Love Notes

Jesus Christ loves His church. His exclusive love for His betrothed is demonstrated by His actions and His words. This noble Prince has gone to prepare a place for His bride (Jn 14:2). He assures her, “Behold, I am coming quickly (Rev 22:7, 12),” and her reply is, “Amen, come quickly Lord Jesus (Rev 22:20).”

The Bible is a love story. God’s love for His chosen people is older than time and space itself. Before Creation, God loved His elect and predestined each one of His saints to be His own adopted child (Rom 8:15, 23; Eph 1:4–5; Rev 13:8). Election is just the beginning of the greatest love story ever told.

Because God is love (1 Jn 4:8), the story begins with Him. Our God is Father, Son, and Spirit. These three Persons, in one Godhead, are marked by perfect love for one another in community. This is the family the church is marrying into, and it is glorious. For this reason the church is eager, “Hurry, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountain of spices (Songs 8:14).”

While she waits for her Beloved, her Lord, she reads His love notes, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have drawn you with lovingkindness (Jer 31:3).” It is God the Father who draws us to His Son (Jn 6:44); and all who come to Christ, He will never cast out (Jn 6:37), for God hates divorce (Mal 2:16). His promise is to never leave His bride nor forsake her (Heb 13:5), and our Lord does not change (Heb 13:8).

The world wants to know what love is, but with blinded minds (2 Cor 4:4) and desperately sick and twisted hearts (Jer 17:9), the world is always left with some cheap, perverted version of love. This is why the world’s versions of love never last. Anything and everything is acceptable to them, except true love.

The Holy Spirit, who alone can introduce us to true love, is the in-house representative of God’s eternal love poured out in our hearts (Rom 5:5). The Spirit guides us into the truth of God’s exclusive love for the church, as His children and as the chosen bride for His Son. Christians are children of God (1 Jn 3:1, 10), but they are also the waiting betrothed of God’s Son (Eph 5:23–27). We learn, and even meditate on what the Spirit teaches us about the One who loved us and gave Himself for us (Gal 2:20).

The Spirit teaches true love from God’s love notes, “Greater love has no one than this that one lay down His life for His friends (Jn 15:13).” Jesus continued, “You are My friends… (Jn 15:14).” Jesus spoke that day to His little flock, His disciples, His church. He was telling them what He was going to do for them, not for the world, and He wanted them to know His motive for doing it.

In this arranged marriage between Christ and His church, it was necessary for the Son of God to buy back (Acts 20:28), to redeem this wayward woman from her prostituting herself with the world (read Hosea). Christ would show His people what true love looks like, when He went to the cross (Rom 5:8). There, He paid the ultimate price. He laid down His perfect, sinless life for a wretched whore (Jn 10:11, 15; Eph 5:23, 25). Jesus is gentle with her, even as He was with Peter after his denial on the night of betrayal.

To do this necessary work of atonement and reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18–20; 1 Pet 2:24), He humiliated Himself (Eph 2:5–11), by becoming her substitute sin-bearer (Heb 9:28). Jesus became God-forsaken (Ps 22:1), so His bride-to-be could be accepted into the holy family of God. In recognition of His successful work (Rom 1:4), God highly exalted Jesus Christ (Phil 2:9), giving Him the name above every other name and seating Him at His right hand (Ps 110:1; Eph 1:21), upon the throne of God (Rev 7:17). God gave all authority in heaven and on earth to His only begotten Son (Mt 28:18). The church reads of her Beloved’s coronation in Psalm 110.

The Lord knows those who are His (2 Tim 2:19), and having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end (Jn 13:1). Love never fails (1 Cor 13:8), for it always accomplishes what concerns us, His beloved (Ps 57:2; 138:8). What concerns the church is the world she currently shares with the ungodly, wicked, reprobates who hate God (Rom 1:30) and who hate Christ (Jn 15:18–19). Those who identify with the name of Christ will have trouble in the world and even suffer persecution (Mt 5:11; Jn 16:33). We overcome the world by faith in Jesus Christ (1 Jn 5:4).

The desire for Christ to return quickly grows more fervent, as the saint grows in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18). The church loves the promise of God, especially those that tell her the future, which gives her hope amidst her purposeful suffering (Col 1:24; Phil 1:29). The discipline of God’s beloved is her occupation between betrothal (first advent) and Christ’s coming for His church (second advent) to bring her to His (and her) palace for their marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9).

The bride must ready herself! He is to present her complete, holy and blameless, before His Father (Eph 1:4; 5:27; Col 1:22). She has a Helper in the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:26), who alone is sanctifying her (1 Thess 5:23; 2 Thess 2:13), by the washing of water by the Word (Jn 17:17; Eph 5:26).

The Holy Spirit will one-day gather in the last saint to the church. This final soul, like all who came before him or her, was loved in eternity, loved at the cross, and loved in the heart. Jesus prayed for each of us who calls upon His name, “Father, I want those you have given Me to be with Me where I am (Jn 17:24).” God ensures that all He has given Christ will be with Him in the resurrection to life (Jn 5:29; Jude 24).

Lost sinners do not comprehend a love like this. They will only harden their hearts, further, unless God sets His love upon them, with irresistible grace (Eph 2:8–9). Those of us who know that we love Christ only because He first loved us (1 Jn 4:19), can only blush at His interest in us. Amazing grace! Such words of love He has spoken and written down for us!

Christian, never doubt, as you read the Bible, that these love notes are for you (1 Jn 5:13). God does not love everyone, as the false preachers proclaim. His love is very particular, as the Bible teaches. God’s love is not cheap, but as you hear His voice (Jn 10:27), His blessed assurance of His everlasting love for you is meant to make you melt. He loves you, child, and He does not communicate that love to just anyone. If He did, they would not believe Him, anyway…but you do.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

November 13, 2022

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher