Browse Sermons on Ephesians 3:8-12. Rut the mediatorial glory. “Who am less than the least of all saints”: “Less than the least of all Christians” (Phi). A most wise and useful provision of God. And here you see in the apostle’s case the nature of the Christian dispensation. Philippians 3:6; 1 Timothy 1:13. “The unsearchable riches of Christ.” I might advert at once to His Divine nature and perfections. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". He just changes the vocabulary. "[22] Paul's thought in this connection was that such unsearchable riches were to be provided for all mankind through his preaching. Less than the least] Great Paul is least of saints, last of apostles, greatest of sinners. 2. 3. I. 1765. 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. He gets £60,000; but does he now feel rich? Cf. The vast and the little, the awful and the attractive, meet in His person in wonderful harmony and beauty. The apostle expresses his admiring apprehensions of God’s grace in calling him to the ministry. He rules over all; all are His servants. 1887. In what respects may we ascribe to our Lord Jesus the possession of unsearchable riches? Think of its beginning in the councils of eternity. "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". Now his aim is £60,000. Besides, any devout man, however eminent he may be in most respects, will find that there are certain other points in which he falls short; and the apostle, instead of looking at the points in which he excelled, singled out with modest eye those qualities in which he felt he failed, and in those respects he put himself down as “less than the least of all saints.” This strikes us as being a very different mode of speech from that which is adopted by certain brethren. Riches of love to sinners as such, and riches of pardon to sinners who repent, are stored up in the Lord Jesus. How much need had we all of this in our state of ignorance and sin! our present and eternal salvation depending upon it. 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. Ephesians 3:8. ἐμοὶ τῷ ἐλαχιστοτέρῳ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων ἐδόθη ἡ χάρις αὕτη: to me, who am less then the least of all saints, was given this grace. But this acknowledgment had the additional effect of anticipating the objections which his adversaries might bring against him. Coffman Commentaries on the Bible. It is a high thing; and we cannot attain to it. 4. Unsearchable riches--value not fixed, not traced out by investigation--abundance inexplorable by want and by desire--supply inexhaustible by enjoyment and by use--“the unsearchable riches of Christ;” that is, inconceivable value in Christ Himself. He was, par excellence, the apostle of the Gentiles, and he gloried in the distinction. 5. The latest periods of time shall find these riches unimpaired, and eternity shall behold the same wealth neither worn by use nor dimmed by age, nor yet diminished by the myriads of its happy participants. The Biblical Illustrator. Like one surveying the vastness of universal space, as unfolded in astronomy, he feels what a mere speck he is. Ephesians 3:8. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him; but God hath revealed them unto us by His spirit. And our dispositions make us unbelievers in God’s loving words. His purpose was not to minimize himself but to magnify the grace of God. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/ephesians-3.html. BibliographyBarnes, Albert. How humble He was. What a treasure, then, have we in the advocateship of Christi The cause we have depending in the court above, involves our all to all eternity. "The Bible Study New Testament". Adoption is an unspeakable honour and happiness. The English term “lesser” is akin. 7. There is none like Christ. Happy those who have Christ planted as the tree of life in the soil of their hearts! And in respect to these Gentiles, let me say, that although we have not at present, as all ministers of all sections and communities do deplore, awakening signal manifestations of the power of God for the conversion of unbelievers, yet we have a perpetual edification, instruction, and improvement of those who do believe. It was never exhausted. III. That is one of the marks of a phony in my book; the setting up of straw men and then shooting them down. (Bruce) The TR inserts ἐν before τοῖς ἔθνεσιν with) (264) (265) (266) (267), etc. He is so low that you can"t get any lower. In what do the riches of Christ consist? Pride is a subtle enemy. 2. Wisdom for this life is a goad thing, and well rewarded. The man was setting up lies about Protestants, white Protestants to be more specific. BibliographyNicoll, William R. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". See Acts 9:13. unsearchable = untraceable. And finally, “unsearchable riches” of happiness. “Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!” Blessed is the man who has to make “the joyful sound”! iv. The apostle, however, never forgot his own countrymen. Unsearchable riches; that is, value not traced by inquiry and investigation. The manner in which St. Paul speaks of the calling of the Gentiles is highly worthy of observation. BibliographyCoke, Thomas. To me, who am less than the least (thus admirably rendered by E. V. Winer, edn. We must apply to Him to subdue the pride of our hearts, as well as to blot out their sins. The case is this: where show is a substitute for reality it is always excessive. Church Pulpit Commentary. What superior excellence did he possess that he