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Knowing the Unknowable

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

To Know the Love of Christ

We can know that Christ loved us and gave Himself for us. We can know the faithfulness of His love as manifested in countless ways every day of our lives: its tenderness as it comforts us in suffering and sorrow, its fellowship as it shares with us everything it possesses, its patience as it forgives us the seventy times seven. We can also daily add to our knowledge of the love of Christ as we meet with Him in prayer and in the study of His Word, as we fellowship with other saints who know and experience deeply the love of Christ, and as we enter more fully into the fellowship of His sufferings.

Which Passeth Knowledge

But there is a love of Christ that is knowledge-surpassing. The expression of Christ’s love is knowable, but the essence of it is unknowable. We can never know the love that paid the cost of leaving His eternal home in the Father’s bosom in the heavenly glory and of coming to a world that rejected and crucified Him. We can never know the knowledge-surpassing love that voluntarily emptied itself of its inherent glory and was made in the likeness of men and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. We can never know the love that on Calvary’s cross suffered the anguish of heart compressed in that cry, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). We can only confess our utter inability to comprehend such love and tell Him that it makes Him unspeakably precious to us, more precious than anyone or anything in heaven or upon earth. We can respond with a love for Him that sweeps our life clean of all counter-loves and that leads us to go to the uttermost limit of our capacity in both adoration of and devotion to Him.

—Condensed from The Wealth, Walk, and Warfare of the Christian by Ruth Paxson.