Sermons

Summary: The Christian can love on the physical level and the spiritual level. In Scripture the two become one, and are linked as closely as the body and spirit.

Love makes the world go round, says the one time popular

song, and there are very few who will deny it. History

reveals that one of life's greatest tragedies is to die unloved.

During the Civil War, Charles Sumner was assaulted in the

Senate chamber, and was seriously ill for months. He

regretted he had to leave his battle against slavery

unfinished, but this was not his deepest pain. He wrote,

"But in the midnight watches, my keenest heart-gnawing

regret was that, if I were called away, I had never enjoyed

the choicest experience of life, that no lips responsive to my

own had said, I love you."

He expressed the minds of millions who would agree. It

would be terrible to live and die and never hear anyone say

to you, I love you. Love may not make the world go round,

but it makes men happier as they go around with it. Love

has enabled men to die with heroic valor. During the great

battle of Gettysburg, Pickett was ordered to charge the

Union artillery. As he went to the head of his lines, Wilcox,

another commander, rode up to his side, and taking a flask

from his pocket said, "Pickett, take a drink with me. In an

hour you will be in hell or glory." He refused the drink

saying, "I promise the little girl who is waiting for me down

in Virginia that I would keep fresh upon my lips until we

meet again, the breath of the violets she gave me when we

parted." Faithful to his love, he rode off to die without

whiskey on his breath. No one can calculate the power of

human love in overcoming evil.

Love is the major theme of the Bible. The two great

commandments that sum up the whole Old Testament are

love commandments. Love of God and love of man are the

highest values of life. In the New Testament love is not only

the highest virtue and the first fruit of the Spirit, it is the

very foundation of the Gospel. God so loved, is the

beginning of the Gospel, and the end result is, we love Him

because He first loved us.

It is of interest to note that love is the greatest theme of man's

songs whether they be sacred or secular. The world

revolves around romantic love, and the church around

religious love. The one appeals to the flesh, and the other to

the spirit. It is a serious mistake, however, to conclude that

the two are opposed. They are not necessarily in conflict, for

spiritual people also enjoy the experience of romantic love.

In fact, it is only as Christians that we can experience the

best of both worlds. The Christian can love on the physical

level and the spiritual level. In Scripture the two become

one, and are linked as closely as the body and spirit. Each

affects the other, and, therefore, romantic love is everywhere

in Scripture used as a symbol of religious love. In other

words, God has taken the most common and universal

experience of mankind and used it to illustrate the ideal

relationship He desires to have with man.

The Song of Songs is a great love song that deals with love

on the level of the physical. All the delights of an ideal

romance and marriage are dwelt with in beautiful poetic

language. The Bible would be sadly lacking if it had nothing

to say about one of life's most important realms-the realm of

romantic love. Few, however, have been content to leave it

as a romantic song. It is true that God is not mentioned in

the song, and there are no religious words. Yet, Jews and

Christians alike have always seen the secular language of the

Song as symbolic of the sacred. Just as the physical Temple

was symbolic of the heavenly Temple, so earthly human love

is symbolic of the eternal love union of God and man. It is

no mere accident that eternity begins with a marriage

banquet of Christ and His bride. Heaven is seen as an eternal

honeymoon.

This is the Song of Songs, that is, the supreme Song, like

the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. The ultimate in

songs does not deal with romantic love only, but with the

love of God and man. Religious love does not eliminate

romantic love, however, but exalts it. According to I Kings

4:32 Solomon wrote 1,005 songs. No doubt many of them

dwelt with the theme of love, but this one is the Song of

Songs and became a part of Scripture because it deals with

love on all levels. It is the worlds greatest love song.

Some Christians have been embarrassed by the romantic

and physical love of the Song of Solomon. They have

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