The modern church has become obsessed with knowing about God rather than actually knowing God.
Similarly, we talk about the love of God, but how often do we truly experience it?
In this expositional message from Ephesians 3:18-19, Nathan Johnson talks about the unfathomable love of God and the paradox that Paul calls us to—to comprehend the incomprehensible.
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Key Passage: Ephesians 3:18-19
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
- Comprehend (katalambanō) – to lay hold of, grasp, seize, take possession of, to understand/perceive
- 15x in NT
- Intellectually (understand)
- Grab/catch (woman caught in adultery)
- Win/grab ahold of a prize
- 1 Corinthians 9:24 – Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
- Philippians 3:12 – Not that I have already obtained it [lambano] or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
- In the Old Testament the word is used 100+ and often the idea of overtaking a city, capture, take control
- The Boundaries of Love
- There are no boundaries!
- Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
- 4 Dimensions: breadth, length, depth, height
- Greek grammar suggests that these are not synonyms (saying the same thing) but rather should be taken as a group
- Expressing the expanse of love
- Romans 8:35, 37-39 – Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Hymn: The Love of God
- The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.
- O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.
- Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
- The love of God is greater far
- Comprehending the Incomprehensible
- Matthew 13:12 [context of knowing the mysteries of the kingdom] For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
- Scholar: We can never plumb its depths or comprehend its magnitude. No matter how much we know of the love of Christ, how fully we enter into his love for us, there is always more to know and experience.
- Knowing Beyond Knowledge
- Know (ginosko) – knowing something through experience or relationship
- Which Surpasses (hyperballō)
- — 5x in NT (3 in Ephesians) … 1:19; 2:7; 3:19
- — Hyperbolly (exaggeration) … throwing a javelin/disc golf
- Knowledge (gnosis): intellectual understanding of something
- » This isn’t academic but experiential
- How do you Comprehend the Incomprehensible?
- Be Rooted and Grounded in Love (Jesus)
- Surrender and Start experiencing His love
- Romans 5:5b – … the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
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 3:19
- We will begin to look at the idea of being filled with the fullness of God that Paul talks about in Ephesians 3:19.
- 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.