Knowing God’s Love

Posted on October 12, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Devotional Reflections

“And to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19

Recognizing Paul’s prayers reflect God’s will for us, we continue his supplication in Ephesians to be rooted and grounded in love. Last week we focused on the desire to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man. We think of this as the power to live for Christ, the power to witness effectively and even being a worthy instrument of miraculous manifestations.

However, the purpose of this power in the inner man is that our faith would give Christ free reign and control and our life would be firmly established in God’s love. “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you being rooted and grounded in love…” (Eph. 3:17). We are continually told that faith is the victory. Do we realize how powerful is the solid belief and conviction that Christ Himself is dwelling in our hearts? But the real purpose and manifestation of this is being rooted in the love of God.

Love is other-centered; it is the antithesis of the self-centered life which is the nature of the flesh. The flesh is contrary to the Spirit, but if the Spirit dwells in the inner man, He empowers us to know and identify with love which is the nature of God. We are reminded how much of our Lord’s teaching is focused on love and how it encapsulates all the expectations of the law. So the prayer is that we would know more and more of God’s love in order to grow and be filled with the fullness of God.

We experience the love of God when we accept His forgiveness and mercy in salvation but never fully comprehend “what is the breadth and length and height and depth” of His love (verse 18). We see God’s love as it is extended to us, graciously meeting our needs and tolerating our flaws. But we need to see it in its breadth, covering all of sinful humanity, and its length extending to the ends of the earth–”God so loved the world” (John 3:16)! Can we really comprehend the height and depth of God’s love, reaching to the heavens and able to redeem the most depraved sinner?

As His Spirit leads us in a growing, experiential comprehension of God’s love, and realization of how Christ expressed that love, not only in redemption but in a continuing daily relationship, it surpasses our knowledge. It is the key to being filled with the fullness of God because when we begin to comprehend the depth of His love it begins to characterize us.

What Paul is praying in this passage is, indeed, a mountain peak of inspiration and level of the Christian life to which few attain–being strengthened with the Spirit’s power in the inner man, victorious faith in the Christ who dwells within us and being grounded in the incomprehensible love of God. But the awesome conclusion is the fact that God is not only able to do this, but grant us far more than we could ever ask or even think.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Eph. 3:20). Join me in echoing the prayer of Paul that we might experience God’s power to live by faith and comprehend the breadth, length, height and depth of God’s love.

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