The Deep Things of God

by Mike Ratliff

[6] Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. [7] But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. [8] None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. [9] But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,

nor the heart of man imagined,

what God has prepared for those who love him”—

[10] these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. (1 Corinthians 2:6-10 ESV)

I’m sure the title of this post struck some of you in a way hard to explain. When I first started this study, I could not help but think back on an investigation I did many years ago into some false teachings by a man who claimed that his ministry was based entirely “in the deep things of God.” That mysterious statement seemed to be used by him as a smokescreen to hide the fact that he was teaching rank heresy and that heresy was claimed by him to be coming to him as a direct revelation from God. Well, if that were true then it would indeed be “the deep things of God,” but what he was teaching was very shallow spiritually and really called for people to become submissive to him as a prophet based on one thing; he said so. This is not what the depths of God (the deeps things of God) are. Let us take a closer look. 

Carefully read 1 Corinthians 2:6-10, which I placed at the top of this post. In that passage from the ESV, the word “depths” translates the Greek noun βάθη, which is the Accusative, Plural of βάθος or bathos. In this context, Paul is using a word that refers to “deep water” to make the analogy in an attempt to describe the profundities and deep-laid plans of God. We find this word in Luke 5:4 and Matthew 13:5 as well in which it is used analogously to refer fullness, abundance and immensity. Paul used it again in Romans 11:33 to refer to “an extreme degree.”

In Matthew 13:1-9, our Lord gave us the parable of the Sower. Here this word for “depth” was used in v5 in the literal sense where “Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil…” However, in 1 Corinthians 2:6-10, as I stated above, this word referring to the Depths of God, refers to greatness, immensity, profoundness, inscrutability, and abstruseness. We also find this word in Ephesians 3:18. Here it is in context.

[14] For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, [15] from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, [16] that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, [17] so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, [18] may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, [19] and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV)

Paul’s desire is that believers comprehend the four dimensions of God’s love: breadth, length, height, and depth. The depth of Christ’s love shows us what? It shows us that God has reached down from His level to our level. We do not deserve this at all. This is the one dimension of Christ’s love that should break our hearts when we begin to fully realize it by brethren.

[2:1] And you were dead in the trespasses and sins [2] in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— [3] among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. [4] But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, [5] even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— [6] and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, [7] so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. [8] For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV)

Why did Christ die for us? He did it because He loved us even though there is nothing lovable about us (Romans 1:21-32 and 3:10-18). Those of us in Christ should rejoice and humbly worship and praise our God from grateful hearts because His love is deeper than our depravity.

Soli Deo Gloria!

6 thoughts on “The Deep Things of God

  1. “Öur depravity” … Every day I’m discovering how deep mine is…
    What immense comfort..that His love is deeper!
    What a wonderful salvation!


  2. Dear Mike,
    Thank you for this timely reminder…
    So many well meaning missions are starting to focus on “teaching the world to worship God”. I can say amen to that, but it is like putting the cart before the horse.

    Under the New Covenant Christ is now Prophet, Priest and King.
    “For there is on God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” 1Timothy 2:5
    “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Matthew 11:27

    We can not worship the One True and Living God without first going through Christ Jesus. It has always been and always will be about a personal, individual relationship with Christ.

    We can only truly worship God through the Holy Spirit which indwells us when we have believed in Christ and further our humitlity and praise grows only when we begin to understand what you put forth in your post “the depth of Christ’s love”. Our praise and worship is a direct reflection of our knowledge of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf. In Christ alone, charisse


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