Christ the Apple Tree and the Joy of True Religion by C. Matthew McMahon
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God delights in the infinite purity of his holiness. Consequently, he desires his people to delight in those things which he delights in. A holy disposition relishes and delights in holiness. God, being infinite in his delight, has an infinite desire and will to experience infinite happiness and joy and he does so by delighting in his own holiness. His people, in this, are to love what he loves.
God supplies his people with word-pictures that are often used in similitude or type. Jesus Christ is typified by things like the ark, the temple, the mercy seat, etc. One of the most disregarded types found in Scripture is set in the greatest song of all time, inspired by the Spirit, which speaks directly to the sweetness, delight and sustenance of that which Christ ministers in his covenant to the believing soul – the picture of an Apple Tree among the trees of the forest (Song 2:3). God desires them to find special delight and singular pleasure in this tree of trees; to have a love and liking to it in such a way that it is not only pleasant to their sight, but pleasing to their taste. In this tree they are to find comfort, sustenance and refreshment.
Song 2:3 supplies God’s people with a grand picture of Jesus Christ to be seen as an Apple Tree among the trees of the woods. What? Is this word-picture not so grand in your eyes? Have you not thought about the nature of the Apple Tree for your comfort, sustenance and refreshment in furthering your walk in holiness? Have you not considered him as an Apple Tree, sweet to the taste, comforting from the scorching sun of wickedness, an ever present help to the starving soul for that which is pleasant? Well, then, this study is for you.
C. Matthew McMahon, Ph.D., Th.D., is a Reformed theologian, and pastor of Grace Chapel in Crossville, TN. He is the founder and chairman of A Puritan’s Mind, the largest Reformed website on the internet for students of the Bible concerning Reformed Theology, the Puritans and Covenant Theology. He is the founder of Puritan Publications which publishes rare Reformed and Puritan works from the 17th century, specializing in the Westminster Assembly. He is also a managing partner at Reformed.org, and the Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Leaping for Joy in the Joy of True Religion
Chapter 2: The Fullness of Joy in the Joy of True Religion
Chapter 3: The Joy of True Religion in Christ the Apple Tree
Chapter 4: Delighting in Christ the Apple Tree
Chapter 5: Delighting in the Fruit of Christ the Apple Tree
Chapter 6: Give No Place to the Devil