We are never nearer Christ than when we find ourselves lost in a holy amazement at his unspeakable love. ~John Owen
I preached this Psalm in a message a very long time ago about a Christ I only thought I knew. Since that time, God delivered me from false doctrine and now as he gives me strength I will not let him go but bring him into my mother’s house, the church. I will attempt to write on this psalm for the next few weeks. So many groups only carry in their doctrinal flash drive a certain facet of Christ and church is only seen as a USB port to plug it into. Those who do not proclaim those pet doctrines enough are in their eyes lesser Christians or not Christians at all. The worst false doctrine is to exalt the distinctive of one group, it is imbalanced and will certainly lead to error. We ought to exalt Christ alone. We must always insist that in Psalm forty-five as in the other scriptures we would see Jesus (John 12:21). This is the goal of scripture, to reveal the living Christ, walking among his Church and conquering the world by a redemptive kingdom.
The first thing the songwriter mentions is his heart. He says, “my heart.” The heart think, feels and here it writes. This is a heart felt Psalm. Did you know that the heart is mentioned over nine hundred and fifty times in the scripture? So we are assured that the heart is a biblical doctrine. The heart is the nucleus of human affection, desire and thought. It is our inner nature. It is synonymous with “the hidden man” (1 Pet. 3:4) and “the inner man” (2 Cor. 4:16).
It is God’s goal to capture the heart, he calls to a person by His Word, thus the preacher ought not just appeal to the head but the heart. Ah that men would preach and it would cause a blue flame that burns with a love for the words of Christ! That Christ would dwell in the hearts by faith and his word grow and prevail in their heart!
Psalm forty-five is not just a work of art, but “a work of heart” sweetly performed by the gentle Holy Spirit. The Psalm instructs those who read and sing it regarding the husband/wife relationship between Christ and his church, much like the books Song of Songs and Hosea which should be used as an encouragement to the church when she is overwhelmed by trials and failure.
Here we see the heroic Savior, Christ the Beautiful, the Divine King of Kings, full of grace and blessing. He is God the Son, Supreme ruler over the church and the universe (Heb. 1:8). Here God the Son in his everlasting love draws the Psalmist into the inner chamber of his Word and we will run after him!
God creates by his command a pure and true heart in us (Heb. 10:22; 1 Tim. 1:5 ) as he did when “commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts.” (2 Cor. 4:6). What is the light in our hearts? It is “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” This is when we become a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). As light is to the eyes so is understanding to the heart, that is what we call illumination. The heart of the psalmist is flooded with spiritual light (Eph. 1:17). As Charles Spurgeon comments, “The eyes of a true heart see more than the eyes of the head.” Here is the key to understanding Christ: grace, it is all of grace!
Oh this it is this the priceless gift of grace that God has made to be stored in the hearts of his elect children. The heart that understands is a heart that has been opened by the presence of Christ (Acts 16:14) and has been set on fire by the words of Christ (Luke 24:32).
Can you hear the Holy Spirit today with a still small voice and if you hear his voice do not be stubborn and harden not your heart, “And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me.” (Gen 24:49). Is there a work of heart yet to be done in you?
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