Archive for September, 2010

(Song 1:1) Christ is the Son of David and the ultimate lover of his bride.

(Song 1:2-4) Christ’s love better than the joy that comes from wine. He is the anointed one who is most pleasing.

(Song 1:5-6) Christ’s bride has suffered deprivation and suffering.

(Song 1:7,12) Christ is the shepherd-lover and king-lover of his bride.

(Song 1:16-17) A Garden of Eden connotation to the celebration of this love between Christ and his bride.

(Song 2:3) Christ’s bride finds her delight, joy and nourishment in Christ’s shadow of protection and fruit of life.

(Song 2:4) Christ’s banner over his people is love. He prepares a feast in his presence – messianic banquet.

(Song 2:5) Christ provides life-giving fruit to his people.

(Song 2:6) Christ’s love for his people is shadowed by the most intimate expression of human love.

(Song 2:8) The imagery of leaping over mountains and bounding over hills is sometimes used of God’s coming in salvation.

(Song 2:10-13) The new life of spring after a long deathly winter and the connotations of a garden point to a restored Eden.

(Song 2:16) God’s people belong to Christ and Christ is the one loved by his people.

(Song 3) Solomon as the glorious king on wedding day foreshadows the greater glory of Christ, Son of David, at his consummation c.f. Rev 21.

(Song 4:11-16) Consummation of intimacy with echoes of Garden of Eden/Promised Land – milk & honey, fruit trees, living waters. c.f. Rev 22.

(Song 5:10-15) Christ as garden & temple – streams of water, pools, spices, herbs, Lebanon, precious stones, alabaster columns, gold & ivory

(Song 6:2-7) Bride of Christ as a garden, promised land in agricultural prosperity, as glorious Jerusalem enjoyed by Christ the bridegroom.

(Song 6:12) The bride with Christ the Prince.

(Song 7:2) The bride described in terms of joy = a cup of wine and life= belly like a fertile heap of wheat.

(Song 7:4) Christ’s bride as both garden and city i.e. ivory tower, pools of Heshbon, gate, tower of Lebanon, Carmel. c.f. Rev 21-22.

(Song 8:3) Sexual intimacy as a foreshadowing of Christ & his people – His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me!

(Song 8:4) The work of God – I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.

(Song 8:6) Christ’s love is a covenant love of intimacy – set me as a seal upon your heart.

(Song 8:6) Christ’s love and jealousy for his people is stronger than death – as the fire of God.

(Song 8:7) Christ’s love cannot be quenched by the floods of chaos.

(Song 8:7) Christ’s love is given by grace not earned.

(Song 8:10) Christ’s bride finds peace before his eyes.

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Each temptation here, every trial we face

is surrounded by His awesome grace

Supernaturally strength is given us

so that we might persevere

God is never late, help is on the way;

He is faithful in the day-to-day

We don’t have to fear, God is on the throne,

His power will prevail


When the test is long

God’s working out His plan

In His sovereignty

Though you cannot see

Stay the course, persevere

Source: Praise the Living God: Songs of Praise

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A law proposed unto us is not to be compared, for efficacy, to a law inbred in us.

Adam had a law of sin proposed to him in his temptation; but because he had no law of sin inbred and working in him, he might have withstood it. … The law of God was at first inbred and natural unto man; it was concreated with his faculties, and was their rectitude, both in being and operation, in reference to his end of living unto God and glorifying of him. Hence it had a special power in the whole soul to enable it unto all obedience, yea, and to make all obedience easy and pleasant. Such is the power of an inbred law. …

Afterward God renews this law and writes it in tables of stone. But what is the efficacy of this law? Will it now, as it is external and proposed unto men, enable them to perform the things that it exacts and requires? Not at all.

God knew it would not, unless it were turned to an internal law again; that is, until, of a moral outward rule, it be turned into an inward real principle. Wherefore God makes his law internal again, and implants it on the heart as it was at first, when he intends to give it power to produce obedience in his people: “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts” (Jer. 31:31-33). …

“The written law,” says God, “will not do it; mercies and deliverances from distress will not effect it; trials and afflictions will not accomplish it.” “Then,” says the Lord, “will I take another course: I will turn the written law into an internal living principle in their hearts; and that will have such an efficacy as shall assuredly make them my people, and keep them so.”

