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Volume 12 - Page 126 of 160 Index | Zoom | |
the example of the apostle we find encouragement to continue in the narrow and difficult
path, even though we have continually to confess our own unworthiness and failure. The
gospel of grace, in the dispensation of grace, is carried on by grace, and grace speaks of
favour to the unworthy.
The same Paul who in real humility wrote to the Corinthians that he was the "least of
the apostles" was equally inspire to write to the same church that he was not a whit
behind the very chiefest apostles (II Cor. 11: 5), repeating the claim, with the added touch
of conscious personal demerit:--
"In nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing" (II Cor. 12: 11).
May grace be given to every reader so happily to combine true zeal with the grace of
The Gospel of Unsearchable Riches (Eph. 3: 8).
pp. 184 - 187
The two presentations of the apostle's conception of his calling, the one the minister
gifted by grace and energized by power, the other gifted by grace because so personally
unworthy, is followed by two aspects of his special ministry:--
1. "That I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ" (3: 8)
2. "And to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery" (3: 9).
He had already spoken of two mysteries; the one, the mystery of Christ, the other, the
mystery of the dispensation; and had claimed a great knowledge of the former (verse 4),
and an exclusive revelation of the latter (verses 3, 9). The mystery of Christ finds its
utterance in the unsearchable riches of Christ; the mystery itself is explained by the words
of verse 9. Let us examine these parallel statements. Firstly, the unsearchable riches of
Christ. Three items should be observed here. Following the order of the original:--
(1). Among the Gentiles.
(2). To preach as a gospel.
(3). The unsearchable riches of Christ.
The sphere of the apostle's witness is defined as among the Gentiles. We are still
dealing with his special ministry. The nature of the announcement must be noted. It is
not a kērugma, or the proclamation of a herald, but it is an evangel, a preaching as of a
gospel. The special for the Church of the One Body is here indicated. There are two
"preachings" mentioned in Ephesians, viz., (1) "He came and preached peace" (2: 17 -
this had to do with the constitution of the New man, all faction being destroyed, and
reconciliation being perfected); and (2) "That I should preach among the Gentiles the
unsearchable riches of Christ" (3: 8). The two together make up the good news