percent on His side and say, God do what it takes to make me fit to live with You one day, because there’s nothing good in me. That’s what Paul said. If Paul, the apostle, could say with a straight face, “I know that in me (that is in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing….” (KJV). We’ve pointed that out so many times here lately — seems like this has come up.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just….” (NIV). Now, there are two things there. Faithful is, He doesn’t change. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to catch God on a good day?

( congregational response ).

And avoid going to Him because He’s not feeling quite so generous today? No! He is utterly faithful to what He has promised. Man, you want someone you can depend upon, that’s God. Thank God! He doesn’t change! He’s Someone we can go to at all times, and He invites us to come. He invites us to come when we have a need. Man, that’s all the time with me.

But He also says something else here. “…He is faithful and just….” Now ‘just’ has to do with justice. It’s a legal issue, ‘cause remember, it’s not just that I jumped off the building and broke my leg, it’s that I broke a law. Folks, when we sin, we break God’s law. And the law of God says, the one who sins, dies. That’s the law.

And so how in the world — it’s a point we’ve made, but I think a lot of people need to get it, need to really get this in your thinking and understand the ways of God. How can a just God forgive sin? How can He uphold the justice of the law and say, yes, the law is right and I will carry it out — without destroying us?

You see, I have a representative that went to the cross in my place. I went there with someone who took the guilt of all the sins that I have ever committed upon Himself. All of God’s justice was poured out upon Him in my place. And so, God can be just and show me mercy. Thank God!

( congregational amens ).

Oh, if you’re trying to come to God any other way, you don’t get it. God is faithful to His promise but He can be just, if we’ll come to Him with honest hearts.

“…Just and will forgive us our sins and purify….” So now there are two different things — there’s a forgiveness and a purification. I need to be more than just, okay, it’s off the books, you don’t have to worry about that. I need Him to do something in me.

( congregational amens ).

Because the reason I did what I did is because I’ve got a dirty heart. I need some help. I need Him to do some cleansing in the way I think, the way I act, what motivates me. It’s got to get down in the depths of my being, to be real repentance. And I think David was getting this, don’t you?

“Surely you desire truth…” up in verse 6, “…in the inner parts.” You desire an honesty, down in the depths of my heart. And so, he says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God — create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Again, David is not simply wanting God to blot out the guilt of his sin because he’s broken God’s law. This is not an external thing. This is David saying, You’re going to have to get down in my heart. This is where it came from.

Oh God, how could I do such a thing? I did this against You and it came from the depths of my being. God, You’re going to have get in here. This is the same man, by the way, who wrote, “Search me, O God, and know my heart…and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (KJV). It’s a rough quote of it anyway.

But there is that sense of, God, I don’t know what’s here. There’s no way I can know the depths of what’s in here. But I know You love me. I know You’re for me. But Lord, because I love You and I want to be a part — I want to be in the everlasting way. I want the way that leads to home.

David took a detour but — I mean, he had a rougher path to get there, but he got there, didn’t he? He got there because he trusted God and had an honest, open heart. Thank God for that reality. But there is this sense in David that, oh God, You’re going to have to do something down in here so I don’t do stuff like that. I don’t trust me. I need You, Lord, to completely cleanse me from the heart on out.

Create in me: I mean, he recognized, I can’t do this, Lord. There’s a need in my life. I can’t fix it! But, I can call upon You because I know You have the power to do something deep in here that I don’t have, and I’m desperate for You to do what needs doing. God, work in me.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.”

The thing that I sense in all of this, is not some — this is not superficial, folks. This — I have all ideas, this took a lot of time, a lot of soul-searching, a lot of, God, just show me what’s going on. Show me how to live for You. Show me how to get victory over this thing. Show why I did what I did.

God is looking for that from me, from every one of us. He’s doing it because He loves us. Praise God! His desire for us is positive. It’s not like He’s looking down expecting us to do something we can’t do. He knows we can’t! That’s why it’s called salvation.