Source: Owen, Indwelling Sin, Chapter 2 ‘What Kind Of Law Indwelling Sin Is’

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(Ecc 1:2-8) Creation is subject to frustration by the one who created and sustains it until the final redemption.

(Ecc 1:9-10) In Christ something new happens under the sun – the breaking in of the kingdom of God, the Atonement and new creation.

(Ecc 2) Christ taught futility of laboring after food, drink and clothing that spoils & does not satisfy. Christ taught to seek the Kingdom.

(Ecc 2:15-17) The resurrection of Christ as the first fruits answers Qoheleth’s frustration over the common experience of death of all men.

(Ecc 2:24-26) Sovereign Providence. From God’s hand comes enjoyment and wisdom. Distributed as God pleases.

(Ecc 3:1-11) Sovereignty. God ordains the times for everything that happens under the sun.

(Ecc 1:11) Sovereignty. God’s ways are perceived by men but remain inscrutable.

(Ecc 3:12-13,22) Joy in a creation subject to frustration is a gift of God’s sovereign grace.

(Ecc 3:14-15) Sovereignty. Nothing that God ordains can be altered by man.

(Ecc 4:13-16) Christ was a poor wise youth who God ordained as king. He replaces the foolish rule of men over creation.

(Ecc 1-4) Themes: Creation subjected to frustration, God’s sovereignty, joy as a gift from God’s hand.

(Ecc 5:10) Christ, like Qoheleth, is a Son of David who taught wisdom. What gain for a man to have riches but forfeit his soul?

(Ecc 5:18-20) Sovereign Providence. From God’s hand comes enjoyment and wisdom. Distributed as God pleases.

(Ecc 6:2) Providence. God gives wealth, possessions, and honor but may with hold from a man the power to enjoy these things.

(Ecc 6:12) Christ can tell man what will be after him under the sun.

(Ecc 7:2-4) Christ also said that blessed are those who go to the house of mourning & weeping rather than feasting & laughter. c.f. Mat 5:4.

(Ecc 7:8-9) Christ the wise man taught that blessed are the meek rather than the proud. c.f. Mat 5:5.

(Ecc 7:13) Sovereignty. Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?

(Ecc 7:14) Sovereignty. God has made both the day of prosperity and the day of adversity.

(Ecc 7:19) Christ is supremely wise and therefore supremely strong. Wisdom gives strength to wise man more than ten rulers in a city.

(Ecc 7:20) Christ is the righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.

(Ecc 7:23-25) Christ,unlike Qoheleth, has explored the depths & furtherest reaches of wisdom. He alone understands God’s ways in providence.

(Ecc 8:1) Christ is wise, knows the interpretation of a thing, has a face that shines.

(Ecc 8:4) Christ is the king whose word is supreme and cannot be questioned.

(Ecc 8:8) Christ is the man with power to retain his spirit and authority over the day of death. He laid down his life & took it up again.

(Ecc 8:11-13) Christ will judge the wicked and the righteous, cutting short the life of some and prolonging the life of others.

(Ecc 8:15) Sovereign Providence. From God’s hand comes enjoyment and wisdom. Distributed as God pleases.

(Ecc 8:16-17) Christ is the only wise man, unlike Qoheleth, who understands the work of God in all his providences.

(Ecc 9:1) Sovereignty. The righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God.

(Ecc 9:7) The gift of God. Go, eat your bread in joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

(Ecc 9:8) A gift of God. Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head. In Christ righteousness, Spirit and joy.

(Ecc 9:9) A gift of God. Enjoy life with the wife whom you love.

(Ecc 9:14-16) Christ is the poor, despised wise man, who by his wisdom brought a great deliverance.

(Ecc 9:17) The quiet words of the wise Christ are better than the shouting of the foolish rulers of this world.

(Ecc 10:17) Christ is the king of most noble birth – most suitable to rule, not indulgent, strong, brings happiness to his people.

(Ecc 11:5) Christ knows fully both the creative work of God in one’s birth and the providential work of God in one’s life.

(Ecc 11:7) Christ gives light that is both sweet and pleasant.

(Ecc 12:9) Christ is the wise teacher of knowledge. He weighed, studied and arranged proverbs and parables with care.

(Ecc 12:10) Christ spoke gracious words that delighted people, words of righteousness and truth.

