Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Christian's Glorious Riches

The Christian is a paradox. Because he has Christ, he has the unsearchable riches of Christ. Four times does Paul speak of “the riches of His glory.” It is a Hebrew form of expression, equivalent to “His glorious riches.” In Romans 9:23, the apostle states it was God’s plan to “make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy that He prepared beforehand for glory.” In Ephesians 1:18, he prays that the eyes of their understanding being enlightened, they “may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”
In Ephesians 3:16, he prays that God “would grant them, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.” And in Colossians 1:27, we read of “the 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.” It is therefore clear that all implied in this phrase shall be made manifest in the saints, shall be known by them, shall strengthen them, and shall secure to them the blessings of a glorious eternity.
What, then, are these “glorious riches”? Who but God can fully answer that question? Sometimes He speaks to us concerning them. By one apostle He tells us of “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23.)


By another He tells us of “faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity” (2 Peter 1:5-7). What a beautiful constellation of virtues is here! They are the graces of the Holy Spirit. He who has these - has glorious riches. Nothing shall ever harm him.

In another place God says, “All things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come: all are yours” (1 Corinthians 3:21-22). Are not these riches of glory? This world and the next, with all the real blessings in both, belong to the people of the Most High God. This is very much the way in which Christ personally stated the matter: “Verily I say unto you, There is no man that has left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting” Luke 18:29-30). In like manner, Paul says that godliness has the “promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

We may, then, sum up these riches of glory thus: Believers have full and free forgiveness of all their sins; they are fully accepted in the Beloved; they are clothed in Christ’s spotless righteousness; they are adopted into the family of God; their title to heaven through Christ is perfect; they are regenerated; they have increase of grace; their sanctification is secured; they have peace in believing; they are sure of victory over sins, the world, the flesh, the devil, all sorrow, death, hell, and the grave; they have the elements and principles of all virtues, and shall infallibly have them all perfected; they have God for their Father, Christ for their Savior, the Holy Spirit for their Comforter, hope in God for their anchor, and heaven for their home; they shall have boldness in the day of judgment; they shall be like Christ and with Christ forever; they shall inherit all things.

Oh, who would not be a Christian?
[William S. Plumer]
2 Corinthians 6:9-10 ... As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;  As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.