John 3:16; Ephesians 3:17-19
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
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.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): Paul says that we are know that love of Christ which “passeth knowledge.”
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): But if it passeth knowledge, how can we know it?
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: There is no contradiction here. What the apostle is saying is this: that though this love of Christ is itself beyond all computation, and can never be truly measured, nevertheless it is our business to learn as much as we can about it, to receive as much as we can possibly contain, to do our utmost to try to comprehend it all.
ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): But what can the apostle mean by the breadth, length, depth, and height, of the love of God? Imagination can scarcely frame any satisfactory answer to this question.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: The very terminology which is used by the apostle, in and of itself, suggests vastness.
MATTHEW HENRY: By enumerating these dimensions, the apostle designs to signify the exceeding greatness of the love of Christ, the unsearchable riches of His love, which is higher than heaven, deeper than hell, longer than the earth, and broader than the sea, Job 11:8,9.
ADAM CLARKE: It takes in the eternity of God. God is Love; and in that, an infinity of breadth, length, depth, and height, is included. Or, rather, all breadth, length, depth, and height, are lost in this immensity. It comprehends all that is above, all that is below, all that is past, and all that is to come.
JOHN GILL (1697-1771): His love is like Himself―it has heights and depths, and lengths and breadths immeasurable; it admits of no variation nor alteration; and is altogether free, arising from Himself, and not from any motives and conditions in men.
MATTHEW HENRY: In its full extent it surpasses knowledge. Though the love of Christ may be better perceived and known by Christians than it generally is, yet it cannot be fully understood on this side heaven.
SAMUEL RUTHERFORD (1600-1661): Acquaint thyself with Christ’s love, and ye shall not miss to find new goldmines and treasures in Christ.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Let us try and look at it in terms of these very dimensions which the apostle puts before us and presents for our consideration―have you ever considered the breadth of this love?
JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): What is the breadth of the love of Christ?
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): This love embraces all His children.
JOHN GILL: All the elect, in all ages, places, and nations.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): If you trust Christ, be you who you may, or what you may, the wide world over, you are a saved man. Do not say, “I will not believe because I do not know whether I am elected.” You cannot know that until you have believed. Your business is with believing. Whosoever—there is no limitation in it—Whosoever believeth in Christ shall be saved. You, as well as any other man. If you trust Christ, your sins shall be forgiven, your iniquities blotted out.
MATTHEW HENRY: Upon our believing in Christ, we become the sons of God; we are thereupon accepted of Him, and adopted by Him.
C. H. SPURGEON: Out of His great love, He adopts me into His family.
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): The Bible tells us that God has an elect people—a family in this world. All poor sinners who have convinced of sin, and fled to Jesus for peace, make up that family. All of us who really believe on Christ for salvation are its members.
C. H. SPURGEON: They are one in the family of God, and no one is ahead of the other. One may have more grace than another, but God does not love one more than another.
ADAM CLARKE: The love of God, in its breadth, is a girdle that encompasses the globe.
JOHN LELAND (1754-1841): The Gospel Church, takes in no nation, but those who fear God, and work righteousness in every nation.
WILLIAM TYNDALE (1490-1536): The Church of Christ is the multitude of all them that believe in Christ for the remission of sin; and of a thankfulness for that mercy, love the law of God purely and without glosses.
C. H. SPURGEON: A church is a congregation of faithful men who are believers in the Lord Jesus, men in whom the Holy Spirit has created faith in Christ, and the new nature of which faith is the sure index. The one church of Jesus Christ is made up of all believers throughout all time. Just as any one church is made up of faithful men, so is the one church of Christ made up of all faithful churches in all lands, and of all faithful men in all ages…When we look at a map of any country, we should think of how the cause of God prospers in that region.
HULDRYCH ZWINGLI (1484-1531): The Church universal is diffused over the whole world, wherever there is faith in Jesus Christ, in the Indies as well as at Zurich.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, barbarian nor Sythian, nor bond nor free, nor male nor female―It’s a very marvellous thing, I say, to recollect this―that, even as things are today in the world―in every county, in every continent, differing in colour, in culture, in background, and in everything else conceivable, there are men and women meeting together as you and I are this morning to worship God, and to thank Him for His dear Son and His glorious salvation. The breadth of it all!
MARY WINSLOW (1774-1854): Love emanates from God. It is a Divine cement that unites the one family of heaven…The love of the Spirit—the love which He inspires in the heart—is an unselfish love, a holy love, a uniting, cementing love, a bond of union to the one family of God, and to Christ the one Head.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: We belong to the same Father, to the same household, to the same family, we are going to the same home.
WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): There is a day coming, and it cannot be far from us, in which we shall meet lovingly in heaven, and sit at one feast.
C. H. MACKINTOSH (1820-1896): The family of the redeemed.
J. C. RYLE: All will find themselves joining with one heart and voice in that hymn of praise, Revelation 1:5,6: “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”