February 12, 2017. the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Like Faith, Love, is too wide, too deep and too high for our language to express.  Love “passes knowledge.”


Eph 3:19: And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness or God.  


Love is a supernatural power that is impossible to describe within the language of man.  There is the carnal love of an unsanctified soul which can be very painful.  Through the love of Jesus Christ,  the love of God with all the fullness of God is offered to us.


*Paul states in Verse 17b, “I pray that from this amazing love match in which you have rooted your new life and founded your new character, you and all the saints jointly may attain to the even larger experience of comprehending the breadth and length and depth and height---“.


These dimensions look back over the eons to when He first loved us, another to the endless future, still another to the depths He reached to rescue us, with the last pointing to the heights to which His love has raised us---full partners in His Glory!  But mere dimensions are not enough to express the inexpressible.  So he stops, stating that more than mere intelligence is needed.


3:19a “And to know by experience and exploration the love of Christ, which is something that can never be known by mere intellectual acquaintance.”


There is no way to explain love.  Great writers have tried.  One must fall in love for oneself and actually experience love.  For love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave; the coals thereof are coals of fire, which has a most vehement flame.  Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it; if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be condemned.” (Song 8:6-7).


To love and be loved is the greatest gift life can give us.  This Gift of Unsearchable Love is available to every human on the face of the earth through Jesus Christ.  I have preached a lot of sermons on love.  I do not have an adequate command of language to express this love.  I, like you, am still on the journey of exploring and experiencing the love of Christ.


So it is with experiencing Jesus, one must meet Him, fall in love and “marry” Him.  After that comes years of exploring the oceans of His gentleness, mercy, kindness and generosity.  Jesus is so wonderful; it takes time to discover what a truly marvelous Person He is.


As we become more and more aware of the astounding love Jesus has for us, Paul then adds in 19b “That you might be filled with all the fullness of God.” 


The fullness of God!!!


 The Greek Word #4138 (Pieroma) from 4137 (Pieroo):

  A filling of filling up:

1. A fullness of being full.

2. Something put in to fill up.

3. A fullness complete number.

4. The expression “the fullness of the earth” means all the good things with which the earth is filled or plentifully stored.

 5. The fullness of time denotes the completion of a particular period of time before ordained and appointed.

6.  Completion.  The church is called the Pieroma of Christ who fills all in all.  It indicates that Christ has filled it with all kinds of gifts and dwells in it and walks in it.

7.  A fullness of the Godhead in Christ in Col. 1:19; 2:9 means that in the body of Christ as it was constituted,  God was in His fullness and not simply in His manifestation.  Jesus was fully God and fully man with a body.


#4137 Pieroo:  “To fill, as a net with fish, as a house with a perfumed smell (Jn. 12:3); to fill up, as a valley (Lk. 3:5) or measure; to complete; finish; end; to fulfill;  accomplish;  perform; to preach or explain fully; to accomplish or perform what was foretold or prefigured in the O.T.; to fully satisfy. 


“That you might be filled with all the fullness of God.”


What a prayer request Paul made for us.  It is a promise with a condition attached.  We can experience this fullness of God and the fullness of earthly love if we know the love of Christ.   The Greek means to be full as God is full!  Through the Holy Spirit Christians learn they are joined in spiritual union to the Creator!  Beyond that they find He is “desperately” in love living only to see that they are completely satisfied!  Talk of self-realization!   Why we are involved with the Godhead Himself---growing and reaching for the very likeness of the Most High!  We know who we are, how we came to be and our eternal destiny.  That’s enough to make any man let go of this world and cling only to Jesus!  The Christian who does, experiences a rapture of soul this world cannot match.


3:20:  Now to Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”


He who exerts His power within us is not only able to do things like this, but so much more and in such measure that it goes beyond anything we can picture in our minds or dream of asking Him!


Consider that the One who is the lover of our soul is also the amazing Genius behind the physical creation that has scientists and investigators gasping.  Think what He can prepare for those whom He adores!  It is no wonder that, “eye has not seen nor ear heard…” the things that are in store for us”.  The God of the snowflake, of which no two are alike in a bucketful, a mountain range or the glaciers of the ages---never runs out of ideas.  It is into fellowship with a Person like that that we have been invited to spend eternity, participating as marriage-partners and equals!  Yes, He has the power to fill us with Himself and raise us to full adulthood…and then some. 


If the sea were filled with empty containers, the containers would be filled with the fullness of the sea.  That God should have such an incredible purpose for man calls for a doxology indeed.  In it Paul stresses again the limitless power at work in the saints to achieve this goal, which is infinitely more than man could ask for himself or even imagine.  There will then be endless glory for God through the Church, inasmuch as it will be a vehicle for the display of all the glories of Christ.


As a minister of the Gospel, if I could impart to you the “keys to the kingdom” to love and you were able to always have access to and know the secret  of the Grace of that great mystery, my joy would be full.  The key is through the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  God is our true beloved.  When we are in relationship with our “First love”, we will love our other loves more.  Our earthly relationships will be healthy and pain-free. 


John 3:16; 20:21) “…God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life…as my Father has sent me, so send I you.”


Paul was a great lover.  He was passionately in love with Jesus Christ, and the ministry of His Kingdom. 


The Apostle gave us many illustrations of Divine Love and how we can love His Presence and die to the pain of the lust of an unsanctified soul.  We will love His Presence more than our selfish pursuits. 


