The Dimensions of Christ’s Love

“…the breadth and length and height and depth” of Christ’s love (Ephesians 3:18)

Bible Reading: Ephesians 3:17-19

Having Christ dwelling in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17) leads us to be “rooted and grounded in love” because Christ himself is love. That, we noted last time, enables us to “comprehend” and “know” (experientially) the love of Christ that “surpasses knowledge” (v. 19).

Without dwelling unnecessarily on these things, it is worth noting some of the specifics that Paul mentions. For example, he says that as a result of Christ dwelling in our hearts through faith, we come to comprehend “with all the saints” the magnitude of the love of Christ.

In saying this, he is affirming that there is nothing in an individual’s knowledge and experience of the love of Christ that is not common to Christians as a whole. While our experience may be uniquely personal, there is nothing about it that others cannot know as well. Claims to privileged knowledge may be part of sects and secret societies, but they do not belong in Christ’s church. The Christ we come to know is the same Christ for all and may be known by all.

Secondly, experiencing Christ’s love as he dwells in our hearts enables us to “comprehend” something of the dimensions of that love. Paul speaks of its breadth and length and height and depth. While he may be using these spatial terms simply to convey the idea of its greatness, he may also mean us to think of these dimensions literally. For there is a “breadth” to the love of Christ, as it encompasses people and situations of vastly different kinds. There is also a “length” to it, in the sense of its enduring character, and a “height” to it in that it lifts us to high planes of privilege and blessing. Finally, it has “depth” also in that it reaches the very deepest parts of our hurt and need.

We see all of this in the cross of Christ. Can anything compare with the breadth, length, height and depth of the love of Christ that shines out of his self-sacrifice on the cross?

Paul not only speaks of us comprehending Christ’s love in its various dimensions but also of “knowing” that love (v. 19). The knowledge he has in view is knowledge not simply of comprehension but of experience. We can know about Christ’s love, and we can also know it experientially. Yet, even as we do so, we can never know it fully, for it is a love that “surpasses knowledge.” We can know it, much as we can take a mouthful of seawater. But we can never fully know it any more than we can drink oceans dry. Christ’s love is knowable while at the same time, surpasses knowing.

Here, again, we see that Paul is seeking a genuine knowledge and experience of the love of Christ for believers as part of their daily existence. What he sought for his readers is available to us too. What a glorious prospect; what a profound need!

Closing Thoughts:

  • Can you think of the depths and heights of love that Christ has shown towards you?
  • Do you thirst to experience more of the love of Christ in your daily life?

– Andrew Young