December 16th, 2018 Title: Preparing to Meet the Royal Groom Sermons Series: Light - Experiencing Christ in the Psalms
SCRIPTURE Psalm 45
TO THE CHOIRMASTER: ACCORDING TO LILIES. A MASKIL OF THE SONS OF KORAH; A LOVE SONG. 1 My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. 2 You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever. 3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, in your splendor and majesty! 4 In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; let your right hand teach you awesome deeds! 5 Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; the peoples fall under you. 6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; 7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; 8 your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad; 9 daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir. 10 Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house, 11 and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him. 12 The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts, the richest of the people. 13 All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. 14 In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her. 15 With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king. 16 In place of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth. 17 I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.
BIG IDEA There is a wedding that I can’t wait to attend. It’s the wedding between Jesus (the Groom) and his Church (the Bride). At that particular moment in the future, we will be with our Savior forever. It’s well worth spending our time preparing to meet the Royal Groom.
DISCUSSION & APPLICATION 1. Jesus is the Majestic and Eternal King
This psalm, like all (what are called) Royal Psalms, moves far past what any earthly king could be, to the longed-for Messiah in whom all the glories listed here are true.
It also speaks insightfully to the Bride of Christ and paints a beautiful picture of how much our Majestic King treasures us. The metaphor of marriage to depict the Lord’s relationship with his Church is seen in Ephesians 5:25-27:
Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
The Church is precious to the Groom. You can see that the Lord compares his Church to a beautiful bride. He wants her to be pure, holy, and without blemish. That takes preparation. Jesus is Our Majestic and Eternal King. It’s worth a lifetime to prepare for this wedding!
a. Expound upon the metaphor of a bride and groom depicting the relationship between Christ and the Church. In what important ways can we help the Church submit to, and love, the Groom more?
b. Only Jesus can purify the Bride. Have you repented of your sin? He wants to forgive you and purify you. What’s keeping you from doing that?
2. Meeting Jesus Will Be Pure and Wonderful. We Can Prepare for that Time by Living to Honor Him.
Marriage is pure. It is good. It is right. The Bride (the Church) does not become pure on its own. It is debased and it struggles with sin. But because of the Groom’s grace, the Bride can walk with purity into his arms.
Within the bride’s procession to the palace she is to be submissive to him (“since he is your Lord, bow down to him” – in vs. 11). But does she, the bride, have any dignity left of her own? Yes! The subjects of the king are now her subjects. She enjoys all of his glory and splendor but, above all, she is united intimately with the king and shares his palace. Do you see how our future is playing out even within this very real ancient wedding hymn?
We will live forever with our Groom. It will be in the New Jerusalem. John saw a vision whereby no light was needed but that which emanates from Jesus Christ. The kings of earth will bow down to the Royal Groom:
Revelation 21:24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it…
a. You are a part of the Church, which means you are the Bride of Christ. What privilege and responsibility is attached to that title?
b. It is important to prepare for our meeting with our Groom. That preparation begins with an attitude. We can prepare by making him the number one thing in our life. Is he? Can you list some things that may be in the way?
c. As preparation for our meeting, we are to think eternally and not temporally. We can keep our eyes on what is important. Read this passage and discuss it.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
What are things in the world that are of eternal value and what are the things that we tend to treasure that will burn away?
3. The Groom Will be Victorious and You Can Reign With Him
There can be little doubt that this psalm was in the mind of John as he wrote Revelation 19. As he looked forward to the marriage of Christ in heaven, he recalled how the bride clothed herself with acts of righteousness in preparation for him. Then John describes Jesus going out and gaining victory over his enemies.
The amazing part of this, for all that love Jesus, is that we’ve already been extended an invitation to what is called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. It’s the culmination of our wedding. It will be incredible. It gives us hope.
Revelation 19:6-9 “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
a. There are a number of steps we can take to prepare for our royal wedding. We can see our wedding as a priority, give our lives totally to Jesus, and get into Christian community in order to learn more about him. Which one of these steps do you struggle most with? Which of them do you think is most important?
b. The Christmas season is the perfect time to honor your Royal Groom. The Baby born in Bethlehem is a King. He is eternal. He is majestic. You are his Bride. Can you think of one thing that you could do differently this Christmas in order to have a greater influence for Jesus?
PRAY Jesus, I am blown away that you have allowed me to be your Bride. I am sinful. I am distracted. Yet, you never give up on me. You even gave your life to purify me. Motivate me to go out and tell others. Help me to use this season as a time to bear fruit and invite others to the Royal Wedding! Amen.
DIG DEEPER For further study this week: • A sermon from John MacArthur – “Revelation 19:7-10”: https://bit.ly/2DTHm8I • Revelation – a commentary from John Walvoord
We encourage all of those who are part of our Church family to give not out of obligation but out of worship. Your gifts allow us to make Jesus known and allows God's work to be done in the community through Ridgewood.