Boundless as infinity, high as heaven, deep as hell. Wisdom that sees through nature is a great thing, and we are proud of those who have it. On the forms of degree constructed from the superlative (or even the comparative, as 3 John 1:4), see Sturz, ad Maitt. His character. They cannot be exhausted, diminished, impaired. "Preach" relates to evangelize, or preach the Gospel. 3. We are not able to plant a single grace within us; and when any spiritual seed has been planted there, we have no power to keep it alive, and cause it to bring forth fruit. Here, then, in the very outset, is unsearchable mercy; the immensity of the Divine Redeemer’s condescension and love! Benson Commentary. That the riches of Christ’s pardoning mercy are unsearchable. A most wise and useful provision of God. The description which St. Paul here gives us of his character may teach us that, even where an individual is a decided and distinguished saint, the level which he occupies as a religious man may be, in some sense, comparatively low. https: The word ‘preach’ here is literally ‘evangelize,’ not ‘proclaim,’ as often. The case of αγιων — hagiōn is ablative. Christ bestows His riches freely; His joy is in communicating of His fulness. The Word of God. https: The profit, which transcends the profit that fills men’s minds, as heaven does earth, and eternity does a man’s life. 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. “It is higher than heaven, what canst thou know” of it? And He accomplishes this by the power of His risen life, working in all who accept His offered mercy, according to the working of the mighty power which was wrought in Him, when He was raised from the dead and exalted to the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, that they may be raised to a holy and truly heavenly life, seeking the things which are above, where He is, and imitating His blessed example. The manner in which St. Paul speaks of the calling of the Gentiles is highly worthy of observation. The fact of human difference may no longer surprise us. Moreover, he saw more clearly his own corruption than that of others; and the true speech follows the true apprehension. Take a poor criminal, led out to execution; offer him all that earth could give; what could he do with it? 6. {a} Opulentissima metalla, quorum in alto latent venae. Date Title Scripture Reference; 2021-02-19 Deliver Us from Evil: Ephesians 6:10-20: 2020-09-27 Where God Lives: Ephesians 2:13-22: 2020-05-11 Community . (R. J. McGhee, M. They are beyond the utmost reach of human penetration and sagacity; they defy the most laborious and persevering research. Ephesians 3:8 New King James Version (NKJV) Purpose of the Mystery. Ephesians has been called the Queen of the Epistles, the quintessence of Paulinism, the divinest composition of man and even the Waterloo of commentators. St. Paul’s special work as the apostle of the Gentiles. "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". New York, USA. (Paul Bayne. In what respects are these riches unsearchable? 4. But omitted in 'Aleph (') A B C. Translate, 'To announce to the Gentiles the glad tidings of the unsearchable (Job 5:9) riches,' etc. Many of the nations big preachers appear to be pretty stuck on themselves when they ought to realize they are the messenger not the message - the gift of God to man is the gospel message not the messenger. An understanding of the absolute righteousness of God and our unworthiness will produce humility. So that, as far as I understand it (and I admit that I know very little about it), rich men do not feel rich--they never have enough. 3. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https: BibliographyWesley, John. It was the capital of the *Roman region calledAsia. https: The slightest acquaintance with his character leaves us no room to suspect that it consisted in words only. https: His wisdom and power would be nothing to us, without this; this sets them to work, and keeps them employed continually for our benefit. We should be doing the very same thing. 3. BibliographyHaydock, George Leo. Bava Kama, fol. There can be no searching out of the riches of His pardoning mercy, any more than of the value of that mysterious work which secures our pardon, or of the breadth and length, and depth and height, of that love which led Him to undertake and accomplish the work. II. Ephesians 3:8-13 New International Version (NIV) 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should … BibliographyNicoll, William R. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". Ephesians 3:8. Who am less than the least— The Apostle here makes a new word, which, as grammarians would speak, is the comparative degree of the superlative,— ελαχιστοτερω, which no translation can fully equal, or very happily express. Its excellence in contrast with his own conscious unworthiness. He has taken our poor humanity as it lay dead at His feet, and, taken by the hand and lifted up by His love, the world has risen into a new conception of its nature. how has Christ enriched this world by telling us what we are by His constant treatment of us! And Paul cannot write about that great truth without praising God for His power, that raised Christ from the dead. Notice St. Paul’s growth in this. The phrase ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, emphatic from its position, describes the special or characteristic sphere of the apostle's labours. Few men are so great as St. Paul. I. Paul preached riches. Let us glance at the functions which St. Paul was called to execute. Have you never treated individuals among them with scorn and derision? And those riches are “unsearchable.” Even the value of the portion already possessed cannot be told by any symbols of numeration, for such riches can have no adequate exponent or representative. By His obedience unto death, our Lord Jesus Christ has fully merited for sinners, not only mercy to pardon, but grace to sanctify, and to help them in every time of need. (Witham). There is another class of Gentiles--the ignorant, the vicious, the stupid, the sleepy, the irreligious--those who pray not, read not, think not, keep no Sabbath, visit no sanctuary. I would suggest that His riches have been spread throughout time and many of those riches have been lost, yet there is a whole passel of riches that we can still discover and enjoy. It is a comparative made from the superlative. 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. Adams, in his “Private Thoughts,” with that searchingness of spirit so peculiar to him, says, “O Lord, I want more humility. ii., p. 247; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. 