Eph 3:8 – To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
Paul seemed to live in a state of “stunned”. How could you blame him? In one moment a Pharisee was turned into a disciple, a murderer was turned into gentle man, and and a man breathing out profanity was turned into a man spilling out words of grace. Paul himself stayed shocked at the change in his life until the day he died. We see the tension in today’s verse, he considered himself the chief of sinners, the least of the saints, and yet he became the chosen mouthpiece of the gospel message of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. He said the revelation he had of Christ was unfathomable. Stop for a moment and think about what Paul is saying, he is saying the mercy of God is too great to comprehend. We see the edges of it as we drink of the cup of grace but it will take eternity to explore the depth of His love for us. Adam Clarke had seen the results of this message of grace in the revival in England in the 1700’s. Here are his comments on today’s verse.
“The word ανεξιχνιαστος, to trace out, from ιχνος, a step, is exceedingly well chosen here: it refers to the footsteps of God, the plans he had formed, the dispensations which he had published, and the innumerable providences which he had combined, to prepare, mature, and bring to full effect and view his gracious designs in the salvation of a ruined world, by the incarnation, passion, death, and resurrection of his Son. There were in these schemes and providences such riches — such an abundance, such a variety, as could not be comprehended even by the naturally vast, and, through the Divine inspiration, unparalleledly capacious mind of the apostle.”
The implications of this apparent conflict in the life of Paul tells the story of our Christian faith. Paul clearly recognized his personal sinfulness and the amazing depths of God’s love that chose and appointed him for his mission. So it is with us, our sinfulness is exposed by His love and we become aware of our sins. We too are saved by grace as a gift which we receive by faith. What is our response? To join our voice together with Paul’s to shout the glory of His grace from the rooftops.