should be chosen in preference to all the others?” All such comparisons of personal worth are set aside by the confession, that he wasthe least of all the saints. The value, the precious thing existing in abundance, is abundantly supplied. There is no more emphatic expression in the New Testament than this. who prefer the baubles and the bubbles of this world, and let the solid gold of eternity go by! Now let us never forget that we have no power in ourselves to do anything as of ourselves. Rather than thinking God owed him something, Paul regarded God"s entrusting him with the gospel as pure grace, unmerited favor (cf. The profit, which transcends the profit that fills men’s minds, as heaven does earth, and eternity does a man’s life. They will be sure to take those who seem the most meritorious, and who already possess the qualities and excellences they require in them. 1. Of these, we notice, His incarnation. 1. The whole of eternity is summed up in these words. 1. I see it all the time on internet boards. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; Ver. “God over all, blessed forever”--which means, happy forever. But the being which can see further than the eye, and look on, and back, and before, and beyond even the earth itself. Press the wing, and the chicken flies open, disclosing a splendid gold crown studded with jewels. The information is not there, so there is no way to dig it up - it is gone, and no one can search it for further information. Their source is in eternity, and in a love whose fervour and origin are above our ken, and whose duration shall be for ages of ages beyond compute. Concluding reflections. Its boundaries were always advancing. 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. Vast, comprehensive, abundant, sufficient in all the exigencies of life; sufficient in all the solemnity of death; and then, beyond, the crown of glory, the purity, the fellowship, the joy of the saints in heaven. II. The fullness of the riches in him could not be appreciated. There was a sense in which he could give such incredible wealth to everyone on earth! (d) If we would become more like St. Paul we must look more to Christ. Although viewing himself at such a low estate, Paul recognized that God’s grace that allowed him in ministry transcended his past. Happy would it be for us if our hearts and our lips could become like Anacreon’s harp, which was wedded to one subject, and would learn no ether. 118 must be removed from Wetst.’s examples, as the true reading is κάλλιον)) of all saints ( οὐκ εἰπε, τῶν ἀποστόλων, Chrys. You are worse than the poor creature who is famishing with hunger--worse, far worse than him writhing in agony on the field of battle--worse than the criminal about to be led to execution; these, however agonizing their state, are merely suffering for time; considered in reference to man’s mere animal existence, their pangs soon must terminate; but the misery in which your immortal soul is sunk, unless you are delivered, must endure for eternity. Emanuel, God with us--God manifest in the flesh, Creator, Saviour, Sovereign, Redeemer. Purchased by His blood, obtained by His intercession, supplied by His Spirit, they become ours only as we are united to Him by a living faith. elachistoteros. Brethren, have you never persecuted Jesus in the persons of His saints? Its excellence in contrast with his own conscious unworthiness. The restoration of it is one principal end of our redemption (Ephesians 5:25-27; Romans 8:3-4; Ephesians 4:20-24; 2 Peter 1:4). “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). Guess he didn"t read this passage. Why? II. 5. 2. It was wholly incomprehensible. This is insisted on frequently and largely by the apostles (Acts 10:42; Acts 17:31). The Greek adjective is a comparative of a superlative, and need not be regarded as a hyperbole. Indeed, the latter is the end to which the former are the means--or rather, it is the fulness and perfection of that higher life, of which the former are the earnests and first-fruits. How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “Usually precious things are rare, their rarity increasing their value; but here that which is most precious is boundless” (Coffman p. 170). (Ephesians 3:8.) I rejoice that Christ is preached, and that His kingdom is gaining ground, though my estimation in people’s hearts should decrease; for I am content to be anything, so that Christ may be all in all.”. I. Paul preached therefore not only that which he knew to be supremely valuable and fully abundant, but that which was as freely given--subjective riches--that which is wealth to the man who hath it. Outward reformation can never renew the heart and save the soul, or bring the sinner nearer to his God. It never lost its freshness. Wetstein has collected a few examples. 1. But there is also another principle which determines the comparative place which a particular believer occupies in the scale of Christian saintship, namely, the amount of his actual attainments. Harless regards ἐμοὶ … αὕτη as a parenthetic exclamation, like Ephesians 2:6, and τοῖς ἔθν. Well may the apostle preach the unsearchable riches of Christ when we call to mind how He has lifted us into a more blessed and hopeful thought of the character and destiny of man. I. In this also we have an unspeakable treasure. Did you ever hear of a man who employed a number of persons to go about to proclaim his riches, and call hundreds of people together, and thousands, as on this occasion, simply to tell them that So-and-so was very rich? 