(James Smith, “The Love of Christ! The Fullness, Freeness, and Immutability of the Savior’s Grace Displayed!”)
“Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!” Song of Songs 5:16
Jesus manifests His love — as the Friend of His people. He . . .
fills every relation to them,
performs every kind office for them, and
comforts them with divine consolations.
He invites them to pour their griefs into His bosom and tell out all their troubles before Him. He holds communion with them and indulges them to converse with Him as a man with his friend. Therefore He encourages them by assurances of His love and fortifies them by promises of His presence. “Fear not,” He says, “for I am with you! Be not dismayed, I am your God!
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand!”
His power, His riches, His wisdom, and His Spirit — are devoted to their best interests, and employed for their present and everlasting welfare. He watches over them in tender love — and listens to them with compassionate concern.
He is a friend who loves at all times —
a brother born for adversity. Because His love, in its immutability, fullness, and perfection — is the great bulwark of their safety; and His friendship — is the joy of their hearts. He sticks closer than a brother and never will fail or forsake the soul that trusts in Him.
Therefore He performs all the kind offices of friendship . . .
in sickness and health;
plenty and poverty;
in life and death.
He has Heaven and earth at His command — as the friend of the defenseless soul.
Because He has all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge — as the companion of the ignorant and fearful.
He calls His people, friends and presents Himself to them as their friend for their comfort, confidence, and joy.
Oh how the love of Jesus shines in His friendship! As our friend, He . . .
lived in our world,
suffered in our place,
died in our stead,
rose as our representative, and
ascended to Heaven, where He continually makes intercession for us!
He acknowledges that I am undeserving — yet calls me His friend! Therefore He knows the worst parts of my character — and yet He says, “You are mine! I have chosen you — and will not cast you away!”
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