God loves passionately.
The Lord offers genuine relationship sealed with the promise of the Gospel.
Christ has intimate affections for the Church of all believers.
The imperfect Bride [Church of all believers] is drawn to the perfect Bridegroom [Christ]. She receives the Holy Spirit and is filled with an undeserved gift of faith in the Bridegroom. Christ not only completely loves and wants His Bride, He treats her as a friend—smiles and sings over her! She honors Him, rejoicing in His reciprocate love which flows into and from her as He provides for Her while she serves and worships Him.
He does not neglect, tyrannize, frighten, contemptuously reject, or condemn His imperfect Bride who loves Him. He protects His Bride from harmful evil snares, quiets her with His calming love, pursues, and fights for her. He gave her breath and gently embraces her for who she is—His created, beloved, fallen creature. He sacrificially gave Himself up in order to cleanse and heal wounds resulting from her own sins as well as from sins committed against her. In their mutual love, she is seen by her Creator through His Own splendidly beautiful Holy perfection which has purified her.
She respectfully desires to please her merciful Lord as she seeks Him for wisdom and refuge. He cherishes communication with her, eager to listen to her every praise and prayer. He nourishes her hunger for His strength and satisfies her thirst for His forgiveness. Revealing to her His peace and pleasure, He graciously refreshes, comforts and encourages her within His deeply caring community. He is her only Way. His Word is enriching her Life now and promising her hope of Paradise with Him forever. He guides her to sow His seed—the living and active Word of God which builds up all who believe His Truth.
Song of Solomon 8:6a,7a
|Set me as a seal upon your heart…Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. Song of Solomon 8:6a,7a|
Unquenchable love Christ has for the Church
The power of the Holy Spirit is poured upon each individual within the Church of all believers. The generous Gift of Holy Baptism provides saving Faith in Christ Jesus. Faith is
- received by water with the Word
- drawing those who receive it to nourishment, growth
- maintaining itself through regular, frequent, study of the Bible and hearing it preached
- constantly desiring to bring back ones who neglect, stray from, and reject it
- teaching the proper way to live by treasuring the loving fullness of the commandments
- encouraging humility which confesses failure, prays for mercy, and asks other believers to pray, also, for positive change
- revealing God’s sovereign will
- protecting believers—keeping them safe from being destroyed by threats, trials, tests of faith, even death
- stirring the faithful to live life to the fullest by sharing the love and peace of Jesus
- reminding the devoted of strength and contentment that comes with being in the Word rather than conforming to the patterns of this world
- guiding followers to remain set apart in the promise of Grace
- inspiring the congregations to actively worship together in Truth
- answering Frequently Asked Questions about Doctrine
- preserving those who hold onto Faith until the end
- assuring certain hope of everlasting life in Heaven with the risen Savior
The Bible talks about the feast to come in the Old Testament—like an engagement. The feast that has come, mentioned in the New Testament, is in the bleeding dying Christ on the cross and the resurrection on Easter morning. The sacrifice points forward to the Last Day, pictured like the glory of the Church dressed in the righteousness of Christ—two become one—Christ and the Church!
God never changes
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds (listen)
- How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds,
And drives away our fear.
- It makes the wounded spirit whole
And calms the heart’s unrest;
’Tis manna to the hungry soul
And to the weary, rest.
- Dear name! The rock on which I build,
My shield and hiding place;
My never-failing treasury filled
With boundless stores of grace.
- O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend,
My Prophet, Priest, and King,
My Lord, my life, my way, my end,
Accept the praise I bring.
- How weak the effort of my heart,
How cold my warmest thought!
But when I see Thee as Thou art,
I’ll praise Thee as I ought.
- Till then I would Thy love proclaim
With ev’ry fleeting breath;
And may the music of Thy name
Refresh my soul in death!
John Newton, 1725-1807, Lutheran Service Book 524