Summary: The Love of Christ
“The Four Magnitudes”
Ephesians 3:17 “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
One expositor has said, “It is wide as the limits of the universe; long as the ages of eternity; deep as the abyss from which it has redeemed us; and high as the throne of God itself!” Dr. R. W. Dale said, “Immensity is,” the only adequate symbol of its vastness.
I. The First Magnitude – The Breadth
a. The inclusiveness of His love – Wide enough to embrace the whole world. The children sing, “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
b. The initiative of His love
1 John 4:10 “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
19 “We love him, because he first loved us.”
A certain medieval monk announced he would be preaching next Sunday evening on "The Love of God." As the shadows fell and the light ceased to come in through the cathedral windows, the congregation gathered. In the darkness of the altar, the monk lighted a candle and carried it to the crucifix. First of all, he illumined the crown of thorns, next, the two wounded hands, then the marks of the spear wound. In the hush that fell, he blew out the candle and left the church. There was nothing else to say.
His love is not only universal and also unilateral!
II. The Second Magnitude – The Length
Eternity is the word that comes to mind when we consider the length of God’s love.
a. It’s duration
Jeremiah 31:3 “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”
b. It’s durability
Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
c. It’s distance
Psalms 139:7 “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”
IV. The Third Magnitude – The Depth
A song that I enjoy hearing and singing asks the question, “How deep the Father’s love for us, How vast beyond all measure, That He should give His only Son, And make a wretch His treasure...”
a. His love is deeper than our depravity
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Property Laws of a Toddler: Some might say this is evidences of Original Sin.
1. If I like it, it's mine.
2. If it's in my hand, it's mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks just like mine, it's mine.
8. If I saw it first, it's mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
10. If it's broken, it's yours.
Galatians 5:19 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”