Skip to main content

Christ comes to the church in love

The church knows the voice of her husband. And he comes to her. Richard Sibbes shows us three ways from Song 5:2 (Bowels Opened, Sermon 5).
1. He knocks. 2. He comes, even waiting for her to answer. 3. He names.
Christ still desires a further and further communion with his church. Even as the true soul that is touched with the Spirit, desires nearer and nearer communion with Christ; so he seeks nearer and nearer communion with his spouse, by all sanctified means. Christ has never enough of the soul. He would have them more and more open to him. Our hearts are for Christ, who has the heaven of heavens, and the soul of a believing Christian for himself to dwell in. He contents not himself to be in heaven alone, but he will have our hearts. He knocks here, waits, speaks friendly and lovingly, with such sweet words, ‘My love, my dove,' &c, ...Christ desires further entertainment in his church's heart and affection that he might lodge and dwell there.
What if we are estranged from him, if he seems distant? Sibbes argues that this is often caused by our keeping of bad company instead of being with the church "evil company is a great dampener" and also from "discontinuing religious exercises" we lose a sense of his love "when we do not prize and value, as we should, the communion that should be between the soul and Christ." Yet Christ does not neglect those who are wayward from failing or weaknesses - he knocks! Christ is God and God is love "So Christ, as God, is all love to the church". This is always the case:
"If he be angry in correcting, it is out of love; if merciful, it is out of love; if he is powerful in defending his church, and revenging himself on her enemies, all is love."
He loves us and we know this because he knocks:
"He knocks, that we should open, and let him come into our hearts, into our more intimate affections and love. Nothing will content him but intimateness"
We might ask how does he knock? (to be continued)

Comments

  1. Really glad you're blogging on Sibbes.
    And really glad you've picked up Bobby Grow as "unmissable"!
    As I'm sure you know, both of them are linked by Ron Frost (who Bobby worked with at Multnomah).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Loving 'evangelical calvinism' of Grow, Sibbes, Frost, Reeves & co - way better than 'calvinism' or 'arminianism'.

    You MUST download Mike Reeves on John 20 from Forum Forum Talks 2010. Brilliant stuff.

    The whole week was deep in grace and catching sight of our lovely, beautiful, kind God. Made people more generous, the worship richer and more life changing and 'charismatic'...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use (http://planningcenteronline.com/) tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue



2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin



3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong



4. Cornerstone - Hillsong


Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…