The Greatest Theme!
From Our Hope Magazine, year 1919
"The greatest of these is love" (1 Cor. 13:13). Not our little love, but His
great love! "Perfect love casteth out fear," writes the beloved disciple (1
John 4:18). But not our love but His wonderful love. Of this love, the
Apostle Paul writes:

"And to know the love of Christ, which passeth [means surpasses]
knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God"

(Ephesians 3:19).

The love of Jesus Christ is the greatest theme of the Word of God. The
dimensions of this love, the breadth, the length, the height and the depth
cannot be measured. It extends over all the ages and will last forever and
ever. The height is Heaven's Glory; the depth, the horrible pit of darkness,
death and judgment into which He went for the lost sinners. In love He
stooped so low and lifts so high. The riches of His love are unsearchable.

The love of Christ alone can satisfy our hearts. This is our resting place--
not our weak and little love for Him
, but His eternal, omniscient and
perfect love for us.
The knowledge of it in faith gives peace and joy,
upholds in earth's sorrows, makes earthly joys and pleasures vanish, fills
the soul with longing for Himself. And yet how little we drink at this blessed
fountain! How often is the creature's love more real to us, yea, more
enjoyed, than His surpassing love!
Yet His love continues and can never
end for those who have trusted in Christ.

It passeth knowledge because it never had beginning. It is an infinite, an
eternal love. Before the foundation of the world
He loved the church and
had His heart set upon us. All His own were known to Him, before
they ever existed.
And well may we remember that this is true of us as
individuals. He knew our sin and our shame, yet He loved us. This passeth

It passeth knowledge because the Lord Jesus laid His glory aside and
became flesh. Love led Him down. And then He gave Himself for us. The
Church is the pearl of great price for which He gave all He had to give to
possess her. But while it is true that "Christ loved the church, and gave
Himself for it," it is equally true that each believer, put into that church by
the Holy Spirit as a member, can say, "He loved me and gave Himself for
me" (Gal. 2:20). It is therefore a personal love; and that passeth knowledge.

It passeth knowledge when we think that our blessed Savior bore our
individual sins in His body on the tree. All were known to Him and He paid
for all of them with His precious blood. It passeth knowledge, when we
think what agony and suffering this involved. And what are we that He
should pass through all of this, and stand in our stead!
"When we were yet
without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely
for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man
some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward
us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"
5:6-8). Ungodly, sinners, enemies of God, vile and lost, such we were by
and such He loved and for such He gave Himself. It passeth
knowledge. But now we can rejoice in the triumphs of His awesome love--
accomplished in His finished work.

"The storm that bow'd Thy blessed Head,
Is hushed forever now,
And rest divine is mind instead
Whilst Glory crowns Thy brow."

It passeth knowledge-- for as wandering lost sheep, the Lord Jesus went
after us and sought us. He drew us with the cords of love (Hos. 11:4) and
then "He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was
love" (Song of Sol. 2:4). And how His love has provided for all our need,
for our comfort and peace, for our rest and enjoyment! In that banqueting
house of salvation and fellowship with Himself, all is love, which passeth
knowledge. The feast is rich, and He invites us to enjoy the riches of that
Love wants to give. Oh! for hearts open, constantly open to receive
the fullness of His love, the blessings of love, He is so willing to give!
wants to be trusted.
Oh! for a more perfect trust in Him who loveth us!

It passeth knowledge when we think how He bears with us in our erring
ways. He knows each one. He knows our frame, our weakness, our sins,
our failings; He knows the secrets of our hearts. He knoweth it all and still
loves us. The blessed work, foreshadowed when Christ girded Himself and
washed His disciples' feet is still done by Him. In this work of His love, He
cleanses us by the washing of water by the Word. He takes away that
which defiles us. In our failures He bears with us and restores to fellowship
by His work of love, as our Advocate.

It passeth knowledge-- this mighty love-- because He protects us, and in
His loving care He ever thinks of each of us. How it must grieve Him when
our anxieties and fears accuse Him our not caring for us! "Carest Thou
not?" said Martha to Him in her anxious service. And each fear, each
doubt, each anxious burden we bear ourselves, but repeats this sinful
He does care and bids us to cast our cares upon Him. Our
blessed Savior will never leave us.
He can never forsake us. All things, no
matter what they are, are directed by Himself and arranged by His love, so
that they must work together for good.

It passeth knowledge, for Christ will never cease loving those who are
washed in His own blood. He will keep us to the end, and through His love
and power, present the Church to Himself-- a glorious Church, not having
spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. The future will yet manifest the love
that passeth knowledge. When we shall be welcomed by Him in the
Father's house, where we become the partakers of His own Glory and bear
His own image, when that blessed eternity of Glory begins, then we shall
begin to know more fully that love, which passeth knowledge.

But now down here, as pilgrims and strangers,
we can have it as our
blessed and daily portion to know the love of Christ, which passeth
We can know what passeth knowledge. Yes as we know the
love of Christ Jesus, as we taste that love, trust His love, receive from His
fullness, we discover that it does pass knowledge. May the Spirit of God
lead us on into the knowledge of His perfect love! And that carries with it
great responsibility. The love of Christ enjoyed and trusted will constrain
us. We shall live no longer for ourselves, but for Him. Love begets love.
Filled with His love, we shall love and walk in love, Yea in that love in Him
and His love shed abroad in our hearts we shall be filled with all the fullness
of God.

It passeth knowledge! that dear love of Thine,
O Jesus, Saviour; yet this soul of mine
Would of Thy love, in all its breadth and length,
Its height and depth and everlasting strength,
Know more and more.
Lord Jesus, when Thee face to face I see,
When on Thy lofty throne I sit with Thee,
Then of Thy love in all its breadth and length,
Its height and depth, its everlasting strength,
My soul shall sing.

Our Hope Magazine, April 1919.
Transcribed and modified for the web by Cobblestone Road Ministries.


1John 4:9-14 declares:

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God
sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through
him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and
sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so
loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at
any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is
perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us,
because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify
that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

Further Reading:
IN HIM - The Treasures Of Wisdom and Knowledge
SERMON STORY: Frances Ridley Havergal and 1John 1:7
JEWELS - We Are Precious To God
THE WORK OF CHRIST -  The Only Resting Place
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