Dearly Loved

Day 8 - March 31 / Pastor Scott Winchester

Ephesians 3:17b.–19a.

“…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…”

As a man who is committed to Reformed theology (the theology of the Bible emphasizing God's grace that was rediscovered during the time of the Protestant Reformation), I hold on dearly to the doctrine of election. This doctrine teaches that God had in mind expressly those whom Christ would come to save. This work of God was one of sheer grace; his choice in election was not grounded on anything inherently good or noteworthy within the sinner. So what was it based on? The opening chapters of the book of Ephesians gives us the answer: “In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:5a.) and “…God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Eph. 2:4-5b.).

Election has certainly been the cause of no little debate within the church over the centuries, but what I want us to focus on is the fact that our salvation is a work of God’s great love for us. Paul closes chapter three of Ephesians by praying for the church there. He wants them to be strengthened in the Holy Spirit so that they would experience the deep and abiding fellowship of the Lord. He’s not just interested in them knowing it, but living in it. He wants them rooted and grounded in the immeasurable love of Jesus, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. Paul is speaking in a sense that implies an experiential understanding, not just an assent to facts.

Why? Because Christianity is not simply a matter of knowing theology or certain data about God. It is absolutely relational. The story of the Bible is that God desires a people for himself because he loves us. Love for us compelled Jesus to go to that cross. It is that same jealous love for us that drives Jesus to relentlessly subdue us to himself and to defend us from all of his and our enemies.

No matter how self-sufficient you might be, we all, deep down, want to know that someone, somewhere cares about who we are and what we do. God preeminently does; he's proven it in your justification, adoption, and sanctification. And the apostle wants the Ephesian church (and us) to know, most assuredly, that you are dearly loved.
Prayer Points:
  • Praise God for his immeasurable love for you!
  • Confess to God those times where your love for him has grown cold
  • Thank God that your salvation is not dependent on the strength of your devotion to him, but by his grace alone
  • Ask God, in the spirit of Ephesians 3, that you might be strengthened by the Holy Spirit in your inner being so that you may experience God’s blessed fellowship in your daily life

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