The DEEP

To Comprehend

the love of Christ.

Ephesians 3:14–19 (NKJV)

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

This passage climaxes with one word – “comprehend.” In a series of purpose constructions, Paul is praying for the Ephesians. He bows his knees to the Father, asking that He would grant you … to be strengthened.

Why? For the purpose that Christ may dwell in your hearts.

Why? So that you … may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

That comprehension is the greatest privilege imaginable. Your eyes and your hearts open to the truth and life becomes alive.


This harkens back to the previous point about pain not being painful. An expanded view of reality changes everything. Pain isn’t so painful. Scary things aren’t scary. Everything starts to make sense – and that can be super comforting.

But this is inseparable for the doctrine of God’s sovereignty. The comforting thing is that God is in control. If you can’t accept that – and many people can’t – then the comfort that comes with it isn’t going to be there.

The problem isn’t what the Bible says; that’s clear enough. The problem is the tragedies of life – disease, car crashes, other evils. People can’t reconcile God’s absolute sovereignty with those events. They just “shouldn’t” have happened.

If you struggle with this (and who doesn’t?) understand that there are no quick answers. You owe it to yourself to work through this. The DEEPs from a few years ago that walked through the book of Job might be worth reviewing.

This can be a lot of work, but it’s worth it.


The weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.