“In affirming this he is neither indulging in hypocrisy nor grovelling in self-depreciation. ); but it is not found in (268) (269) (270) (271), etc., and is best omitted. Then only, when we stand within the veil, and look back on all the way of life by which we were led, then only shall we completely understand the need and beauty of humility. (A. F. Mitchell, D. D.), Preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ. ᾿ελαχιστότατος is found in Sextus Empir. “Riches of Christ”: “Boundless wealth to be found in the Christ” (TCNT). He is at once our Mediator, our Advocate, our Priest, our Intercessor, our Shepherd, our Bishop, our Physician, our Captain, our King, our Master, our Head, our Forerunner, our Elder Brother, the Bridegroom of our souls. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board). So even in respect to human science. The blessings of salvation in Christ are extravagantly above all human ability to evaluate them. 1. 3. The children of this world may regard them with indifference, or turn away from them with disdain; but those who feel the value of their souls know better. We leave nature to the philosophers; our philosophy is to know ‘God manifest in the flesh.’ We leave the planets to astronomers; our astronomy is to teach people to adore ‘the bright and morning Star,’ to adore ‘the Sun of Righteousness,’ rising with healing under His wings. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jec/ephesians-3.html. Through His intervention God is just, and yet man may be saved. The Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 3:8-12) Also the noble purposes answered by it. 4. A man’s faith is very much influenced by his own disposition. Commentary on Ephesians 3:8-12. Yet God has revealed them unto babes. You can very soon search earthly riches; but you cannot, by any use or enjoyment, search the unsearchable riches of Christ. 3. is the explanation of the χάρις αὕτη. I think that Christ has enriched us beyond all our powers of imagination to conceive the value of our wealth. . The power of His words, the grandeur of His deeds, the greatness of His sorrows, the light of His teaching, the merit of His sacrifice, the efficacy of His intercession, the work of His Spirit, and the glory of His coming and kingdom are each exhaustless as His own fulness, and fresh as the wants and woes of every needy, burdened soul. Wetstein has collected a few examples. Finding the new version too difficult to understand? The *temple of thegoddess (female god) Diana (or Artemis) was there. It was deemed a great privilege and favour, and so it was, to be a Levite, or a priest under the old law, to burn the incense and offer sacrifice; it was a great privilege and favour to be called as a prophet, though in evil times, as Jeremiah and Isaiah were. IV. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/ephesians-3.html. xvi., No. Is this just false humility on Paul"s part? of the faithful) is given this mission by the grace of God, and power from the Almighty of working miracles, and other miraculous gifts from him, who created all things in order to enlighten (4) or bring light to all men, that they may know and be convinced of the dispensation and manner in which God will have this mystery now made known and preached to all the world. 1874-1909. Having found peace through the blood of the Cross himself, we may be sure he would always tell the story of the Cross to others. This word represents three things: value, abundance, and supply. It shows that the heart of the apostle was full of admiration of the sufficiency and glory that was in the Saviour; that he wanted words to express it; and that he considered it the highest honor to be permitted to tell the world that there were such riches in the Redeemer. God warns him of the temptation, and reveals to Him the infinite mine where all the gold is human and eternal. BibliographyWhedon, Daniel. (C. H. The form ἐλαχιστότερος, a comparative of the superlative ἔλαχιστος, is found only here. BibliographyHodge, Charles. BibliographyCalvin, John. In making this inquiry let us ever remember that, in spiritual things, we have no power in ourselves to do anything as of ourselves—we are not able to plant a single spiritual grace in our hearts—and when the spiritual seed has been planted there, we have no power to preserve it alive and cause it to bring forth fruit. Outward reformation can never renew the heart and save the soul, or bring the sinner nearer to his God. Devotions related to Ephesians. Which cannot be tracked out. One of the gifts which Christ bestows upon us out of the unsearchable riches of His grace and love, is the forgiveness of our sins. The latest ages will find these riches unimpaired in value and undiminished in supply. Spurgeon.). The gospel of Christ is meant for the lowest of the low. II. the "leaster") of all the saints ( Ephesians 1:1) to have received such a privilege. This is necessary to secure all the glory to the Lord, to whom alone it is justly due. The meaning here is, that there was a “sufficiency” in Christ which could not be traced out or explored. "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". Since He ascended as our Forerunner, and is at the right hand of God, and has “all power in heaven and on earth,” being “Head over all things to the Church,” we shall ascend also (John 14:2; Hebrews 6:18; Hebrews 6:20). Observe what he says of his subject. And in order to appreciate the riches we do not know of, let us look at those we have actually in possession. iii., p. 72; Archbishop Benson, Boy Life: Sundays in Wellington College, p. 354. He who can preach Christ is the true minister. They cannot be described. The writings of St. Paul prove the greatness of his humility by showing us also, that the highest spiritual attainments could not make him forget his meanness and guilt. Ministers of the gospel bring good tidings to men. II. 1. In love they were predestinated, or fore-ordained, to be adopted as children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, and to be openly admitted to the privileges of that high relation to himself. All nature, animate and inanimate, draw their supply out of His perennial fulness, and spend their powers in fulfilling His behests. Of all saints—For which of all the saints had so “persecuted the Church of God?” 1 Corinthians 15:9. . Christ has given Himself to us, that we should share His character and His work. Yet, it is equally clear that Paul knew God had forgiven him for this (1 Timothy 1:12-13)! There was a sense in which he could give such incredible wealth to everyone on earth! Affliction. 