Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: The Unsearchable Riches of God’s Gift of Grace to Sinners

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Unsearchable Riches of God’s Gift of Grace to Sinners

The American culture is almost completely consumed with Materialism. Materialism has so encapsulated our society that even the worship involved in the days of Christian celebrations has been stolen away to the extent that little or no worship is offered to God for the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 5:8). In fact, Christians can celebrate the birth of Christ and the resurrection of Christ without much consideration at all to the Person of Jesus Christ and God’s “unspeakable gift” (II Cor. 9:5). Do you realize that the Greek word translated “unspeakable” in II Corinthians 9:5 (anekdiegetos; an-ek-dee-ay'-gay-tos) literally means indescribable.

In other words, there are no words in any language, or all languages combined, that are sufficient to describe, communicate, articulate, illustrate, explain, detail, annotate, or elucidate the “gift” God has provided in the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Since that is true, don’t you think we ought to expend considerably more effort as believers in at least trying to communicate the wonders of the gift of grace that comes to us through the Person and work of Jesus Christ? Since that is true, don’t you think we ought to put aside most of all this nonsense we preoccupy ourselves with during these appointed seasons of celebration to really reflect upon the Person of Jesus Christ and truly worship Him in “Spirit and in Truth”? We may never in a lifetime be able to accurately communicate our appreciation to God for His “unspeakable gift,” which only means our effort in doing so much increase exponentially with each passing moment. We must be consumed with preaching Christ crucified, risen, and coming again. This is the pattern of life that we find in the Scriptures of every truly “born again” disciple of Jesus Christ.

“1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 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; . . .” (Ephesians 3:1-8).

In 2006, the average U.S. household spent about $1,700 on Christmas and holiday spending. With about 130 million households, this amounts to about 221 billion dollars each year. Each child in a household receives on the average 10 gifts of which the vast majority are broken or destroyed by March of the following year.

In a materialistic society people measure love by the amounts of money we expend on one another. In doing so, we have allowed for a complete distortion of love and greatly perverted way of measuring someone’s love. Biblically, love is a verb measured by the sacrificial giving of one’s self to another that always benefits them in lasting and tangible ways. However, “the unsearchable riches of Christ” in His incarnation, substitutionary death, and resurrection raises the definition of the love of God towards us to an immeasurable and “unspeakable” degree.

In light of all of this, how do you suppose God measures our love and appreciate for Who He is and for what He has done for us in “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” The Greek word translated “unsearchable” (anexichniastos; an-ex-ikh-nee'-as-tos) in Ephesians 3:8 means
beyond finding out, outside of the scope of understanding or comprehension, or something that is so wonderful or difficult/deep that it is unfathomable. It amazes me just how little consideration the average Christian gives to the overwhelming and unimaginable gift of grace that God gives us in salvation and in allowing us to be His Ambassadors of reconciliation.

I am ashamed that there have been whole days in my life since I have been saved by the grace of God that I have not expressed the depth of my gratitude to God for His “unspeakable gift” and “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” I am sure there have been days where I gave no thought to God’s “unspeakable gift” and “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” God does not ask for much in return for what He gives us. The least we can do in gratitude to God for His “unspeakable gift” and “the unsearchable riches of Christ” is obey Him and worship Him with all our hearts, bodies, and soul. The least we can do is live each day to His glory in a spirit of thanksgiving, adoration, and worship. Is that too much to ask?

What a sad state the Church that bears the Name of Jesus is in during these last days before the second coming of the Lord Jesus. We sing Christmas carols without consideration of “unspeakable gift” and “the unsearchable riches of Christ” that these carols sing about. We wish people we see along our way each day a Merry Christmas without questioning, or even wondering, if they truly know of the “unspeakable gift” and “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Although the gift of God to us is “unspeakable” and the “riches of Christ” to us are “unsearchable,” that does not mean God has not attempted to communicate to us through the dense fog of satanic obfuscation regarding the Person and work of Jesus Christ. God does so through Paul’s words in Romans chapter 5.

“12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him {
Messiah as the firstborn and Federal Head of the New Genesis} that was to come. 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one {sin} many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one {sin} to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one {Adam’s fall}; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness {imparted to the believing sinner in the Person of the indwelling Holy Spirit} shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:12-21).

If we truly love and appreciate God’s “unspeakable gift” and “the unsearchable riches of Christ” we will become preoccupied with the message of Romans chapter 5. We have two great gifts that come to believers through the incarnation, sinless life, substitutionary death, resurrection, and glorification of Jesus Christ. These two gifts are available to “whosoever,” but can only be received by believing sinners.

1. We have the “gift” of salvation that is available to “whosoever shall call upon the Name of Jehovah (His human Name is Jesus) through the substitutionary death of Jesus and His propitiation of God’s wrath upon all sin and His resurrection from the dead
2. We have the “gift” of the impartation of God-kind righteousness in the Person of the indwelling Holy Spirit, which is the cause of the instantaneous event of the believing sinner’s salvation and regeneration

Beyond the gifts of salvation and regeneration, we have another gift that truly expresses “unspeakable gift” and “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” The “gift of grace” is the indwelling of the Person of the Holy Spirit. Do not rush by this wondrous Truth. Hesitate and meditate upon this mountain top proclamation. Prior to the propitiatory death of Christ and the impartation of the righteousness of Christ in the Person of the Holy Spirit, no one even dared approach the presence of God in the body of sinful flesh. Even the High Priest of God dared come before the Shekinah but once a year and even then he did so in fear and trembling. After Pentecost, every believer has the Shekinah dwelling within our bodies and our bodies become the living Temples of the Creator of the heavens and earth. In this joining there is an eternal union created by a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit of God that can never, ever be broken because He promises He will “never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5).

But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:17-20).

Get a hold of this “unspeakable gift” and “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” You are literally and eternally “joined unto the Lord” and you and God are now “one spirit.” Therefore, the whole duty of our new lives “in Christ” is to “glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Should God expect anything less than this considering His “unspeakable gift” and “the unsearchable riches of Christ”? The depth of our worship, praise, and gratefulness will only be as deep as our understanding of the unfathomable riches that are ours in Christ. When we grasp the depth of this “unspeakable gift” and “the unsearchable riches of Christ,” “joy unspeakable and full of glory” to God (I Peter 1:8) will burst forth from every aspect of our existence. Only then will we stand before our God in awe and wonder of His amazing grace as the Spirit of God cries out with our tongue from our souls “Abba Father” (Gal. 4:6). Until we grasp the depth of the Truths of God’s “unspeakable gift” and our “unsearchable riches of Christ,” we are destined to a shallow Christianity, mediocre worship at best, and lives of mediocre accomplishments for which we will stand before our wondrous God in shame one day.

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