SYATP Joint Service: Ephesians 3:17b-19

Zach spoke about the unity in the church and how Paul exemplifies humility when it comes to God. Paul showed reverence for God by setting an example as to what a Christian should be. Even through all of his travels and his ministry, he gave God all the credit. His desire was for the church to be unified.

Michael talked to y’all about us, as believers, being strengthened by the power of God. How that power is given to us from God through Christ and endures through the Holy Spirit. He also spoke about how if we do not have Christ, then this hope that we are searching for is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Tonight, I get to talk to you about Ephesians 17b-19. It says, I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, 19 and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Let’s break this down a bit. 

First of all, we see:

The Roots:

 I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, 

·         The roots of a tree are what gives it its strength. They are what provides nourishment for the tree. They are what allows the tree to survive during a storm. When we are firmly rooted in God’s love, it will provide us the spiritual nourishment that we need and help us to stand strong regardless of the situation.

·         It takes being rooted in God’s love for us to desire for there to be unity in the church. For us to trust in the power of God over the power of the world. To take our opinions and put them on the back burner in order to bring glory to God.

o   Love is such a loaded word. It means many different things to different people.

§  Some people will say they love pizza, or they love ice cream but they won’t die for it.

§  Love has been watered down to mean something similar to liking something or someone. We use it for way too many things now, so that it doesn’t mean what it was intended to.

o   Love in scripture has a much stronger meaning.

§  Love meant being willing to sacrifice, to change who you are instead of trying to change someone else. It meant dying for someone. The greatest example of love is what Christ did for us.

·         So, now that we have a little better context of what biblical love is, let’s see how great it is.

The Trunk

18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, 

 

·         The trunk of the tree is what gives it its weight. It is the vehicle that spreads the nourishment from the roots to the top of the tree.

·         Through these strong roots, it allows us to have understanding that is from God. God’s wisdom allows us to understand His love much better. Unless we have that wisdom from God, we are not able to comprehend what love actually is.

o   His understanding is what gives us weight. It is what takes that understanding of love and allow it to flow within us so that we may be able to flourish as a Christian.

o   What we need to understand here is that God’s love is inexhaustible. By referencing the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, it is saying that it is endless.

o   Psalm 103 speaks about God’s love. David writes, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” But, if we back up one verse he writes, “for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His faithful love to those who fear Him.”

§  God’s love is vaster than anything that can be measured.

The Leaves-

and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

·         And to know Christ’s love that surpasses all knowledge.

o   Trees, when in the middle of winter, look empty. They look dead. But, when spring hits and the leaves begin to bloom, they look filled, healthy and alive.

o   For the Christian, when we know the love of Christ and have that strong root system, or foundation, we can get the necessary nourishment that passes through the trunk, being strengthened and then blooms forth into the leaves, so that everyone else can see what Christ has done in and through us.

so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

o   These leaves are examples of love that God produces within us. It allows us to do things that the world would see as crazy, like loving our enemies and treating people like Christ. Like believing in God, even though the world tries to deny.

o   These leaves that are produced within us give life to the dead world around us. We as Christians provide the oxygen for a world that is starving for it.

o   Let us do as Paul did, and desire to unify the church, be humble before God and let His power flow through us so that we can bring life to a lost and dying world.

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