But oh, David is looking for not just something for show. This is not something where I can just push the magic button and go back and everything is like it was. In one sense, it never was. David had to learn to serve God in the face of what he’d done. And he did, thank God. God was with him. God helped him. God strengthened him. But man, there was stuff that happened in his life and his kingdom that — on this road they happened, on this one, he’d have been all right. But God worked. I’ll tell you where his spirit is manifest.

How many of you remember what happened when he had to flee from his son Absalom who had mounted a revolution and he had to flee from Jerusalem? And he and his entourage were walking through a valley and a fellow named Shimei shows up. Shimei was from the house of Saul. And boy, did he see an opportunity to give David “down the country.”

And so, there on one side of valley, he’s on the other side throwing stones, throwing up dirt, cursing David, you’re getting what you deserve, you bloody son of whatever, and just cursing him. And boy, David’s men were just incensed — how dare you! Don’t you know who this is? Let me go take off his head! How dare he say such things to the king! And David said, no, let him alone. How many of us would react that way?

( congregation inaudible ).

How many of us would react like this? This is after this sin. This is part of the consequence of that. And instead of getting mad at the guy, he says, God his bid him to do this that He might do me good. Do you see where God had done a work in his heart? On man! That’s powerful stuff.

( congregational amens ).

But there’s a God who could give us that kind of grace if we will open our hearts and want it. God can give us grace not to lash out at people and circumstances but just to simply — well, what does God say in the New Testament? “Humble yourselves, therefore, under…” What? “…God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” (NIV).

So, David just did what he knew to do. He humbled himself under God’s hand and let God work out the details. And when the details weren’t pleasant, he didn’t get mad! And he just said, Lord, I’m in your hands. And I’ll tell you, there was — I mean God could look back, even in spite of what had happened, and say, now there was a man after my heart. He messed up big time. But when I faced him with it, there was a faithfulness in his heart. There was a heart that wanted to come to me and was willing to come to me, and willing to humble himself and just let it play out and go on with me from there.

Like I say, you start down the wrong road and you carry it down a ways, you don’t go back and just — like it didn’t happen. But on the other hand, we can go on with God, can’t we?

( congregational amens ).

Praise the Lord! So anyway, he’s seeing, he’s looking forward to a time when he’s actually going to be able to be a source of help to somebody. But I’ll tell you, this was not a five-minute deal. I don’t know what the time frame was. But for him to be actually able to help somebody else, God had to do a real work in his heart and a lot of it had to do with the things he went through, watching his own sons — there were two different rebellions that I remember.

One of them was his son, Absalom, who actually took the throne and drove him out. Another one was one of the other sons — called all of the king’s sons together and had himself crowned king someplace else, when Solomon was the one that God had chosen. Praise God!

So anyway, he says, “Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.”

Now here’s something significant, because God had prescribed things that they were to do when they sinned. There were sacrifices that were prescribed under the law and yet we see throughout the Old Testament, especially in the prophets, that that’s not really what God was looking for. There was an outward expression that was appropriate. But what God was looking for was from the heart.

And so he says, “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” You know, what is God looking for when we mess up? Think about that word ‘broken.’ This is not somebody who’s broken because they — and we’ve everyone been there — because we got caught. This is somebody who’s broken because, oh God, no matter what else is involved, this is You and me, and I am broken hearted at what I did. There is a genuine, inward brokenness of the heart. That’s what God is looking for.

Do you remember what He says through the prophet? “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is…” (KJV). What? Broken, contrite heart. And that’s what God is looking for from every single person, is somebody who will be honest with Him in the depths of their being and say, oh God, what I do doesn’t matter so much as what I am. I need You to fix the depths of my soul and to face what I am, help me.

And so, then he says, “The sacrifices of God…” (NIV). What is He really looking for? “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” I’ll tell you what, that’s the way to bring God’s presence. That’s the way to bring God to our hearts and into our lives, to gain His favor, if you will.

