Sermon #19 The Song Of Solomon Notes
Title: Where Is Christ To Be Found?
Text: Song Of Solomon 6:1-3
Readings: Office: Paul Harries Auditorium: James Jordan
Subject: An Admonition To Those Seeking Christ
Date: Sunday Evening - October 18, 1998
Tape # U-89a
The title of my message tonight is WHERE IS CHRIST TO BE FOUND? Our text will be the Song of Solomon chapter six, verses one through three.
I know that “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” But I also know that before any sinner can or will call upon the name of the Lord in true faith and be saved at least three things must take place.
1. Before any man can or will trust Christ and be saved - He must hear the gospel of the grace of God (Rom. 10:14-17).
It is not enough that he hear and understand the religious opinions of men. He must hear THE GOSPEL! Martin Luther said this passage of Scripture presents us with four impossibilities:
· It is impossible for a man to call on Christ unless he believes on Christ.
· It is impossible for a man to believe on Christ unless he has heard of Christ, unless he has heard the gospel of Christ.
· It is impossible for a man to hear of Christ without a preacher.
· It is impossible for a man to preach Christ, truly to preach Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, unless he is sent of God to do so.
No one ever has been saved and no one ever will be saved apart from hearing the gospel of the grace of God in Christ preached by a man who is sent of God.
What is THE GOSPEL? It is the good news of effectual atonement and accomplished redemption in Christ. The only true gospel is that gospel which answers the question - How can God be just and justify the ungodly? There is but one gospel. And that gospel is the gospel of Christ’s substitutionary, effectual redemption.
2. Before any person can or will believe on Christ and be saved - He must be regenerated by the grace and power of God the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:1-9).
Faith, like all other graces is the gift of God. Faith is not the cause, but the result, of the new birth. While we recognize that no man in the Bible is to be looked upon as having eternal life until he has faith in Christ, we also recognize that before any sinner can or will have true faith he must be given life by the sovereign power of God the Holy Spirit.
· Regeneration is a resurrection from the dead.
· Regeneration is a new creation of life.
· Regeneration is an implanting of a new heart and a new nature.
It is not the work of man, but the work of God (John 1:12-13).
3. Before anyone can or will come to Christ, calling upon him in true faith, before any man can be saved - The gospel of the grace and glory of God must be revealed in his heart (2 Cor. 4:6; Matt. 16:17).
The only way any person can ever know and understand the gospel is if God himself reveals the gospel (John 3:3; 16:8-11).
Now in the passage before us, the daughters of Jerusalem had heard of Christ. Though he was revealed only under the types and shadows of the Old Testament, they had heard him well described by one who knew him and loved him.
· They heard of the excellency of his character.
· They heard of the efficacy of his work.
· They heard of the exceeding greatness of his love.
They had heard of Christ; and that which they heard created in their hearts a desire to know Christ for themselves. So, in our text, we see these daughters of Jerusalem asking where they might find the Lord. “Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? Whither is thy beloved turned aside? That we may seek him with thee.”
Tonight I want to try to answer this question - Where is Christ to be found? I hope that it is a question of interest to you. I hope some of you have been awakened to sense your need of Christ, and that you have come here to seek him. I hope you who know Christ in true heart faith have also come here tonight seeking him. No question could be of greater importance to your heart. Where is Christ to be found? I speak tonight especially to you who seek the Lord. I want to both encourage you and instruct you. I know this - “The Lord is good to them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him (Lam. 3:25).
· Those who seek the Lord feel their need of him.
· Those who seek the Lord seek him earnestly, with all their hearts.
· Those who truly seek the Lord shall find him (Jer. 29:13).
· Those who seek the Lord must seek him in the place where he is most likely to be found.
Proposition: If you would know Christ and worship him, you must seek him; and it is wise to seek him in the place where he is likely to be found.
1. A Very Earnest Question (v. 1).
2. A Very Confident Answer (v. 2).
3. A Very Comforting Assurance (v. 3).
I. A VERY EARNEST QUESTION (v. 1).
Here the daughters of Jerusalem, being anxious about their souls and anxious to know Christ, asked for help. They came to one who knew the Lord, and said - Where can we find him? They are like those Greeks who came to Philip, and said, “Sir, we would see Jesus.”
A. What is the question?
Really, the question is this - Where can we find that Beloved One in whom sinners are accepted, justified, and forgiven? Where can we find that One who is so great and yet so gracious? Where can we find this Friend of sinners?
B. What inspired the daughters of Jerusalem to ask this question?
1. They saw and recognized the blessedness of the Lord’s people - “O thou fairest among women.”
2. They heard the faithful testimony of a believer about Christ.
NOTE: Though in this particular place, the Lord’s child was much to be blamed; (Her sin and neglect were great. Her heart was greatly troubled.) yet, she had born loving and faithful witness to Christ.
It is as though she had said, “Though I do not now enjoy his presence and a sense of communion with him, I can speak of him. I can talk of my Beloved;” and she did.
Let us each bear faithful witness of that which we know. Let us tell what we have seen and heard, tasted and experienced of the Savior’s love and grace (1 John 1:1-3).
NOTE: There is no better medicine for a despondent heart than to talk of Christ. There is no better cure for spiritually troubled believers than to talk of Christ. Though I cannot always sense his presence, I can always talk about him. And those who speak of him with love and faith will not be long kept from his fellowship. (See vv. 4-9).
