Sermon #1 Series: Song Of Solomon
Title: Why Do We Love Him?
Text: Song Of Solomon 1:1-4
Subject: The reasons for the believer’s love to Christ
Date: Sunday Morning -, 1998
Today, I am going to begin a series of messages that will, I am sure, have varied effects upon us. If the Holy Spirit is pleased to speak through me, these messages will in great measure distinguish between those who truly know the Lord Jesus Christ by a real heart faith and those who simply profess faith in him.
· Some of you will become very bored by these messages.
To you they will simply have no meaning. They will just be so many words about some religious experiences, experiences which you have never had and cannot enter into.
· Some of you will be terribly confused by these messages.
The things that I am going to be dealing with are things that can only be understood, appreciated, and recognized by a spiritual mind. I will be speaking not of theological opinions, but rather about heart experiences. The things I will be talking about will not be matters which can be learned by much study; they will be things learned by communion and fellowship with Christ.
· Some of you may even become angry.
I will be using language which to the self-righteous carnal mind may be distasteful. It will be the language of intimate fellowship, tender love, and deep affection, language which carnal men and women cannot understand spiritually.
· But some of you will be made to rejoice.
You will be able to enter into every word. If God the Holy Spirit is pleased to speak through me to your hearts, these messages will be like so many heavenly strings tugging at your hearts. You will be both reproved and comforted. If the Lord is pleased to bless his Word to our hearts, as I hope he shall, we will be in some measure edified, strengthened, and revived.
For the next several weeks, as the Lord shall enable me, I am going to be preaching to you from the Song of Solomon. In many respects, this is the most precious and most refreshing of the Books of Inspiration. This is altogether a book about fellowship and communion with Christ. It is not in any sense to be interpreted literally. It is spiritual. It is an allegory, a spiritual dialogue between Christ our heavenly Bridegroom and the church his Bride. Dr. Gill said, “The whole Song is figurative and allegorical; expressing, in a variety of lively metaphors, the love, union, and communion between Christ and his church; setting forth the several different frames, cases, and circumstances of believers in this life.’ There is no case, no circumstance, no spiritual condition which we may be in, regarding our relationship to Christ, which is not expressed in this sacred Song of Love. Spurgeon said, “This Book stands like the tree of life in the midst of the garden, and no man shall ever be able to pluck its fruit, and eat thereof, until first he has been brought by Christ past the sword of the cherubim, and led to rejoice in the love which hath delivered him from death. The Song of Solomon is only to be comprehended by men whose standing is within the veil. The outer court worshippers, and even those who only enter the court of the priests, think the Book a very strange one; but they who come very near Christ can often see in this Song of Solomon the only expression which their love to their Lord desires.’
Why am I bringing this series of messages at this time? There are many reasons for me doing so. There are many things which have inspired me in this effort.
1. This Book is a blessed part of Holy Scripture which is usually ignored.
2. For the past several months I have been constantly impressed by the Holy Spirit to expound, to the best of my ability, the precious, heart moving passages of this Song. Again and again, I have found myself turning to these pages for help and instruction for the past several months.
3. I want us to seek and obtain more intimate fellowship with our Lord and Redeemer.
4. I fear that we need awakening. As a church, I am afraid that a sluggishness of spirit, a sullen complacency is gradually coming over us.
5. Perhaps the most pressing reason for me entering into this series of messages is that I am personally in desperate need of refreshing, reviving, and awakening.
From the depths of my heart and my inmost soul, above anything else in this world, I yearn for sweet, intimate, and constant fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. With Paul, I want to know him. With Mary, I want to sit at his feet. With John, I want to lay my head upon his chest. I want him. As the hart panteth after the waterbrook, even so my soul panteth after thee, my Savior and my God! More than any other portion of Holy Scripture, the Song of Solomon expresses the great need and burden of my own heart.
Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.
No voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than Thy blest name,
Savior of mankind.
O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!
But what to those who find? Ah this -
Nor tongue nor pen can show -
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.
Jesus, our only joy be Thou,
As Thou our prize will be;
Jesus be Thou our glory now
And through eternity.