2. It is a high thing; and we cannot attain to it. And had he lived, preached, and written to the present day, he had not exhausted the subject, nor fully declared to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ - the endless depths of wisdom and knowledge treasured up in him, and the infinity of saving acts and saving power displayed by him. II. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ephesians-3.html. 1. III. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, &c. — Here are the noblest strains of eloquence, to paint the exceeding low opinion which the apostle had of himself, and the fulness of unfathomable blessings which are treasured up in Christ. Let us look briefly at these three things. None of us deserves to serve the Lord. And our appropriation of these riches, though it be a matter of consciousness, shrouds itself from our scrutiny, for it indicates the presence of the Divine spirit in His power--a power exerted upon man, beyond resistance, but without compulsion; and in its mighty and gracious operation neither wounding his moral freedom nor impinging on his perfect and undeniable responsibility. Man having been created in this (Genesis 1:27), lost it by the Fall; so that he is naturally earthly, sensual, and devilish. They only bear that great gift of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ. 1. In the hour of death, with one foot in the grave, with something of the light of heaven shining down upon them, hundreds of great saints and Church dignitaries--such men as Selden, Bishop Butler, Archbishop Longley--have left on record their confession, that never till that hour did they see their sins so clearly, and feel so deeply their debt to mercy and grace. As a Christian minister at home I decline to have the value of my work estimated by the extent to which it lightens the work of the police, and diminishes the cost to the ratepayers and the nation of maintaining workhouses and jails. No. What St. Paul says of his ministerial office. The apostle now explains himself more fully on what had been said in Ephesians 3:7, and that entirely from the standpoint of the humility, with which, in the deep feeling of his personal unworthiness, he looked forth upon the greatness and glory of his vocation. 1999. am — Not merely was I in times past, but I still am the least worthy of so high an office (compare 1 Timothy 1:15, end). It may also relate to the fact that Christ is gone from the earth and His abundance is no longer here to view and enjoy and study. Within the yolk is a chicken. Comp. He has comfort in his work, is confident of its success, and assured of its triumph. Pride is a subtle enemy. Our life: we must suffer death of body and soul forever, if we lose it! III. We have a glimpse of the richness of what Christ has done on the cross and we should be sharing it with all that will listen. ); but Paul was above many of the rules so respected by people generally. 2. The honour to work God’s own work, who is the true fountain of honour. 2. Stratten.). 6. Many who now shine in the highest places of self-estimation, will one day be glad enough to sit at the feet of the poorest of the saints, unless I am greatly mistaken; for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased. 3. . https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ephesians-3.html. The word means here, “who am incomparably the least of all the saints; or who am not worthy to be reckoned among the saints.” It is expressive of the deep sense which he had of the sinfulness of his past life; of his guilt in persecuting the church and the Saviour; and perhaps of his sense of his low attainments in piety; see the notes at 1 Corinthians 15:9. Ephesians 3:8 New King James Version (NKJV) Purpose of the Mystery. If those brethren had said that they were sixteen feet high, that their eyes were solid diamonds, and that their hair was Prussian blue, I should feel towards them very much as I do now. The distinguishing and comprehensive theme of the Christian ministry--“the unsearchable riches of Christ.” The phraseology is singularly expressive and affluent. The youth’s eye sparkled, and he said, “It is too much honour for me even if I am but a hewer of wood and a drawer of water for the Lord my God.” And thus he went forth, and afterwards, as you know, became one of the most useful of missionaries. There is that for which, if he had it, he would barter them all. He considered himself “less than the least of all saints.” There was no affectation of humility here; the apostle felt as he wrote. 3. Raleigh, The Way to the City, p. 46; J. C. Gallaway, Christian World Pulpit, vol. One of these means must immediately occur to us; it is this--a frequent remembrance of our former iniquities, and an abiding sense of our present corruptions. The riches of Christ’s work. He was to show the plan of the mystery (v. 9). Similar anomalous forms occur in the later Greek, and even occasionally in the earlier, especially among the poets. A person with true humility always puts himself in the place of how God views him. Remember, Christian brethren, what you once were. Certainly the doctrines are to be preached, but they ought to be looked upon as the robes and vestments of the man Christ Jesus, and not as complete in themselves. “I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not,) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” Verses 1-23. Their extent is boundless, and the mode in which they have been wrought out reveals a spiritual process whose results astonish and satisfy us, but whose inner springs and movements lie beyond our keenest inspection. I. Paul preached riches. And finally, “unsearchable riches” of happiness. His humility! Paul never could forget the guilt of his former life; never forget the time when he was engaged in persecuting the church of God.The unsearchable riches of Christ - On the word “riches,” as used by Paul, see the notes at Ephesians 1:7. It is a comparative made from the superlative. “I am less than the least of all saints.” However high religion may rise in the superstructure, it always lays the foundation very low, in the deepest self-abasement. (C. H. Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. Accordingly during His abode on earth He was the Minister of the circumcision only. See Acts 9:13. unsearchable = untraceable. He just changes the vocabulary. The first is, to make known the existence of the riches--to testify to the facts and principles, because they might sleep in the world, or be unnoticed, or unrecognized, or unrealized, as they are near us and in existence and exercise in the universe. ‘To preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.’ What vast treasures this covers. 3. Copyright StatementThese files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. III. BibliographyBarnes, Albert. Less than the least] Great Paul is least of saints, last of apostles, greatest of sinners. ix. The forcible admonition given to ministers and missionaries, to think humbly and soberly of themselves, as they ought to think. Are we content to hear about them, and talk about them, and never take them for our soul’s life? He is all Good and all Merciful, and the reflection of these attributes is better than knowledge or strength. 1. It denotes whatever is grand and abundant, substantial and permanent, admirable and desirable; and may be applied either to the personal glories pertaining to Christ, or to official blessings bestowed by Him. In this gospel field, wherein lie hid unsearchable riches, He has opened for the poor and needy an exhaustless mine of heavenly treasure. Ephesians 3:11.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. You cannot; it is unknown and unsearchable at present by you. (c) The humility of St. Paul was also manifested in the low opinion he had of himself when compared with his Christian brethren—he speaks in the text not the unmeaning language of compliment, but the language of godly sincerity. And our dispositions make us unbelievers in God’s loving words. Preach among the Gentiles—Especially; as Peter among the Jews, Galatians 1:16. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/ephesians-3.html. I think it is a worthy contemplation of where you are in the grand scheme of things. Romans 11:33). It was never exhausted. (R. W. Dale, LL. He is God, He loved us, He died for us, and He was raised for us - what a message we have to give. You not only have His grace, and His love, and His merit, but you have Himself. Give me the most learned man alive; in a very few minutes he can tell me all the subjects with which he is acquainted; but the innumerable subjects with which he is not acquainted he cannot tell me. We know how hopelessly it tangles a work to begin at the wrong end. 1. He had been aforetime a persecutor and injurious, and, though God had forgiven him, he had never forgiven himself; and when he recollected his share in the sufferings and martyrdom of the saints, he felt that, though now numbered among them, he could only dare to sit in the lowliest place. 61; Homilist, 2nd series, vol. The prophets and apostles have laid great stress on this (Isaiah 53:12; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1). The church can now support itself, so it is time for you to stop giving to this work. There are unsearchable riches in Christ’s person. "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/ephesians-3.html. 2. : but the apostle uses a still more diminutive word, and calls himself less than the least of them; and adds. That special branch of the apostolate which was entrusted to Paul had the following end in view-, ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν εὐαγγελίσασθαι—“to preach among the Gentiles.” Lachmann omits ἐν, following A, B, C, and so does Alford. It is only as we dive under the surface that we get a distinct impression of the wealth that lies hid under the rolling waves that break musically at our feet. How often do we find them, even with these large resources, complaining of poverty; and how often do these rich men live in far more dread of dying in the workhouse than those of us have who receive from heaven day by day our daily bread! 248, and other examples (Ellic. Not only was Paul less than the apostles, but he was less than even the saint without any office. I see it all the time on internet boards. He rules over all; all are His servants. He calls it a mystery--“the mystery of Christ--revealed unto the holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, etc. There is no parenthesis of ἐμοί to αὕτη as Harl. The wisdom of our Lord. By the tongues of angels even one half could not be told of what He is, and what He has, and what He has done for us. Not the earthly life, so short. our present and eternal salvation depending upon it. 1. “Usually precious things are rare, their rarity increasing their value; but here that which is most precious is boundless” (Coffman p. 170). Who can tell what a right idea about anything is worth? Now you may have value without abundance; you may have abundance without value; you may have value and abundance without supply: but here, brethren, is value, abundance, and supply. Least of all saints - not merely 'of all apostles' (1 Corinthians 15:9-10; 2 Corinthians 12:11). 2. I. The Gentiles who believe--the Gentiles who have received Christ the Gentiles who are confederated in Churches, and have ministered in the midst of them the ordinances of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Was this grace given; comp. I. They already had an over abundance of materials to build that which God had commanded. It means that which cannot be “traced out,” or explored; which is inscrutable, or incomprehensible. In Christ, then, I observe, first, there are “unsearchable riches” of wisdom and knowledge. And Paul cannot write about that great truth without praising God for His power, that raised Christ from the dead. All things are for Him as well as by Him. The unsearchable riches of Christ, means that abundant treasure of mercy, grace, and favour, laid up in Jesus Christ, not only for the Jews, but for the whole heathen world, even for all of them who would believe; which was beyond the reach of human sagacity to discover, and could be known only by revelation. 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