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Love in Four Dimensions

By Russell DeLong


      Scripture: John 3:16; Ephesians 3:18

      Einstein's theory of relativity has given rise to much discussion of the fourth dimension. It is a twentieth century scientific and mathematical discovery.

      The fourth dimension is nothing new in Biblical or theological thought. It is as old as God.

      The Apostle Paul incorporates it in his Epistle to the Ephesian church. -- Listen

      That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; 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, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

      There is love in four dimensions:

      1. Breadth

      2. Length

      3. Depth

      4. Height

      These dimensions of love are also wrapped up in the great verse called "The Little

      Gospel," John 3: 16. '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.'

      Consider the wonderful, limitless, boundless dimensions.

      1. Breadth -- "so."

      God's matchless love was so broad that He included all men of all races, of all tribes, of

      all nationalities, of all colors, of all stations, of all levels, of all degrees, of all abilities and attainments. His love is as broad as humanity. It is unlimited, catholic, and universal. It is unrestricted by geography, sex, color, rank, or position. It extends over and beyond every human need. It envelops sorrow, loneliness, poverty, disappointment, tragedy, and sin of every kind. God's love is as broad as human need. It is as boundless as space, as wide as the ocean, as limitless as the sky.

      There's a wideness in God's mercy,

      Like the wideness of the sea.

      No matter who you may be or what sin you have committed, the first dimension of God's

      love includes you -- breadth.

      2. Length -- "gave"

      The second dimension of God's love is length. "He gave." How far did God go? He went

      the limit -- He gave His Son. His love went such lengths that it could stop nowhere short of making the supreme gift, the priceless jewel of the heavenly firmament -- He gave His only Son. He went all out. He spared nothing. He provided no cheap sacrifice. His love was long enough to pluck His Son to reveal His love to poor lost man.

      Wonderful story of love!

      Tho' you are far away!

      His love is long enough to reach you, no matter how far away you have wandered. God's

      love is long enough in sacrifice and long enough in outreach to pull you back.

      3. Depth -- "perish"

      The third dimension of God's love is depth -- "might not perish." His love reaches to the

      very brink of hell. It is deep enough to snatch you from the burning. And God's love can penetrate your heart deep enough to remove the stain and blackness of sin.

      It is as deep as the ocean, more penetrating than sin, and more fathomless than the sea.

      I was sinking deep in sin,

      Far from the peaceful shore,

      Very deeply stained within,

      Sinking to rise no more.

      But the Master of the sea

      Heard my despairing cry,

      From the waters lifted me;

      Now safe am I.

      Love lifted me, love lifted me;

      When nothing else could help,

      Love lifted me. [3]

      4. Height -- "everlasting life"

      The fourth dimension of God's love is height, "everlasting life." His love reaches to the

      depths to carry us to the heights. He will lift you above the morasses of sin, the fogs of life, the trials of living, the sorrows of earth, up to the heights of His holiness and goodness, where one may live above sin, sorrow, and pain in the celestial ozone of God's eternal city. His topless love will enable you to dwell in Elysian fields on mountain peaks in the city of everlasting day.

      Love divine, all love excelling,

      Joy of heav'n to earth come down!

      Jesus, Thou art all compassion;

      Pure, unbounded love Thou art.

      Love of Christ so freely given,

      Grace of God beyond degree,

      Mercy higher than the heavens,

      Deeper than the deepest sea.

      Jeremiah, the old prophet, burst forth with these words which he heard God say: "Yea, I

      have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jer. 31: 3).

      John, the beloved disciple, caught a glimpse of God's great love and cried out, "Behold,

      what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God" (I John 3: 1).

      God's love is four-dimensional. It reaches out, and down, and up, and in. It is as broad as

      man's need; it is as long as the cost of man's redemption; it is as deep as man's sin, and as high as heaven.

                  No wonder the poet wrote

      The love of God is greater far

      Than tongue or pen can ever tell;

      It goes beyond the highest star,

      And reaches to the lowest hell.

      Could we with ink the ocean fill,

      And were the skies of parchment made;

      Were every stalk on earth a quill,

      And every man a scribe by trade;

      To write the love of God above

      Would drain the ocean dry.

      Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

      Though stretched from sky to sky. [4]

      Such matchless, boundless, limitless love of God demands a wholehearted, complete,

      unreserved response from man.

      St. Paul reached one of the greatest peaks in all of his inspired writings when he attempted to describe the four-dimensional love of God.

      That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; 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, that ye might be filled with all

      the fullness of God.

      Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,

      according to the power that worketh in us,

      Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.

      Amen.

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