June 22, 2015
Ephesians 3:8; II Corinthians 9:15
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
I decided to add another scripture to our featured Ephesians passage from last Friday. But I will abbreviate Ephesians 3:7 through 12 for the sake of space today. Here are both Ephesians 3:8 and II Corinthians 9:15 (KJV):
To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given,
that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of
Christ….Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.
Paul was preaching “…among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” So he had to have searched out what was unsearchable in order to preach it! And to preach it, he had to speak out the unspeakable!
In Friday’s blog, we began to discuss why the unsearchable riches of Christ are unsearchable. And I wrote, “Because they are beyond human understanding! They are revealed by the Holy Spirit, and only true believers have the Holy Spirit living within them!” From a human standpoint, the riches of Christ are unsearchable. It is only when a person experiences Jesus Christ and the riches of His salvation, that he or she can then begin to search out and understand those riches.
Why is all this also unspeakable? I chose the King James translation for II Corinthians 9:15 because of this word unspeakable – it just went so well with unsearchable! The Greek word used here means (according to Strong’s), “not expounded in full, i.e. indescribable….” Indescribable is how the New King James Version translates the word.
And this leads us to the second idea of why the riches of Christ are Unsearchable And Unspeakable. They are beyond our present human capacity to fully understand them! How can we comprehend the following?
• God created man innocent and holy, but with the capacity to choose and make his own decisions (free-will), knowing that man would disobey and bring all humankind into sinful rebellion against their Creator! This involves some other mind-blowing concepts: God’s omnipotence (He is all-powerful); His omniscience (He is all-knowing); and His total holiness.
• God set the penalty for disobedience – death, both physical and spiritual! He told Adam in Genesis 2:17: “…of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Adam ate, and Adam died! He died spiritually first, hiding from God. Because spiritual death is separation from God. Years later he died physically. And, as it says in Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and thus death passed upon all men, because all have sinned.” We are all sinners! (See Romans 3:10, 23). We are all spiritually dead in our natural state! (See Ephesians 2:1). And if this condition is not rectified, we all face eternity separated from God forever in a torturous hell! (See Revelation 21:8).
• God paid the penalty for sin Himself! Why? Because if it was to be paid at all, it had to be paid by SomeOne who was holy and sinless. Everything that any human being can do is infected by sin. So if someone tried to offer God a sacrifice to cover sin’s penalty, even if he or she died to try to satisfy the debt, that sacrifice would be tainted by sin. On our own, even dying by the horrible death of crucifixion for our sins would simply add to our debt of sin before God!
If only SomeOne sinless would offer to do it…. But the only one sinless is God Himself! So Jesus Christ, the Son of God became incarnate (became a human being), and He lived a perfect life as a human being, never sinning once. Then He offered that sinless life as a sacrifice before His Father – in our place, totally paying for the sins of all mankind for all time! Three days later He arose from the grave – proof that God accepted His sacrifice on our behalf. Now, He lives forever to apply that procured salvation to all who come unto Him in faith believing He died and lives for them!
Why? Why would God do that for sinful, rebellious mankind? The answer is in John 3:16 – called The gospel in a nutshell : “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” He loves the world! He loves me! He loves you…enough to die in our place!
How can we comprehend all that? How can we begin to search it all out? How can we begin to speak about it in its fulness? No wonder the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is Unsearchable And Unspeakable!
More on this in Wednesday’s blog.