"THE DEPTH OF THE RICHES OF GOD"
Intro. Paul has been writing about the plan of God in redemption. His using the nation of Israel in the accomplishing of His purposes of bringing the Messiah into the world, and how by their rejection of the Messiah the blessings have come upon the Gentiles, but how that God, faithful to His elections and callings will once again open the hearts of the Jews to believe. The full cycle, the message came to the Jews first who rejected, so the natural branch the Jews were cut off and God grafted in the unnatural branch, the Gentiles that they might partake of all the benefits of the promises of God to the fathers of the faith, that in His time God will again give the Jews the opportunity to believe in His Son and be saved. God has concluded us all in unbelief, that He might have mercy on us all.
I. PAUL BURSTS FORTH IN PRAISE TO THE PLAN OF GOD. "O THE DEPTH OF THE RICHES OF THE WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE OF GOD."
A. What a beautiful plan of redemption God has for all mankind.
1. What depth of riches and love it demonstrates.
2. What wisdom and knowledge it shows.
3. Only one who has experienced this redemption can fully appreciate the depth of the riches.
a. "And can it be, that I should gain an interest in the Savior's blood? Died He for me who caused His pain,"
b. Jesus the very thought of Thee. "The love of Jesus what it is, none but the loved one's know."
B. The Bible tells us that in Jesus are hid all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
1. Paul declared to the Corinthian church that the foolishness of of God was wiser than man.
2. Paul found himself enthralled in the wisdom and knowledge of God as He saw the plan of redemption.
3. I find myself enthralled in the wisdom of God as I observe the life forms that He has created.
4. I am appalled at the folly of supposedly intelligent men who try explain all of the variety of life forms as the product of blind chance.
5. I like what one evolutionist admitted when faced with the mathematical impossibility of the spontaneous generation of the first cell. It would be more likely that a tornado passing through a wrecking yard would assemble a 747 Jumbo Jet.
6. No wonder the Psalmist said, "The fool has said in his heart, There is no God."
7. Paul said, "Professing themselves to be wise, they have become fools, for they worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed forevermore."
a. It is only in fairy tales that frogs turn into handsome princes.
b. The evolutionists say that it is not a fairy tale, it actually happened only it took hundreds of millions of years to accomplish the transition.
8. I think that it is marvelous that God has created us with the capacity to store so many things in our memory bank.
a. The various smells that are stored in the memory bank.
1. When I would come home I would smell chocolate chip cookies, and the search would be on.
2. How did I know that it was chocolate chip cookies?
3. What if you could not remember what the different smells were?
b. I go to a concert and listen to the concert pianist and am amazed that he can play the entire concerto without even looking at a book. All the music that is stored in the memory bank. You tell me that it just happened by accident? Give me a break, what kind of a fool do you take me for?
c. Think of all of the faces that are stored in your memory bank, and the names that go with those faces. Sometimes we forget a name when we try to bring it to instant recall, maybe later in the afternoon after we have forgotten all about our dilemma of not being able to remember the name, suddenly the name will pop into our head.
9. Foolish man exalts the power of his intellect. We can put space shuttles into orbit. Who do you think put the sun, moon and stars into orbit?
II. "HOW UNSEARCHABLE ARE HIS JUDGMENTS."
A. How absolutely fair God is.
1. This is a characteristic of God that Satan often challenges.
2. The Psalmist said that the heathen often say, "Where is your God now?"
a. This is usually when a seeming tragedy has come into our lives.
b. A part of the plan of God that we do not have the full perspective on yet.
c. Paul said, "I know that the present sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed."
d. "If we could see beyond today, as God doth see, Then all our tears we'd wipe away, our sorrows flee, O'er present griefs we would not fret, each sorrow we would soon forget, For many joys are waiting yet, for you and me. If we could see, if we could know, we often say, But God in love a veil doth throw across our way, We cannot see what lies before, and so we cling to Him the more, He'll lead us till this life is o'er, just trust the Lord.
B. "His ways past finding out."
1. This is the cause for much frustration in the Christian's life, trying to figure God out.
a. Why did God do that?
b. Why did God allow this?
c. Why doesn't God stop the evil?
2. To the prophet Isaiah God said,
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
3. Job in answering Bildad who had just declared basically, "just get right with God and your suffering will be over." said,
I know [it is] so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?
If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.
[He is] wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened [himself] against him, and hath prospered?
Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth them in his anger.
Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.
Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.
Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.
Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.
Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.
III. "FOR WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, AND WHO HAS BEEN HIS COUNSELLOR?"
A. Paul here is seemingly giving a free translation of Isaiah 40:13
. Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or [being] his counsellor hath taught him?
B. In I Corinthians he also gives a free translation of the same verse. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?
C. I have many times sought to instruct God, I have tried to advise Him on what I felt was the proper thing to do.
D. He is gracious in that He listens to me, He then does what He knows is best.
E. I have this understanding with Him, "Thank you for listening to me express my ignorance because of my limited understanding of all the facts, now You go ahead and do what You know to be best.