Greek. What may surprise us in this passage is that the author stops to thank God for the foresight and grace to plan this messy human diversity. 1905-1909. Dative case εμοι — emoi with ελοτη — elothē The peculiar form ελαχιστοτερωι — elachistoterōi (in apposition with εμοι — emoi) is a comparative (τερος — ̇teros) formed on the superlative ελαχιστος — elachistos This sort of thing was already done in the older Greek like εσχατοτερος — eschatoteros in Xenophon. He was to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ (v. 8).. It is only as we dive under the surface that we get a distinct impression of the wealth that lies hid under the rolling waves that break musically at our feet. Through His intervention God is just, and yet man may be saved. Charles Schribner's Sons. The heathen fabled of their Hercules that he cleansed the Augean stables by turning a river through them, and so washing away the filth of ages; if your heart be such a stable, Christ is greater than the mightiest Hercules--He can cause the river of His cleansing blood to flow right through your heart, and your iniquities, though they are a heap of abominations, shall be put away forever. 2. Once again he repeats that it is a gift of God’s grace. β. "Less than the least" can also refer to lower than the lowest. So, then, let us this morning make an effort to appreciate the resources open to us in the unsearchable riches of Christ. 1870. How know we this? How He vanquished temptation, maintained His purity and perfection! Folks, stop giving we have enough to do the project. He calls himself successively--. 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. That miraculous union of perfect man and perfect God in our Lord Jesus Christ is a great mystery, no doubt, which we have no line to fathom. This ministry a grace given to him. He considered himself “less than the least of all saints.” There was no affectation of humility here; the apostle felt as he wrote. by Grant | Aug 10, 2015 | Ephesians | 0 comments. A man is starting in business, and he says to himself, Well, I will try to make, if I can, £20,000 or £30,000, and when I have this in store I shall never need or wish to add to it a farthing. The man was setting up lies about Protestants, white Protestants to be more specific. p. 44; Lobeck, ad Phryn. (a) In reading the writings of this Apostle, we may notice the entire submission of his mind to the mind of God—the simple and hearty reception which he gave to every Divine truth. 1. Juchasin, fol. BibliographyCoffman, James Burton. The final judgment is the last and finishing act of our redemption. But he is much more so who first declared “the unsearchable riches” of God. Clearly not in words alone. 4. 7. John 16:9. has unnecessarily imagined) the unsearchable (reff. Wisdom that sees through nature is a great thing, and we are proud of those who have it. I am preaching virtue, amiability, goodness, devotedness to God, attendance on ordinances, I am preaching against all sorts of sins; St. Paul was preaching ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ!’ what is that? 2. THAT IS A GREAT PRIVILEGE TO PREACH (v. 8a). They are a fountain which, however many draw its waters, never runs dry. Grant's Verse-by-Verse Logos Bible Software. p. 627. That the riches of His rewarding glory are unsearchable. BibliographyHodge, Charles. or, by whom? Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus.Paul's one but all-sufficient claim on the Ephesians is his relation to Christ: he is Christ's apostle, not only as sent forth by him, but also as belonging to him; elsewhere his servant or bondman. Brethren, let us beware against cherishing in the Christian Church a spirit of Jewish exclusiveness. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". 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. The fullness of the riches in him could not be appreciated. He is deeply conscious both of his own unworthiness because he ‘formerly blasphemed and persecuted and insulted" Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 1:13). The profit, which transcends the profit that fills men’s minds, as heaven does earth, and eternity does a man’s life. So long as men stand on the sea shore, and praise the riches of the sea, they do not gain much impression of the reality of what they are talking about. God owes us nothing when it comes to His using us. 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. /iii lovely and precious things are but hints of the riches of the Son of God. Affliction. The meaning here is, that there was a “sufficiency” in Christ which could not be traced out or explored. You can very soon search earthly riches; but you cannot, by any use or enjoyment, search the unsearchable riches of Christ. But now, brethren, look at this. As if he had said, that his own worthlessness did not prevent him from being appointed, while others were passed by, to be the apostle of the Gentiles. He speaks not, in the text, the unmeaning language of compliment, but the language of godly sincerity. He valued it because he had experienced the blessedness of being at peace with God through Christ; he valued it because it gave him a foretaste of heaven here, and the sure prospect of heaven hereafter; he valued it because he had found in it what a sinner ought to prize more than ten thousand worlds--“the unsearchable riches of Christ,” a treasury of wisdom, a bank of merit, a storehouse of rewards, from which the soul may continue to draw throughout eternity, without exhausting, or even diminishing the supply; for in Christ there is infinite “fulness,” in Him “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead. The author writes as a Jew … Continue reading "Commentary on Ephesians 1:3-14" Less than the least of all saints (Ephesians 3:8). Theophylact says justly- καλεῖ οὐ τῶν ἀποστόλων, ἀλλὰ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων, τουτέστι τῶν πιστῶν. Now you may have value without abundance; you may have abundance without value; you may have value and abundance without supply: but here, brethren, is value, abundance, and supply. who prefer the baubles and the bubbles of this world, and let the solid gold of eternity go by! The science of today lowers all human power, but raises the intellect and the spirit. 