8 July 1999

"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ"Ephesians 3:8 Paul counted it a great honor and privilege to preach "The unsearchable riches of Christ." This was the focus and theme of His whole ministry, "Jesus Christ and Him crucified." He did not preach up man; man's wisdom; man's philosophy; he preached Christ. He did not preach unattached doctrines. They all had their sum and substance in Christ. Today, we have before us a subject much larger than a preacher. It is an unsearchable one: the "riches of Christ." We will approach our great subject in four headings: (1) What unsearchable means to us; (2) What true riches are; (3) The honor of searching; and (4) A view of His riches. The word "unsearchable" is an ENCOURAGING word. It does not mean that the riches of Christ can not be discovered or that they are unknowable. It is a word that should be viewed as an INVITATION, an invitation to search out an inexhaustible store of wealth found in the person of Jesus. We may liken His riches to a diamond mine loaded with an inestimable volume of wealth within its chambers; jewels of every size and fashion; a vast wealth that will never be exhausted in time or eternity. Believers are all encouraged to search Him out. True riches are those that are found in the person of Christ. They are lasting; they are incorruptible. As one person described them, they are "Those things which belong to our peace." The world will never allow us those things. It is full of change and decay: fools gold. The Bible describes them as, "deceitful", "perishable", "uncertain", "unsatisfying", "corruptible" and "fleeting". When we set our heart upon them they lead to pride, cause us to forget God, deny God, rebel against God, reject the council of God and lead to much anxiety. Let us search HIM out! To be a searcher for Christ's riches is an mark of nobility. Luke describes the Berean brethren as "more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so"- Acts 17:11. These were daily miners of gold! Solomon describes the searcher as an honorable man as he wrote, "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter"-Proverbs 25:2. Much treasure is concealed purposely by God. The true riches are only to be had by sincere searchers. God will not force these jewels of wisdom upon us any more than diamond and gold will jump into the pocket. What He chooses to reveal are beams of light from above that lift the drooping head and revive the parched spirits. We are to seek the riches of Christ as "silver and searchest for her as for hid treasures"-Prov. 2:4. What would we give for this treasure, the knowledge of Christ. One nugget in the heart will allow more peace than a thousand in the bank! But let us speak of them for a moment. There are surely more than I have found. But all a miner may describe are those treasures he has found himself and our space is too small for even these. Surely, he will first mention those most brilliant to his own eye. In Christ is found a Saviour of sinners. There is no sin so great that He can not deliver us from it. Paul gives us a list of prisoners set free in I Corinthians 6:9-10. If you are found there, He has the power to deliver you from your bondage. Call upon Him now. He has power that the world does not have: power over sin. In Him is found the forgiveness of the foulest sin. What grace we find in Him who knows all about us and will yet say, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do". He is our substitute. He died for us that we might live. He is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. When all others forsake us, He abideth faithful. He is our hope. He is not the I was or the I will be. He is the "I am." Our hope of yesterday, today and tomorrow. His treasures are reveled in almost every letter of the alphabet as Advocate, Beloved, Counsellor, Daysman, Emmanuel, Fountain, Good Shepherd, Head, Intercessor, Jehovah, Jesus, King, Lamb, Mediator, Nazarene, Only Begotten, Physician, Redemption, Saviour, Truth, Unspeakable Gift, Vine, and the Way. To the poor, a world of treasure is found in every word. Is He not unsearchable? Lord, give us light that we might discover more about HIM! Come to worship with us at HARMONY PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 each Sunday morning. 337-1115. By His Grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor