TEXT: ECOLOSSIANS 1: 1-8
READING: PSALMS 98 & 99
SUBJ: The infinite worth, character and quality of the things provided in bringing about salvation and the things provided with salvation.
AIM: That we might marvel at such riches of Christ so graciously provided and that the wonder may never cease.
INTR: In this age of casual religion true believers must and do stand in awe of the majesty of God and the Christ of God and are humbled by the complete and absolute provisions of the grace of Him whose riches are unsearchable.
1. Paulâ€™s awareness of these things is seen in his humility at being not only a possessor of the benefits, but the privilege of preaching the gospel.
2. He would remind us of the fact that after thousands of years these things were being preached to the gentiles that had heretofore been typified to the Jews only.
3. But, further, he would have us to see that this precious knowledge is to be pressed upon all "...make all men to see..."
THESIS: The riches of Christ are realized as to their existence and yet remain unsearchable as to their dimensions - Ephesians 3: 18-19 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
I. Seeing Unsearchable Riches in Christ (v. 8)
1. Consider that there is much of which we may know of the existence without measuring
2. We would consider the riches of Christ in three ways:
1) His person. That is, we would know of His perfections, works, might and dominion and His intrinsic beauty.
2) We would consider the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7-8 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;)
i. The provision for redemption - the Gospel declaration of His work in saving.
ii. The wisdom and prudence with which it is applied.
3) We would rejoice in the riches of His glory. See verse 16. And, thus to delight in that which is to follow.
3. The greatness of salvation is measured by the wisdom that was required to bring it about. See Romans 11:33 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! AND 1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
4. And consider that we will be so occupied in the ages to come: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7).
II. The Fellowship of the Mystery (v. 9)
1. The mystery fact that gentiles were to be saved was a wonderful revelation.
2. But, the whole issue of salvation remains a mystery to the human mind and so men go about carefully crafting their own model for salvation.
3. Consider some references to this wonderful mystery:
1) Of the Kingdom: Mark 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
2) Revealed in Christ: Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
3) The wisdom of God: 1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
4) The mystery of Godliness: 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
5) Of His will: Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
6) Of the relationship of Christ with the Church: Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
7) The mystery of the Gospel: Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, And that the same is made manifest to the saints: Colossians 1:26-27 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
4. The fellowship is understood in the grace that is given that brings about communion with Father , Son and Holy Spirit.
III. To the Intent (vv. 10-12)
1. There is a demonstration to principalities and powers (Angels) of Godâ€™s manifold wisdom by what He has revealed in His Church. There is shown redemption, effectual working, and the operations of providence with the result of a people rejoicing in Christ.
2. That they would know that this is done in accordance with an eternal decree (v. 10)
3. In the knowledge of these things believers have boldness (to come) and access to Him by the faith that He has given.
4. Remember fondly: 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 9 But as it is written, 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. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.