Word of the Month

Divine dimensions

July 2005

Even in our time, the end time of the work of redemption, the wish expressed by Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians has lost none of its significance: Christ must live in our hearts through faith, and we should be rooted and grounded in love (cf. Ephesians 3:17,18). In order to understand the workings of God we require knowledge rooted in faith and the fear of God. In another passage Apostle Paul emphasised that faith comes from the word of preaching (cf. Romans 10:17). That is why it is so important to absorb the Spirit-inspired word in the divine services: through it we are to acquire knowledge and comprehend the divine dimensions.

Apostle Paul bent his knees and asked the heavenly Father to help the children of God in this congregation to understand "the width and length and depth and height".

How are we to understand this?

Looking at it in the divine sense, we see the width as the grace of God. It is an expression of God's love, which is wide and great and is even extended to those who are not counted among Christ's bridal congregation. The grace of God extends much further than just to His people, whom He chose out of grace. When I ponder the notion of grace, I think particularly of the grace that we receive in the forgiveness of sins, which we can partake of in every divine service. Great and comprehensive grace - but it is not without limits! The time of grace will come to an end one day. May the dear God continue to grant us His grace until then. Let us always recognise and grasp it with every fibre of our being.

What is divine length? It is a synonym for divine patience, which He extends to us sinful human beings out of love! As long as the time of grace lasts, God will have patience with us. But one day, this too will come to an end. Then God's righteousness will take the place of His grace, and all human beings will receive their part according to their conduct, be it good or evil. Let us therefore take advantage of God's patience in order to prepare ourselves for the promised return of Christ, which will bring eternal fellowship with God for those who faithfully believe in Him.

Then we will experience the divine height, the happiness that only He can create out of His love for us. We gain a foretaste of this in every divine service when we receive new peace, strength, and joy through His word and grace. Thereby we are led step by step into the heights of perfect happiness.

And what is the depth? That is the love of God: unfathomably deep, all-encompassing, and immeasurably great! Before the foundation of the world, before we were conceived, God already saw us in His love. Out of love He has drawn us to Himself, has led and preserved us to this day, and has sent His Son to earth for our redemption. Out of love He also seeks to make us worthy for the day of His Son. "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:16). Let us take these words of Apostle John to heart. Let us give the love of God - which has been poured out in our hearts (cf. Romans 5: 5) - room to grow, and let us love God and His work above all other things. Then we will be rooted and grounded in love and will be led into the divine depth.

(From a service by Chief Apostle Fehr)