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. ‘The fulness of wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption—all centred and summed up in Him’ (Alford). 6. That which the mind cannot grasp, the tongue cannot tell, the pen cannot write--our imagination is all too weak to deal with such a theme. If we would habitually maintain an humble frame of mind, we must have a lively sense of the freeness and fulness of Divine mercy. “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” (Ephesians 3:8). The Word of God is a bill of spiritual and heavenly rights, a charter of sacred and Divine privileges, or an attested deed of conveyance, making over to us an immense property; or it may be considered as the last will and testament of our Redeemer, bequeathing to us legacies and inheritances without end. No sinner can be so foul, no multitude can be so huge, that the blood of Christ and the love of Christ are inadequate” (Boles p. 248). The riches of Christ. When working on my family tree, I found many dead ends. God owes us nothing when it comes to His using us. It is a high thing; and we cannot attain to it. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". Some forgotten aspects of the gospel have been recovered; the theological definitions which had for a generation or two been a sufficient expression of the results at which human speculation had arrived concerning the great facts of revelation have been challenged and discredited, and the mind of the Church has been brought into immediate contact with the facts themselves; the methods which had determined the construction of theological systems have become obsolete, and the work of reconstruction has tasked the genius and the learning of the leaders of Christian thought; the central principles of the gospel have received new applications to individual conduct and to the organization of social life; in all these ways a fresh and keen intellectual interest has been excited in Christian truth, and the intellectual interest has deepened moral and spiritual earnestness. You see this continually. Man has net searched into the centre of the globe; he does not know whether it is a prodigious furnace of fire, or rolling, tossing, tempestuous water; he has not gone in his geology more than half a mile perpendicularly downwards. 1871-8. iii.,p. 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. He was sedulously endeavouring to deliver them from their sins, and to promote morality and virtue among them by every means in his power; and you may suppose with the same success that must always attend such vain efforts as these, to make the law do “what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh.” Whitewashing the sepulchre can never purify the corruption within. 20 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. He preached also abundance--not something valuable, but much--not competency, but wealth--as much as a man needs--more than we could ask or think--such abundance as that it does not diminish with scattering--such abundance as that it does not perish with using--water, it is true, but not water in cisterns which may become leaky, or a short supply which will soon be exhausted; but water in fountains, even living water, everlasting water, outflowing water. He labors to exhibit himself, and everything that belongs to him, in as humiliating a light as possible, in order that the grace of God may be the more highly exalted. 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. The story of His wondrous birth, His suffering life, His cruel death, His victorious resurrection, His glorious ascension--Bethlehem and Nazareth, Gethsemane and Calvary, Tabor and Olivet--with their thrilling associations, hallowed memories, and spiritual meaning, will never lose their power to charm while tongues can speak or hearts can feel. Who am less than the least of all saints; Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges, John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians, "Perhaps he was deliberately playing on the meaning of his name. ‘Unto me who am less than the least of all saints was this grace given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.’. Our liberty: what slaves in hell if we lose it! Ephesians 3:8. The best balsams sink to the bottom, the goodliest buildings have lowest foundations; the heaviest ears of grain hang downward; so do the boughs of trees that are best laden. And it will be so forever, for Jesus is infinitely full of all bliss. And now there is somebody else--some fellow merchant, or some neighbour--who has twice £120,000; and you find the man again striving after that twice £120,000. How know we this? Can you get to the bottom of it? Bible Study Questions form the last section. D.). The Holy Spirit. Remember, Christian brethren, what you once were. 1 Timothy 1:15). “Which cannot be tracked out” (Vincent p. 381). “Let each esteem other better than himself.” The maxim will not apply universally; to use it in some cases would be folly. "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". And the staple of that good news which he proclaimed was-, τὸ ἀνεξιχνίαστον πλοῦτος τοῦ χριστοῦ—“the unsearchable riches of Christ.” πλοῦτος is rightly read in the neuter. Now we perceive the gracious drift of it all.” Now, my Lord Jesus Christ is very strong, but all that strength is pledged to help a poor weak sinner to enter into heaven. To be so nearly related to God, so peculiarly dear to Him, as children to a father; to be under His peculiar direction, protection, and care, having liberty of access to Him as children to a father, and intercourse with Him, being provided with everything needful and useful (Matthew 6:33; Psalms 84:11); to be chastised when and as far as necessary, and to have this, with every other dispensation, made to work for our good (Hebrews 12:10-11; Romans 8:28); to be His heirs, heirs of all He is, and of all He hath: in each of these particulars is comprehended unsearchable riches. Paul, a prisoner of Christ, saw himself as being given the privilege to serve God and present the “riches of Christ” to many. See Ga 2:7,8. “For I am the least of the apostles, and am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1950), p. 105. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". In fact, this blessing provides the structure for the entirety of the passage. 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