C. Why did the daughters of Jerusalem ask this question? “That we may seek him with thee.”
Theirs was not an idle curiosity about religion. They wanted Christ. They were determined to find him. It is as though they said - If there is such a God and Savior as this, I cannot rest until I find him. I must have him. Without him, I will surely perish! I am resolved, I am determined to have Christ.
Wealth and honor I disdain,
Earthly comforts all are vain;
These can never satisfy,
Give me Christ, or else I die!
This then is the question expressed in verse 1 - Where Is Christ To Be Found?
II. Secondly, here is A VERY CONFIDENT ANSWER (v. 2).
Here the spouse, the church, the child of God was given yet another opportunity to speak of her Beloved. While she was pointing the daughters of Jerusalem to Christ, she was also ministering to her own heart. Though she had, for the time being, lost the sense of his presence by her own slothfulness, she now speaks very confidently. She says, I know where he is. I know where the Lord reveals himself. I know where he is to be found. And then she shows them - “My Beloved is gone down into his garden.”
NOTE: Though our text speaks of Christ coming down to his garden to visit his people with grace and mercy, he has gone up to heaven, the garden of God, where he sits upon the throne of universal dominion (Heb. 10:12).
A. The Lord Jesus Christ is to be found in the midst of his church and people.
Our Lord had said, “I am come into my garden” (5:1). And now, the spouse seems to say, what a fool I have been, fretting and worrying myself about where to find him, seeking him where he is not to be found. Why, he told me where he is. He is in his garden!
· His garden is the church considered as a whole.
· The beds of spices and the smaller gardens refer to the many congregations of the Lord’s people.
· The spices and the lilies refer to individual believers.
1. The church is the Lord’s garden.
a. He bought it with his blood.
b. He encloses it with his providence.
c. He plants it by his grace.
d. He protects it by his power.
2. Christ dwells in the midst of his people.
“Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
The Son of God walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.
3. If you are interested in your immortal soul, if you seek the Lord, you must not neglect the public assembly of his people to worship him and hear his Word.
NOTE: More often than not, when the Lord intends to save one of his sheep, he causes that sheep to gather with his people in the house of worship.
B. What is the Lord doing in his garden?
1. He is feeding his flock by the ministry of the Word.
He has chosen pastors according to his own heart, who feed his sheep with knowledge and understanding (Jer. 3:15; Acts 20:28; John 21:15-17; Eph. 4:8-16).
2. He is feeding himself in his garden.
That is to say, He gathers the products of his own grace in his people and finds satisfaction and pleasure in it. “The Lord taketh pleasure in those that fear him.”
Matthew Henry said, “He has many gardens, many particular churches of different sizes and shapes; but while they are his, he feeds in them all, manifests himself among them, and is well-pleased with them.”
3. The Lord is gathering lilies in his garden, lilies with which he is pleased to entertain and adorn himself.
Of course, these lilies are his own people, the flowers of his grace and mercy.
a. There was a great gathering of his lilies, his elect people, by his death upon the cross (Eph. 2:4-6; John 11:51-52).
b. Today, by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, through the ministry of the gospel, Christ is still gathering his lilies.
c. He gathers his lilies from his garden when he calls them up to glory.
d. Soon he is coming to gather all of his lilies (1 Thess. 4:13-18).
One of the old writers said, “He picks the lilies one by one, and gathers them to himself. And there will be a general harvest of them in the great day, when he will send forth his angels, to gather all his lilies, that he may be forever glorified and admired in them.”
Here is A Very Earnest Question - “Whither is thy Beloved gone/” Here is A Very Confident Answer - “My Beloved is gone down into his garden.”
III. And thirdly, here is A VERY COMFORTING ASSURANCE (v. 3).
Though the Lord has withdrawn from her the sense and manifestation of his presence, she was comforted by faith in his Word. She was assured of her relationship with him, because she knew it depended not upon her faithfulness but his faithfulness. She says, “I am my Beloved’s; and my Beloved is mine: He feedeth among the lilies.” In spite of her own sin, negligence, and unbelief, she expresses three things about which she was sure. From these she draws great comfort.
A. “I am my Beloved’s.”
She had acted shamefully toward him. Therefore, in love he chastened her for a while. But she knew that her standing was not upon her works, but upon his works. Her acceptance was not by works, but by grace. Therefore, she takes a fresh hold upon that firm and everlasting covenant, which stands unbroken in spite of our many sins (Psa. 89:30-35).
She says, “I am,” even now, “My Beloved’s.”
· By An Eternal Gift.
· By A Loving Election.
· By A Special Redemption.
· By A Distinguishing Grace - I am His!
Nothing that I have done or ever shall do can change that fact. What comfort there is in such an assurance!
B. “And my Beloved is mine!”
This is even better. Since Christ is mine, I neither want nor need anything else. He is all I need. Here is the glory and beauty of faith. It believes Christ, even when he is not seen and his presence is not felt.
Children of God, our salvation depends not upon feeling or experience, but upon Christ!
· He is mine, because the Father gave him to me.
· He is mine, because he swore that he would be - “I will be for thee.”
· He is mine, because he revealed himself to me.
· He is mine, because I trust him, because he gives me faith to trust him.
C. “He feedeth among the lilies.”
I know that Christ is mine and that I am his. And I know that he feeds among the lilies. He meets with his people in his garden, talks with them, and communes with them, and reveals himself to them. Therefore, I know if I am in his garden when he comes among his lilies, I will meet with him again.
1. We should highly value the assembly of God’s people (Heb. 10:25).
2. It would be good medicine for our souls to talk to others of Christ.
3. At all times, we must rest our souls upon him (2 Sam. 23:5).