My study in God’s Word the other day led me to Ephesians, chapter six. I found myself flying through the familiar verses of the chapter only to slam on the brakes as I reached the last sentence of the letter.
“Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an incorruptible love.” Ephesians 6:24
The gifted commentator, Matthew Henry wrote, “The words may be read, Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruption, who continue constant in their love to him, so as not to be corrupted out of it by any baits or seductions whatsoever, and whose love to him is uncorrupted by any opposite lust, or the love of anything displeasing to him. Grace, that is, the favour of God, and all good (spiritual and temporal), that is, the product of it, are and shall be with all those who thus love our Lord Jesus Christ” (eSword).
Baptist theologian John Gill defined this as believers who prove to be “sincere and hearty lovers of Him” (eSword).
And Adam Clarke correctly connects love for Christ with obedience to Christ. He wrote that this concept of incorruptible love is possessed by “those who show the genuineness of their love, by walking before him in holiness of life. Many profess to love our Lord Jesus who are corrupt in all their ways; on these the grace or favor of God cannot rest; they profess to know him, but in works deny him. Such can neither expect favor here, nor hereafter” (eSword).
Are you convicted yet?
I wonder if the believers in Ephesus were convicted when they first read these words. I find it very interesting that several years later, the Apostle John would reprimand them for their lukewarm love for Christ (Rev. 2:4). Perhaps many in the church did not take Paul’s words to heart. Their love became corrupted. Their once-upon-a-time passionate love for Jesus had grown cool.
It’s a sad statement. And, it is sobering to think it could be true of us as well.
How thankful should we be for the final verse of Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus?!
Allow me to close with a great exhortation from a sermon preached by Jonathan Edwards:
“Seeing that Christ is your all, give Him your whole heart. Let Him be the object not only of your highest esteem, but your supreme affection. Let Him engross your heart, and let all your powers and faculties be taken up and employed in loving Him. Love Him with all your heart and with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. Let Him be the great object of your longing desires. Let Him be your exceeding joy, your only delight. Take your full contentment in Him.”
Christ is the Christians All, The Puritan Pulpit: Jonathan Edwards, Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 2004, p.204.