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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST

Ephesians 3:7-8 ...I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power. 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;...

Paul was born at Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, into a strict Pharisee family, and given the Jewish name of Saul. He took pride in the fact that he was born a Roman citizen, and also was proud of his Jewish education under the Rabbi tutor, Gamaliel. When Jesus begin His earthly ministry, Paul saw Him and His followers, this "new sect," as a threat to Judaism, and immediately joined himself with other Jews to persecute Jesus and His disciples. Not only did Paul approve of the stoning of Stephen, but was dispatched to Damascus with a list of other followers of Christ to carry out other persecutions. As he traveled toward Damascus Jesus appeared to him as a light from heaven and condemned him for his persecution. Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, who art Thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest... Paul then asked Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? Jesus instructed him to arise and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. Ananias was called by Jesus to assist Paul in his conversion to Christianity. Of Paul, Jesus told Ananias, ...he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel (Taken from Acts 9:4-15).

Immediately after meeting with Ananias, Paul received his physical sight after being blinded by the light of Jesus on the road to Damascus. More importantly Paul received spiritual sight as he was filled with the Holy Ghost, immediately baptized into the body of Christ, and soon afterwards assumed his new role as a minister of God through Christ. Paul studied for many years to become a dedicated, zealous Jew and was encouraged to do so by his strong Pharisee family. He desired to "protect" his religion by persecuting Christians. This is the vocation he chose and studied many years to attain it. But in a moment of time Christ converted him. He was chosen by Christ - he did not make himself a minister of Christ, rather he was made a minister of Christ, by Christ, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The ministry of Paul came through the effectual working of His (God's) power. Paul did not study to attain his role as a minister of Christ neither did he seek it. It was the gift of the grace of God given to him, the most undeserving Christian - the least of all saints. And this was to be the main purpose of his ministry - to preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.

The word translated "unsearchable" is found in one other passage of God's word - O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out (Rom. 11:33)! This quotation, from Paul's letter to the Christians at Rome, is a very good commentary to help explain the lesson text. Something unsearchable does not mean something unknown. Rather it means a thing that cannot be traced back to its origin. How the thing came to be cannot be understood or comprehended - it cannot be explained by human wisdom. The depth of the riches...of God through Christ is further explained by this passage penned by the apostle Paul; Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:9-10).

God's riches have been revealed...by His Spirit through inspired writers of the bible. However, the reason for the creation of the universe, as we know it, the purpose of the creation of the human race, and the full understanding of the plan of salvation, are all beyond the comprehension of mankind. These are the deep things only known by of God. O, the riches of Christ that have been revealed: A new and better covenant (Heb. 8:6-13), Redemption and Forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:14), Sanctification (Rom. 8:3-14), Justification and Glorification (Acts 13:38-39 & Rom. 8:30), Adoption - Heirs of God, and Joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:15-17). These and many more are The Unsearchable Riches of Christ. Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How? We know not! Only God knows! This we know for sure, For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. This rich blessing of God through Christ Jesus we accept by faith!