There are many who love God for what He has done for them.  This is a good reason.  We all started there.  Jesus is our merciful Savior.  He is Priest.  But if we stop there, we bog down and stagnate at that starting point.  If we build doctrinal and sectarian walls around those foundational truths, we will cut off God’s moving in our lives. 


God’s purpose is that we be just like Him.  God is a Giver and God is love (1 Jn. 4: 8, 16-18):  He that does not love does not know God, for God is love…And we have known and believed the love that God has to us.  God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God and God in him.  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear; because fear has torment.  He that fears is not made perfect in love.  We love him, because he first loved us.”


Those who know Jesus only as Priest are takers and not givers.  If all of your needs, thoughts and desires are still all about you, then you have missed the key of love.  If your love relationships fill you with fear and insecurity based on their response to your love or your needs; you have not been filled with Divine love.


1 Co. 13: 1-3: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, have not love, I am nothing.  Thought I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and though I give my body to burned, and have not love, it will not profit me.”


Any thing we do in the ministry that is not motivated by the Love of God and love for one another will burn as wood, hay and stubble.  Many have within them ministry, but are still frustrated with an expectation that the ministry is for their self-gratification and self-glorification.   We will certainly be held accountable for supporting our ministers, but the ministry must not seek its own.


These words written by the Apostle are not just beautiful poetry, but the very Blood of Christ and the cost of public ministry.


1 Co. 13:4:  Love suffers long, and is kind. Love does not envy or boil over with jealousy.  Love is not boastful or vainglorious.  Love does not display itself haughtily.”


These standards are for you, not for those you love or for those to whom you are ministering.  As ministers, it is expected you will be ministering to those who are immature.  We do not judge others by this standard.  We minister objectively, taking nothing personal without any expectation of being loved in return.  That does not mean that we lay down and allow people to walk all over us.  This is a condition of love and acceptance toward those who are immature.    We do not hold a two-year old child as accountable for wrongs and we would a teenager.  We do not hold a teenager as accountable for wrongs as we would someone in their twenties, etc.   This is a divine quality of Grace. 


1 Co. 13:5:  Love does not behave itself unseemly, does not seek her own, is not easily provoked, and thinks no evil.”


This means temper tantrums, rudeness, sassiness, pouting, retaliation, gossip, spite, meddling, controlling, etc.  If Satan can find your weakness to provoke you, he will be sure there is someone around you to push your buttons all day long.  If you are one who tries to find another’s weak spot and provoke them, you can expect the Lord will send you to the woodshed, but worst of all, you will miss being in that Divine realm of the Lord’s Divine Love. Until you repent, it will cost you the anointing and blessing of His Holy Presence.   The one you wish to provoke (hurt) will earn the crown and receive a promotion while you sit in pain separated from His Presence.  A person who continues in the sin of provocation and trouble making will soon be removed from the Body unless there is genuine repentance.   


Yes, the Lord has given us the gift of Discernment of spirits and we are able to discern evil.  While love learns spiritual discernment, it maintains its faith in others.  Far better to be deceived in a doubtful case and suffer hurt, than as a skeptic to hurt another who should have been believed.    Love should always believe the best and hope for the best.  As ministers when dealing with those who are immature and/or sinners, we simply deposit the love of Christ and do not take offense if we do not see fruit right away. 


1 Co. 13:6: “Love does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices in the truth.”


Only the Holy Spirit of Truth can set us free from the bondage of pain.  Many live in delusion and do not want to hear truth.  Love and truth unite to rejoice in its triumph over wrong. 


1 Co. 13:7: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. Love never fails.”  Hope is a certainty for those who are living in Divine Love.  We hope looking for the ultimate triumph of truth and persevere, steadfast in all things.  Endurance is more active than patience.


The Lord knows we will never be overcomers until we dispense this life of Jesus into others.  If the church is to unlock the door to a life filled with the Holy Spirit through Divine Love, then we must lay aside our selfish demands and receive the Love of Christ.


We are to be those who have power with God and man; prevailers and overcomers!  Those who know God as a Priest and King are walking in the strength and joy of their Lord.  


 But where there are prophecies, they shall fail; where there are tongues, they shall cease; where there is knowledge, it shall vanish away.”


Contrary to what some  have taught, this does not mean that the Holy Spirit gifts of prophecy, tongues and Word of Knowledge will cease.  It is simply a contrast with unending love.  These gifts are transitory for building up the body of Christ.  The gifts are to continue until perfection comes.  In the Lord’s immediate Presence, we will all know as we are known. 


Without a prophetic vision, the Lord’s people will perish (Pr. 29:18).  The higher you go, the farther you can see.  Let us arise from the dust of carnality and lusting after things that which will not profit us.  Let us stop crying out to God to satisfy the pain of our soul, and ask Him to fill us with His Divine Love that we may experience the joy unspeakable and full of Glory. 


Phil 3:20: …our conversation is in heaven, from whence we look.”  Let us go up higher to the top of the mountain and fly with eagles instead of acting like a turkey.


If we preach a man-centered vision that only emphasizes a God who meets the need of humanity, we will miss the God-centered vision whose love fills us with the fullness of Himself.  through Him and unto Him.




 (Ephesians 3)

Preached by: Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Preached by:  Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Sunday, February 13, 2011

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