And it’s not an act, it’s got to be something that’s from the depths of our being. Oh God, I need you. I just need to step back. I need to look to You. I need to have You fix what’s wrong in here. Help me. Aren’t you glad He knows what we’re made of?

( congregational amens ).

I mean, this is the same one who said, all of my days are written in your book before one of them came to be. God knew the choice that he was going to make and He wove it into His plan for his life. And the very woman that he had married in such a manner, it was her son, Solomon, who became the king! We serve a merciful God, don’t we?

( congregational response ).

But the one thing, the one lesson I guess, in this that I see above all, is that God is not looking for something that is outward. He is looking to do deep works in our hearts. And if we will present our hearts to him He will do it and the results will be good.

He doesn’t come with condemnation. He comes with mercy. In fact, somebody who comes this way, that’s what He loves! He’s drawn to it! He’s pleased with it, not pleased with the thing that was wrong but He’s pleased with the heart that’s just willing to come and say, oh God, I want to be free. I want to be what You want me to be. Do whatever is necessary in the depths of my heart to bring me to that place. Praise God!

For the sacrifices of God — and set in the context of the Old Testament, this is some real insight, because they knew the law, they knew what you did when you sinned! You brought a sacrifice and that was supposed to take care of it. David said, that’s not it! I could do all the outward stuff and look like I was doing exactly what God wanted. But unless You get down in here, it’s not fixed. And I need You to give me an honesty that goes to the depth of my soul, so I get why I’m the way I am, and how much I need You.

And my concern is not my image—what people think of me, propping that up, making — performing for one another. We need the Lord. And we need a humbleness and an honesty. But I’ll tell you, there’s a God who will honor—will honor people who will come to Him on that ground. Man, that’s what He loves, that’s what He can work with.

“In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you; then bulls will be offered on your altars.” So, it’s not that they were doing away with the law, that was still appropriate. But David recognized there had to be something behind that. You do something with our hearts so that when we come to You and do the things that You said to do, then there will be something to it. It won’t be just for outward appearance.

Man, we need something that comes from the heart. I don’t know, that’s just my burden this morning. I see needs in me, I see needs in all of us. But, I don’t want this to sound like a downer. I pray it hasn’t. It’s something to be sober about, when you see a man of God who can get this far out of the way. Then, folks we need to be crying out to God and saying, God, search my heart.

( congregational amens ).

Don’t let me go down these roads. Don’t let me lie to myself. Don’t let me deceive myself, that this is okay and I can get away with sin. You know, we spoke a couple of weeks ago on God’s war against sin. He’s dead serious about it. God help us. But He is. So, on that level it’s a warning, but the other part, it’s an encouragement, that even when we go down the wrong path, God can still redeem, God can still work, God can still weave that into His pattern. For someone that really humbles himself under the mighty hand of God, it doesn’t change the ultimate goal. Thank God, it doesn’t take away hope!

( congregational amens ).

But you know we need to be willing to walk through that time, and trust God, and put ourselves in His hand and say, oh God, open my eyes to see. Don’t let me lie to myself. Don’t let me try to think that I’m this and I’m not. Help me, Lord. He will. He will.

And when He gets done it won’t be you trying to be this or be that, it’ll be Him being what He is in you. And it’ll be beautiful and it’ll be wonderful. And I’ll tell you, I want His presence. I want Him to be the Head of this church. I want Him to be the message of this church. I want Him to be the life of this church!

( congregational amens ).

And I want Him to be the goal…

( congregational response ).

The destiny of this church, for us to grow up in Him in all things! Isn’t that what the scripture says? This is the pathway. It’s a depth and it’s an honesty of heart that comes to God in all circumstances and just says, Lord, do what You’ve got to do. Do what You have to do in my heart. I need You, Lord. And He will and He’ll get the glory. Praise God!

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