Rise Up, My Love (202): The Third Grace—A Living Love

SS 202:09:04:16Song of Solomon 6:9 “She is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her.” In the physical world, being an unknown woman’s only daughter is not something that would normally bring praise. In the spiritual world, however, it is easy to understand the significance. “Mother Earth” has produced many sons, but only one daughter who ever came to birth spiritually.

The bride of Christ is the “only one of her mother.” There is no other. Every child of earth who has ever come to faith in Christ has become a part of the mysterious body called “the bride of Christ.” Just as there is only one Christ, there is only one bride for him.

Christ is the only true Son of God…the unique, only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. There is only one God; all others are false idols. There is only one true daughter; all others are spiritually dead though they may live in this physical world, just as all the idols of this world are made of sticks and stones…they are dumb and deaf.

Those who call on Buddha or look to Mohammad, or follow the way of Hindu…those who worship the sun and moon and stars…those who fall down before the statues of stone they’ve etched from lifeless rock…all of these have never come to spiritual birth. They are the dead who worship the dead. They have no spiritual life or breath and have never drunk at the fountain of everlasting life nor feasted on the living bread that came down from heaven.

Every other daughter conceived by Earth has come into the world a stillborn. “My dove, my undefiled, is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her.” There may be threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number…there may be countless beautiful distractions in the world, but none turn the eyes of our Lord away from us, for he sees with the eyes of God. “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (I Samuel 16:7).

Our heavenly bridegroom knows that even as he is the uniquely begotten Son of God, even so is his bride the uniquely begotten bride prepared for him. Do you ever mourn, dear daughter (son) of God, because you are not all you long to be? “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). Do you ever look about you and fret because others who profess to be Christians do not appear to be all they should be? “Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s” (2 Corinthians 10:7). Remember, together all believers compose the body of the bride, chosen of God—elect and precious. Be secure; take care for yourself because you belong to Jesus; love other believers because they are part of Christ’s body and bride.

As we learn to truly love others and care for them as part of the bride of Christ, we will find that we are developing the third grace which will bring about the praise of God and men: love. As it says in John 13:35: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” And, “The fruit of the Spirit is love…against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). True love, where it is observed and understood, is the universal quality that attracts people and earns their admiration and respect.

What earns the praise of our Lord and those in the world around us? A dove-like, meek and gentle spirit; an undefiled faith in the redeeming blood of Jesus; and a uniquely begotten, living love. What causes our Lord to rejoice over us? Taking on his character…the dove-like character of the Holy Spirit…the rock-like character of the ever-faithful Father…and the eternally loving character of the Son of God. Where do we get such graces? “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures” (James 1:17-18).

“Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness,
My beauty are, my glorious dress.
Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.”
(—Count Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf, 1739)

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