Luke 5:4; Ephesians 3:16-19.

F. A. Hughes.

APRIL 1961

I had in mind to refer to the feature of depth. I believe one of the difficulties with us is that we are inclined to be superficial in relation to the things of God. You will remember that in both Matthew and Mark the reason for non-productivity from the sowing was in one case the lack of depth; and I am convinced that one of the reasons for lack of growth in relation to divine things is the absence of depth.

There are other Scriptures which speak of two or three dimensions, and three would appear to be sufficient for every human measurement; but in relation to the things of God we have "breadth, and length, and depth, and height." The apostle Paul is concerned in his prayer for the saints that all these measurements might be understood, and further that they may know "the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." Thus they "might be filled with all the fullness of God."

One of the questions that God asked Job was, "Hast thou walked in the search of the depth?" I would ask myself and the brethren whether we are content with the externals of Christianity, or whether the deep things of God have gripped our hearts in power? Job was asked that question, and may we in love to one another ask that question of each other today, have we searched "the recesses of the deep?" (New Trans.). Are we content to have but a superficial knowledge of the things of God? Or do we know in the power of the Spirit of God the blessedness of the deep things of God which have been revealed to us? These "deep things of God" are far more important and far more precious than all besides; they are the precious things that stand related to Christ in glory, for the depths of God stand related to a risen Christ. In Psalm 33:7, God speaks of the storehouses of the depth, an indication surely of the abundance available to us as we are found with real desire for these things.

In Romans 11, Paul is referring to the ways of God in mercy, and he then breaks out into that doxology, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out," (v. 33). God had in His heart from eternity thoughts of love and glory; thoughts of blessing which were not revealed until this present dispensation; truths which awaited the coming of Christ and the manifestation in power of the Spirit of God; God had them stored in His heart, and in His affection desired that we should enjoy the preciousness of these deep things of God. But before these precious things could be known and entered into by us it was necessary that the depths of God's mercy should be seen at Calvary's cross; it was there that Jesus suffered, and it is because He has died that we can be morally freed from all that is shallow and casual, and enter in the power of the Spirit into the enjoyment of the "depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." It involved the death of Christ on the cross.

In Luke 5, after teaching the people, the Lord says to Peter, "Launch out into the deep." Peter did so, and as a result the disciples witnessed that which gave them a wonderful impression of the greatness of Christ. Beloved brethren, let us "launch out into the deep," and we shall find that the depths of God are lighted up with the glory and preciousness and pre-eminence of Jesus. That is what the deep yielded for Peter; that is what it will yield for us; fresh and wonderful impressions of the greatness of Christ.