1 John 4:16
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.
God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
We have known and believed THE LOVE that GOD has to us. The word translated know is the Greek word ginosko. It is not to know something by fact or from data of some kind. It is “to know, to understand, to perceive.” It is intimate knowledge. Every born-again believer knows Jesus the moment he or she accepts Him and confesses Him as Savior. We became one with Him. There are those who know about Jesus, have read books about Him and are very religious people. But they still do no KNOW Him.
Look at that next phrase: “GOD is LOVE.” He doesn’t have LOVE. HE IS LOVE. It’s one thing to know THE LOVE and another thing to believe THE LOVE.
It’s one thing to know Jesus and be born again, and another thing to believe what He says. It’s one thing to know Him, and another thing entirely to trust Him and put His WORD first place and final authority in your life.
Let’s take a closer look at Ephesians 3:14-20:
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our LORD Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom they whole family in heaven and earth is names,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might
by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the
fullness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us.
The key verse in this entire passage of scripture is verse 17. The key phrase is “being rooted and grounded in LOVE.” Verses 18-19 depend on being rooted and grounded in LOVE. That was, you remember, the main problem in the church at Corinth. Let’s go to 1 Corinthians 3:1-3:
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual,
but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it,
neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strive, and divisions,
are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
Let’s look at the same verses in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition:
1 However, brethren, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men],
but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates],
as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [unable to talk yet!]
2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not yet strong
enough [to be ready for it]; but even yet you are not strong enough [to be ready for it],
3 For you are still [unspiritual, having the nature] of the flesh
[under the control of ordinary impulses]. For as long as [there are] envying and jealousy
and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh,
behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere [unchanged] men?
What was the problem? Why did the Apostle Paul have to teach the Corinthian believers as mere, unchanged men? They were not rooted and grounded in LOVE!
That’s what led tot he Apostle Paul’s writing of 1 Corinthians 13, the great LOVE chapter.
We’re talking about know THE LOVE, right? Well, look at Ephesians 3:19:
“…and to KNOW THE LOVE.” It’s the same Greek word ginosko. Now let’s tie all this together.
The Apostle Paul prayed for the believers at Ephesus and for us:
“That he [the Father who is LOVE] would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit [who is LOVE] in the [your] inner man; that Christ [who is LOVE] may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in LOVE [who is GOD], may be able to comprehend [lay hold of, to understand] with all saints
what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know [to have intimate knowledge of] THE LOVE of Christ [who is GOD], which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of GOD [who is LOVE!]” (verses 16-19).
You might say, “you can’t can’t understand the breadth, length, depth and height of GOD.”
You can if God, who is LOVE, is the teacher!
He wants you to know everything about Him. He wants you and me to understand how HE who is LOVE thinks, how HE feels, what HE knows. HE’s our Father. We’re made in His image. Don’t you want to know more about Him? Oh, my dear reader, I’m so hungry to know and understand more about Jesus – who He is, what He is – everything! He said, “Learn of me” (Matthew 11:29). Now we can understand more about the Apostle Paul’s heart when he said in Philippians 3:10: “That I may know [ginosko] him, and the power of his resurrection.”
That takes us right back to Ephesians 3:20:
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
The power is in your right now. You received it when you were baptized with the Holy Spirit – the dynamis, miracle-working power! Jesus was anointed with the Holy Ghost and dynamis (Acts 10:38). Say this out loud: “GOD LOVES ME. HE GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME. HE IS MY LORD AN SAVIOUR. I NOT ONLY KNOW HIS LOVE, I BELIEVE HIS LOVE. EVEN WHEN IT LOOKS AS THOUGH HE DOESN’T CARE, I BELIEVE. I KNOW HE LOVES AND CARES FOR ME! I RECEIVE THAT LOVE, NOW. I RECEIVE IT IN MY SPIRIT, IN MY MIND AND IN MY BODY! I RECEIVE IT SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY. I RECEIVE IT IN MY FAMILY AND SOCIAL LIFE. THAT LOVE NOW MAKES ME WHOLE!”
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