My Love

My Love

My Love

Pr Edi Giudetti

19thMay, 2019

The message I have for you this morning was not part of my original intention. I came under conviction and being led of the Lord to preach to you of the love of Christ for you, his bride, the Church.

It came to me as I was reading Grace Abounding to The Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan this week. The outline of the sermon this morning follows that of Holy Mr Gifford who I assume preached on this passage when John Bunyan was greatly lifted to know the Love of Christ for him.

It is the outline alone that I have taken for this sermon, the contents and exposition of the passage is that which I have been led of the Lord to bring to you today. It is the first verse of that wonderful song in Chapter four, indeed the first few words that we will consider.

Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; 

Song Of Solomon 4:1

Song of Solomon, also known as The Song of Songs and also known as The Canticles (Which is simply a hymn or song taken from Scripture other than the Psalms). It is a song of love, deep love that the king has for an un-comely and poor maiden. It was when the Church began in the first century that the understanding of the entire book came to light. 

It speaks of the love of Christ and the Church.

Indeed, there is no exposition that provides the consistency of the book otherwise. The descriptions alone of the maiden, so beloved of the King, makes little sense, few men would describe their own wives in such a manner as the descriptions found here.  It is the Church, the bride; and the King is Christ, the Lily of The Valley.

            WHAT HAS THIS TO DO WITH THE RAPTURE?

Perhaps you are wondering why it is that this book and this passage particularly was laid so heavily on my heart this week. I also wondered the reason. 

The more I considered it, the more I came to realise that the Church, as one large body of every born-again believer still alive at the Lords coming for her, is indeed the espoused bride who waits for the coming of her beloved.

The strength of His love for the Church simply could not be so dim as to see her suffer the wrath of the father who gave her to him! It is the context of that love that cannot reconcile with anything other than her being caught up and out of the way of The Day of Vengeance that will come upon this world.

The picture is well given to us in the Gospel accounts of Christ as the Bridegroom, but it is in Matthews account that we read of him in Parable as likened to the Kingdom of heaven, where 10 virgins await his long expected arrival in Matthew 25:1-13; Turn there with me.

Five wise and five foolish virgins (v2) but all ten slumbered and slept (v5) until, we take up our text in verse 6, 

Matthew 25:6–13(AV) 

And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying,Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

The passage so well representing the conditions prior to the Lords return for his Church. Song of Solomon equally representing so well Christ’s enduring and sacrificial love for his bride. There are however, those who hate both the King and the Bride. Christs love for her, will preserve her spotless and away from that day that will come upon those who hate them.

Christs Love When Loveless

Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair;

When we took ourselves to consider the many passages of the Old Testament that showed the chosen people of Israel being that ordained of God, we also noted that this people rebelled often against him. 

Yet he loved Israel, so much so that when the Lord came for his own, and his own received him not, he made clear to his disciples that they are to continue to attend the Gospel to the Jew first and then to the Greek/gentile. Before this however, the gentile remained loveless.

Before the coming of the Lord, the Gentile stood on the outer. The focus of God was upon Israel his elect and the apple of his eye. The Gentile, save those who feared God, was left to himself, loveless. Both considerations of the term ‘loveless’ might be given.

  1. That it was not seen by the Lord in the Old Testament, even considered as only for the outpouring of his wrath. 
  2. but also that the Gentile himself had no love for the Lord.

Loveless is expressed as God toward the Gentile, and the Gentile toward God. Neither is seen clearly to have consideration in scripture, before the coming of Christ!

From Isaiah through to Ezekiel all we see is the Burden of the Lord upon Egypt, upon Babylon, Upon Moab, upon Damascus, upon Arabia, upon Dumah, upon Tyre, upon Nineveh etc.  Each and all the gentile nations of the world represented by these nations, all of which stood ready to receive of God, the outpouring of his wrath. 

None loved, none were therefore beloved. Only Israel stood, only Jacob held the attention of the Lord and the favor of his grace. But the Psalmist, in the similitude of Christ, says;

Psalm 18:43–44 

4Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people;andthou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whomI have not known shall serve me. 44 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me. 

Psalm 18:43-44

Here, a hint that the loveless will come to love the Lord, to serve him, obey him, submit themselves to him.

Christs Love for the Loveless.

This is Christ expressing his Love, his love even when we are loveless. 

  • How many times have we cast him behind our backs, 
  • How often have we thought better to sleep than to awaken to him, to wait until a more convenient season came, to love him?
  • How often have the poisoned delicacies of this life tantalized us and we became loveless? 

Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair;

How can we be called fair by the King? How is it possible that verse 7 can end with “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.”? Because this bride is unique among them all. 

Though she has been blackened by the sun, though she is cast into another’s vineyard to tend it (Song 1), yet she has been washed by the blood of Christ. Jesus did not go to the cross in dispute, arguing of the unfairness of it all. He was silent, as a lamb to the slaughter, he opened not his mouth. His desire was not to overlook sin, not to hide it or disguise it, not to ignore it, but to wash us from its stain, to pay the penalty of sin in his own flesh.

For the Bride, she will be presented to the father, spotless and without sin. But for the world, they shall be cast into hell with their sin. We, as the bride, long to be rid of sin in our lives, and that day shall come. But imagine living with it for all eternity, having it expressed without constraint and to the full, but never obtaining the satisfaction of it! The bride will be separated from sin for all eternity, but those who love their sin will be identified BY THEIR SIN and have their part in the lake of fire. 

Revelation 21:8 

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

But whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Christs love when loveless. You were loved even when loveless

Christs Love Without A Cause

Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair;

Perhaps you were not like me. Maybe there was something good in you that gave reason for God to save you, maybe in you there was cause for his grace, but I assure you there was none in me. I cannot look at my life and find a moment that I might be persuaded to think, “yes, surely this good that I have done, God will smile upon me and save me”. 

Why Christs Love without a cause? Does not every effect have a cause?

If I have gained everlasting life, and if I am preserved to that end and kept by him, surely there is a cause in me that warrants such good? Have I done nothing to deserve this grace, this mercy, this love?

Behold, thou art fair, my love

How can he call me “my love” when I had, for most of my years, not given him a thought?

Haw can he call me “my love” when even after I have been so throughly washed by him, I find myself wallow in the mire again, how can I be fair?

Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair;

We search the scriptures and yet find no help to understand this! When I thought perhaps because he saw something good in me that gave reason for his goodness to me, then perhaps I might understand. But each sin I indulge shows me that could never be the case.

I am a worm and no man,  (Ps 22:6). 

What is man that thou art mindful of him? (Psalm 8:4)

Perhaps that is not the case with you, perhaps you gave him cause to effect salvation in you, but I know I didn’t. I see no reason why Christ should love me

Ephesians 2:11–13

11 Wherefore remember, that yebeingin time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 

What cause within us can we employ to have been brought ‘nigh by the blood of Christ”? We were without hope in the world, lost and damned. Not only did we have no love for God but there was no reason for God to love us, NO CAUSE!

STRANGERS FROM THE COVENANTS OF PROMISE

What reason does Christ have to love the loveless, what cause is seen in us?

Behold, thou art fair, my love

The question remains, if there was no cause, HOW are we saved? IF NO GOOD IS SEEN IN ME, WHY AM I SAVED?

My Love, my love.

Christ calls me my love,

Romans 9:6–13

Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. 9For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. 10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, evenby our father Isaac; 11 (Forthe childrenbeing not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 

The passage goes on to explain that God , …will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So thenit isnot of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 

So here, thought I, that an explanation is found as to why I obtained mercy. It was by chance that I was chosen

God simply rolled a die and CHOSEN WAS I. 

How fortunate.

Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair;

Then another verse took me;

Turn in your Bibles to 

John 3:14–21

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

God has chosen and yet the Gospel is commanded to be obeyed, believed. 

I don’t pretend to understand the paradox of these scriptures, but what I do understand is that Christs Love Is Without A Cause, nothing in me warranted it, nothing in me retains it.

1 John 4:19 says “We love him because he first loved us”

Christ loved us without a cause

Christs Love When Hated of The World

Behold thou art fair my love, behold thou art fair

The maiden in the Song of Solomon was not loved by the world. She was somewhat despised and caused to work in a Vineyard that was not her own (Song 1). Lazily she turned upon her bed, unwilling it seems to open the door to her beloved in chapter 5 of The Song of Songs.  And when she did he was quite gone. 

Song of Solomon 5:6–8

I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I amsick of love. 

Times will come that the bride of Christ will be despised by the world, hated and persecuted, even wounded for her love for her saviour. Every time you look to do good, many will turn their noses up at you and determine evil against you;

2 Timothy 3:12

1Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 

Jesus warned the disciples of a time coming, saying

John 16:2

2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

He tells of the nature of the hatred of the world, its cause;

Turn to John 15

John 15:18–21

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hatedyou. 19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. 

