Ephesians 3:17b-21 Knowing God’s Love

by | Jun 6, 2023 | Ephesians, New Testament

I. Our Foundation…

that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 

A. What Paul Doesn’t Say

1. Rooted & grounded in church attendance (though that is good and important).
2. Rooted & grounded in trying harder (though effort is needed in a life of faith).
3. Rooted & grounded in good deeds (these ought to be present in our lives).
4. Rooted & grounded in right theology (more than intellectual experience with God).

B. Rooted & Grounded

1. Paul mixes his metaphors, but both words speak of foundation.
2. What we build our lives on; what we depend on to establish and keep us.
3. God’s love needs to be the foundation and “holding power” of our lives.
4. Church attendance without experiencing God’s love is dead religion.
5. Trying harder without experiencing God’s love is comfortless self-improvement.
6. Good deeds without experiencing God’s love can turn into duty and be lifeless.
7. Right theology without experiencing God’s love never touches the heart.
8. We can do these things without knowing God’s love in a personal way.

C. Form Follows Function

1. Roots

a. Reach down into that which nourishes them. A life nourished in/by love.
b. They stabilize the plant against storms, droughts, physical pressure.

2. Grounded

a. Speaks of the foundation of a building.
b. Hidden, not designed to be seen or highlighted.
c. Indispensable. As goes the foundation, so goes the building.
d. The deeper the foundation, the greater the potential for the building.

3. Paul is praying for their foundation to be that of experiencing God’s love.

a. To have a great sense of their preciousness to God.
b. To know that God is for them and not against them.
c. Knowing that God loves you stabilizes you in life. “Holding power”.

II. Not Just For Some, But For All

18may be able to comprehend with all the saints

1. Not an experience just for the “super saints”, but for every Christian.
2. How much richer “church life” is when a majority understands and experiences God’s love.
3. How much more meaningful Christian interaction is when Believers interact on this level.
4. How important it is that we exhort and help one another towards this great Biblical truth.
5. This experience needs to be had by individuals and by the community of Believers.
6. Some believe that Christianity is merely theology and rules. God says it is an experience

III. The Immeasurable Love Of God

what is the width, length, depth & height—

A. Width- How Far God’s Love Reaches Out

1. Some think God’s love only reaches out to “good people”.
2. Spurgeon- “Some of them (preachers) seem to be so taken up with the height and length that they deny the breadth, and you would think from hearing them preach that Christ came into the world to save half-a-dozen, and that they were five of them.”
3. Ephesians 3:6 The Gospel goes out to all people without any limitations

B. Length- How Far Back & How Far Forward

1. Jeremiah 31:3   “I have loved you with an everlasting love…” (reaching back).
2. Ephesians 1:18 (reaching forward into eternity)

C. Depth- How Low It Reaches

1. Ephesians 2:1-4
2. God’s love goes deep to search out people who are in the depths of their sins.

D. Height- How High It Takes Us

1. Ephesians 1:20, 21; 2:6, 7
2. Ray Stedman– The “height” is the place to which we are raised with Christ — risen to sit together with him in heavenly places, far above all principalities, all powers, all authorities, in this age and in the age to come. It is the place of authority as a Christian, the place of power to be freed from everything that would drag you down, the place of being given adequate equipment to live above all that would disturb and twist and injure and demolish and destroy in your life.

IV. Experiencing God’s Love

19to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.

1. This isn’t speculation, guesswork, emotions, or feelings. This is something to know.
2. Spurgeon- “One of these philosophers kindly says that religion is a matter of belief; not of knowledge. This is clean in opposition to all the teaching of Scripture.”
3. Stedman-“…as we begin to lay hold of these great truths we begin to see the love of Christ in everything that happens to us — in our circumstances, in the world of nature around, in relationships, in life itself. We are simply overwhelmed with the sense of love of Jesus Christ. “Heaven above is softer blue, earth around is sweeter green; something lives in every hue, Christless eyes have never seen.”

V. Being Filled With God

that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

1. Not just “filled with God”, or “filled with the goodness of God”.
2. But “filled with all the goodness of God”.
3. Stedman-Now you have reached the top. And when you have, you have realized the purpose of your own creation.

This is what God made humanity for. He made us to be vessels wholly filled and flooded with God himself.

VI. God Can Make It Happen Vs. 20, 21

1. One might ask, “How could I ever live this way”? “I’ll never change”.
2. For some, this kind of Christian experience seems unattainable & unimaginable
3. God desires to and can bring these very unimaginable blessings into your life.
4. According to the power that works in us- His power/presence that resides in the Christian.
5. When we appropriate these promises by faith, God is glorified in us and through us.