Our text today will be chapter one verses one through four. This is my subject - Why Do We Love Him? In our text we see the cry of a renewed heart to Christ, the great Object of its love. These verses are not so much a description of our Lord as they are an expression of love to Christ and the desire of a renewed heart for his fellowship and some token of his love.
Here we see that the knowledge of Christ creates an ardent love for Christ.
Truly, to know him is to love him. It is not possible for a person to have a saving knowledge of Christ without a true heart of love for Christ. If you do not love Christ, truly, sincerely, and above all others, you simply to not know Christ.
There are four things that I want you to see in this text.
1. The one thing we want is for Christ to manifest his love to our hearts in sweet, intimate communion (v. 2).
2. Our hearts burn with love for Christ, because we know him (v. 3).
3. If the Lord is pleased to draw us by the cords of love, we will run after him (v. 4).
4. Even in our times of spiritual emptiness we will rejoice in our Savior and his love (v. 4).
I. Here is the first things that I want you to see, I hope that you can enter into it - THE ONE THING WE WANT IS FOR CHRIST TO MANIFEST HIS LOVE TO OUR HEARTS IN SWEET, INTIMATE COMMUNION (v. 2).
The Song begins very abruptly, without any introduction. It opens with the cry of love to Christ, a desire for some manifestation of his love. It is the picture of a bride whose Husband has been away for some time. But now she is anticipating his return. With hope, expectation, and delight she cries, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.”
A. This is what we want. Oh that our Redeemer might return to us and smother us with the kisses of his grace!
Jeremiah Burrowes wrote this - “Permission to kiss the hand of a sovereign is considered an honor; but for that sovereign to give another the kisses of his mouth, is evidence of the tenderest affection, and is the highest possible honor.”
What we desire is some manifestation of our Savior’s love, some fresh evidence of his affection to us.
Illustration: The prodigal’s return. “He fell on his neck and kissed him.”
1. A kiss from the Savior’s mouth would be a token of his deep love.
2. A kiss from his mouth would be an evidence of complete pardon, forgiveness, and acceptance.
3. The ardent kisses of his mouth are so many evidences of his great love, deeply felt and freely bestowed.
We rejoice in his daily providence. We give thanks for his covenant mercy. We delight in his written Word. But what we ardently desire is for Christ himself to manifest himself to us by the gracious influences of his Spirit.
· We give thanks for His providence.
· We rest in His promises.
· We rejoice in His power.
· But we want His presence - We want Him!
B. We long for Christ himself, because we know by experience that his love is better than wine.
Wine is a comforting, strengthening, exhilerating beverage. It rejoices the heart, revives the spirits, and soothes the nerves of a man. But the love of Christ is far better than the best of wine. When the love of Christ is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, it is like drinking some heavenly wine. Oh, that we might have this blessed intoxication, that we might be filled with the wine of his love.
1. I rejoice in the knowledge of his love.
· It is without beginning.
· It is without change.
· It is without measure.
· It is without end.
It is electing love - redeeming love - saving love - preserving love - everlasting love.
2. But I long to taste, by daily experience, his love.
· It revives dead hearts.
· It comforts troubled hearts.
· It strengthens weak hearts.
· It refreshes thirsty hearts.
II. Secondly, OUR HEARTS BURN WITH LOVE FOR CHIRST, BECAUSE WE KNOW HIM (v. 3).
I repeat what I said earlier. If we truly know Christ by faith, if he has been revealed in our hearts, we love him supremely. “We love him because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). This is the true testimony of every true believer.
· His love for us preceded our love for Him.
· His love for us caused our love for Him.
· But we do truly love Him.
A. His many attributes are to us a sweet smelling ointment.
There is no aspect of his character, no attribute of his nature that is in the least measure repugnant to us. We love him because he is who he is. The people of God love Christ as he is revealed in the Scriptures (Psa. 45:1-9; Rev. 1:10-20).
· His holiness and his goodness.
· His justice and his mercy.
· His righteousness and his grace.
· His power and his tenderness.
· His immutability and his compassion.
· His wisdom and his sympathy.
· His wrath and his love.
· His judgment and his salvation.