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. 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). "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". 2. xvi., No. Some suggest this was a play on words in Paul"s mind since his name means small or little and most believe him to have been a small man, however I personally would doubt this is the case. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". ), Was Paul really less than the least of all saints? Only once in my life have I seen this happen. In what did St. Paul’s humility consist? In the Greek text, all of verses 3-14 form a single sentence, with clause after clause describing … Continue reading "Commentary on Ephesians 1:3-14" ix. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". 1. The Apostle Paul felt it to be a great privilege to be allowed to preach the gospel. On this latter, which is the superlative of ελαχυς, little, St. Paul forms his comparative, ελαχιστοτερος, less than the least, a word of which it would be vain to attempt a better translation than that given in our own version. Yet he was to proclaim among the Gentiles these astonishing wonders and mysteries of grace; and as he proceeds in this great and glorious work, the Holy Spirit that dwelt in him opens to his mind more and more of those riches - leads him into those footsteps of the Almighty which could not be investigated by man nor angel, so that his preaching and epistles, taken all in their chronological order, will prove that his views brighten, and his discoveries become more numerous and more distinct in proportion as he advances. “We must regard Him as our only Sanctifier, as well as our only Saviour. “That I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God.”. As soon as God revealed his Son in him, and he apprehended the infinite excellence and love of Christ, the sin of rejecting and blaspheming such a Savior appeared so great that all other sins seemed as comparatively nothing. Jesus must be his sun, and he must be the flower which yields itself to the Sun of Righteousness. (b) However high then may be the attainment of any believer, let him with this great apostle consider his past life. The phrase "unsearchable riches" should cause us to turn a deaf ear to those who claim that Christianity has caused all the world"s problems. 4. Go to. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ephesians-3.html. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/ephesians-3.html. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/ephesians-3.html. 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. The apostle prolongs the thought, and dwells upon it. The expression “riches of Christ” is a peculiar Pauline phrase, indicating the most exuberant and exhaustless profusion. The riches of Christ cannot be fully explored. It is the source from which almost every spiritual grace must spring. This, therefore, is an inestimable blessing to His people, and a source of unsearchable riches. BibliographyDerickson, Stanley. Rich, then, is he with the truest riches, in whose heart God’s Holy Spirit dwells and is not driven away. How can one help being ambitious “to win Christ, and be found in Him”? Only here in the New Testament, and very characteristic. The unsearchable riches of Christ, are the futileness of the Godhead, the plenitude of all divine glories and perfections which dwell in him; the fullness of grace to pardon, to sanctify and save; everything in short, which renders him the satisfying portion of the soul. His statement was not self-deprecation but shows a consciousness of his unworthiness to represent God on earth. Think of the infinite and eternal riches, honour, and felicity, implied in the favour and friendship of an all-wise, all-mighty, and all-gracious, infinite, and everlasting Being. Both ideas may be included, though the latter is doubtless the more prominent. In the analysis the comparative sense is to be maintained (the least, lesser than all). See 1Co 15:9 Php 3:6. The word rendered “unsearchable,” ἀνεξιχνίαστον anexichniastonoccurs but once elsewhere in the New Testament Romans 11:33, where it is rendered “past finding out;” see the notes at that verse. He was conscious of it. Least of all saints - not merely 'of all apostles' (1 Corinthians 15:9-10; 2 Corinthians 12:11). Notice St. Paul’s growth in this. II. He promises to His people enough to carry them through this world, where they are but strangers and travellers; and He plainly tells us, that if we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, other things, as far as is good for us, shall be added. How he valued the gospel. Consider now by what means that spirit of self-abasement which reigned in St. Paul’s heart may be maintained in our hearts. Some riches in underground mines appear to be inexhaustible. “Less than the least of all saints.” And then a happy ministry. riches of Christ (i.e. 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. This unusual expression is "a comparative of the superlative." Take your part--if you cannot in body, at least in heart; if not your life, at least offer of your gains for this greatest and holiest of callings. The sense which the apostle had of his own sinfulness, did not however prevent him from seeing and acknowledging what Divine grace had done for his soul, and what it had enabled him to do for God. II. The loftiest hierarchies of heaven cast their crowns at His feet, and unite in celebrating His praise. 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