“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God”- Ephes. 3:19

Surely, the love of our Lord passes the comprehension of mortals.  As the old song goes: “The love of God is greater far, than tongue or pen can ever tell; it goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell.  When years of time shall pass away, and earthly thrones and kingdoms fall, when men, who here refuse to pray, on rocks and hills and mountains call, God’s love so sure, shall still endure, all measureless and strong.”  We forget that we are fallen creatures who yet see through a glass darkly and many times we judge the love of God through human emotions and feelings rather than through the eyeglass of God’s word.  It not only passes our knowledge, we are also prone to misjudge the love of God.

Without controversy, Calvary is the greatest love scene in human history.  How can we fully understand that God became man, laid aside His glory, became a tiny babe, walked the shores of time and allowed the hands of cruel men to slay Him upon a cross?  As our apostle of love writes:  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”(John 15:13).  It passes knowledge!

The apostle reminds us of another facet of this love that is greatly misunderstood, even by Christians: “We love him, because he first loved us”(1 John 4:19).  God’s love must come first and change the sinner before he will, or can, love Him, because man, by nature, is an enemy to God and His Son.  This is one of John’s evidences for his little children to know they belong to God: If we love the Lord is must be because He loved us first and His love is eternal as the heavens beginning before creation itself.  Is not this love greatly misunderstood?

Who God loves passes our knowledge and many times God is accused of being unjust by His particular redemption.  Many will have God loving Judas as much as Peter and sentimentality places God’s love upon the fallen angels and Satan himself.  God’s love is particular, specific and sure.  He does not change His mind each day as to the jewels in His breastplate.  They are fastened securely next to His heart.  Surely, God will not allow any object of His love to suffer eternal torments in the lake of fire.  If we believed this, we would have to believe that Satan was stronger than the Father.  Universalism says that God loves everyone and died for all of mankind yet they can not tell us how some will spend eternity in hell.  I would rather believe that Christ’s love and death was effectual for everyone He represented than to believe it was sure for no one.  Surely, surely, when Christ returns, He will never stand before anyone that He loved and say, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”.  His love is distinguishing, particular, specific and effectual.  It reaches to the lowest hell and snatches rebellious sinners from the clutches of Satan.  It lifts the beggar from the dunghill, not by their free will, but by His amazing grace and sets them among prices to inherit thrones of glory.  This is God’s word, this is God’s love! 

-Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor, Harmony Primitive Baptist Church

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