Jeremy Sarber

The love of Christ that surpasses knowledge

According to Ephesians 3, the Spirit strengthens our inner being, Christ dwells in our hearts through faith, and then we become rooted and grounded in love (Eph 3:17). We find ourselves on a strong foundation of selfless love. In other words, we become increasingly like our Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the epitome of sacrifice and kindness. More than feeling obligated, we suddenly want to love. We want to serve. We want to do good works for the benefit of others.

From this love, then, comes divine comprehension of the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (Eph 3:18, 19). Keep in mind that Paul is writing to born-again believers. They already believe that Christ is Lord and Savior. They already consider themselves to be sinners in need of God’s grace, yet Paul prays for them to grasp the fullness of Christ’s love. Is it possible for a believer to remain ignorant about the extent of God’s love? Absolutely.

When someone asked the famous jazz musician Louis Armstrong to explain jazz, he said, Man, if I’ve got to explain it, you ain’t got it.” What’s true about jazz is true about love. God’s love is poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit when we are born again, but that doesn’t mean we fully comprehend it (Ro 5:5). It certainly doesn’t imply we’ve learned to love accordingly. We grow into a mature awareness of God and what he has done.

Comprehension of love comes from being continually immersed in the things of God. Jeremiah said, Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart (Jer 15:16). Notice that it wasn’t until after Jeremiah consumed God’s words that they became a joy and delight to his heart. The same is true for us.

Ultimately, we can’t explain the depth of God’s love. It is a love that surpasses knowledge, according to Paul (Eph 3:19). It can’t be studied or articulated. We need to experience it. Once we have, then you may be filled with all the fullness of God, a concept which Paul alludes to several times throughout this letter. What does it mean? It’s total dominance. If you’re filled with rage, then you are dominated by it. If you are filled with God, then you are dominated by God. There’s nothing left of the old man. You are not only a new creation in Christ, but you are a mature creation in Christ. You love him, serve him, and seek his will in all things. Your life is thoroughly reformed into one resembling Jesus Christ.