Sermon #20 Series: Song Of Solomon
Title: Five Pictures Of The Church
Text: Song Of Solomon 6:4-10
Readings: Office: Mark Henson Auditorium: Ron Wood
Subject: The Church As Christ Sees It.
Date: Sunday Evening - October 25, 1998
Tape # U-90a
My subject tonight is - Five Picture Of The Church. In these verses our Lord describes his church as he sees it, and as it truly is. When I use this term, “the church,” I am talking about the people of God.
· I am not talking about a physical building.
· I am not talking about a religious denomination.
· I am not even talking about a local assembly.
When I use this term, “The church,” I am using it in the way Paul did, when he said, “Christ loved the church and gave himself for it” (Eph. 5:25). I am talking about those people of whom Paul speaks, when he says that, Christ has been made “the Head over all things to the church” (Eph. 1:22). The church about which I am speaking is “the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). I use this term, “the church,” in exactly the same way that our Lord Jesus Christ used it, when he said, “Upon this Rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).
I use this word, “church,” to refer to the whole family of God in heaven and upon the earth. I am referring to all of God’s true people, considered as one, the universal body of Christ. All of God’s elect, all true believers of every age and every place make up the church of Christ.
“Elect from every nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth:
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth.”
The church did not begin with Paul, it did not begin with Peter, and it did not begin with John the Baptist. The church did not begin at Pentecost, or at Calvary. The church of our Lord Jesus Christ began with Adam. The earliest worshippers in the church of our Lord were Adam and Eve, and their Son, Abel. And the church of Christ will be complete when the last of God’ s elect has been regenerated and united to Christ by faith. When the last sheep has been brought into the fold, the fold will be complete, and the Shepherd will be satisfied.
See that you understand what I am saying. The church is the body and bride of Christ; and all who are in Christ are in the church.
· All who were chosen in Christ are in the church.
· All who were redeemed in Christ are in the church.
· All who were justified in Christ are in the church.
· All who are regenerated in Christ are in the church.
· All who are preserved in Christ are in the church.
· All who shall be raised with Christ are in the church.
If you and I are in Christ we are in that church which is his body. If we are saved by the grace of God we are members of the Lord’s church; and we are members in good standing.
Now in our text this evening, the heavenly Bridegroom, our Lord Jesus Christ gives us Five Pictures Of The Church. He describes the church as he sees it. He tells us what his church truly is. And what our Lord here says of the church collectively is true of all believers individually.
1. Because of her sinful neglect, the Lord had temporarily withdrawn from his church the sense of his manifest presence (5:2-6).
2. Though she did not have the comforting sense of his presence, she cherished him in her heart and held him by faith (5:9-6:3).
· She was in great sorrow, because of the Lord’s absence.
· But she never ceased to love him.
· And she never ceased to believe him. She rested her soul upon Christ alone, not upon her own feelings and experiences (6:3). Being confident of his love, mercy, grace, and faithfulness, she sings, even in her low condition…
3. In this passage, our Lord graciously reveals himself again to his church to comfort and assure her again of his mercy love, and grace.
Proposition: In these verses our Lord assures us of his love for us and our acceptance with him.
Divisions: Here are Five Pictures Of The Church as Christ himself sees it:
1. The church of Christ is an army in this world (v. 4).
2. The church is the object of Christ’s love (v. 5).
3. The church is perfect in the eyes of Christ (vv. 6-7).
4. The church is one body in Christ (vv. 8-9).
5. The church is the light of this world (v. 10).
I. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS AN ARMY IN THIS WORLD (v. 4).
“Tirzah” was a city in the tribe of Manasseh. It means “pleasant and acceptable.”
“Jerusalem” is the city of God. It is symbolically a type of the church (Gal. 4:26; Heb. 12:22).
Believers in this world are soldiers enlisted in an army (Eph. 6:10-20). We are soldiers in the territory of an hostile enemy.
A. Our banner is the glorious gospel of Christ (Isa. 11:12).
B. Christ, our Mighty Captain, has given us our marching orders (Matt. 28:18-20).
1. It is our responsibility to march against the very gates of hell, conquering the world for our King by the gospel.
2. It is our responsibility to stand firm in defense of the gospel.
C. Our triumph and ultimate victory is sure (Matt. 16:18).
II. THE CHURCH IS THE OBJECT OF CHRIST’S LOVE (v. 5).
Here our Lord assures his troubled and afflicted people that they are the objects of his love. His love toward us has not changed. Though he does, at times, withdraw from us his manifest presence, he never ceases to love us (Isa. 54:7-10).
“Every human tie may perish;
Friend to friend unfaithful prove;
Mothers cease their own to cherish;
Heaven and earth at last remove;
But no changes attend Jehovah’s love.
Zion’s Friend in nothing alters,
Though all others may and do;
His is love that never falters,
Always to its object true.
Happy Zion! Crowned with mercies ever new.”
The love of God for his people is:
· Without Cause
· Without Beginning.
· Without Change.
· Without End.
Here is a strange expression of love - “Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me.” Our Savior uses the expressions of a passionate lover to express the tenderness of a compassionate Redeemer. With these words, our Savior seems to say, I cannot resist those eyes that look to me. I will forgive and forget all that is past.
This is a strange expression indeed. The Lord of Glory is overcome by his people when they look unto him!
· We look to him with sorrowful eyes in repentance.
· We look to him with hopeful eyes in faith.
· We look to him with sincere eyes in love.
Child of God, even when the Lord hides his face, keep on looking to him. The eyes of repentance, love, and faith will soon prevail. He so loves us that he is willing to be overcome by us!
III. THE CHURCH IS PERFECT IN THE EYES OF CHRIST (vv. 6-7).
Here our Lord repeats almost word for word the description he had given of her beauty and perfection (4:1-3) before the sad decline described in chapter five. He is saying, “Nothing has changed between us.”
We are accepted in the Beloved. Our shameful sin, ingratitude, coldness of heart, unfaithfulness, and unbelief will never cause us to be any the less accepted. All our beauty, all our perfection, all our holiness is in him. Nothing can change that.
A. In Christ we are redeemed.
B. In Christ we are righteous.
C. In Christ we are accepted - Always accepted.
D. In Christ we are forgiven.
The forgiveness of sin in Christ is
The Lord will never impute sin to his people. We are forgiven!
IV. THE CHURCH IS ONE BODY IN CHRIST (vv. 8-9)
Other kings have queens, their wives and concubines, and mistresses, and virgins, and maidens. But Christ our King makes all of his people one. In the kingdom of grace there is no such thing as rank, and class, and position. The people of God are one (Col. 3:11; 1 Cor. 12:12-27).
· We all have the same Father.
· We all have the same Elder Brother.
· We all have the same indwelling Spirit.
· We all have the same eternal inheritance.
Let us, therefore, live as one body in Christ (Eph. 4:1-6). Let us strive together as one body to glorify the Lord our God.
V. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (v. 10).
The church of Christ shines as the light of the sun in this world, giving forth light to them that sit in darkness (Matt. 5:14).
· In its beginning, the church was like the rising of the morning sun - The dawning of light.
· At its best in this world, the church is like the moon at night, reflecting the light of the Sun of Righteousness.
· When we are complete in the kingdom of glory, we shall shine forth as the sun (Matt. 13:43).
In that day, we shall be clothed with the Sun, with Christ the Sun of Righteousness, and like him we shall display the eternal glory of God (Rev. 12:1; Isa. 30:26).
Application: All of these pictures were given that we might rest in his love.