Sermon #29 Series: Song Of Solomon
Title: Our Sister,
Our Service, Our Savior
Text: The Song of Solomon 8:8-14
Readings: Office: Gary Baker Auditorium: Merle Hart
Subject: The Responsibilities Of Believers In This World
Date: Sunday Evening - January 10, 1999
Tape # V-5b
We are the children of God! You and I who trust the Son of God are the children of God! In everlasting love the eternal God chose us and adopted us and claimed us as his own beloved sons and daughters.
We are redeemed! God’s own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ lived in righteousness as our Representative, to fulfill all righteousness for us. And he died at Calvary as our Substitute, to satisfy the law and justice of God that was against us.
We are born again! God the Holy Spirit has come into our hearts by sovereign and irresistible grace and given us eternal life in Christ. We are believers! Being compelled by grace divine, we trust the Lord Jesus Christ for all our salvation. We trust Christ alone for our eternal acceptance with God.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand!
All other ground is sinking sand.
And we are the heirs of God, heirs of eternal glory! Heaven and all its glory is our eternal inheritance. It is our purchased possession. Our Lord bought eternal glory for us with his blood. It is our predestined portion. Christ has already claimed it in our name, as our forerunner and our great High Priest. The Holy Spirit is that Seal by which we are preserved unto eternal glory.
Yet, for the present time, we are required to live in this world. Why? If we are the children of God, redeemed, born again, believers in Christ, and the sure heirs of eternal glory, what are we doing here? Why has our Lord left us upon the earth? Our text this evening answers these questions for us, at least in part. This passage of Holy Scripture tells us what we are to do while we are in this world.
Proposition: Our text shows us our responsibilities as believers with regard to our sister, our service, and our Savior.
Throughout this Song Of Love, Christ and his church have confirmed their love to each other. Both have agreed that their love for one another is as strong as death. His love for us is eternal and immutable. And though our love for him is not in anyway such as it ought to be, yet, if it is true, our love for him can never be destroyed. Because our love for Christ is the gift, operation and work of God’s grace in us, it can no more be destroyed than his love for us can be destroyed.
Now, in these last verses we see Christ and his beloved church, like a loving husband and wife, consulting together about their affairs, considering what they are to do. Having laid their hearts together, they now put their heads together, making plans about their relations and their property.
In these last few verses, the Song Of Love concludes by giving us some very practical instruction about our responsibilities as believers in this world.
Divisions: Tonight I am going to talk to you about our responsibilities regarding….
1. Our Sister (vv. 8-10).
2. Our Service (vv. 11-12).
3. Our Savior (vv. 13-14).
May it please God the Holy Spirit to sanctify our meditations for the glory of Christ and the good of our Souls.
I. In verses 8-10 we see Christ our Lord giving us instruction concerning our responsibility toward OUR SISTER.
A. The passage begins with a question of compassion and concern (v. 8).
The Bride, the Church, raises a question of concern about her young, little sister - “What shall we do for her?” She is saying, “How can I be of help to my little sister?” Who is this “little sister” about whom she is so concerned?
1. Prophetically, the passage is speaking of the church of God scattered among the nations of the Gentile world.
Though the gospel was revealed only to the Jews in the Old Testament, the Lord God had espoused a people to himself from the nations of the world, before time began. It was plainly revealed in the Old Testament that the barren and desolate Gentiles would be united to the Lord as a Bride, and that the Church would be made up of both Jews and Gentiles (Isa. 54:1; Hos. 1:10; Rom. 9:25-26).
Here the church of God among the Gentiles is called “a little sister”, because -
a. Jewish believers and Gentile believers are children of the same Father.
b. They are called “little,” because they had not yet been honored with the revelation of God.
During the Old Testament age the Gentiles had no breasts, no Scriptures, no prophets, no covenant, no ordinances, no promises, no breasts of consolation and instruction. Though chosen of God, their election was not yet manifest and revealed. But now, in Christ, both Jew and Gentile are one (Eph. 2:11-13).
2. Taking the text in its wider range, it is to be applied to all those who belong to the election of grace, who have not yet been called to life in Christ, who have not yet been given faith in him.
All of God’s elect belong to Christ already. Though they have not yet been courted by him and won to him, those unbelievers who are chosen of God are already his, espoused to him in covenant love; and he will have them (John 10:16; Acts 18:10). They are our sisters according to the election of grace.
a. They have no breasts (Ezek. 16:7).
· They have no affection for Christ.
· They have no principle of grace.
· They have not yet been spoken for.
b. The day will come when they shall be spoken for, when the chosen shall be called. This is the thing for which we labor.
By the Spirit of God, through the preaching of the gospel, each of God’s elect shall be courted, and their hearts shall be won by the Lord Jesus Christ. His love and grace will prevail over their stubborn hearts (Psa. 65:4; 110:3). A blessed day that will be, a day of divine visitation! Does your heart’s experience cry, “Amen! It is so!”
c. What shall we do for our sister in that day?
