Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

How Do We See Christ’s Church

SONG OF SOLOMON 1:15 – Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves.

THEME OF THE DAY. HOW DO WE SEE CHRIST’S CHURCH? I am fairly confident that the Old Testament book from which today’s scripture originates is not in the top five most read among Christians. If we are not familiar with Song of Solomon, let me encourage us to get there. It is a wonderful story of marital love. Granted, its symbols are difficult to understand but a thorough and prayerful study of the book will produce great spiritual fruit in our lives.

When it comes to interpretation of this book, the Puritans, in particular, allegorized and spiritualized the message as an Old Testament picture of the love of Christ for His church, His bride. Thought I love the Puritans, I am not ready to say THIS IS the message of the book. However, they do portray for us a beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus and His relationship with His church. So with that as our interpretive lens, go back and read today’s scripture. In the marital context, the speaker is the husband, the king, affirming the beauty of his bride. Now, look at this from a Puritan perspective. It would be the Lord Jesus affirming the beauty of His bride, His church. Notice what the Lord says of His church, “You are beautiful. You are my love.”

Do you think of the church like that? Do I? When we gather among God’s people on the Lord’s Day, how do we see each other? Do we see one another as Jesus does – beautiful, loved? I confess I don’t always, but that is changing. I have a dear brother who recently asked me a question along these lines, “When you are standing before the congregation what do you see?” He then reminded me I am looking at the bride of Christ. This really impacted me. And the very next Lord’s Day as I was sitting on the platform to open the service, I looked at this brother and he whispered, “The bride of Christ.” He will never know the impact that is having on me. Now, I want it to have an impact on each of you.

Every true Christian; the weak Christian, the wandering Christian, the tired Christian, the grumpy Christian, and all other types are seen through the eyes of Jesus as “His beloved bride.” He doesn’t see them in all their failings and sinning. He sees them in Himself; perfected with an imputed righteousness that makes them “sparkling clean” before Him. And what does that lead to? His always patient, always kind, always loving attitude and actions toward us. Yes, we sin. Yes, He corrects us in our sinning, but never in a harsh and punitive way. No, we are His Bride. He cherishes His bride. He nourishes His bride. He loves His bride and that forever.

So, here is the application for all of us. It is two-fold. First, let’s pray and ask the Lord to let us see His people, His church, as He does – His beloved bride. Then, let’s start loving one another as part of His bride; a love that endures all things, hopes all things, believes all things, and promotes the good of all members of His bride. Imagine what the world will see if we begin to see, then treat one another as Jesus sees and treats us – His beautiful bride.

PRAYER: “Father, help me to see Your Son’s church through His eyes, not mine.”

QUOTE: “How we view Christ’s church will determine how involved we are in His church.”