Rooted and Grounded in Love

Ephesians is one of the most fascinating books in the New Testament because it unfolds for us God’s eternal mystery that was hidden in Christ. It opens to us that which was hidden in God’s divine plan before the ages, but which has now, in the fullness of time, been revealed by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and Prophets of the first century. And the Apostle Paul, after explaining in a much more beautiful and fuller way than I have ever so briefly, goes on to say, “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” (Eph 3:14-19). This is certainly a fascinating section of Ephesians! But how can we “know” that which is “beyond knowledge” as Paul puts it?

I have noticed that it is common for Christians who read the passage above to focus on these four words, “breadth and length and height and depth” seeking to grasp within those four words God’s love for themselves that is beyond knowledge. However, I have personally discovered that to be a journey sought in vain. Many of us have prayed often for God to send down a divine revelation of how wide, long, far, and deep His personal love for us is so that we might finally grasp it. But it did not seem to come that way, not because God’s love cannot be known by prayer, but because that is not the method to knowing the “breadth and length and height and depth” of God’s love, at least according to Ephesians.

I want to say that there is no greater expression of God’s love for us than that of Christ crucified at Calvary. And I also want to say there is no greater knowledge of God’s love for us than that we have been given His very own self in the personal gift of the Holy Spirit sent directly from heaven. And before I go on, I must take a moment to explain that by you “carrying within yourself” this very Being sent from outside of time, and coming directly from God’s throne room in heaven, is almost unbelievable and should cause us to marvel every single day of our lives! Because before Pentecost, only Moses, David, and the Prophets were personally familiar with God’s love. And what I mean by “personally familiar with God’s love” is that it is ONLY through the presence of the Holy Spirit that anyone can “know” God, or “experience” His love. And with that, I want to insist that the focus of Ephesians is centered on our “unity in the Spirit, and in this way, knowing God’s love.” So then, when Christ is “dwelling” in our hearts by faith, as Paul puts it, in other words, “is at home” in our hearts by faith, we will love one another. And it is in our “loving one another” that we will be “rooted and grounded in love.” You see, Ephesians is dealing with two groups of people, “Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians.” One group had for a long time already known they had a “promise, a hope, an inheritance, an adoption to sonship, a Messiah, and had the One God “Yahweh” who was far greater than the gods of the Ephesians (Paul speaks of this in other letters of his). And the other group, the Gentiles, had previously known “no hope, no inheritance to sonship, and no true God in the world with them.” BUT NOW, through this gospel that Paul preached, the mystery has been revealed, which is that “the two have become one” in Christ! Why are you not jumping for joy and screaming YES! right now? Do you know why you are not jumping for joy? It is because this is familiar to us now and because we all have lost the joy of this incredible revelation of God, being that we Gentiles have been joined into the promise of the Holy Spirit and now receive ALL the “riches of Christ” found in that Holy Spirit sent from God’s throne room, when we believed the gospel. And sadly this may not “WOW” us anymore. But in Ephesus, this news brought both great joy and tension! As you move to the chapters after chapter three you will begin to notice, with this setting as your background, that Paul is constantly “unpacking” for the Ephesian church the mystery of the “Body”, “Bride”, or “Temple” of Christ. He will use many words to express “connection” and unity which always make up a “WHOLE” unit, being united by one common thread “the Holy Spirit who expresses God’s LOVE” to us both individually and collectively. And as Paul puts it, the One Spirit “who fills all in all.”

Now with what is written above, by being “rooted and grounded together” in love, through the Holy Spirit that not just the Jewish Christian, but equally the Gentile too now bears, Paul says, Therefore, “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:22-24). Oh wow! And right here Paul is intentionally connecting the Gentile believer with the Jewish Old Testament belief from Genesis which states that God had created Adam in God’s likeness or “image” from the beginning. Paul is using a connecting phrase right here to point out that we Gentiles by carrying the same Holy Spirit within us are created in God’s “image” too, and therefore have the POWER from God to live as the image of God right now! You will see key terms like “power, strength, knowledge, one, and love” throughout Ephesians for the sake of emphasis. And all this emphasis will make sense when you go to “put on the full armor of God” in Ephesians chapter six (I am saying that the Armor of God is all about love, unity, peace, and the power of the truth which Paul’s gospel “specifically” brought, that Jew and Gentile are ONE now and equal in Christ. Also that Paul is saying that the Armor of God is “specifically” being put on because Satan is seeking to bring division within the body of Christ because it is the expression of God’s love on earth. We must never forget this. See Jn 17:11 for reference). I also want to point out that in chapter four of Ephesians Paul “explains” or unpacks what we the “Body, Bride, Temple, or Church as a whole” are doing on this planet. What we are to become together that is. And it will help if you think of us as one giant Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple in Jerusalem took many people, and much work to build. It took spiritually gifted craftsmen, skilled laymen, wisdom from heaven, and many years to build. And so with that, hear this, God “gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ [Temple], until we all attain to the unity [Temple] of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ [Temple], so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love [the TEMPLE OF GOD]” (Eph 4:11-16).

And so, this work of the Holy Spirit must take place within us both individually and collectively on earth, “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” (Eph 4:13). And in this way, or by this method, we through being rooted and grounded in love for one another DUE TO the love of God being expressed to us by the Father giving us His very Spirit sent from His presence in heaven will EMPOWER us to become “filled with the fullness of God” which will be the “TEMPLE OF GOD ON EARTH” since we are a royal priesthood and a Holy nation in Christ (1 Pet 2:9). And this Temple will be like a city on a hill and as a light to the world!

I pray this post brought a new perspective or a fuller grasp of the love of God in Christ for yourself and for your brothers and sisters.

Categories HOPE!, Truth and ErrorTags ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close