After waking to eight verses in Psalm 119 . . . and chewing on Solomon’s great prayer of dedication at the just completed and glory-filled temple . . . and taking in Zechariah’s song of praise at the birth of his son and the prospect of his Messiah . . . like a good cup of coffee, I’m finishing with savoring the first part of Ephesians 3. To be sure it’s been a feast this morning. And the lingering after taste is awe, wonder, and worship as I consider the unsearchable riches of Christ.
For Paul, the gospel was a “stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you” (3:2). It was a treasure to be managed, shared, and directed as God willed. And, in that, was the mystery. The mystery of Christ given to Paul through revelation by the Spirit, “that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (3:6). Though very few of the twelve tribes saw it coming, it was always intended to be . . . “the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things” (3:9b). It’s what God meant when He promised Abraham, “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). And that “eternal purpose” was realized in Christ Jesus our Lord (3:11).
Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of Gods grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ . . . (Ephesians 3:7-8 ESV)
The unsearchable riches of Christ. Unable to be fully tracked. Unable to be completely comprehended. But more than able to evoke awe and wonder.
Unsearchable in ITS EXISTENCE. Determined before the foundation of the world. Hidden for the ages. All of redemptive history pointing to it. Nothing done that was done by God without the determined purpose that it would culminate in Christ. Hinted at in the seed that would crush the serpents head. Pictured in the Passover Lamb. Foretold in Isaiah’s prophetic vision of a suffering servant. Promised as the Son of David who would sit on the throne forever. Go as far back as you can . . . and then some . . . and there you find the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Unsearchable in ITS REACH. Not just for the Jew, but for the Gentile as well. Not just for those who seek the Light, but for those so enveloped in darkness they don’t even know it. Not just for the saint but for the sinner. Reaching to the lowest hell . . . redeeming those that we might consider beyond redemption. It’s the nature grace . . . it’s the fruit of imputed righteousness . . . it’s the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Unsearchable in ITS BENEFIT. That the gospel was but an exemption from having to pay the wages our sin demanded, that would be a gift beyond expectation. But that it would be accompanied with “boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him” (3:12) is beyond measure. Not just rescued, but righteous. Not just saved, but sons. Not just excused from hell, but invited to dine at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits (Ps. 103:2) . . . the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Unsearchable in ITS INSTRUCTION.
. . . so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 3:10 ESV)
The mystery of Christ . . . the grace of the gospel . . . impacting not only creatures here on earth, but also leaving an eternal impression in heavenly realms. What does it sound like for an angel to gasp in disbelief as he witnesses an enemy of God willingly surrender before the cross? What is the nature of the thunderous voice that is raised around the throne when, in celebration, heaven rejoices over a lost one found? How is the church providing the fuel for eternal worship in the heavens? Don’t fully know. It’s unsearchable.
And, it’s unbelievable!
But it is also undeniable!
All because of grace! . . . All for His glory!