Wednesday August 5, 2020
We must prize life chiefly as a means of knowing God.
Human life has the potential of knowing God through Jesus Christ. Only human life has a heart in which Christ can make residence. There is no other lofty reason for life. All others are base when compared to it. Living for some personal reason, goal, success means nothing in the end. Knowing God is the chief means of living.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
We rise from personal experience to the broad and lofty thoughts of God by exercising the word of God in our experiences. Everything around us and in us is designed by God to reveal Himself, and when we are like Him in conduct, He reveals much, much more of Himself.
For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every [the whole] family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; 17 so that [the] Christ may dwell [at home] in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able [have all power] to comprehend [apprehend] with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know [and continue to know more] the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.
So, the Spirit strengthens with power so that we can live the life of Christ in obedience and then the truths about Christ will dwell at home in our hearts through faith, which love will keep us rooted and grounded, and all of this has a purpose.
[so that] may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.
The purpose of the spiritual life, perhaps it summarizes all purposes or is one of several, but all are related: to know the love of Christ and to be filled up “to” (to the measure of the standard of) all the fulness of God.
Theses would go hand-in-hand, as would being like Him, following Him, pleasing Him, glorifying Him.
Hina is used 590 times in the NT. It is an important word since it points to purpose.
“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.”
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
“By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”
“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends, if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you. 17 This I command you, that you love one another.”
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
“And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.”
“And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. 20 I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me.”
"O righteous Father, although the world has not known Thee, yet I have known Thee; and these have known that Thou didst send Me; 26 and I have made Thy name known to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith Thou didst love Me may be in them, and I in them."
Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. 20 And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law, though not being myself under the Law, that I might win those who are under the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. 23 And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
Great purpose creates consistent drive.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you.
There are many more, but I’ll end with the final one, the final “that” to which God’s purpose is fulfilled.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; 26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.
They are all related. It is the life of God in us, flowing through us, flowing out of us. It is the sole reason for everything. God giving men His life. Certainly, a lot had to happen to make it possible, which is the history of the universe: the fall of Satan, the fall of man, the calling of Abraham and the nation of Israel, the birth, death, resurrection of Christ, and the fulfillment of all promises by God. The purpose of it all was to bring many sons to glory.
Our purpose is to know the love of Christ and by it to be filled to the measure of the standard of the fulness of God.
The more we know of the love of Christ, the more we find that we are very far from knowing all of it. Like an endless tunnel upon which we encounter what looks to be the end, only to find that it is a turn and the tunnel goes on well beyond.
“surpasses” - huperballo = to throw over or beyond, to transcend; “knowledge.” How are we to be always getting to know that which transcends knowledge?
The seeming contradiction is removed when we understand that all knowledge of God is like this - infinite. There is nothing like the love of God in this universe. There is one and one only and from one source. When we come to know it, we have a partial knowledge of something that literally has no end. But rather than discouraging our efforts to discover, it invites us to follow it, invites our observation and pursuit, even though it always outreaches us.
So then, it is not a contradiction but a beautiful truth; the love of Christ is always deeper than our knowledge of it.
In all the mystery of Christ, perhaps there is nothing more wonderful and past finding out than His love. For thirty years Paul has been living in daily fellowship with the love of Christ, his heart full of it and all the powers of his mind bent upon its comprehension: he cannot understand its depth yet. It amazes him more than ever so that his prayer for the churches is that they would come to know it.
The revelation of Christ’s love for us causes us to look inward. Am I worthy of it? The obvious answer leads to another question, why? The only answer to that is that He is love. And from there we start to turn our eyes away from ourselves and towards Him. Our old personal reason is confounded. Our worldview is turned upside down. Our loss of self has begun and there is no turning back. All because He loved me, He pulled my eyes away from dullness, sin, self, and the futile, feeble world and towards Him.
The love of Christ broke the pride of the great Pharisee Saul of Tarsus, chief of sinners. His Pharisaical pride went back centuries, but it was no match for the love of Christ.
that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.
A man of the world would say his life was complete when he imagined he had everything. He attained all his goals, rose to the height of status that he desired.
Christ called it: LUK 12:21
"So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
And He said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions."
Life does not consist of possessions.
The fulfilled man of the world may argue that it is not the possessions but the pride of knowing he accomplished them, the satisfaction and dignity and recognition they give him. But he is a fool, for take them all away and they who admired him will scorn him (Job) and he will be further hurt than if he never had them because he wasn’t strong enough to protect them and hold them. If they remain to the end, it is obvious that his fulness has been based on things, on the earth, on the temporary and destined to be judged. He will die…
"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?'
And whether he lived a hundred years or twenty, time is relative and therefore irrelevant to life since death is its enemy who in the end wins and possesses all he has.