"that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge"
Ephesians 3: 17b-19a
One of my favorite things about Ally and my's honeymoon was that for the first time in several months, I was able to read for the sheer purpose of enjoyment. It was greatly tremendously refreshing to be able to read and not have it be for the purpose of school or work. One of the books I was able to read during our week long was John Bunyan's 'All Loves Excelling'. In it, Bunyan spends all 120 pages expounding on the above verse from Ephesians 3. His purpose in writing is to encourage believers with the simply unfathomable and infinitely wonderful love that Christ has for his people. Speaking of Ephesians 3:17-19, Bunyan writes this in the opening pages:
"They are here to be taken...to suggest unto us the unsearchable and infinite greatness of God; who is a breadth beyond all breadths; a length beyond all lengths; a depth beyond all depths; and a height beyond all heights, and that in all his attributes: He is an eternal being, an everlasting being, and in that respect he is beyond all measures, whether they be of breadth, or length, or depth, or height. In all his attributes he is beyond all measure: whether you measure by words, by thoughts, or by the most enlarged and exquisite apprehension; His greatness is unsearchable; His judgments are unsearchable (Job 5:9). He is infinite in wisdom. 'O! the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of our God! (Romans 11:33). 'If I speak of strength, behold, He is stronger' (Job 9:19). Yes, 'the thunder of his power, who can understand?' (Job 26:14) 'There is none holy as the Lord.' (1 Samuel 2:2), 'and his mercy is from everlasting to everlasting, upon those that fear him.' (Psalm 103:17)
The greatness of God, of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is that, if rightly considered, will support the spirits of those of his people that are frighted by their adversaries. For here is a greatness against a greatness. Pharaoh was great, God was greater, more great in power, more great in wisdom, more great in every way for the help of his people. These words therefore, take in. The great God who in his immensity and infinite greatness is beyond all things."
John Bunyan, All Loves Excelling (1998), pg. 4-5.
The main encouragements I gather from this passage are this:
- God is infinitely great. In all his attributes, he is beyond measure.
- This infinitely great God who is beyond all measure, acts FOR his people. Meaning, if we have been reconciled to God, this infinite greatness is now on our behalf. No matter the adversary or circumstance we face, God is greater. What we have in God, is better and greater than anything the world can throw at us or offer us.