An Added Insight

“…have strength to comprehend with all the saints…” (Ephesians 3:18)

Bible Reading: Ephesians 3:14-19

From time to time, readers respond with words of appreciation and also additional insights. These are always welcomed, and none more so than the response of a pastor friend to the devotional on “The Dimensions of Christ’s Love” published a while ago.

Picking up on the expression, “…with all the saints” in Ephesians 3:18, he wrote the following:

 “…another part of what Paul is saying in verse 18 is that it is only ‘together with all the saints’ that we begin to grasp and experience more of the unfathomable depths of God’s love. In our relationship with him individually, our experience of his love will always be limited.

“I’m reminded of something I heard Tim Keller say about C. S. Lewis’ experience in the Inklings [a close-knit group of friends at Oxford University in the 1930s]. Another member of the group often seemed to take a great deal of Tolkien’s attention and Lewis wished that he could have more of his time for himself.

“When the other member died, Lewis thought that now he would get more of Tolkien. However, on reflection, he realised that he actually got less – the other fellow brought out things in Tolkien that he could not.

“In the same way, I believe that due to each believer’s character and experience, he will experience God’s grace and love in a particular way that other believers may not. However, in community, we get to experience God’s grace and love through other believers and also through their experience – thus expanding our understanding and experience of God’s love.

“Viewed from the other side, when believers fellowship and worship God in community, they also display more fully the character and love of God – perhaps one reason why ‘the LORD loves the gates of Zion (where his people meet in worship) more than all the dwellings of Jacob.’ (Psalm 87:2.)”

 The above is so very true. Our individual experience of God’s love is enriched by that of others, and our corporate worship reflects the surpassing character of that love more fully. How important it is that we live in community with others.

Thank you, my pastor friend – your added insight is a perfect illustration of how the body of Christ, acting in community, fills out our comprehension not only of the love of Christ but of his truth as well.

– Andrew Young