Christ’s Authority of Love

God is the head of Christ, and Christ is the head of the church.

It’s easy to see authority as restrictive. In fact, aren’t rules simply to prevent you from doing things, and thus, anti-freedom? Quite the contrary.

If you want to attain true freedom, you must give your own way up and follow the way of Christ. Even on earth, Jesus was all-powerful. He was capable of doing anything he wanted–but was perfectly limited by the Father’s will. Every move that Jesus made on earth was scripted by a sovereign God. And yet, He is the freest man that ever lived.

Sin is bondage, slavery. Christ died that we (believers) will be free–because we died with Him, and are raised with Him, and Paul says that we are hidden in Christ with God.

So love and freedom are intermixed–setting aside your own desires to consider the desires of others first, that is to love, brings freedom.

Simply, Christ’s love for us is our freedom.

Happy ascension day!

As Christ Loved the Church

Paul teaches two things in Ephesians 5–how husbands should love their wives, and how Christ loves the church. Young man, it’s vital that you know how to love your future wife. But it’s a critical prerequisite that you know the Love of Christ.

Christ loved us, setting aside His own desires, and putting the our needs before His own (Mat 26:39). He loved us, sanctifying us to make us holy both in the sight of God (1 Cor 6:11) and physically holy in the world (Eph 5:8). He washes us “with the water of the word” so that we might be spotless and clean. The sacrifice that Jesus made to bring us sanctification was complete–he undertook the whole wrath of God for our sake.

Our calling then, is to love as Christ did, in every circumstance where we are called to love:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. – Matthew 22:37-39

Knowing About God, or Knowing God?

Ephesians is a book about knowing God. (Eph 3:17-19) As Paul puts it, the purpose of his preaching and apostleship is that Christ may dwell in our hearts, that we may know the breadth and length and height and depth [of God and Christ], to know the love of Christ, and to be filled with all the fullness of God. Similarly, the phrase, “In Christ”, occurs 57 times throughout the book. So Paul’s focus is for us to be In Christ, and also to be filled with Christ and God.

Even the demons know about God–James 2–but instead of loving Him, they shudder. Satan must see the love of Christ towards His elect, but reviles it. Then, is seeing the love of Christ towards others enough to know it in Paul’s sense? Obviously not. You’ve got to experience that love, to have the fullness of God filling you.

One of the first times the word “know” is used in scripture is when Adam “knew” his wife Eve, and they had a son. And indeed, knowledge is a frequent term of close relationship throughout scripture. Later in Ephesians, Paul even associates the relationship of husband to wife with the relationship of Christ and His Church. Marriage is a deep, intimate, personal relationship, not just an intellectual understanding.

So then, we must be careful when studying God that we don’t simply learn about Christ, but that we learn Christ. Firsthand experience, not intellectual knowledge.

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. – John 17:3