But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
I. MAN'S NECESSITY. Strictly speaking, all creatures are equally indigent, whether sinners or saints. Out of God there is no self-sufficiency. But circumstances, though they cannot add to our inherent emptiness and dependence, may add materially to our necessities, and that in three ways.
1. When a creature is placed in a situation unfavourable to his happiness. An infant, e.g., in his mother's arms, is as needy as want and helplessness can render it, but take it from its mother and cast it into the sea and it needs to be rescued as well as nourished; a deliverer as well as a mother.
2. When there is something within himself counteracting his welfare. A sick man needs more help than one in health; a man with a wounded spirit more comfort than one with a mind unwrung.
3. When he is destined for a high station. A monarch's son requires more care in training than a peasant's. A barbarian does well enough in his native woods, but set him apart for a high state of civilization and you add to him many wants. Put these three things together and we shall have some idea of the extent and urgency of the Christian's need. We are in a state unfavourable to our happiness; there is sin within us; we are designated for a station for whose pursuits we have naturally no desire. We are needy as creatures, as sinful creatures, as redeemed creatures.
II. GOD'S WEALTH. The apostle has not in his mind all the blessings which God possesses in Himself, but those which are adapted to our present state of want and our future state of exaltation — gospel blessings, "the riches of His grace," the mercies offered to sinners.
1. The figure contains two ideas.
(1) Their abundance. It is not one or two pieces of gold that make a man rich, nor power to relieve one or two beggars. There must be large resources. And where is the want for which God's gospel does not offer a remedy? Where the blessing He is not able to bestow? Millions on millions can no more exhaust His store that we with the hollow of our hand could empty the sea.
(2) Their excellence. We do not deem worthless things riches however abundant. A mass of sand would never be called a treasure. And what so precious as God's mercies? We can no more estimate their value than their abundance. We can no more say "We know their utmost worth" than "We have taken them all."
2. Why are they called "riches in glory?" Perhaps the term(1) may refer to heaven, the storehouse of spiritual blessings.
(2) Or it may be equivalent to "glorious riches." In this case it may mean that these riches(a) are magnificent as well as excellent and abundant.
(b) That they bring glory to their possessors, and are honourably acquired and spent.
(c) That they are glorious in their tendency and use. They not only come out of glory but lead to it — whereas earthly riches are often debasing and injurious.
III. THE SUPPLY FOR THIS NECESSITY OUT OF THIS WEALTH. This supply is —
2. Abundant. Not according to our necessities but to God's riches; suited to His character not ours; commensurate with His magnificence rather than with our poverty and meanness.
3. Adapted to our real, not imaginary need.
4. Through Christ.
(1) He purchased them for us. "Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ," etc.
(2) He receives them for us as our representative.
(3) He bestows them on us. It is the connection it has with Christ that makes this supply certain, for it is the stipulated reward of His sufferings; abundant, for those sufferings were of infinite worth; glorious, because its bestowal brings glory to Him.
(C. Bradley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.