The Incomprehensible Riches of Jesus Christ Part III of Article on Ephesians 3
“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; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” —Ephesians 3:8-12
Paul outlines some vital information regarding his call to the Gentiles. He begins by referencing that his call and his ministry are simply through the grace of God. How ironic that this man who set out to destroy the church is now leading the charge for the proclamation of Jesus Christ. Notice that Paul never forgot his past; he maintained a strong awareness of his sin and rebellion against God. Because of this, Paul now considers himself privileged to proclaim the gospel to the masses. Likewise, we should consider ourselves fortunate to be a part of the family of God. For those who have the opportunity to proclaim the gospel, we should realize how special it is to herald such a tremendous message of God’s amazing grace.
What we have been given is incomprehensible, unsearchable, and inexhaustible. The gospel of Jesus Christ is such that we cannot put a price tag on it, nor can we fully plunge into its depths. The gospel is the most significant news that anyone could ever hear, for it proclaims the goodness of God given to undeserving man and provides sinful man a way of escape from his sin and freedom unparalleled. The gospel speaks of the grace of God, which is such that He bestowed His righteousness upon those who could not merit it and do not deserve it. Grace is not treating someone as they deserve or more than they deserve. Grace is not mentioning a person’s past failures.
Within God’s grace, we find all that we need for life and living (II Peter 1:3), and faith in Jesus Christ expands our knowledge of what life is. This life comes to us through the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Before a person comes to Jesus, his life is full of misery and death with no way of crossing into life. But upon accepting Jesus Christ as Savior, a person experiences a new life with new mercies provided by what Christ did for us at the cross.
Humanity’s redemption is centered on the cross. Sin was Satan’s legal right to hold humanity captive, but when Jesus Christ died on Calvary’s cross, He atoned for all sin—past, present, and future—and that legal right was taken out of Satan’s grasp. At the same time, the work of Christ on Calvary’s cross was a legal work, for it satisfied a legal debt that humanity owed to God but could not pay. Since that legal debt could not be paid, Jesus Christ became a man to pay that debt so that lost humanity could experience new life. For this reason, along with many others, His grace and the riches thereof cannot be fully understood; it is incomprehensible, unsearchable, and inexhaustible, which is why we must make this news known to others outside our four walls.
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CHURCH
The existence of the church and its growth have implications that reverberate throughout heaven and the whole spiritual realm. The church becomes a mirror, so to speak, through which the angelic host sees the glory of God. Through the church, the angelic hosts are learning the wisdom of God, for these created beings have never experienced the love and grace of God until it was seen in the church, which was brought about through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Due to the work of Christ, these created beings can witness the salvation of a soul and the changing of a life through faith and witness Christ raising a person into a higher position than the angels and into the family of God. This wisdom is now revealed through the church and brings about a new age, the joining together of both Jew and Gentile into one family, which was the ultimate purpose of God from eternity past. This is one of many reasons why God chose Paul to evangelize the Gentile world and help them grow in the knowledge of God’s eternal plan.
The salvation of a soul is in accordance with the eternal purpose of God through Jesus Christ. This eternal purpose was in the mind of God before the foundations of the world were laid (I Peter 1:18). He knew through foreknowledge that He would create humanity and that humanity would fall into sin, separating His highest creation from the Godhead. Yet, despite humanity’s sin, the Godhead formulated a plan to redeem humanity. The most crucial aspect of this eternal plan is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The ultimate price for this plan to come to fruition was high; it meant Christ laying down His life for others, but the effects of the price that was paid are eternal.
Going back to Ephesians 1:3-14, the effects of the cross are: those who place their faith in Christ are now holy, blameless, adopted into the family, redeemed and ransomed, granted wisdom and prudence, the mystery of His will made known to them, an everlasting inheritance bestowed upon them, and they are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.
VICTORY OVER SIN
However, one more inexhaustible effect of the cross needs to be dealt with—victory over sin, now! Yes, you read those words correctly—victory now! One of the significant aspects of the finished work of Christ is that every believer can walk in freedom over sin now. Unfortunately, some believers are convinced that victory over sin is impossible while living this present life. They understand that ultimate victory will be experienced when they leave this mortal coil and arrive in the presence of God in heaven. But they don’t believe that victory can be experienced now. Yet, when Jesus died on Calvary’s cross, He died not only to save them from their sin but also to deliver them from the grip of sin, which means that every believer has the potential to live a victorious life right now. How amazing to know that our Savior has delivered us from sin and its power through the means of His finished work and that once a believer places his faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified, the Holy Spirit guarantees that the outcome will be victory. If every believer begins to understand the immutable, inexhaustible work of the cross and the benefits of Christ’s finished work, then they will experience complete victory over sin. And, for the record, we are not speaking of sinless perfection but sin not having dominion over the believer. These are two very different belief systems. We don’t believe that Christians can achieve sinless perfection here on earth. We do believe that sin doesn’t have to have dominion over their lives.
I encourage you to go all in on the finished work of Christ and refrain from being swayed to any other system of belief. It won’t be easy, but the results will be worth the effort. We have been given the incomprehensible riches of Christ through faith in His completed work, and we have the opportunity to experience these riches now. We have been given a chance to walk in victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. Take full advantage of what Christ has accomplished for us, and believe what the cross can do for you. Jesus Christ and Him crucified is the only belief system that works, and the result will always be victory.
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