There is one primary defining attribute for every Christian: love.
According to Paul, our lives are to be rooted and grounded in the life of Christ so that we not only know the depths of love but are also known by this incredible characteristic.
In this expositional message of Ephesians 3:17-19, Nathan Johnson talks about what it means to be defined by love and gives three practical outflows of a life of love as we are rooted and grounded in Christ.
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Key Passage: Ephesians 3:17
Ephesians 3:14-21 – For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
A Simple Bible Study Resource
3 Outflows of Being Rooted and Grounded in Love (Jesus)
1. Love Leads us to a Person … Not Knowledge
- Ephesians 3:18–19 – may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
- It is embracing love, not knowledge, that builds us as Christians.
- Knowledge is important and necessary for growth, but its not the big deal … love is
- You can have all the knowledge, know all the theology and doctrine, and still have a cold/dead heart
- You can know all about Jesus and never know Jesus.
- 1 Corinthians 8:1b – … Knowledge makes arrogant [puffs up], but love edifies.
- Matthew 22:37–40 – And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
2. Love (Jesus) Becomes Our Motive
- If we are filled with the Person of Love … He will spill Himself through our lives
- 1 John 4:7–11 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 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. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
- Anything done not from a motive of love profits nothing
- 1 Corinthians 13:1–3 – If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
- Are your actions motivated by love?
- 1 Corinthians 16:13–14 – Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
- Galatians 5:13 – For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
- 2 Corinthians 5:14 – For the love of Christ controls [compels] us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died …
3. Love Defines Who We Are
- What if the life and love of Christ …
- Defined our relationship with God
- Defined our relationship with others
- Defined our lives as Christians
- Deuteronomy 6:4–5 – “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
- Mark 12:30–31 – AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
- John 13:35 – “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- Matthew 5:43–48 – “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
- Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
- Colossians 3:12–14 – So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
- 1 Corinthians 13:13 – But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
- 1 Corinthians 13:1–8 – If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
In Our Next Study Together …
I invite you to join me on this journey from the book of Ephesians to discover God’s eternal purpose, His plan for your
- The focus of our next study: Ephesians 3:18-19
- We will begin to look at Paul’s exhortation to understand the immeasurable depths of love found in Ephesians 3:18-19.
- I encourage you to read through Ephesians a couple of times this week and focus specifically on Ephesians 3:14-21.
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About The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series
The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series in Ephesians is a Christ-centered practical in-depth verse-by-verse study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Join NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) as he expositionally preaches from this incredible book – which will help you grow in your faith, gain greater intimacy with Jesus, and understand how to study God’s Word.
Many Christians feel frustrated because they don’t grow spiritually. Deeper Christian equips Christians to understand the Word of God and cultivate a passionate love for Jesus that turns the world upside down.
About NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson)
NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the
Read more about him here.