Sermon #1529                                         Miscellaneous Sermons


     Title:            Unquenchable Love

     Text:            Song of Solomon 8:7

     Subject:       Christ’s Unquenchable Love

     Date:            Sunday Evening—December 29, 2002

     Tape #        

     Readings:     Ron Wood and Rex Bartley



I stand before you tonight as a monument to the unquenchable love of God my Savior, and that is what I want to preach to you— Unquenchable Love. Our text will be the Song of Solomon chapter eight, verse seven.


(Song of Songs 8:5-7)  Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee. {6} Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. {7} Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.


What a description this is of the love of Christ, the "love that passeth knowledge." It is Christ who speaks in verse 5, "I raised thee up under the apple tree." And it is Christ who says, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, and with loving-kindness have I drawn thee." It is God our Savior who declares, "I drew them with cords of love, and with the bands of a man." He found me in a desert land, and in a waste howling wilderness. "Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it."


The Lord Jesus here declares his love to his church, and she replies, "Set me as a seal," not only on thy heart, but also on thine arm—the place of your love and the place of your strength—the place of the most tender emotion and deepest passion, and the place of power, safety, and work.


Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? His love is invincible and irresistible as death. It is a jealous love, as unyielding and unalterable as the grave. Its comparable to fire,—coals of fire,—the very flame of Jehovah.


Here, then, is the love of Christ! Its breadth, length, height, and depth, are absolutely immeasurable. But our text singles out two specific things about our Savior’s love I want us to meditate upon tonight.


1.     It is unquenchable.

2.     And it is unpurchaseable.


I.                   The Love of Christ is unquenchable love.


No other love is really unquenchable; but our Savior’s love is. His love is eternal and everlasting, immutable and unalterable.


The love of Christ is infinitely beyond that of a father or a mother, or a brother or a sister, or a husband or a wife. The love of Christ is the one and only love that passeth knowledge; the one love that nothing in heaven, or earth, or hell is able to extinguish or cool; the one love whose dimensions are beyond all measure.


(Ephesians 3:14-19)  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, {15} Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, {16} That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; {17} That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, {18} May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; {19} And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.


Our Redeemer’s love here compared to fire that cannot be quenched. As such it is affirmed that "waters," "many waters" cannot quench it. Christ’s love for us is a thing of life which the floods cannot drown (Psalm 69:15, 93:3).


(Psalms 69:15)  Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.


(Psalms 93:3)  The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.


A.    The waters of shame and suffering sought to quench and drown it.


They would have hindered its outflowing, and come (like Peter) between the Savior and the cross, but his love refused to be quenched on its way to Calvary. Herein was love! It leaped over all the barriers in its way. It refused to be extinguished or drowned. Its fire would not be quenched. Its life could not be drowned.


B.     The waters of death sought to quench it.


The waves and billows of death went over the great Lover of my soul. The grave sought to cool or quench his love; but it proved itself stronger than death. Neither death nor the grave could alter or weaken his love for me. It came out of both death and the grave as strong as before. Love defied death, and overcame it.


C.    The waters of our unworthiness could not quench nor drown the love of Christ for our souls.


Love is usually attracted to that which is loveable. When something ugly, unlovely, unattractive comes, love (as it is called) withdraws from its object. Not so here. All our unfitness and unloveableness could not quench nor drown the love of Christ. It clings to the unlovely, and refuses to be torn away.


D.    The waters of our long rejection sought to quench it.


Though the gospel showed us that personal unworthiness could not arrest the love of Christ, we continued to reject him and his love. We continued to hate him and despise his love. Yet, his love for us rose above our enmity to him, rose above our unbelief, and survived our hardness. In spite of everything we are and have done, his love was unquenched.


E.    Though he has saved us by his matchless grace, the waters of our daily inconsistency seek to quench it his love; but, blessed be his name, without success!


Even after experiencing his adorable grace, we are constantly spurning his unspurnable love!. What inconsistencies, coldness, lukewarmness, unbelief, worldliness, hardness, and utter ungodliness daily flows against the Savior’s love, like a mighty flood to quench its fire and drown its life! Yet it survives all; it remains unquenched, unquenchable and unchanged!


All these infinite evils in us are like "waters," "many waters," like "floods," torrents of sin, waves and billows of evil,—all constantly laboring to quench and drown the love of Christ! They would annihilate any other love, any love less than his. But our Savior’s love is unchangeable and everlasting.


Our text tells us something else about the love of God our Savior.


II.                The love of Christ is unpurchaseable love.


"If a man should give all the substance of his house for love, it would be utterly contemned."


All that a man has can do nothing before God and his great love. The love of Christ is not merchandise. It is not a marketable commodity. It has nothing to do with gold and silver. The whole of a man’s substance is unavailing and useless to win or attract the love of Christ.


A.   Nothing we offer God could ever persuade him to love us.


Love cannot be bought by gifts. Certainly, the love of God cannot be purchased by our paltry gifts. Christ's favor cannot be purchased by money. He loves without gifts, and before all gifts. He loves freely!


B.    We can no more offer payment to our God for having loved than we could offer payment to purchase his love.


Gold has nothing to do with love, neither before nor after! Pay a man for loving! How revolting the thought! Pay Christ for loving! What a wickedness and what an impossibility in the thought! Love is altogether free.


C.   We can never do anything or offer anything as a bribe to keep the love of Christ, and nothing can ever buy off his love, or cause him to cease loving us.


Should the whole universe be offered to Christ on condition of his ceasing to love us, it would be utterly despised. Satan tried it. Did he not (Matt. 4)? Who or what shall separate us from the love of Christ? All earth and heaven together would be ineffectual to cool or quench this mighty love. He cannot but love us, whatever may be the gifts proffered to stay his love.


Our Savior would never give us anything as a substitute for love. Suppose a man were to say to a father to a son, or a brother to a sister, or mother, or wife, “I cannot love you, but here is money to make up for my lack of love!” Such a proposal would be utterly contemptible. Were Christ to say to us, “I cannot love you, but I give you heaven,” would that suffice? What are gifts without love.


Let us never attempt to give our Savior anything as a substitute for love. Though we give our body to be burned, what would that be without love? Or what can Christ say to us for bringing him gifts, offerings, prayers, tears, money,—everything but love! Without love, what are the riches of the universe? It is love he gives. It is love he wants from us. What shall be given in exchange for love?


The love of Christ truly passeth knowledge. It is, like himself, infinite. It emerges out of every storm or flood. It survives all unworthiness, and unbelief, and rejection. It is this that fills the soul; that liberates us from bondage; that gladdens our hearts in the most sorrowful hour. Love is the true sunshine of life; and with this love Christ is to fill, not heaven only, but also earth, when he comes again in his glory.


(Psalms 116:1-7)  I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. {2} Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. {3} The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. {4} Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. {5} Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. {6} The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. {7} Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.


(Psalms 116:16-17)  O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. {17} I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.


(1 John 4:19)  We love him, because he first loved us.


(Jude 1:21)  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.


     Illustration: McClaren’s Daughter