by Clarence E. Macartney

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The Unsearchable Riches of Christ (10 of 18)
The Greatest Texts of the Bible
Clarence Edward Macartney
Ephesians 3:8

Unto me... is this grace given, that I should
preach... the unsearchable riches of Christ.

On a visit once to the anthracite coal regions of
Pennsylvania at a time when they were celebrating the
one hundredth anniversary of anthracite mining, I
inquired of one who was familiar with the mining
operations if these great deposits of coal, laid down
through incalculable aeons of time, showed any signs
of exhaustion. I was surprised to learn that 100 years
of mining had touched only the outermost fringe of
those great deposits of coal.

For long ages now, countless believers have been
taking out of the gospel the riches of Christ. The
theologians, the poets, the painters, the sculptors,
the statesmen, the social reformers-all of them have
drawn on the riches which are in Christ. But still
those riches are as rich as ever. Inexhaustible,
unsearchable riches!

Men seek riches. There is nothing ancient about that.
In itself, that searching has something good in it, in
that it implies a desire for independence and for
power. Men sought riches in the world of Paul's day.
Here he compares, or contrasts, the riches of the
gospel with the riches of the world. Paul, like every
writer and speaker, had certain terms and phrases
which he liked to use. One of these words is "riches,"
when he comes to speak of Christ and the gospel. As
many as thirteen times in his letters he employs this
word-for example: "the riches of his goodness"; "his
riches in glory"; "riches of the full assurance... of
the mystery... of Christ"; "the depth of the riches
both of the wisdom and knowledge of God"; and here in
our text, "the unsearchable riches of Christ."

Paul was a great writer and a great speaker, but when
he comes to write or speak of the gospel of Christ, he
feels the limitation of words. After he ha ...

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