Ephesians 3:8. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
Are you rich?
If you’re in Christ then the answer is yes. A very big yes. You are rich beyond comprehension. Unsearchably rich. Wealthy beyond understanding.
Paul has already talked about riches in this letter. Let’s review:
Ephesians 1:7-8. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us
Ephesians 1:18. having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
Ephesians 2:6-7. and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
So here’s the paradox of the Christian life and the thing that the prosperity gospel gets all the way wrong – you are saved to be rich spiritually in Christ, not physically, not yet.
Let’s break this down.
1. You are not called by God to be rich physically. Not yet.
When it comes to the physical world, we live in this dual reality. On the one hand everything in the universe, all of creation, is ours to enjoy. Our Dad owns it all. And he has put in place systems of sowing and reaping that allow us to make material gains. All of this is good.
And yet at the same time in this redemptive age we are called to live simply and modestly, constantly sharing what we have. We are called to reject materialism and greed. We are called to serve God not “mammon.” The reign of sin and evil in the world often steals, destroys, and corrupts physical wealth. Wealth is a great deceiver. It is a THING. Not a person. Not a relationship. Not eternal. And definitely not God.
Yes, many of us have been blessed physically by God in this life with material wealth. That’s nice. But it is not a new covenant, blood bought promise. It is not something to “name and claim.” God does not bless your faith with more stuff. God’s goal is not to make you physically rich. Not yet.
One day we will live in great physical wealth. Streets of gold and pearly gates await. But think about it. We will live in a city where gold is so common that they pave streets with it. Jewels will be no big deal, just a another building material. Precious metals and stones will be so easily obtainable that they cannot be the source of wealth any more. So then what is the riches of our glorious inheritance? It is God himself. He is our inheritance and we are his. It is the presence of God that will be our glory and our security and our status – not money.
2. You are super rich spiritually.
We have every spiritual blessing In Christ. Nothing eternal is withheld from us. We have everything that Christ has. We’re not just comfortable, we’re crazy rich Christians. In Christ we are Batman rich. So rich it’s your superpower.
We have the spiritual superpower of God’s riches. His glory, grace, and love. All in Christ. The infinite, unsearchable, inscrutable, immeasurable Christ. What are these riches? Well they’re everything Paul has just been listing in the first 2 chapters of Ephesians. Love. Righteousness. Redemption. Forgiveness. Love. Adoption. Wisdom. Enlightenment. Resurrection. Love. Purpose. Inheritance. Power. Identity. Love. Holiness. Blamelessness. Reconciliation. The Spirit. And did I say love?
(this is everything we’ve been writing about in this blog for the past two months – yes you can go back and read it all)
There’s a level of wealth that is so low you feel like you can’t do anything. You’re hopeless.
There’s a level of wealth that is high enough to survive or even be comfortable but you’re desperately trying to maintain it. You’re frugal. Cautious.
And then there’s a level of wealth that is so high that you’re reckless. You have literally nothing to lose. You can throw it around fearlessly. “There’s more where that came from.”
In Christ we are even beyond Batman rich. We have an infinite love inside of us. So much love it’s our superpower. We can throw it around recklessly because there is no fear of it ever running out. We have so much grace available to us that we can give it away everyday to everyone and we will never ever use it all up. We don’t have to love cautiously or frugally. We don’t have to live in self-protection mode. We can love and live with great boldness and abandon. We have no need to protect ourselves for we are eternal. Invincible. Immortal.
If our hearts are broken there’s still infinite love from Jesus. If our strength is taken away there’s immeasurable power in the Spirit. If our plans are threatened there’s incalculable wisdom and purpose from God. If we fail day after day (and we will) there is the abounding riches of God’s glorious grace in Christ. If our very lives are taken from us there is resurrection unto eternal life.
“To live is Christ” has made you rich. Unsearchably rich. Spiritual wealth beyond comprehension. Will you hoard it or lavish it? How will you spend it today?