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. A. The nation whose rule is so wide, that other nations come to evangelize our possessions, and reap a part of our reward. The measure of them is rounder than the earth, and broader than the sea. https: Our liberty: what slaves in hell if we lose it! But, in this connection, what about that forger who wrote Ephesians, the one mentioned by Beare, who so loved and honored Paul, etc., etc.? Why? II. Comp. See 1 Corinthians 15:8. 2. Consider now by what means that spirit of self-abasement which reigned in St. Paul’s heart may be maintained in our hearts. He wished to sing of the sons of Atreus, and the mighty deeds of Hercules, but his harp resounded love alone; and when he would have sung of Cadmus, his harp refused it would sing of love alone. III. Unsearchable in relation to Christ seems to more specifically apply to the vastness of His riches - they are so vast and immense that we can never grasp the vastness, nor understand the extent of His riches. Ephesians 3:11.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. I. consider what an humble opinion the apostle had of himself. Used by Permission. Here Jesus Himself, with all His unsearchable riches of grace and glory, is always present (Matthew 18:20). How many of those who obtain the character, and with sufficient reason, of enlightened and devoted Christians, are, if contemplated in the light of their religious advantages, but faint and feeble after all! It never lost its freshness. Concluding reflections. Like one surveying the vastness of universal space, as unfolded in astronomy, he feels what a mere speck he is. We leave nature to the philosophers; our philosophy is to know ‘God manifest in the flesh.’ We leave the planets to astronomers; our astronomy is to teach people to adore ‘the bright and morning Star,’ to adore ‘the Sun of Righteousness,’ rising with healing under His wings. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". He stated quite clearly numerous times that salvation was for the blacks only. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". is this grace given; that is, the gift of grace, as before, the ministerial gift: that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; the riches of Christ, as God, lie in the perfections of his nature, in the works of his hands, in his empire and dominion over all, and in the revenues of glory, which result from thence; and these riches are underived and incommunicable, and are ineffable, yea inconceivable: his riches, as Mediator, lie in the persons of the elect, in the grace that is laid up in him for them, called the riches of grace, and in the inheritance he is possessed of for them, called the riches of glory; and these rich things are communicable, as well as solid, satisfying, and lasting; and they are unsearchable to the natural man, and cannot be fully investigated by believers themselves; they will be telling over to all eternity: and they will appear unsearchable, when it is considered what they have procured, and what blessings have been dispensed according to them; what a large family Christ has maintained by them, and how richly and fully he has provided for them, and to what honour and grandeur he raises them all. 1 Corinthians 15:9. There were in these schemes and providences such riches - such an abundance, such a variety, as could not be comprehended even by the naturally vast, and, through the Divine inspiration, unparalleledly capacious mind of the apostle. BibliographyHaydock, George Leo. 6, § 11. iii., p. 72; Archbishop Benson, Boy Life: Sundays in Wellington College, p. 354. He wrote it to people in the town called Ephesus. S. Martin, Westminster Chapel Sermons, 3rd series, p. 79. This unusual expression is "a comparative of the superlative." xiii., No. Only here. BibliographyRobertson, A.T. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". He is so low that you can"t get any lower. His dominion. 2. It is possible to make a computation and a calculation. v., p. 15; A. D. Davidson, Lectures and Sermons, p. 275; Smart, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. So in relation to human knowledge and wisdom. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". Romans 11:33). He sometimes mentions these things, but he never mentions them without affording us another proof of his lowliness of heart--a marked anxiety to give all the glory of all his labours and attainments to God. 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. It means that which cannot be “traced out,” or explored; which is inscrutable, or incomprehensible. Its excellence in contrast with his own conscious unworthiness. Copyright StatementThese files are public domain.Text Courtesy of And what reward greater than the eternal company of those who owe these blessings to us? For human weakness in its baffled attempts to emancipate itself from the tyranny of evil habits and evil passions there was Divine redemption. The word means here, “who am incomparably the least of all the saints; or who am not worthy to be reckoned among the saints.” It is expressive of the deep sense which he had of the sinfulness of his past life; of his guilt in persecuting the church and the Saviour; and perhaps of his sense of his low attainments in piety; see the notes at, anexichniastonoccurs but once elsewhere in the New Testament, John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible, Unto me who am less than the least of all saints, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, emoi tōi elachistoterōi pantōn hagiōn, “For I am the least of the apostles, and am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”, “I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not,) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”. IV. 4. Now Christ is the Water to the soul that is dying of thirst (John 4:10; John 7:37). 