I have looked him over from every point of view, as the Holy Spirit has revealed him to me, and this is my conclusion - “He is altogether lovely.” There is not one attribute, not one word, not one act of our Lord which I have seen, either in the scriptures or in my experience but what enhances his beauty to my heart. In his humiliation, in his life, in his death, in his resurrection, in his exaltation, in his majestic sovereignty, in his glorious coming, in his strict judgment, and in his everlasting glory - “He is altogether lovely!”
B. His name, by which he has revealed himself, is like an enchanting perfume to our souls.
The virgins, those who have been made pure by him, love the Lord because of his name. Let me tell you the name of our Beloved. If you ever come to know him, you will love him too.
1. His name is Immanuel - “God with us.”
2. His name is Jesus - “Jah-Hosea.” “Divine Savior.”
3. His name is Christ - “God’s anointed.’
4. His name is The Lord Our Righteousness.
In the eyes of others our adorable Savior has no form nor comeliness for which they might desire him. But in the eyes of his own he is truly precious. He is fairer than ten thousand. In comparison with him, all others must be despised. We are made to cry, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth I desire beside thee.’
Charles Simeon said this of Christ’s church and Bride, “She is altogether occupied with the savor of her Beloved’s name, the perfume of which makes every other odor worthless at least, if not nauseous and offensive. In a word, so entirely does this beloved Object fill her soul, that with him a dungeon would be heaven; and without him, heaven itself would be a dungeon.
III. Thirdly, IF THE LORD IS PLEASED TO DRAW US BY THE CORDS OF HIS LOVE, WE WILL RUN AFTER HIM (v. 4).
I hope that you all recognize our need. We need Christ. We want him. We want him to revive our hearts, enliven our souls, and quicken us. But this much I know - He must do the work for us. We cannot revive ourselves.
A. Here is an acknowledgment and a prayer - “Draw me.”
1. We acknowledge our own weakness and inability.
As much as I need and long for an awakening of my own soul and the reviving of my heart, I know Christ alone can revive and awaken us. We cannot work up a revival, or even pray it down. Revival does not depend upon the actions of the church or the abilities of the preacher. It is the work of Christ alone.
2. Make this your prayer. If you want him, so earnestly want him that your heart aches for a manifestation of his love, pray like this - “Draw me,” O Lord, “Draw me to thyself.’
How does Christ draw his people to himself?
· By the gracious influence of His Spirit.
· By the manifestation of Himself.
· By the Word of His gospel.
· By the irresistible power of His love.
B. If the Lord will draw us to himself, then we will follow Him.
If he makes us to feel the constraint and attraction of his love, we will run after him.
· No service will be too demanding.
· No obstacle will be too hard.
· No sacrifice will be too great.
IV. I do not know what the Lord may be pleased to do for us. It is my earnest hope, it is the burden of my heart, it is the cry of my soul that he may be pleased to send us a mighty awakening. I pray that he will reveal himself in our midst. But this fourth thing we must do - EVEN IN OUR TIMES OF SPIRITUAL EMPTINESS AND BARRENNESS WE WILL REJOICE IN OUR SAVIOR AND IN HIS LOVE (v. 4).
We will not despise the grace he has bestowed upon us. We will not murmur against his providence. When he speaks and when he is silent, when he sends refreshing and when he sends barrenness, when he reveals himself and when he hides himself, we will rejoice in the Lord. We have abundant reason to rejoice and be glad.
A. Christ has accepted us as His own.
B. We will remember His love. We have many proofs of his love.
He may for a time hide his face from us, but he loves us still.
C. Even now, though our hearts seem so dull and heavy, we love the Lord our Redeemer. We will wait before him in loving submission. Whatever he is pleased to do, we will love him. We have reason enough - “My Beloved is mine, and I am His!”
I speak to you who are the people of God, to you who do in truth and sincerity love Christ.
1. Let us seek him constantly.
2. I want us to know his love.
3. I want us to know him (Eph. 3) (Phil. 3).
4. I want us to know his fellowship.
Some of you have not been able to enter into this burden of our hearts. You neither know nor love Christ. May it please the Lord God to reveal him to your heart, give you faith in him, and ravish your soul with his love.