Comprehending God’s Love

Comprehending God’s Love

Carl Pollard

Ephesians 3:17–19 says, “that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” What do we comprehend? The Love of Christ! 

Through the power of the Spirit, and because of the indwelling of Christ, we are to become established in love and being established in love, we have power to comprehend the love of Christ. But how do you describe such a love? 

Paul says, “comprehend what is the breadth, and length and height and depth.” 

But he purposefully left off what it is that he was describing. So what does he mean? 

It takes in the eternity of God. God is Love; and in that, an infinity of breadth, length, depth, and height, is included; or rather all breadth, length, depth, and height, are lost in this vastness. It comprehends all that is above, all that is below, all that is past, and all that is to come. All of this is said in reference to us, His creation! The love of God, in its breadth, is a net that encompasses the globe; its length reaches from the eternal purpose of the mission of Christ, to the eternity which is to be spent in his presence. It’s depth reaches to the lowest sinner, and to the very center of the heart; and its height to the eternal glory of the throne of Christ.

How do you describe the love of Christ? We can’t. No one has ever shown this amount of love for this many sinful people. 

And yet we still act like we have power, like we are above God. Man on his own has no power. 

But God, God has given us the opportunity to have the power to comprehend His Son’s love. 

Comprehension is “to process information, understand, grasp.” A kid growing up hears from their parents that they love him. He hears it every day, but he never fully comprehends that love until he has kids of his own. A person will go through something traumatic, and the first couple of hours they are in shock. They know what happened, but they haven’t comprehended it yet. Sadly, we can hear about the love of Christ, we can hear God’s Word. But this isn’t the same as comprehension. 

Growing up I hated literature. I can remember reading the Iliad, eyes glazed over, and just seeing words on a page. I couldn’t tell you a thing about what I was reading. I wasn’t comprehending. Ephesians 3:19 puts “and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” And to GNOSKO the love of Christ. A working knowledge as opposed to book knowledge. This is comprehension, a useful knowledge of Christ’s love. 

As a faithful Christian, you can comprehend the love of Christ. And knowing his love is power. There’s a devotional song we sing that says, “amazing love! How can it be? That you, my God would die for me.” To be powerful is to comprehend the love of Christ. And in comprehending we live out His love. That is our purpose as Christians. 

Outside Time 

Outside Time 

Friday’s Column: Supplemental Strength


Brent Pollard

Our Creator is eternal. Hence, he has and will always exist. Having no beginning, He will never have an end. It hurts our feeble brains to try and comprehend this truth, but we accept it, seeing it with an “eye of faith.” Time is a concept held only by the mortal construct of an immortal God. Time means nothing to Him. Since that is the case, a couple of truth becomes evident.

Since God is outside time, He can work out what is best in our life.  From our perspective, life is a complex picture puzzle with pieces collected over some 70 or 80 years (cf. Psalm 90.10). Since Adam opened “Pandora’s Box” of sin, those pieces of the puzzle handed to us do not always make sense. Sin may cause a single bit even to hurt us. Yet, God’s Providence ensures it works out in accordance to His Divine Will (Romans 8.28). God knows how the completed puzzle picture looks. No piece escapes His observation. So, even if a part was not what He had hoped because sin marred the edges, He still ensures that those pieces fall into the right place. When we leave this world, perhaps, we will see the completed picture too. Like the apostle Paul, we might gain clarity before our departure. Paul had a good grasp of his life as he summed it up for Timothy (2 Timothy 4.6-8). Hopefully, we will speak as confidently as Paul concerning our future when granted the clarity of life’s impending end.

Since God is outside time, He is longsuffering. I do not seek to diminish God’s love in making this case. I merely emphasize what Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3.8-9:

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (NASB)

Contextually, the two ideas are related. God’s lack of concept of time equals longsuffering. Can you see how that makes sense? Would it not be easier to be patient with someone if you had no idea of time? We lose patience with others since we feel we can quantify progress with a predetermined amount of time: “I asked you to do this a week ago, and you still have not completed it?” (Can you not hear the frustration in that question? Maybe you even read it in your mind with a voice of exasperation.) Yet, time does not constrain God. He sees the beginning and end of our life simultaneously. Thus, that one becoming a worker at the eleventh hour is paid the same wage as those laborers working all day (cf. Matthew 20.1-15).

We could give other examples to illustrate the benefits of God’s existence outside time, such as how that quality of God enabled prophets to write with 100% about events that would occur hundreds of years after the seer’s lifetime. Hopefully, though, we have considered enough to enrich our faith. Yes, God’s existence outside time enables His Providence to work flawlessly and suffer each of us long. We serve an amazing God!