Christians have an indescribable wealth in Jesus Christ!

While not money or materials, our riches is Jesus Himself.

In Ephesians 3:8, Paul declares that we have “unfathomable riches of Christ” and that he was given the privilege and grace to proclaim these “riches” to the world. Join Nathan Johnson in this expositional study of Ephesians 3:8 and discover four ways to respond to the incredible, unfathomable riches we have in Christ Jesus.

Listen to + Download the Study

Key Passage: Ephesians 3:8

Ephesians 3:8 – “To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ …

A Simple Bible Study Resource

  • Paul speaks of himself humbly yet of Christ highly
    • 2 Corinthians 11:5–6a – For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles.
    • 1 Timothy 1:15 – It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
    • Ephesians 3:8 – To me, the very least of all saints …
  • There is only ever one subject worthy of proclamation: Jesus and Him Crucified
    • 1 Corinthians 2:2 – For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
  • Unfathomable (anexichniastos): adjective – inscrutable, incomprehensible, unsearchable impossible to understand or comprehend
    • Sense: marked by being impossible to plot, travel or trace the end of; therefore incomprehensible 
    • Correlating verb is used in a positive sense of investigating or “tracing” a course of events
      • Luke 1:3 – it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus;
      • … so our word is the impossibility of being able to do that
    • Scholar: The words can also be translated “untraceable,” which means that they are so vast you cannot discover their end.*
    • Found 2x in New Testament: Ephesians 3:8 and Romans 11:33
      • Romans 11:33 – Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
    • Found 3x in OT (all in Job)
      • Job 5:9 – Who does great and unsearchablethings, Wonders without number. 
      • Job 9:10 – Who does great things, unfathomable, And wondrous works without number.
      • Job 34:24 – “He breaks in pieces mighty men without inquiry, And sets others in their place.

What are the Unfathomable Riches?

  • Riches (22x in New Testament … 14 specifically refer to the riches we have in Christ) — Root word is the idea to “furnish” or “fill” or “accomplish”
    • Romans 2:4 – Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
    • Romans 9:23 – And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,
    • Romans 11:33 – Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
    • 2 Corinthians 8:1–2 – Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality [generosity].
    • Ephesians 1:7-8 – In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight …
    • Ephesians 1:18 – I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints …
    • Ephesians 2:7 – … so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
    • Ephesians 3:16 – that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
    • Philippians 4:19 – And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
    • Colossians 1:27 – to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
    • Colossians 2:1–3 – For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
    • 1 Timothy 6:17 – Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
    • Hebrews 11:24–26 – By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
    • Revelation 5:11–12 – Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
  • Christ HIMSELF is the Content of the Riches
    • Scholar: “Christ himself constitutes the content of the riches of the gospel …”**
    • 2 Corinthians 11:3 – But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
    • Colossians 2:2b-3 – … Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
    • Colossians 1:27 – to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
    • 2 Peter 1:3–4 – … seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
    • Romans 11:36 – For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
    • Ephesians 1:3-14
    • — Every blessing is found and fulfilled in Jesus!
    • Galatians 5:22–23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
  • Jesus is …
    • He is love (1 John 4:18)
    • He is truth (John 14:6)
    • He is our life (John 6:53-54, 14:6, 15:1-5, Heb 13:20, 1 John 1:2, Rev 2:7)
    • He is our atonement (Rom 5:11)
    • He is our salvation (Matt 1:21, Rom 5:9, 1 John 4:14)
    • He is our propitiation (Rom 3:25)
    • He is our redemption (Matt 26:28, Acts 20:28, Rom 3:25, Rom 5:9, Eph 1:7, Col 1:14, Heb 9:7, 9:12, 9:22, 1 John 1:7, Rev 1:5, 5:9, 7:14)
    • He purges our conscience (Heb 9:14)
    • He is our peace (Eph 2:14, Col 1:20)
    • He is our reconciliation (Col 1:20)
    • He is our righteousness (Isaiah 61:10, Rom 3:22, 2 Cor 5:21, Phil 3:9)
    • He overcomes and destroys death and the devil (Heb 2:14, Rev 12:11)
    • He is our sanctification (1 Cor 1:30, Heb 10:29, 13:12)
    • He is our healer (Exodus 15:26, Isaiah 53:5, Jer 8:22, 1 Peter 2:24)
    • He is our boldness and courage (Heb 10:19)
    • He is our dwelling (Ps 23, 91:9-10, John 14:23, Eph 2:22)
    • He is our advocate (1 John 2:1)
    • He is our wisdom (Proverbs, 1 Cor 1:30, Eph 1:8, Col 2:3)
    • He is our triumph (2 Cor 2:14)
    • He is our holiness and purity (Eph 1:4, 1 John 3:3)
    • He is our blessing (Eph 1:3)
    • He is our inheritance (Eph 1:11)
    • He is our joy (Psalm 16:11)
    • He is our goal, aim, race, and prize (Phil 3:14)
    • He is our author and perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:1-2)
    • He is our perfection (Col 1:28)
    • He is our clothing (Isaiah 61:10, Eph 4:24)
    • He is our rock, our fortress, our shield, our protector, our high tower (Psalms)
    • He is our foundation and Cornerstone (Isaiah 28:16, 1 Cor 3:11, Eph 2:21, 1 Peter 2:4-6)
    • He is our head and authority (Eph 1:22-23, Col 2:10)
    • He is our holy calling (Eph 4:1-3, 2 Tim 1:9)
    • He is our promise (2 Cor 1:20, 2 Peter 1:3-4)
    • He is our circumcision (Col 2:11)
    • He is our lover of our soul (John 3:16, Jer 31:3, John 15:13, Eph 5:25-27)
    • He is our altar, sacrifice, and our high priest (Mark 10:49, Eph 5:2, Heb 3:1, 5:6, 7:27, Heb 9-10, Heb 13:10, Rev 13:8)
    • He is the Upholder of all things (Her 1:3)
    • He is our Shepherd (John 10:11, Heb 13:20, 1 Peter 5:4)
    • He is our daily manna (John 6:33-35, Rev 2:17)
    • He is our light (John 1:9, 12:35, Rev 22:16)
    • He is our strength (Joel 3:12-16, Isaiah 25:4)
    • He is our forerunner and first fruits (Heb 6:20)
    • He is our mediator (1 Tim 2:5)
    • He is our intercessor (Heb 7:25)
    • He is our gift (John 3:16, 4:10, 2 Cor 9:15)
    • He is our leader, commander, ruler, and governor (Isaiah 55:4, Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:6)
    • He is our deliverer (Rom 11:26)
    • He is our judge (Acts 17:31, 2 Tim 4:8)
    • He is our portion, our maker, our bridegroom, our husband (Isaiah 54:4, Matt 9:15, Rev 21:9)
    • He is our well-beloved (SoS 1:13)
    • He is our hope (1 Tim 1:1)
    • He is our brother (Mark 3:35)
    • He is our helper (Heb 13:6)
    • He is our refiner (Mal 3:3)
    • He is our example (John 13:15, 1 Peter 2:21)
    • He is our teacher (John 3:2)
    • He is our keeper (John 17:12)
    • He is our restorer (Psalm 23:3)
    • He is our resting place (Jeremiah 50:6)
    • He is our King (Zech 14:4-9, Heb 7:2, Rev 15:3, 19:16)
    • He is our Christ, our Messiah (Daniel 9:25, Luke 2:11, Rom 5:21, Col 1:2, 2 These 2:16, Rev 1:5)
    • He is our Lord (Rev 17:14)
    • He is our all in all (Col 3:11)
    • He is our Jesus
  • Jesus is the essence of Christianity – “Christianity IS Christ”

