It has been well said that if our minds were more occupied with Christ, then we would have less room for doubt and discouragement. There are many things in this world to cause the believer to be cast down, especially in a day of spiritual declension like our own: such things must be kept in their place and should not be allowed to deflect us from Christ. Our need is to fasten our eyes and to fix our hearts upon our precious Saviour.
The apostle Paul wrote of the “unsearchable riches” of Christ (Eph.3:8). In the literal sense they are riches “without a footprint”. Although they are far beyond our reckoning yet in the kindness of God we may know something of them. Paul thought himself to be “less than the least of all saints”, but he was given grace to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ among the Gentiles. They are brought before us in the Bible. What are they?
Christ has riches as God. These riches are unfathomable, as Zophar reminded Job when he said to him: “Canst thou by searching find out God?” (Job 11:7). Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person” (Heb.1:3). Everything that is in God is in Christ: all the divine attributes, powers and privileges belong to Him, as with the Father and with the Spirit.
Behold Christ as the Creator, fashioning the universe: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). See Him too as the Preserver and Governor of everything: “ And he is before all things, and in him all things consist” (Col.1:17). See Him finally being honoured as the Author of Salvation: “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace” (2Thess.2:16).
Christ has riches also as the Mediator. This is what Paul has in mind here. Wonderfully, the eternal Son of God became man, entering space and time as the Redeemer of sinful men. Christ’s riches were not so easily seen then, for, as Paul tells us, “being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil.2:8). Paul explains this “mystery of godliness” to the church at Corinth: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2Cor.8:9). The sinless Son of God was punished in the place of His undeserving people, to bless them with everlasting salvation. What amazing riches!
Firstly there are riches of grace which believers enjoy from their Saviour in this life. Christ Jesus “is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1Cor.1:31). There is the mighty work of divine grace, beginning with our regeneration, and the several acts of God’s grace, which include our adoption. As the sons of God our hope is that when Christ appears, we will be like him (1John3:2).
Then there are riches of glory to be enjoyed with our Saviour in the life to come. At death the souls of believers are made perfect in holiness and go straight to heaven. Their sorrows are over and in the nearer presence of Christ they delight in the most blessed friendship and fellowship. They wait for the redemption of their bodies, which will be made like Christ’s glorious body (Phil.3:21). This is “the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col.1:12).
The riches of Christ are riches indeed. Do you know anything of them?