The Surpassing Love of Christ
“and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:19 (ESV)
The fulness of God can only be experienced as we come to know “the love of Christ”. It is a love that transcends knowledge. There is no doctrine or teaching that can avail us of this great Love for it cannot be realized by the intellect. The Love of Christ can only be received by relationship. This love is the very atmosphere of God, the sum and the Fruit of His Spirit dwelling and ruling within.
Paul was caught up into the “third heaven” where he heard and saw things that could not be spoken in the vernacular of men.
“that he was caught up into Paradise
and heard unspeakable words
which a man is not permitted to speak”
2 Corinthians 12:4 (LITV)
The Words of God are to bring us to Himself. They hold the wisdom, the wonder, and the indisputable Call of God for those who will hear His voice. The Words of God are unsearchable to the natural man as Jesus declared “…the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life”. It requires His Life and His Spirit to receive their power. The religious, just as the Jews of old, assume that in knowing the scriptures they had life. But just as in those days the very words they knew carnally blinded them to Him of whom they spoke.
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”
Christ alone is the Life. He is the spring from whom all the goodness of God flows. It is “…in Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
The “fulness of God” goes beyond the boundaries of the natural man. Only by His influence moving, drawing and infusing us can we begin to know the infinite glory of God. Only the Love of Christ can reveal the glory of God to fallen man.
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV)
The Surpassing Love of Christ
The sacrificial nature of this Love brings us to a full conformity to His being. The true knowledge of God can only be known by our seeing and touching Christ. The transformation required to grow into Him is only accomplished as we see Him for ourselves.
“…And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another…”
2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV)
The Love of Christ is the well from which His power and passion springs. Devoid of this love we feel no impulse to preach, teach and reach out into the lives of others. Where there is no impetus to make known the unsearchable riches of Christ, something is lacking. The remedy is simple and glorious.
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life”
We do God a great disservice when we try to do in our own strength what only a “faith empowered by love” (Galatians 5:6) can accomplish. It is in our growing into the “surpassing love of Christ” that we are brought into the fulness of God.
“For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength, but faith working through (empowered by) love. You were running well; who held you back that you do not obey the truth?”
Galatians 5:6-7 (italics my own)
Notice that the hindrance to their/our growth in Christ was their disobedience to the truth. The solution presented was to return to the living faith “working” (empowered) by love.
We all desperately need the Love of Christ pulsating within. The true warfare of the Spirit is to this one end: our abiding and dwelling in Him. When the fire fades, spend time “praying in the Holy Spirit”; only His fire can fulfill His desire. When the flames burn low and internal inspiration disappears, turn again to the One in whom ALL glory and mercy resides.
“Again one having the appearance of a man
touched me and strengthened me”
Daniel 10:18 (ESV)
Please See Related Post: Love and Perfection
“And to know the love of Christ – The love of Christ toward us; the immensity of redeeming love. It is not merely the love which he showed for the Gentiles in calling them into his kingdom, which is here referred to; it is the love which is shown for the lost world in giving Himself to die. This love is often referred to in the New Testament and is declared to surpass all other which has ever been evinced; see the Rom 5:7-8. To know this; to feel this; to have a lively sense of it, is one of the highest privileges of the Christian. Nothing will so much excite gratitude in our hearts; nothing will prompt us so much to a life of self-denial; nothing will make us so benevolent and so dead to the world.”
– Albert Barnes
“This only we know, that the love of Christ surpasses all knowledge. That ye may be filled – Which is the sum of all. With all the fulness of God – With all his light, love, wisdom, holiness, power, and glory. A perfection far beyond a bare freedom from sin.”
– John Wesley