(Ecc 12:11) Christ’s wise words are like goads and nails firmly fixed in the wall. He is the Shepherd-teacher.

(Ecc 12:13) Christ is the perfect model of manhood – feared God and kept his commands – the whole duty of man.

(Ecc 12:14) Christ will bring every deed into judgment.

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Let this be one part of our daily contending with God—that he would preserve our souls, and keep our hearts and our ways, that we be not entangled; that his good and wise providence will order our ways and affairs, that no pressing temptation befall us; that he would give us diligence, carefulness, and watchfulness over our own ways.

Store the heart with a sense of the love of God in Christ, and his love in the shedding of it; get a relish of the privileges we have thereby—our adoption, justification, acceptance with God; fill the heart with thoughts of the beauty of his death—and you will, in an ordinary course of walking with God, have great peace and security as to the disturbance of temptations. … Lay in store of gospel provisions that may make the soul a defensed place against all the assaults thereof.

Meet your temptation in its entrance with thoughts of faith concerning Christ on the cross; this will make it sink before you. Entertain no parley, no dispute with it, if you would not enter into it. Say, "‘It is Christ that died’— that died for such sins as these."

Suppose the soul has been surprised by temptation, and entangled at unawares, so that now it is too late to resist the first entrances of it. What shall such a soul do that it be not plunged into it, and carried away with the power thereof?

First, do as Paul did: beseech God again and again that it may "depart from you" … you shall certainly either be speedily delivered out of it, or receive a sufficiency of grace [so as] not to be foiled utterly by it.

Second, fly to Christ, in a peculiar manner, as he was tempted, and beg of him to give you succor in this "needful time of trouble." … Lie down at his feet, make your complaint known to him, beg his assistance, and it will not be in vain.

Third, look to him who has promised deliverance. Consider that he is faithful and will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able.

Owen says that God may bring relief by sending affliction to mortify the heart, by some act of providence, treading down of Satan under one’s feet, supply of grace or comfortable persuasion of good success or the utter removing of it.

Owen writes that the person "having a due acquaintance with the gospel in its excellencies, as to him a word of mercy, holiness, liberty, and consolation, values it, in all its concerns, as his choicest and only treasure—makes it his business and the work of his life to give himself up unto it in universal obedience, then especially when opposition and apostasy put the patience of Christ to the utmost—he shall be preserved from the hour of temptation."

"He that keeps close to Christ is crucified with him and is dead to all the desires of the flesh and the world (as more fully: Gal. 6:14). Here the match is broken, and all love, entangling love, dissolved. The heart is crucified to the world and all things in it."

Owen warns against the "liking and love of the things proposed, insinuated, commended in the temptation" that "be living and active in us". He warns believers "not so much employ your thoughts about the things whereunto you are tempted, which oftentimes raises further entanglements".

He that makes it his business to eat daily of the tree of life will have no appetite unto other fruit, though the tree that bear them seem to stand in the midst of paradise.

source: John Owen, Of Temptation: The Nature and Power of It (1658)

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Those who are Christ’s, and are acted in their obedience upon gospel principles, have the death of Christ, the love of God, the detestable nature of sin, the preciousness of communion with God, a deep-grounded abhorrency of sin as sin, to oppose to any seduction of sin, to all the workings, strivings, rightings of lust in their hearts.

But now if a man be so under the power of his lust that he hath nothing but law to oppose it withal, if he cannot fight against it with gospel weapons, but deals with it altogether with hell and judgement, which are the proper arms of the law, it is most evident that sin hath possessed itself of his will and affections to a very great prevalency and conquest. Such a person hath cast off, as to the particular spoken of, the conduct of renewing grace, and is kept from ruin only by restraining grace; and so far is he fallen from grace, and returned under the power of the law. … If thy contendings against sin be all on legal accounts, from legal principles and motives, what assurance canst thou attain unto that sin shall not have dominion over thee, which will be thy ruin? … What gospel principles do not, legal motives cannot do.

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And how doth God the Holy Ghost save thee?

By his illumination, by his renovation and by his preservation.

What is God’s design in saving of poor men?

The glorifying of his Name, of his Grace and Justice, and the everlasting happiness of his creature.

Source: John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress
(Christiana – Prudence’s catechising of Christiana’s children)

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