4 Ways to Respond to Christ’s Unfathomable Riches

1. The Pursuit
  • We need to spend time getting to know the depth and richness of Jesus
  • This is ALL about Him
  • Matthew 13:44–46 – “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
2. The Posture (Humility)
  • Ephesians 3:8 – To me, the very least of all saints …
  • This is not about us
  • When we see ourselves in light of Him we must walk in humility
  • Isaiah 6:5 – Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
  • Philippians 3:8 – More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
3. The Praise
  • When I see the riches it should cause an endless worship and adoration to our King
  • Sunset principle
4. The Proclamation 
  • Continually proclaiming/preaching the unfathomable riches of Christ

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: God forbid that any of us should live like paupers! God forbid that any of us should be in . . . need and want and trouble and alarm and unsteadiness! The world today is presenting us with a unique opportunity of telling men and women about “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” We are being watched, we are being observed; and many in their spiritual bankruptcy are wondering whether, after all, the answer is in Christ. The world judges Him by what it sees in us. If we give the impression that, after all, to be a Christian does not help very much when there is a crisis, they will not listen to our message or look to Him. But if they find that we are entirely different from them, and able to maintain a calm and balance and peace and poise, and even joy in the middle of the hurricane of life, under God that may be the means of opening their eyes, and leading them to repentance, and bringing them to the Lord Jesus Christ and His “unsearchable riches.”***

  • Resources Quoted:
    • *Darrell L. Bock, Ephesians: An Introduction and Commentary, ed. Eckhard J. Schnabel, vol. 10, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (London: Inter-Varsity Press, 2019), 99.
    • **Andrew T. Lincoln, Ephesians, vol. 42, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1990), 183–184.
    • ***D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, p66

In Our Next Study Together …

I invite you to join me on this journey from the book of Ephesians to discover God’s eternal purpose, His plan for your life, and learn how to practically live out an abundant and fruitful Christian life. 

  • The focus of our next study: Ephesians 3:9
  • We will examine the “mysterious plan of God” as found in Ephesians 3:9.
  • I encourage you to read through Ephesians a couple of times this week and focus specifically on
  • Ephesians 3:8-13.

Subscribe to the Podcast

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe on your favorite app by searching for “Deeper Christian Ephesians” or clicking the button below.

Help Others Out …
Leave a Rating & Review on Apple Podcasts 

If you enjoyed the show, please take 30 seconds and rate it on Apple Podcasts and write a brief review. This would be a tremendous blessing to help us get the word out to others who might also enjoy it—as Apple uses the rating and reviews in their searches to help other people find the show.

About The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series

The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series in Ephesians is a Christ-centered practical in-depth verse-by-verse study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Join NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) as he expositionally preaches from this incredible book – which will help you grow in your faith, gain greater intimacy with Jesus, and understand how to study God’s Word.

Many Christians feel frustrated because they don’t grow spiritually. Deeper Christian equips Christians to understand the Word of God and cultivate a passionate love for Jesus that turns the world upside down.

About NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson)

NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps Christians discover and experience a passionate love for God and His Word so that they can grow in their faith, live victorious lives, share the Gospel boldly, grow in their intimacy with Jesus, and transform the world through the indwelling life of Christ.
Read more about him here.

Receive the Deeper Digest

Receive Deeper Christian’s weekly content in ONE convenient email each Saturday (all the quotes, articles, podcasts, etc.)

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, deeperChristian will receive an affiliate commission (with no additional cost to you). It is a great way to support the work and ministry of deeperChristian. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”