Christ's Love is Better


Text: Song of Solomon 1:2

Title: "Christ's Love is Better"

Subj: Christ's love is better!

Intro: The Bible says, "Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." Jude 1:21

The Holy Spirit through Jude says that we are to actively keep ourselves cradled in the love of God, and keeping a lookout for the acts of loving-kindness (mercy) of our Lord Jesus Christ. The love of God is that sacrificial love that works its way out in acts of mercy toward us. I wonder if you or I could stand tonight and give an example of the love of God active in our lives?

The Bible says, "Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." Jude 1:21

Or I wonder how many of us could testify that we keep ourselves in the love of God, or would we have to say that we keep ourselves in self love or in other's love (seeking acceptance from others)? Isn't it amazing how easy it is to live beneath our privileges? But there is a reason that the Bible commands that we keep ourselves in the love of God. It is because it is the highest form of love, the love of God for His own, which means the highest good from the goodest God! Thus the subject of this message, "Christ's Love is Better." We will take our passage from the Song of Solomon, the book of love.

Song 1:1-4 -- "Christ's Love is Better" -- prayer

The key to understanding the Song of Solomon, or any book of the Bible is to look for its Subject, which is always the Lord Jesus Christ. While the Subject is always the same, the theme of each book is different.

In the Song of Solomon, we find the Lord Jesus Christ pictured as a Shepherd. The other two main characters are king Solomon, who wrote the book, and who is a type of the world, and the Shulamite maiden, who pictures the individual believer and/or the church. Herein is the conflict. The worldly king loves the saved Shulamite for her beauty, but the Shulamite loves the Shepherd. (Have you ever liked someone who liked someone else? Then you get the picture!) So the Song of Solomon expresses the battle the Christian (pictured by the Shulamite) faces between the allurements of this world (pictured by the king), and the love of the Lord Jesus Christ (pictured by the Shepherd). Interestingly, the whole conflict is laid out for us in the 2nd verse of the 1st chapt..

Setting: The beautiful Shulamite maiden has been brought from her country home to the king's chambers (v4b). Solomon's intentions are to woe her in the splendor of the king's palace. In v2 we intrude into the Shulamite's thoughts as she awaits the arrival of king Solomon. We can divide v2 into 2 halves. The first half contains her apprehensions of what the king will attempt when he appears, while in the second half the Shulamite directs her thoughts to the Shepherd.

I. THE LOVE OF THE WORLD (v2a)

A. Let "Him" (the world) Kiss Me

Note: Solomon represents the world in the Song. The world is not just this globe on which we stand, but includes the totality of its systems and standards. It is everything outside the spiritual rule of Christ. Though this world is overruled by God, Satan has been given freedom to work his wiles by using this world system. Why would be allow the world to "kiss" us?

1. This world appeals to our sin nature

a. In fact, we are the very products of this world, formed out of the dust of its earth. Since the fall, this world is the center of our universe, until we come to Christ.

b. It is an ever present temptation. It draws us like a light draws a moth!

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." 1 Jn. 2:16

Note: This temptation is brought out in a interesting way in the Song of Solomon, for the Shepherd is never physically in the Shulamite's presence, though He is in her thoughts and dreams continually, while the king is always in her presence trying to pull her away from the Shepherd by the allurements of this world. The world is always before us as believers, while the Lord is seated at the right hand of God in Glory. The thing that is before us, we are supposed to ignore, while the Person hidden from us is the One we are suppose to obey! A real problem!!

2. It is a personal temptation ("Let him kiss me")

a. There are things that will appeal to you that would not appeal to me.

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat..." Gen. 3:6

1. Look around you and you can see "different strokes for different folks." And Satan uses your individual temptation to your individual hurt!

3. It is a passionate temptation ("Let him kiss me")

"Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, all these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me." Mat. 4:8-9

a. If you will serve Satan, Satan will provide you with the things of this world for your flesh.

B. The Kisses of the World

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Prov. 27:6

Note: "Kiss" comes from a Hebrew root that means to "be armed." In other words, you better watch out!! A kiss can either be a genuine sign of affection, or a false sign of affection. The Arabic root means to "fasten together." So a kiss joins you to someone or something. A kiss is pleasurable in its act, but it can be deadly in its consequences. A kiss is fleeting, but its consequences can be very long lasting.

C. The Wine of the World

"Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." Prov. 20:1

Note: Wine normally symbolizes the effect this world has on the senses. It colors and clouds reality by its intoxicating effects. It makes evil look good, and sin look acceptable. It is a false joy that is short-lived. It makes people forget the consequences of their sins.

II. THE LOVE OF CHRIST (2b)

A. Contrast (kisses vs love)

Note: This is what we find throughout the Song, a contrast of Christ vs the world, with the believer in between. All week we are pulled by the world. We come to church to be "pulled back to Christ." Notice that the world kisses, but the Christ loves! And the love of Christ will provide exactly the "things" of this world that you need.

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

B. His Love

1. What is love?

a. Eros = self-satisfying, self-centered, selfish love (flesh).

b. Phileo = selfless love, self-shared love (two people going in the same direction). An activity of your spirit.

c. Agape = self-sacrificing love, where the good of the other person is your first consideration. An activity of the Holy Spirit.

Note: Christ's love for us is not based on our attractiveness, nor on what we share in common, but on our need to be loved! He knew we needed to be loved, and He loves us! Let me give you the only verse in the Bible that says Christ, present tense, loves us.

"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him That loved(s) us, and washed us from our sins in His Own Blood" Rev. 1:5


2. Christ's love is better

a. "Better" = agreeable to the senses, pleasant to the higher nature, excellent, valuable, appropriate, better (contrast), kind, and right.

b. Because it is a commitment, not just a kiss!

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Heb. 13:5

c. Because it is personal, not indiscriminate

1) It is only for His own

"As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love." Jn. 15:9

d. Because it is pure, not deceptive

1) No hidden motive

"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us..." 1 Jn. 4:16 (in part)

e. Because it is proven, not questionable

1) We don't have to wonder if it is real

"...Unto Him that loved(s) us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood." Rev. 1:5 (in part)

f. Because it is eternal, not fleeting.

1) We can trust Christ's love

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not." 1 Jn. 3:1 (in part)

III. THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST

A. Expects the Worst from the World (deceptive kisses)

"And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: for many shall come in My Name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." Mk. 13:5-6

B. Expects the Best from the Lord (sacrificial love)

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Jn. 14:27

C. Though in the World, Thinks about the Lord

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Phil. 4:8

D. Has Already Settled the Matter

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Eph. 6:13

Concl.: Brothers and sisters in Christ, the world continually attempts to "kiss you," and to call to you with all the "things" at its command. It will never stopped offering things that cannot, and will not satisfy. Throughout the Song of Solomon, the king offers the Shulamite (believer) every incitement at his disposal to win her affections. The world has not changed, nor has your sin-nature.

On the other hand, Christ offers His love, which the Shulamite maiden found to be "better than wine." In that love is included all that the Lord has at His disposal, and all that the Lord knows is beneficial for your life.

But you must determine, and the earlier the better, which course of action you will follow. Will you seek the world's kisses, or will you find peace and contentment in the Saviour's love?
 

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