“Love cannot be satisfied. Once you know this Person and begin to love Him, you feel that all you have received is not enough, you want more and more. This is what Paul is praying for these Ephesians. He longs for them also to know Christ, because to know Him is to know His love. The more we know Him the more we shall know His love toward us. These things are indivisible, and cannot be separated” (p. 209).
There are some things that I write about that at times I feel I may not be qualified to do so. This is one of them. To be honest, I do not consider myself to be a really loving person, nor do I think I have much of a grasp at all on the amazing love of God. Nonetheless, let me dare to visit this important topic.
And I will do it in this fashion: When you have one of the great verses in one of the great biblical books, plus commentary on it by one of the great biblical preachers, you have a very powerful combination indeed. I refer to Ephesians 3:18-19, and some of the remarks made on it by Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his expository sermons.
As to the passage in question, the Apostle Paul prays for the believers in Ephesus that they may really know about the love of God. Given that this is found in the larger context of what starts a few verses earlier, let me offer that fuller text (verses 14-19) here:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have 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, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
What an incredible passage that is. And as mentioned, one exceedingly important Christian preacher who never fails to do full justice to the biblical text is Martyn Lloyd-Jones. He spends eight whole sermons on just these two verses, which in turn comprise eight whole chapters in his third of eight volumes on Ephesians. That third volume is The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, first published in 1979.
Let me quote some of what is found in Chapters 16-23. One paragraph makes for a useful introduction to this theme:
We are about to look into something which is so glorious and endless that it will be the theme of contemplation of all the saints, not only in this world, but also in the world which is to come. We shall spend our eternity in gazing upon it, and wondering at it, and in being astounded by it. But it is our business to start upon this here and now in this life. It has ever been one of the characteristics of the greatest saints that they have spent much time in meditating upon the love of Christ to themselves and to all God’s people. Nothing has given them greater joy. Indeed this is a characteristic of love at all levels; it delights in thinking not only of the object of its love, but also of the love it receives. Nothing therefore should give greater joy to all God’s people than to meditate upon this love of Christ. Indeed, our chief defect as Christians is that we fail to realize Christ’s love to us. How often have you thought about this? We spend time thinking about our activities and our problems, but the most important necessity in the Christian life is to know Christ’s love to us, and to meditate upon it. This has always been the spring and the source of the greatest activity that has ever been manifested in the long history of the Christian Church. (p. 219)
In his prior chapter he begins it with these words:
These two verses tell us what the Apostle’s real object was in praying for these Ephesian Christians. All the previous petitions prepare for and lead up to this petition. They were essential as preparation, but they are not ends in themselves; they are designed to lead on to this grand objective. We find ourselves, as it were, upon the pinnacle of Christian truth. There is nothing higher than this. God grant us His Spirit that we may consider it aright!