An open Bible and a cup of coffee.

That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
(Ephesians 3:16-19)


Today’s verse passage is part of the apostle Paul’s inspired prayer for his fellow Christians. Short but powerful, Paul’s requests for the saints ought to be our heart’s position on the matter; here is what we ought to desire for others in the household of faith—and for ourselves as well. Paul’s petition begins with a request that believers be granted supernatural, divine strength. This empowerment to live godly, productive, and victorious lives comes through the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. This is a major theme in Paul’s writings. Paul wants us to know that, collectively and individually, we are a “holy temple in the Lord,” “a habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:21-22). The ministry of the blessed Holy Spirit is so closely connected with Christ and reflective of His Person and work that He Himself is referred to as Christ (Romans 8:9-11). Here, as elsewhere, Paul draws analogy from agriculture and architecture. “Ye are God’s husbandry,” wrote the great apostle, “ye are God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9). Paul would see us “rooted” in God’s love, drawing strength and nourishment from its endless reserves. He would also see us “grounded” in His love, anchored to that which is solid, immovable, dependable, and unshakable. Mysteriously, Paul refers to God’s love as having four dimensions to it (“breadth, and length, and depth, and height”). We live and move in three spatial dimensions, length, breadth, and height (with time being a fourth dimension in the created order). Just as finite human minds cannot imagine a fourth spatial dimension, the human mind cannot fathom the limitless love of God. As I contemplate this mysterious passage, my mind goes back to the brazen altar upon which the burnt sacrifice was offered (Exodus 27:1-8; Leviticus 1:1-17). Because the altar’s floor did not extend all the way to the ground, its depth would have been different from its height. In describing the altar, we might therefore speak in terms of four spatial dimensions, as Paul did in describing the love of God. I wonder if Paul was reflecting upon this as he penned the third chapter in his epistle to the Ephesians. In any case, we can certainly draw the comparison. Just as the burnt sacrifice was entirely consumed, even so the Lord Jesus gave Himself entirely to securing eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:12). Let us rejoice in so great a salvation, even as we abide in His limitless love today (John 15:10).

God bless you, dear saints,

Pastor John