For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Paul writes some powerful prayers throughout the book of Ephesians. I like to call them the New Testament prayers. It means that we stand under the New Covenant of Jesus Christ and pray with confidence to our Savior.
The prayer that we read in the above passage is one of those. Paul writes about the dimensions of God’s love. Last week, we learned about the inseparable love of God. Today, let’s analyze another aspect.
DIMENSIONS OF GOD’S LOVE
Paul’s description of God’s love in the above passage indicates its vastness and inscrutability. It’s like an ocean that cannot be contained in our minds that are like tiny pots.
Nevertheless let’s attempt to decipher it.
And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
T. L. Osborne once preached about how to give an altar call. He said that the preacher or pastor must stretch out his arms and invite everybody who is willing to follow to Jesus to the front.
Jesus’ love is an arms-stretched-wide-open and all-inclusive one.
In the above passage, John saw in his vision people from every tribe, tongue, people and nation. That’s the breadth and width of God’s love. It is so inclusive that it reaches out to gather people from every corner of the world.
Many tribes have their own gods. But the Christian faith uniquely testifies that there is one God for every tribe, language, nation and people in this world. It means that we must stop our clannish and exclusive attitude in the Church. Or else we will risk becoming like the Jews and Gentiles of the early Church. The Jews particularly found worshipping the same God in the same place pretty difficult. Somehow the Jews assumed that Yahweh was their prerogative and they alone were His beloved children. They couldn’t fathom that God would extend His love to the Gentiles. But God wanted His love for Israel to be a witness to the world around. We see in Isaiah 60:1 God telling the Jews, ‘Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you’. Somehow they lost sight of that great commission!
…to be continued…