Ephesians 3:17-19

17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height —

19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

dwell (v.17) — The personal presence of the Lord Jesus in the heart of the believer is not in view here. That is taken for granted. The word “dwell” is katoikesai, made up of oikeo, “to live in as a home,” and kata, “down,” thus “to settle down and be at home.” The tense is aorist, showing finality. The expanded translation is; “that Christ might finally settle down and feel completely at home in your hearts.” — Wuest, page 88

through faith (v.17) — not faith for salvation, but faith that He will grant the fulness of the Spirit

The words, “being rooted” and “grounded” are perfect tense participles in the Greek text. They are the result of the strengthening by the Spirit and the consequent at-home-ness of the Lord Jesus in the believer’s heart and His fellowship with him. The word “rooted” has the idea of securely settled, and “grounded,” that of deeply founded. Love here is that love which the Holy Spirit produces and with which He floods the heart of the yielded saint. The inner spiritual condition of the heart enables the saint “to comprehend” (v.18) and “to know” (v.19). — Wuest, page 89

love (vs. 17 and 19) = agape

able (v.18) = to be eminently able, to have full strength

comprehend (v.18) = to lay hold of so as to make one’s own — to take full possession of — to apprehend — conceptual knowledge

with all saints (v.18) — this spiritual capacity is available to all saints who receive the fulness of the Holy Spirit as a result of their faith

width … length … depth … height (v.18) — an expression of the vastness of the love of Christ

to know (v.19) = knowledge gained by experience — The conceptual knowledge gained in v.18 becomes experiential knowledge as we realize the love of Christ

passes (v.19) — The word “surpassing” is a participle of hyperballo, “to throw over or beyond, to transcend, exceed, excel.” This love surpasses knowledge, gnosis, “experiential knowledge.” That is, no matter how much the saint experiences of the love of Christ, yet there are oceans of love in the great heart of God that have not been touched by his experience. — Wuest, page 90

with (v.19) = to, unto — to the measure or standard of

fullness of God (v.19) — the fullness which God imparts through the dwelling of Christ in the heart; Christ, in whom the Father was pleased that all the fullness should dwell (Colossians 1:19), and in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead (Colossians 2:9). — Wuest, pages 90-91

I study Scripture in small chunks so I can go slowly and be sure that I’m not missing anything. But I need to remember that the smaller passages need to be studied in the context of their surrounding, larger passages. The love and fullness in these verses are tied directly to, and inseparable from the Mystery—the complete and final revelation of God’s plan—and cannot be apprehended without an understanding of what that means.

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