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To know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge

Posted by on Oct 29, 2012 in gathering, love, scripture | 4 comments

To know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge

If you’ve read this blog over the last few weeks, then you know that we’re currently studying Ephesians together when we gather on Sunday mornings. So far, we’ve made it through chapter 3, finishing that chapter last weekend.

I almost didn’t get together with the church yesterday morning. I’d been sick for a few days, and earlier that morning I had spent a couple of hour with my daughter at a race. We had been asked to write a story and take photos for the local paper.

Although we had alot of fun at the race, when I left I just wanted to climb in bed and sleep. But, at the last minute, I decided to go along with my family. Plus, the ham and bean soup that Margaret had made to share with our friends smelled delicious, and I was ready to dig into it.

I spent most of the morning listening… which is strange for me. I like to talk, and often I talk too much. Yesterday morning, I listened. I didn’t even feel like singing, mostly because my throat was a little scratchy.

Whenever I listen, I learn… and this time was no different. I loved hearing my brothers and sisters summarize the first couple of chapters of Ephesians and then work their way through Paul’s prayer at the end of Chapter 3:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV)

At one point, one of my good friends made a statement about a phrase in Ephesians 3:19 – “to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.” Paul prays that the Ephesians have the power to know something that cannot be known. That “something,” of course, is the love of Christ. Paul wants them to know the love of Christ, and says that the love of Christ is beyond knowing.

This led to a great discussion, and, apparently, quite a bit of meditation and thought for several of us. I, for one, am glad that I was not able to speak as much as normal. It gave me the opportunity to think more about this… to think more about something that can’t be thought about.

The love of Christ is something that we are to know… to think about… to live. And, yet, we will never know it.


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  1. 10-29-2012

    I love this portion of the Word of God. I love especially praying it to the Lord, praying it verse by verse and sentence by sentence. The best way to get light from the Lord is to not just meditate and muse on the Word but to pray it to the Lord and read it with a prayerful attitude!

    I was also considering this matter – what does it really mean, to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ. How can you know love? What kind of love is this? How can the mind understand love? Love goes beyond reason, and the mind cannot comprehend why love loves… And the Lord’s love, wow, has gone to the uttermost to reach us and love us and make us – as the verse further says – the church who is filled unto all the fullness of God!

    Lord, make Your home in our heart to such an extent! Strengthen us into our inner man to the extent that we know Your knowledge-surpassing love! Lord, You are able to do more than we would ever ask or think. Do it in us! Fully make Your home in our heart until we together are filled unto all the fullness of God!

  2. 10-29-2012

    I get a lot out of the Amplified version of this.

    [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

    I relate it kind of like a combat soldier trying to describe battle to someone who has never been there. Without experience, the description will always fall short in the realm of knowledge.

    John tells us that he that loves not, knows not God for God is love. There is a part of God that is ONLY revealed to you as you are loving someone.

  3. 10-29-2012


    I am thinking that when Paul references ‘understanding’ and ‘knowledge’ here, he is referring to our fleshly/finite understanding and knowledge, which of course can not grasp the amazing love of God our Father.

    If we have the mind of Christ, which we do, and His Spirit as teacher and counselor, then the understanding of His love is not beyond our grasp. It’s imply being revealed more and more in the Spirit as we bow to Him.

    I wouldn’t say, as you said, “And, yet, we will never know it.” Never is a long time, and only God can use that word and mean it.

  4. 10-29-2012

    Some of the same things we tossed around yesterday morning… 🙂