1. Fairest of the children of men--“the chief among ten thousand and the altogether lovely.” All the virtues that ennoble, the graces that adorn, the gifts that elevate our nature, are complete in Him. Less than the least—An ingenious expression of the translators to give the force of the apostle’s Greek. The apostle prolongs the thought, and dwells upon it. The children of this world may regard them with indifference, or turn away from them with disdain; but those who feel the value of their souls know better. The apostle now explains himself more fully on what had been said in Ephesians 3:7, and that entirely from the standpoint of the humility, with which, in the deep feeling of his personal unworthiness, he looked forth upon the greatness and glory of his vocation. How insignificant it is! 3. BibliographyMeyer, Heinrich. Whether among the philosophers of Athens, or the sensualists of Corinth whether among the worshippers of Diana at Ephesus, or the worshippers of Jupiter at Lystra--whether among Jews in their synagogues, or among Gentiles in their market places--Paul preached a free and full gospel, declaring that it was the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believed, and that now God called on all men everywhere to repent. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board). Hence arise the unsearchable riches of an eternal reward. "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". He has light as far as it goes, and it is light; but it is encompassed by a boundary of darkness, into which he cannot see. Remember, Paul has already said that we can "perceive his insight" (). His humility was manifested also in the low opinion which he had of himself, when compared with his Christian brethren. The man "proved" what he said of Paul and thought he proved that the twelve tribes of the Old Testament were black peoples of the Americas. If such thoughts as these never humble you, write bitter things against yourselves, and deem yourselves strangers to the grace of Christ. He has riches of wisdom. It is after death that He bestows on them that love Him the full cup of salvation, the everlasting blessedness of heaven (1 John 3:2). II. Ephesians 3:10.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. The τοῦ χριστοῦ is prob. All things are for Him as well as by Him. How can one help being ambitious “to win Christ, and be found in Him”? He connects it with his conversion, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ was exceeding abundant to me-ward.” He connects it with his conversation in the world, “Not by fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God we have our conversation in the world.” He connects it with his unparalleled exertions: “I laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” He connects it with his functions: “Unto me, who am less than the least; of all saints, is this grace given.” What grace is there here? 1. our present and eternal salvation depending upon it. “Jowett compared our effort to fathom the riches of God to a man starting to measure the dimensions of a lake and discovering that it is a cove on the edge of the ocean” (Caldwell p. 118). It became more common in the Koiné. ix. There is no parenthesis of ἐμοί to αὕτη as Harl. It lies at the very root of all true religion. Eraser, Christian World Pulpit, vol. He calls the … 1. I. 3. “God over all, blessed forever”--which means, happy forever. 3. By Him all things were made--by Him all things consist. A strong note of genuineness. “I am less than the least of all saints.” However high religion may rise in the superstructure, it always lays the foundation very low, in the deepest self-abasement. In a word, you only see the actions of another; whereas you may feed upon your own motives and principles. 61; Homilist, 2nd series, vol. None are able to come to the full knowledge of Christ. It was not merely the sense of his sinfullness in general, which weighed so heavily on the apostle's conscience. There is the Priest; let Him do His work; He will take the sacrifice, and sprinkle your conscience, and purify your soul and mine, if believingly we come to Him for that purpose. The Apostle Paul felt it to be a great privilege to be allowed to preach the gospel. For it is the key with which we open the Divine storehouse, and take as much of the riches of Christ as we need. Copyright StatementThe New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. https: Rhod. You will observe that the Christian dispensation did not properly commence till the death of Christ. All of them “riches of Christ”; and all of them “unsearchable.”. And our appropriation of those riches, though it be a matter of consciousness, shrouds itself from our scrutiny, for it indicates the presence of the Divine Spirit in His power-a power exerted upon man, beyond resistance, but without compulsion; and in its mighty and gracious operation neither wounding his moral freedom nor impinging on his perfect and undeniable responsibility. "E.W. EPH. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:8". 