Rooted and Grounded in Love
“…that you, being rooted and grounded in love…” (Ephesians 3:17)
Bible Reading: Ephesians 3:17-19
When Christ is dwelling in our hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:17), he becomes the centre of our conscious existence. We look to him, we rely on him, we respond to him, and we also receive from him.
That is why the apostle Paul can write, “…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” (vs. 17-19). There are things that flow or result from Christ dwelling in our hearts through faith.
All of the parts of this great statement are closely linked. It is because we are “rooted and grounded in love” that we are given the strength to “comprehend” and then also “know” the love of Christ. And in so doing, we come to be “filled with all the fullness of God.” This is all so vital to our Christian experience that we need to look at each of these elements in turn.
We begin with the idea of being “rooted and grounded in love” (v. 17). This is inseparably connected with having Christ dwelling in our hearts through faith. As mentioned above, when Christ is the centre of our conscious thought and action – the object of our faith and delight – we receive grace from him (John 1:16). In essence, he pours into us his very own life as the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Foremost among the qualities that belong to the life of Christ and the fruit of his Spirit is love. The person who loves Christ and finds their life in him will necessarily be “rooted and grounded in love.”
It cannot be any other way. Christ, as God the Son in human nature, is in himself love (1 John 4:8). It belongs to his very being to be love. So it is that as we put down our roots into him, we find ourselves receiving the grace of love. Everything about Christ is love. His character is love, and the way of life he exemplified is love. The more he lives in us and we live in him, the more we will love.
As that becomes a practical reality for us, we find “strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge…” (vs. 18, 19). Our experience of the love of Christ gained through having him dwell in our hearts, and living by faith in him enables us to gain a glimpse and taste of a love that “surpasses knowledge.”
This is where Paul’s prayer leads us – to a life where Christ truly is real to us in our daily existence and shares with us his own life of love.
- Are you conscious of becoming a more loving person as you grow in your experience of Christ?
- Does this also help you get a deeper appreciation of what the love of Christ is like?
– Andrew Young