This persecution is to encourage us that the word of God is true!

We have Christs love when we are hated of the world.

He looks at his bride and longs to bring her to be with him. 

Turn to Matt 5

Matthew 5:3–12

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed arethey which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, whenmenshall revile you, and persecuteyou, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for greatisyour reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. 

Christs Love When Under Temptation and Desertion

Behold thou art fair my love, behold thou art fair

There are times I feel like running from him, times that I see such a lack in me that to retain such undeserved love overwhelms me with grief.  Like Peter at his first meeting of Jesus, I often find myself on my knees saying “depart from me, for I am a sinful man O lord” (Luke 5:8).

How can it be that such love can love a wretch like me?

How is it possible when such spite is given against Christ? 

When I turn from love to the sin that cost such love, to die?

Isaiah tells of the Love of this Christ when so wonderfully we find the sacrifice of a lamb without spot; turn to it with me please;

Isaiah 53:1–12

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were ourfaces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was anydeceit in his mouth. 

10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath puthimto grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall seehisseed, he shall prolonghisdays, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul,andshall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide hima portionwith the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. 

What gentleness is found in Christ who silently went to the Cross for me. Me I say, I cannot think of others when my temptations come to bear upon my shoulders. This is personal, it’s me that falls, me that fails and me that he lifts and carries in times of trials, because it’s me he silently and gently went to the cross, to bleed and to die for. 

Bruised he was for me, smitten he was for me, it’s his stripes against his flesh that somehow heals me. 

He justifies me, makes intersession for me every day to the father, I wonder what he says of me? 

Can’t be anything more than, 

“Father, with my death his judgement is taken away; with my stripes he is healed, for I have born his iniquities”.

How many are the tears that have flowed from my eyes for such love.

How many are your tears that have flowed for such love? 

We weep much because we love much, we weep little when we love little. 

Christs love when under temptation, I would ask, how can it be?

But that is not the right question!

Beloved, you cannot get the right answer with the wrong question, you must frame your question right to have the right answer and if you don’t ask the right question you simply cannot ever get the right answer.

The question IS NOT “HOW CAN IT BE”, but “HOW CAN IT NOTBE?”.

Jesus is the perfect lamb of God, spotless, sinless, a fair substitution for the sin of the whole world, because HE IS GOD MANIFEST IN THE FLESH. How Can it NOT BE that he can justify many?

  • How can it not be that I am kept by infinite love, held secure in the hands of the Lord? 
  • How can it not be if “I know in whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day”?
  • HOW CAN IT NOT BE, THAT HE HAS forgiven my backslidings? 
  • How can it not be that he loves me still, when he loved me before I loved him?

Behold thou art fair my love, behold thou art fair

Christs Love When Under …. Desertion

The Lord did not give us the account of the prodigal son for a practical application of a practical life beloved. The account is given that we might know his love for us when we turn away from him and, having lost all, turn back to him.

Luke 15:14–19

14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. 15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 

And we know how the wonderful account ends. The father runs to the son who was dead and is alive again, seeing him afar off.  Not only is there no spite in his lord, but there is celebration!

I too am a father, yet with all my failings there is no doubt of the love I have for my children and never can I see a time when I would not run to a returning wayward child, how much more Christ?

He died to purchase you, he lives to keep you!

Christs Love From First To Last

To pull it all together.

Behold thou art fair my love, behold thou art fair

There is not a man on earth that loves his bride as does Christ.

It’s his love that loves us from first to last.

Christ loved us from the first;

  • But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
  • We love him because he first loved us 1 John 4:19
  • But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Ephesians 2:4–5

Christ loved us to last

  • 1Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Psalm 97:10
  • 7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. Psalm 121:7–8
  • To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:4–5
  • 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:28

Well, you hear these words of the Love of Christ, what do you think? 

  • Is it a sacrificial love?
  • Is it an enduring love?
  • Is it a preserving love?

Turn To Romans 8:31-39

Romans 8:31–39

3What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Men, think of the love you have for your wives, do you love her this way?

Would you suffer any harm to come against her if you can preserve her from it? 

are you truly to think that such love will suffer his bride to endure the wrath of the father?

The time of the end is spoken of so often in the Bible as a time of JACOBS TROUBLE, but the bride, who has not seen Christ and yet believed, is blessed by the Lord and presented without spot.

The love of Christ endures with his bride forever

She is his beloved, she is fair and without spot, pure and white.

The marriage of the lamb is the most anticipated event of the last two thousand years.

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