Paul’s prayer in this passage is that the Ephesians and us today should know Christ’s love for them. I think that sometimes we do not appreciate Christ’s love as we should or that we take it for granted. When we begin to appreciate how much Jesus loves His Church, we will live a crucified life.
God’s love is rooted in history, especially at the cross. Peter wrote in 1 Pet. 1:8, “And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy.” It’s not merely head knowledge, but is a love that we experience daily in our walk for the Lord.
Notice four aspects of love that we need to know in our minds and experience in our daily walk for the Lord.
- Know that you are rooted and grounded in God’s love. (3:17b) John Stott writes, “Love is to be the soil in which their life is rooted; love is to be the foundation on which their life is built.”
- Know the limitless dimensions of God’s love. 3:18) God’s love is very extensive. Scripture speaks of God’s love. He has included all ethnic groups as part of His family. His love is as long as eternity. Jeremiah says that He has “loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3) We must learn to comprehend it; but it takes God’s power to do so. It is as the collective body of Christ that we express that love of God. All Christians live out their faith seeking to reach the lost with the Gospel and to strengthen the saved. The “one another” passage in the New Testament show us that God wants Christians to interact with other Christians as they seek to fulfill the Great Commission. We are not intended to live the Christian life in isolation.
- Know that His love surpasses knowledge. (3:19a) How do we experience God’s love? Vertically, we need stop and marvel at God’s love (2:1-2) and rest in His forgiveness (4:32) Horizontally, we need to experience God’s love by showering love to the world.
- Know God’s love that you may be mature. Paul concludes this prayer with this great phrase: “filled with all the fullness of God.” Carson, in “Spiritual Reformation,” wrote ” Paul wants them to know that love of God in Christ to the end that they might ‘be all that God wants them to be’ or ‘spiritually mature.” God wants us to be mature in the faith and has given us all the resources we need if we will vail ourselves of them.
We need the fulness of God’s love and power to be like Christ. We must experience the fullness of the power of God and His love that we may love our neighbors, our churches, our families and this broken world.
Larry Miles, May 30, 2018, Anguilla