Text: Ephesians 3:14-19
My goal today is to persuade each of us to stay in love with Christ. When you are in love, you do good things naturally out of love. Unmanipulated. Not coerced and not out of duty.
Background: The Ephesian church had an ongoing conflict both within and outside its congregation. The verses in our passage from 14 to 21 are Paul’s prayer for empowerment calling them to focus on the love of Christ. This love of Christ is immeasurable—which encompasses all things—goes beyond all knowledge (1 John 4).
Outline of the Main Idea:
Pursuing Love: Jeremiah 31:3, “The LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” In fact, God loved us first (1 Jn 4:19). John 17:24, “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see the glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” Read Luke 15:3-7.
Painful Love: Isaiah 53; Dane Ortlund said, “Your suffering does not define you. His does. You have endured pain involuntarily. He has endured pain voluntarily, for you. Your pain is meant to push you to flee to him where he endured what you deserve.” The victorious love of Christ perseveres. Painful as it was, it endures forever. Richard Sibbes said, “There can be no victory where there is no combat.”
Persevering Love: John 13:1, “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
Dane Ortlund said, “We love until we are betrayed. Jesus continued to the cross despite betrayal. We love until we are forsaken. Jesus loved through forsakenness. We love up to a limit. Jesus loves to the end.” Romans 8, no one can separate us from His love.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.