What does the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ mean to us his people?
Owen states rightly it’s about a marriage! “He is married to us, and we to him; we fellowship with him as to his personal excellencies. This the spouse expresseth, Song of Solomon 2:16, “My Beloved is mine, and I am his;” — “He is mine, I possess him, I have interest in him, as my head and my husband; and I am his, possessed of him, owned by him, given up unto him: and that as to my Beloved in a conjugal relation.” Isa. 54:5, “Thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” This the reason why the church shall not be ashamed nor confounded, in the midst of her troubles and trials, — she is married unto her Maker, and her Redeemer is her husband. And Isaiah, chap. 61:10, setting out the mutual glory of Christ and his church in their walking together, he saith it is “as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.” Such is their condition, because such is their relation; which he also farther expresseth, chap. 62:5, “As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” As it is with such persons in the day of their espousals, in the day of the gladness of their hearts, so is it with Christ and his saints in this relation. To this purpose we have his faithful engagement, Hos. 2:19, 20, “I will,” saith he, “betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgement, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness.” And it is the main design of the ministry of the gospel, to prevail with men to give up themselves unto the Lord Christ, as he reveals his kindness in this engagement. Hence Paul tells the Corinthians, 2 Cor. 11:2, that he had “espoused them unto one husband, that he might present them as a chaste virgin unto Christ.” This he had prevailed upon them for, by the preaching of the gospel, that they should give up themselves as a virgin, unto him who had betrothed them to himself as a husband. And this is a relation wherein the Lord Jesus is exceedingly delighted, and inviteth others to behold him in this his glory, S of S 3:11, “Go forth,” saith he, “O ye daughters of Jerusalem, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.” He calls forth the daughters of Jerusalem (all sorts of professors) to consider him in the condition of betrothing and espousing his church unto himself. Moreover, he tells them that they shall find on him two things eminently upon this account:—
- Honour. It is the day of his coronation, and his spouse is the crown wherewith he is crowned. For as Christ is a diadem of beauty and a crown of glory unto Zion, Isa. 28: 5; so Zion also is a diadem and a crown unto him, Isa. 52:3. Christ makes this relation with his saints to be his glory and his honour.
2. Delight. The day of his espousals, of taking poor sinful souls into his bosom, is the day of the gladness of his heart. John was but the friend of the Bridegroom, that stood and heard his voice, when he was taking his bride unto himself; and he rejoiced greatly, John 3:29: how much more, then, must be the joy and gladness of the Bridegroom himself! even that which is expressed, Zeph.3:17, “he rejoiceth with joy, he joys with singing.”It is the gladness of the heart of Christ, the joy of his soul, to take poor sinners into this relation with himself. He rejoiced in the thoughts of it from eternity, Prov.8:31; and always expresseth the greatest willingness to undergo the hard task of her redemption.”
Amazing knowledge of Scripture this man had!