Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Holy Love Song

Psalm 45

I. A Love Song Follows

A. The psalmist’s heart bubbled with the love story he was about to celebrate with the best skills at his command. To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves. My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” (Psalm 45:1) Shoshannim is a lily or six-string instrument decorated with lilies. Inditing refers to bubbling with enthusiasm.

B. Christ [the Messiah King] is more appealing in every respect than all other people. “Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.” (Psalm 45:2)

C. The Book of Hebrews identifies the Lord as the Son of God and King who brings eternal joy. “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” (Hebrews 1:8-9)

II. The King Appears in Glory

A. Christ cannot be praised too highly; His virtues triumph. “Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.” (Psalm 45:3-4)

B. Ultimate power over all opposition appears in King Jesus. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter.” (Psalm 45:5-6) “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” (Psalm 2:6)

C. Absolute justice both loves and hates, producing exquisite joy. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.” (Psalm 45:7-8)

D. The church stands in derivative majesty beside the King. Kings’ daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.” (Psalm 45:9)

III. The Bride of Christ Is the Church

A. What awaits the Bride of Christ is far above all that came before; pay attention to Him. “Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house;” (Psalm 45:10) A bride must be separated to her husband.

B. Separation to Him makes the bride desirable and attractive to the King. “So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall entreat thy favour. (Psalm 45:11-12) Note the mystical union which exists between Christ and His church.

C. The church which has suffered and been degraded in the world will be grand beyond imagination when brought to the eternal wedding day. The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king’s palace.” (Psalm 45:13-15)

1. Believers face the future with the anticipation of an happy bride. “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

2. Christ has made the church His own with all the rights, benefits, and pleasures which accompany the wedding. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1 Peter 2:9)

3. Behold the happy bride in her white dress. “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Revelation 19:7-8)

D. The future of the bride of Christ grows progressively more wonderful.Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth. I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.” (Psalm 45:16-17) As long as time shall last, the true apostolic succession will flourish.


Isaiah 29:1-14; Mark 7:1-13 / Malachi 2:17--3:5

I. Form Can Obscure Purpose

A. The religious leaders of the day noticed that Jesus was not following expected patterns; holiness had become a matter of external practice. “Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.” (Mark 7:1-3)

B. Jesus did not compel His followers to observe the traditions added by the historic schools of Jewish thought. “For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.” (Mark 7:3-4)

C. What was Jesus doing? “Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?” (Mark 7:5)

D. People living by their own private agendas will do what is necessary to call into question the simple directions of God. “Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” (Daniel 6:4-5)

II. Jesus Was Exposing a Major Religious Flaw

A. When form substitutes for substance, all that remains is hypocrisy. “He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” (Mark 7:6)

B. Instead of making people holy, traditions were drawing vacuums in people’s hearts. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Mark 7:7)

C. Human analysis had replaced heaven’s revelation. “For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.” (Mark 7:8)

D. History is filled with disasters which flow from taking the world rather than the Word as life’s standard. “And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof. And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus. And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon. And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar. And he brought also the brasen altar, which was before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar. And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering, and the king’s burnt sacrifice, and his meat offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the brasen altar shall be for me to enquire by. Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded.” (2 Kings 16:10-16) Ahaz burned his babies and bowed to Baal.

E. Believers must always be on guard against the enemies of sovereign grace. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8) “(Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.” (Colossians 2:21-23) Transition from Puritan to Presbyterian can carry the same risk; some denominations live by their forms of government rather than by God’s Constitution.

III. Tradition Must Never Cancel Truth

A. The reasoning which leads to the problem is clever but deadly. “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” (Mark 7:9)

B. The false teachers started with truth. “For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:” (Mark 7:10)

C. Living trusts had become substitutes for filial piety. “But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;” (Mark 7:11-12)

D. Anything which cancels truth is fundamentally wrong. Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” (Mark 7:13) “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Luke 4:8)

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