Those who through grace have been brought to Christ should do what they can to bring others to him. This is the design of the gospel. Let us do what we can to seek our sisters, who are chosen and redeemed by Christ. Let us do all things for the elect’s sake (2 Tim. 2:10).
· Preach to them.
· Pray for them.
· Persuade them to consent to Christ and be converted.
B. In verse 9, our Lord quiets the hearts of his people by assuring us of what he will do for his elect people.
He says, “We”, my Father, my Spirit, and I will gather our elect ones and we will save them. It is as though our Lord is saying - “Let me alone, I will do all that is necessary to be done for my own. Trust me.”
1. I will build my church.
2. I will protect my church.
3. I will perfect my church.
We must labor faithfully; but the work of salvation is the work of the Lord.
C. Then in verse 10, the Bride acknowledges his favor, his grace, and his faithfulness.
Having experienced his saving grace, she willingly trusts him with her little sister. She remembers with fondness the work of God upon her, and knows that what the Lord has done for her he will do for all his chosen ones.
1. Let us acknowledge that salvation is altogether the work of God (Ex. 14:13).
It is entirely a matter of divine favor - “Then was I in his eyes as one that found favor.”
2. Let us trust the Lord to save his people.
· God’s purpose cannot be defeated.
· Christ’s blood cannot be shed in vain.
· The Lord’s grace cannot be frustrated.
· His power cannot be resisted.
· His chosen people cannot perish.
II. In verses 11-12, we have a word of instruction regarding the responsibilities we have in OUR SERVICE for Christ.
Here the Bride consults with Christ about a vineyard they had in the country - “Solomon had a vineyard in Baal-hamon.” As Solomon was a type of Christ, so his vineyard is a type of the church of Christ (See Matt. 21:33).
A. The Church is Christ’s vineyard.
B. The Lord has entrusted each of us with his vineyard, as keepers of it.
1. This is primarily the work of pastors.
2. Every believer is also entrusted with a part of the work in the vineyard.
The service of the church is to be our business in this world, according to the capacity God has given us (Deacons, teachers, elders, etc.).
3. The Lord expects rent from those that are employed in his vineyard and entrusted with it.
· What will you do for Christ?
· What will you do for the increase of his kingdom?
· What will you do for the furtherance of his gospel?
Each of us must serve the interests of his kingdom in this world, for the honor and glory of our Redeemer. The best way to honor Christ is to serve Christ in the place where you are.
C. Every believer must keep the vineyard of his own heart for Christ (Song of Sol. 1:6).
D. As we endeavor to serve our Lord, being motivated only by love for him and zeal for his glory, we shall enrich our own souls - “Those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.’
“Those that work for Christ are working for themselves, and shall be unspeakable gainers by it” (Matthew Henry). (See 2 Cor. 9:6; Gal. 6:6-8).
III. The last word in this Song Of Love has to do with our responsibility toward OUR SAVIOR (vv. 13-14).
Here we see a picture of Christ and his Bride as they must for a while be separated. She must stay below in the gardens on earth, where she has a work to do for him. He must ascend to the mountains of spices in heaven, where he has a work to do for her, as an Advocate with the Father.
A. Our Lord lets us know that he desires to hear from us often (v. 13).
He is saying, “My beloved children, cause me to hear your voice. Speak as freely to me as you do to one another. Bring your cares, your burdens, your needs to me. Pour your hearts out to me.” (Heb. 4:16).
NOTE: Our Lord not only hears and answers our prayers, he even courts them.
B. For her part, the Bride, the Church, the believing heart longs for his speedy return (v. 14).
It is good to be here, dwelling among the gardens of our Lord, laboring in his vineyard; but to depart and be with him is far better.
1. Our Lord is coming again (John 14:1-3).
2. It is our business to work and to live in anticipation of his speedy return (1 Thess. 5:6-10).
The comfort and satisfaction we enjoy in communion with Christ inspires in us a longing for his immediate presence. The clusters of grapes that we find in this wilderness should make us long for the full vintage of Canaan. If a day in his courts is sweet, what will an eternity within the veil be!
a. Let us ever remind ourselves, “Behold, he cometh!”
b. When you rise in the morning, say to yourself - “Behold, he cometh!”
c. When you lay down at night, say to yourself, “Behold, he cometh!
d. As we conclude another day of worship, let us do so in hope and expectation.
· A better day of worship is coming.
· An everlasting sabbath shall soon be brought in.
Application: We must, perhaps, remain here for a while. While we are here we have something to do. Let us give ourselves whole-heartedly to the work.
1. We have yet some of Our Sisters who must be sought.
2. We have Our Service to perform for the good of the church, for the glory and honor of our Redeemer.
3. We have Our Savior to watch for in prayer and faith.
He says, “Surely, I come quickly.” And our hearts respond, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”