The Perfect Loveliness of Christ
The Work of Christ is the perfect resting place for the conscience. The Word of Christ is the perfect guide for the path; but THE PERSON OF CHRIST is the perfect object for the heart! Do we find this true in our experience today? Our great need is for an experimental and constant delight in the Person of Christ in the midst of the confusion and spiritual decline. Are we enraptured with HIM? If so, we shall say with joy and delight, “YEA, HE IS ALTOGETHER LOVELY!” (Song of Solomon 5:16). The perfect loveliness of Christ is fully concentrated in these words!
His Perfect Loveliness
There is nothing unlovely in HIM. There is nothing to be removed; nothing to be altered; nothing to conceal or disguise, nor to excuse. He can stand the utmost, penetrating scrutiny and analysis of character! The world hates Christ (John 7:7; 15:18) and would remove as much as it possibly could from His character (John 8:46). BUT IT CANNOT!
ALL that is lovely is found in HIM. (a) ALL that is lovely of God is found in HIM. (John 1:14; Colossians 1:15; 2:9). (b) ALL that is lovely of humanity is found in HIM—He is perfect as MAN! Never on earth has there been so manly and noble a character as Jesus Christ, in His love, compassion, kindness, gentleness, purity and truthfulness, etc. Every human virtue was resident in Him with perfection!
“What manner of man is this?” (c) ALL that is lovely of earth is found in HIM!—In typology God reaches out to every part of His creation for figures by which He can bring home to us the glories of His Son. The human kingdom; the animal kingdom; the vegetable kingdom, etc. are used to describe the beauty of the Beloved. Note it in Song of Solomon 5:9-16 in particular. (d) ALL that is lovely in the universe is found in HIM! Even the celestial kingdoms are drawn upon by God to describe the beauty of the Beloved to us as we read God’s Word. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork…” (Psalm 19:1-6). He is “the SUN of righteousness” and “the Bright Morning Star” to His own!
Perfect and utmost loveliness is found in HIM. (a) Every part and every feature of Jesus is “ALTOGETHER LOVELY” —both in the greatness of His Godhead and the perfection of His humanity. Not just “lovely” but “ALTOGETHER LOVELY”. (b) His character and person is composed of elements that are faultless and most lovely. All the elements of His character and person combine to produce the greatest loveliness in ONE PERSON! Note some of His features: (c) He was lovely in His birth (Luke 2:42-52). Lovely in His manhood (Mark 4:41; Luke 3:22; John 7:45, 46). Lovely in His mourning (John 11:35). Lovely in His rejoicing (Luke 10:21,22). Lovely in His speech (Luke 4:22; Psalm 45:2; John 7:46). Lovely in His silence (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:14; Mark 14:60, 61). Lovely as prophet, priest, king, shepherd, Saviour and servant.
His saints share HIS loveliness. (a) We are to be like HIM!—See John 15:1-12; Galatians 5:22, 23; Ephesians 4:24: Philippians 2:5; Colossians 2:10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 3:1-3. (b) However, the saints are not ALTOGETHER LOVELY! Some day we shall be “like Him, for we shall see Him as He is”—this we anticipate. Yet defects are so visible today and many saints, even the best, have failed in their most prominent characteristics. Note some examples:
1. NOAH - he did not fail before the flood, but failed after the flood.
2. ABRAHAM - called “father of the faithful,” yet he distrusted God in Egypt.
3. MOSES - called the meekest man in all the earth, but he slew an Egyptian and later was provoked by Israel.
4. JOB - a most patient man for an example, yet cursed the day of birth.
5. DAVID - the man “after God’s heart,” but committed the terrible sins of adultery and murder.
6. PETER - noted for his boldness and courage; but he sinned by cowardice and later feared the circumstances.
7. JOHN - the apostle of love and famed for it; but once desired that fire would fall from heaven upon others for their destruction.
Now WHY does God record these failures of some of His greatest saints? (c) The most outstanding sins of eminent saints have been contrary to their general character. They failed in the very qualities for which they were distinguished! But WHY does God reveal these facts? It would seem as if God reveals the unloveliness of the loveliest of men to keep us from looking at any other person on earth or in heaven, but TO LOOK TO HIS SON ALONE WHO IS THE CHIEFEST OF TEN THOUSAND AND ALTOGETHER LOVELY!
“He suffers me to love Him - I so unlovely!
I have ONE so glorious to love!
He loveth me and will love me for ever!
Befriended me when I was friendless -
Will never leave nor forsake me -
He calls me His friend - and will confess
My name before His Father and His holy angels in heaven!
ALL ever glorious is my Lord,
Must be beloved, and yet adored!
His worth, if all the nations knew
Sure the whole earth would love HIM too!
May God enable us all to enjoy THE BEAUTY OF THE BELOVED!