Message From Matt | March 9, 2018

“And to know the love of Christ”

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

Last Sunday I spoke about Paul’s first prayer in his letter to the Ephesians in which he prayed that they would have a knowledge of God and especially to know about the power of God!  His second prayer for the church involves prayer to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit and to be be rooted and grounded in love…the love of Jesus Christ!  In fact, Paul wanted them to be able to comprehend the magnitude of Christ’s love!  To help, Paul uses the terms of measurement…breadth, length, depth, and height to explain it.  From these terms we get the understanding that Christ’s love for us has to be enormous!

But can we know the depth of the love of Christ?  If Paul prayed that the church would comprehend the enormity of Christ’s love, then it leads me to believe that it is possible, and once we understand it, we can be filled with the fulness of God!  

What is the depth of Christ love?  One way to measure this is to see what it cost Christ…it cost him His life!  

1 John 3:16 states, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”  1 John 4:10“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice to God to appease His wrath) for our sins.” 

I read an article this week about a true story that is used to illustrate the depths of Christ’s love that I hope will show us the depths of Christ’s love for us.  The article states…

“Chuck Colson told the story of a group of American prisoners of war during the Second World War, who were made to do hard labor in a prison camp. Each had a shovel and would dig all day, then come in and give an account of his tool in the evening. One evening 20 prisoners were lined up by the guard and the shovels were counted. The guard counted nineteen shovels and turned in rage on the 20 prisoners demanding to know which one did not bring his shovel back. No one responded. The guard took out his gun and said that he would shoot five men if the guilty prisoner did not step forward. After a moment of tense silence, a 19-year-old soldier stepped forward with his head bowed down. The guard grabbed him, took him to the side and shot him in the head, and turned to warn the others that they better be more careful than he was. When he left, the men counted the shovels and there were 20. The guard had miscounted. And the boy had given his life for his friends.”

What an amazing love that young man had for the others.  He sacrificed his life, even though he was innocent, for the lives of the other men!  Even though that young man’s love was great, the love of Jesus Christ is even greater!  Christ died for all the world!  Christ died for me!  Christ died for you!  The innocent for the guilty!  The pure for the impure!  The just for the unjust!  What an amazing love that God has for us! Take time today (and every day) to thank God for His great love!

It is my prayer, like Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, that we comprehend the love that God has for us!  It really is enormous!

Matt Roller