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 . IV. “Unto me is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles.” He rejoiced that God had given him this grace, conferred upon him this favour, distinguished him by this honour. The word ‘preach’ here is literally ‘evangelize,’ not ‘proclaim,’ as often. Pride is a subtle enemy. He means it. 3. Possibly there is a “third thought,” deeper still, belonging to the times of highest spiritual aspiration, which loses all idea of self, even of weakness and unworthiness, in the thought of “the strength made perfect in weakness,” and the consciousness (as in Philippians 4:12-13) that “we can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth us.” See this last brought out in peculiar fulness and freedom in 2 Corinthians 5:13 to 2 Corinthians 6:10; a passage almost unique in its disclosure of spiritual experience. ), I am sure Paul was never guilty of mock modesty, and never pretended to be humbler than he really was. The unsearchable riches spoken of in the text. It was the capital of the *Roman region calledAsia. The prophets and apostles have laid great stress on this (Isaiah 53:12; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1). 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints. Here it is used in a slightly different sense—applied to that “wealth” or fulness of Christ on which this Epistle lays such especial stress, as a wealth of truth which we can see in part but cannot wholly measure, and a wealth of grace which we can enjoy but cannot exhaust. xvi., No. 1. The sovereignty of the universe, the dispensations of providence, the government of the Church, the salvation of His people, the judgment of the world, and the throne of heaven, are His. The description which the apostle here gives us of his character must not, on any account, encourage the idea that personal piety can be dispensed with in a Christian minister. 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. He is a benefactor to mankind who makes grass grow where it never grew before. 1871-8. So of other forms of wealth. 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. https: I doubt anything about the apostle Paul was ever false, so I assume this is how he felt about himself. What need have we of it still! He would tell the audience that the white protestant taught a certain truth and then disprove that truth. ; “in its nature, extent, and application.” Ellic.) "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". He was ever humbled by remembering that he had been a persecutor. 1. Moving in the midst of human society, and taking men at their very worst, Christ has turned the light of His love upon the outcast, the selfish, the mean, and the unlovely, and in the splendid inspiration which burns in His eyes, flows from His tongue, and radiates from His life, we are enriched with the glad and thrilling hope that there is a way for man to rise out of the dust and grossness of his present life, till, by the power of Christ, he shall be established forever in the glory of a new heart, and character, and life. Both ideas may be included, though the latter is doubtless the more prominent. 1. Stratten.). There is no love like His, neither earth nor heaven can match it. No such thing. 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. The humility of St. Paul consisted, lastly, in his simple dependence on Christ. The term "is" and "given" are the same Greek word, the verb is "is given," the translators just split it up for reading sake evidently. ), The riches implied in the methods by which Christ brings us to enjoy salvation. It was his own father; and the love he bore his son was proved in this way: when the lists were called, the father, whose name was exactly the same as his son’s, answered to the name, and the father rode in the gloomy tumbril out to the place of execution, and his head rolled beneath the axe instead of his son’s, a victim to mighty love. It also calls on us to examine ourselves—and ascertain how far we may be entitled (as was the Apostle) to that blessing which our Saviour has promised to those who are meek and lowly in heart. Paul had not received the gospel during the time that Jesus was on earth, no, he had received the gospel after the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Guess he didn"t read this passage. 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 also assume that Paul may have dug back into his persecuting of the saints days to gain a real feel of who he really was in this life. Jay. You can tell how rich you are; you can know exactly what you possess, or most men can. 62, 237; E. Blencowe, Plain Sermons to a Country Congregation, p. 33; W. Ince, Church of England Pulpit, vol. 2. The blessings of salvation in Christ are extravagantly above all human ability to evaluate them. is emphatic, and points out his distinguishing office. It is said that in the “Green Room” at Dresden, where for centuries the Saxon princes have gathered their gems and treasures, may be seen a silver egg, a present to one of the Saxon queens, which, when you touch a spring, opens and reveals a golden yolk. Christ: the substance and life of all true preaching. https: Paul presently deemed himself at the bottom of the totem pole of saints, even as an apostle. “The Gentiles.” Christ’s own ministry was to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel”; and He said to the apostles, “Into the way of the Gentiles and any city of the Samaritans enter ye not.” But in Christ’s ministry there were indications of peace to the Gentiles. III. It is as valuable, and contains riches as unsearchably great, as that everlasting felicity which is the consequence of it. Pulsford. He had a gospel to declare. Think of its beginning in the councils of eternity. They are a mine which, however long it may be worked, is never exhausted. Ephesians 3:8. 3. Think of all these names, I say, and consider how much they contain. 2012. III. ᾿ελαχιστότατος is found in Sextus Empir. 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. 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