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Eternity 32 - To Know The Love of Christ

We continue our series on Paul's prayer to the Ephesians....

(Ephesians 3:18-19 NKJV) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height; {19} to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Yesterday we saw that the Christian is rooted and grounded in love. Today we see that the knowledge of the love of Christ transforms us and "divinizes" us - fills us with divine and holy qualities - so that we are "filled with all the fullness of God".

This love of Christ which passes knowledge grows us powerfully in the inner man so that we are made into the image of God.

Thus progress in the Christian life is not a progress in theological acumen or a rise in ecclesiastical stature but a progress in love. (Now there is nothing wrong with theological acumen - but it is a tool, a means to growth, not the end purpose of that growth.)

How does the love of Christ grow us as persons?
Firstly it removes fear from us - for perfect love casts out fear.
Secondly it emboldens us to live positively and hope-fully with a clear understanding that God works everything for good for those who love Him.
Thirdly the love of Jesus convinces us that a better way of living is possible and shows us that life without anger, lust, greed or contempt is possible and not only possible but good.
Fourthly the love of Christ causes us to forgive and live non-retaliatory lives of grace and mercy. Because we receive mercy and sense mercy we can give mercy and be patient with those that frustrate us.
Fifthly the love of Christ brings us into a deep peace which, once it has worked its work in us, convinces us that life does not have to be hurried and gives us impulse control and the ability to delay gratification and walk calmly and purposefully through life. We lose the need to "make it happen now" because we are confident that God will work it out.
Sixthly love brings joy to the beloved and we can rejoice in life and grow into persons full of life and energy, whole people who enjoy the Shalom of God.

Love changes us in combination with truth. Information alone achieves little change but truth imparted to a soul that knows it is loved - can produce much fruit. The love of Christ does the foundational groundwork in our spirit and soul and plows the soil for the seed of the gospel to grow in.

Our bible passage sees love as vast dimensionality, a Universe, whose length and breadth and depth and height can only be known by the Church as a whole ("with all the saints"). It is with others that we find the love of Christ. His love is revealed to us in times of fellowship and corporate worship as well as on our knees in prayer at home.

This vast Universe of love "passes knowledge" and defies analysis and codification. It is both a personal touch and an ocean of grace, an intimacy and a power beyond words.

Paul invites us to an exploration - an odyssey in which we search out the height and depth, breadth and length of the realm of God's love in which we dwell.

This is experiential knowledge, a knowing that comes from living and encountering the things of God and observing His actions in our lives and upon our souls. We grow through knowing God as a reality, as a Friend, as a majestic and sovereign God who cares for us and loves us.

After we have studied the Bible and found the truth about Christ we need to explore that truth in daily living so that we can say "Jesus is that to me". Thus the love of Jesus is found to be real by those who live in the Kingdom and take the risk of obeying His commandments and living His loving lifestyle.


John Edmiston


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