Posted by: dhkrause | January 21, 2019

Knowing the Love of Christ

ephesians 3_14-21 scripture song

A major theme in the Bible is that God desires for His people to know His love increasingly in all its dimensions.  God created us to be in relationship with Him, and He is drawing a company of believers spiritually to be His bride.  This quest began with the creation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and will be fulfilled through what God has accomplished in Jesus, as Pastor Gysbert (Berty) Brits so beautifully explains:

“There is unending good news in what God accomplished in Jesus. Jesus did a work so grand that the human mind needs assistance from God Himself to comprehend it. What God accomplished in Jesus blows what Satan did in Adam completely out of the water!

“God’s original plan with man was to have a friend with whom He could share His life. When He made man, He wasn’t driven by a business decision to hire a gardener for the Garden of Eden. The creation of man is based on the same passions, thoughts and qualities displayed in the life of a loving married couple who want children with whom they could share all they have.”

(Brits, Gysbert. Jesus is the Tithe: The Message of God. Forward.)

Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:15-21 is a “scripture song” expressing the fullness of love that God is drawing each of His people to know.

ephesians 3_14-21 rooted & grounded

Ephesians 3 (NKJV)
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 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.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Before time began, the Son of God was with the Father.  There is an eternal love relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; through what God accomplished in Jesus, this love relationship  is now extended to us.

That is why in Jesus’ prayer in John 17:5, He speaks of “the glory which I had with You before the world was.”  Also, in verse 3 He declares, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

john 17_3(3)

John 17 (NKJV)
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

In John 17:20-23, Jesus prays that believers may be in complete unity with Him and with the Father, and that “they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

In John 17:24, He declares, “for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.  He prays that believers “may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”  He ends by praying “that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

john 17_26(2)

John 17 (NKJV)
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

1 John 3:1-3 teaches that because of the love the Father has bestowed on us,  “now we are children of God”.  He is making us to be more like Jesus.

Verses 16 and 17 describe the outworking of His love through us.

1 John 3 (NKJV)
The Command to Love
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

1 john 3_2

The Outworking of Love
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

1 John 4 teaches that we will know and see God through Love:

1 John 4 (NKJV)
Knowing God Through Love
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Seeing God Through Love
12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 1/20/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCuE5MFbknE&t=21s
(2) http://thegatheringottawa.com/messages/rooted-and-grounded-in-love/
(3) http://www.nccsouthboston.org/2016/01/what-is-eternal-life-john-17/
(4) https://kristiann1.com/2017/02/27/thyname1/
(5) https://treasureboxmy.blogspot.com/2017/12/inspirational-quotes-1-john-32.html

 


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