The Unspeakable Gift

By Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

The Apostle Paul was admonishing the Corinthian Church to give liberally for the poor saints at Jerusalem. He then interjects this thought, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (II Corinthians 9:15).

We know that God gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem fallen sinners. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). What great love it is that the Father gave His Son to redeem fallen, unworthy sinners to rescue them from the wrath to come.

When we read what has been written about His Son we see that many wonderful things are said, many descriptive phrases are used and many titles are applied; but when it has all been said He is still the unspeakable gift because no language is sufficient to describe His greatness.

Describing his conversion Paul said, “At midday O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (Acts 26:13-15).

Following this experience, Paul’s life was forever changed. He who had been the chief enemy of the church became the greatest of the Apostles. As he grew in his walk with the Lord and his understanding, he would later pen these words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Colossians 1:12-15).

Just in these passages we have learned some wonderful things about God’s Son. He was able to stop a persecutor of the Church and totally transform his life, and through His blood we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins.

We find Him described in an Old Testament prophecy: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). All of these titles belong to Jesus, yet there is much more to be said.

In the New Testament we find in Matthew 1:21, His name is Jesus because He is the Saviour. In John 1:36, He is described as the Lamb of God; in John 6:48, the Bread of Life; and in John

10:14, the Good Shepherd. As we read the prophetic references of Him in the Old Testament and the descriptions of His person and work in the New Testament, we think of the words of John, “And there are also many other things Jesus did, the which if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written” (John 21:21). Yes, it is clear: Jesus is the unspeakable gift--there are not adequate words to describe His greatness.

If we inquire of those who have walked with Him for many years, the testimony is unanimous—not enough words to describe His blessedness. He has proven to be the friend that sticketh closer than a brother; He has never forsaken me.

The longer I know my Savior,
The dearer He is to me;
The harder I want to please Him,
The better I want to be.
James Rowe
Old School Hymnal, 590

Ask those who have preached Him most. Paul preached Jesus Christ and Him crucified, preached Him powerfully and saw large numbers of conversions and yet He declares, He is

unspeakable. Ask any preacher of the gospel. They tell about the types that foreshadowed His coming, the prophecies that declared He would come, the account of His birth, the description of His life, the miracles He performed, the content of His messages, His death on the cross, His cry, “It is finished,” His triumphant resurrection, His ascension to glory, His royal welcome there, His promise to return—they conclude, “He is unspeakable.”

And we certainly understand no one could ever merit Christ, this unspeakable gift, and the salvation He gives. Romans chapter three describes man’s fallen state very vividly. He is not righteous, he doesn’t understand, he doesn’t seek God, he has gone out of the way, full of bitterness, no fear of God, at enmity against God, under condemnation, ignorant, blind, deceived, serving many lusts, disobedient, foolish, living in malice and envy, full of uncleanness and greediness.

Clearly, man is in deep trouble. He cannot save or even help save himself. How wonderful then, to hear that Jesus Christ is the gift of God and He is the Savior. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things” (Romans 8:32).

We then should join with the Apostle and continually say, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” Being forever thankful that God gave His Son. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” (I John 4:9).

And, thankful as well for what He delivered us from. Matthew 13:42 says, “And shall cast them into a furnace of fire.” Matthew 22:13 describes, “outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” In Mark 9:43 we read of hell where the fire shall never be quenched. And I Thessalonians 1:10, “...Jesus, which delivered us from wrath to come.”

And, indeed, thankful for what is to come. Thankful to one day be at home with the Lord, waving palm branches of victory and praising Him forever!

When this passing world is done,
When has sunk yon glaring sun;
When I stand with Christ in glory,
Looking o’er life’s finished story,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know–
Not till then how much I owe.
Robert Murray McCheyne