“Behold, you are beautiful, my Beloved, yes, pleasing. Also our bed is green.” vs16
The fellowship between Christ and the believer is fruitful; it is not a dried up useless thing; it is the gift of grace that’s unto godliness (Titus 1:1). He doesn’t commune with us simply for happy feelings, but He gives holiness and righteousness. His powerful love PERSUADES us to love Him. “For Christ’s love compels us.” Gospel logic demands gospel service, and as He communes in love, He teaches us to live for His glory, providing the power, the promises, and the blood.
1 The blood has earned the blessings. Jesus Christ crucified is why God’s favorable; it has nothing to do with you before or after conversion. It is the gift of God that He died for you and all grace in Him (1 Cor 1:30). He doesn’t ask us to do one thing ourselves, but looking to Him, He gives the Spirit’s strength. We are not to think that we’re alone, but we’re to count on God, and when He is near, we’re transformed radically, which is what I want everyday. Yes, be greedy about God’s grace, expect it, and live in it. Walk with the precious blood – which is not what I’ve done, but what You’ve done for me – and take the water of life freely.
Do not put communion afar off, as if it is hazardous or you’re unworthy. You deserve nothing but must take everything because grace received makes grace adored and honored. Paul was Saul of Tarsus, a wretched sinner, but then Christ was revealed in him. He says, “so that I could preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone.” He needed no man’s opinion, and thus courage was born, not from Paul being “better” than others, but from God revealing His Son’s glory intimately. Now Paul knows his indebtedness, now he sees Sovereign Majesty on his side, and he’s no longer evil incarnate, going about to destroy. This is what happens to us as Christ is revealed, as we go continually to the Fountain (2 Cor 3:18).
2 Do not live apart from this nearness! Just as our bed is green with gospel fellowship, we are dried up and withered if we stay away. Just as His presence produces love, joy, and peace… even so, His absence produces, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me” (Ps 22:1). Our souls cannot bear the world’s temptation, unless we are near the Beloved. Soon, we start coveting, our hearts grow cold, and we seek joy and pleasure where we should not, like Peter warming himself beside his enemies because he was not decidedly near to Christ (Mark 14:54).
You and I are nothing to the Tempter, if we do not stand steadfastly in the gospel privileges. Peter said, “Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith.” Our strength is not in ourselves (what we know and past experiences); it is the ever present Lord in our time of need, which is daily, as He comes to us by gospel promise, convincing us we are His (Ps 46:10). You are only as fruitful as intimacy with Christ will take you. We can go no further than nearness to Him.
2 Maintain intimacy by confessing sins unto repentance. No one walks well enough to avoid falls and stumbles, so we need daily reconciliation and short accounts with God. Confess and be clean, then repeat. He says, “Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow (James 4:8).” Take your cares to Him and hold nothing on your own!
Have you lost a job? Look for one as God’s child through Christ. Have you sinned and broken fellowship? Bow to the consequences – the guilt and the shame – and tell Him that you can’t live without Him. He must return. No matter what He takes away, because He cannot take away Himself (Luke 11:13). Plead the blood and the power of the promises. Plead for God to commune with you, and He will linger. Luke 24:29, “But they urged Him, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening, and now the day is almost over.’ So He went in to stay with them.” He cannot be controlled, but He is WILLING to yield Himself to faith that comes boldly to the throne.
Brothers, we have communion with God. Let us use it and enjoy its sovereign power to change us.