And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
I. THE GLORIOUS FACT THAT CHRIST HAS LOVED US.
1. Christ loved His Church in eternity before time began.
2. Christ manifested His love to His people in assuming our nature and taking it in union with the Divine.
3. Christ manifested His love to His Church in the great humiliation which attended His appearance.
4. Christ now manifests His love in heaven. He is there before the eternal throne in the nature of His people. He is ascended to His God and their God, to His Father and their Father. He is not ashamed to own them now in glory.
II. THE MAGNITUDE OF CHRIST'S LOVE. It is love "that passeth knowledge." No conception can be formed adequate to its greatness.
1. The origin of Christ's love passeth knowledge. To say when He began to love would be as impossible as to say when He began to live. "Canst thou by searching find out the Almighty?"
2. The depths of misery from which the objects of His love are delivered passeth knowledge.
3. The depth of Christ's condescension, by which He exhibited His love, passeth knowledge. "And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." "He, who was rich, for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty may be made rich."
4. The glory and bliss to which Christ will raise the objects of His love passeth knowledge. "Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath laid up for those who love Him."
5. The duration of Christ's love passeth knowledge. It is immutable, and therefore it will ever endure.
III. And now let us very briefly notice THE MANNER IN WHICH WE NEED KNOW THIS LOVE TO OUR SALVATION. This does not imply that we can know it so as to comprehend it. Such a thing is impossible.
1. Know it doctrinally. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." Hearing is necessary to faith. "How can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?"
2. Know it thankfully. The man who knows the love of Christ will feel thankful for the development of it to his soul.
3. Know it confidingly. We need know the love of Christ so as to rest upon Him for life and salvation.
4. Know it influentially. We must know something about its constraining influence on our hearts — to love one another, the service of God, and the ways of religion. What has not the influence of this love on the soul enabled its possessor to endure and perform?
(D. V. Phillips.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.