Author: Ron Graham
—The Three Loves (Ephesians 3:14-21)
Some think religion and faith are just "a crutch for the weak-kneed". However, true religion and true faith are the solid ground beneath our feet. In an earthquake, or on thin ice, even the strongest fail to stand. Whether or not we walk on crutches, we all rely upon solid ground.
In Ephesians 3:14-21 we find that solid ground. This is a passage about full and abundant spiritual strength through faith in Jesus Christ. In this passage, there are what we might call three loves. These are our spiritual ground and source of strength.
¶“14For this reason I kneel before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15From him the whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that from his glorious riches he may strengthen you, with his power, through his Spirit, in your inner being. 17Thus may Christ dwell in your hearts through faith. And in love may you put down roots and lay your foundation. 18May you be empowered with all the holy ones, to grasp how wide and long and deep and high 19is the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. So may you be filled to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 1:14-19).
¶“20He is able to do abundantly very far more than anything we ask or imagine, as befits his power that is at work within us. 21To him be glory in the people he has called out, and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, for ever and ever, Amen.” (Ephesians 1:20-21).
1 The love of God —expressed in worship
Paul says (in verse 14), "I bow my knees". He is not a weak-kneed man, but a strong man on his knees. He glorifies the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in worship, as should the whole church family (verses 15 and 21). Jesus said, that to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-38).
2 The love of one another —expressed in fellowship
Notice how Paul speaks of "the whole family" (verse 15) and "all the saints" (verse 18). Peter says simply, "Love the brotherhood" (1Pet 2:17). By sharing together in the knowledge and fullness of God we strengthen one another.
3 The love of the truth —expressed in doctrine
Doctrine means the teaching and learning of God’s truth. To comprehend (verse 18) and to know (verse 19) is to be strong. The expression "surpasses knowledge" means that the knowledge of God’s truth and love goes beyond the ordinary knowledge of man, and is revealed to us by God (1Cor 2:10,12).
People who do not receive a love of the truth, who, in other words, refuse to love the truth, will be deceived by the antichrist (2Thessalonians 2:9-10).
By means of these three loves, God’s power works in us, so that we become grounded and strong, enjoying an exceeding abundance of blessing from the riches of God’s glory.