Many people today claim to love Jesus Christ, ranging from the bizarre to the genuine. Sometimes as believers we make the mistake of accepting such a claim from someone at face value when the evidence in their life clearly shows the opposite of what they say is true. Some may say that it is impossible for anyone but God to know another person’s heart – and this is at least partly true. But God has given us his word to help us discern truth from a lie. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8:20)
In the Song of Solomon, the Bride claims that not just anyone can love Jesus – it is the upright that love him (1:4). “Upright” in Scripture does not refer to someone standing vertically, but to one who is righteous and obedient. At least two major truths arise from this statement of the Bride:
1) Love fulfils the law. (Rom 13:10) One obeys God because he loves God. Fear can be an incentive to obey, but it is often a poor, ineffective motivator as soon as one thinks they are no longer being watched. Love however is the most powerful force of all that will cause a person to obey because they want to obey. The ultimate solution to the temptation around us is to insure that people fall in love with Jesus Christ –the natural result of genuine salvation. I John 5:3 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments….”
2) Fellowship with Christ is dependent upon obedience. The child of God may be forgiven and saved for eternity, but walking through this world with our old sin nature still in tow guarantees that we will still sin. Sin unfortunately breaks fellowship with our Saviour. (Isa. 59:2) The solution is not be saved again, but to confess and be forgiven of those sins that have broken that fellowship. Thus we find I John 1:9 saying, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Fellowship is ultimately dependent upon upright in God’s sight. Carefully read I John 1:1-7 and note how terms like “full joy” and “fellowship” appear in the context of the child of God who has confessed their sins and gotten right with the Lord.
If someone were to ask us if we love Jesus, most of us would undoubtedly say yes. But the thrust of these verses leads us to understand that being asked such a question is tantamount to be asked if we are right with God today. So, let’s cut to the chase – are you upright in the sight of your King today?