I’ve found the One of peerless worth
The sixth crucial item of Ephesians 3 is the breadth and length and height and depth in verse 18. Once Christ makes His home in our hearts, we discover His boundlessness. He is the One who is wide, long, high, and deep. He is the breadth of the universe, the length of the universe, the height of the universe, and the depth of the universe. His breadth, length, height, and depth are immeasurable; this is Christ. The more we experience Him, the more we know His boundlessness; He is inexhaustible. There is a hymn that simply states, "Oh, what a Christ have I!" (Hymns, #510).
In 1966, I wrote many hymns in Taiwan, one of which was Hymns, #510: "I've found the One of peerless worth,/My heart doth sing for joy;/And sing I must, for Christ I have:/Oh, what a Christ have I!" In this hymn, I pointed out over thirty items of what Christ is. Our Christ is all-inclusive! The last part of this hymn says, "My Christ, the all-inclusive One,/My Christ what shall I call?/He is the first, He is the last,/My Christ is All in all." This is our Christ, who is the mystery of God.
Today our gospel preaching is the preaching of Christ. To preach Christ is to tell people who and what Christ is. From stanzas 2 and 3 of the Chinese Hymns, #403, we can find at least fourteen items of the riches of Christ. [The English version of this hymn, Hymns, #542, contains twelve items.] First it says, "O the riches of my Savior, / All-embracing ." Then it goes on to list these riches: life, light, wisdom, power, healing, peace, joy, complete redemption, full salvation, justification, sanctification, release, resurrection power, and transcendence, for a total of fourteen items. The Chinese Hymns, #388 [an abridged version of the English Hymns, #510] speaks even more of Christ's riches. Christ is the Lamb of God, the Sun of Righteousness, the tree of life, the fountain of life, the Priest, the Prophet, the King, the Savior, the Mediator, the Physician, the Shepherd, the Counselor, the Head, our Brother, our Father, our God, our Lord, our Teacher, our Beloved, our Friend, life, power, wisdom, righteousness, holiness, redemption, peace, joy, hope, comfort, glory, light, and way, for a total of thirty-three items. Never think that this Jesus Christ whom you have heard, believed in, and received is that simple. He is too marvelous and very rich. His riches are the reality and contents of the gospel.
Today Christ is in us. In Romans 8:10 we find the expression Christ is in you. This short expression is of great importance. The very Christ who is in us is life. Hence, the divine life is a wonderful, living person (John 11:25; 14:6a). This wonderful person is unsearchably rich. Hymns, #510 alone contains more than sixty items of Christ's riches. Christ is the Alpha and the Omega (Rev. 22:13) and all the letters of the alphabet in between, and He is also all the words formed with those letters. We can never exhaust telling who Christ is. However, it is not enough that Christ is inexhaustible in Himself; Christ must be everything to us in our experience. My desire is that we all learn how to experience the exhaustless, unlimited, peerless Christ who is in us. Christ's being in us is not merely a doctrine; it is a fact. Although we are very small, in a sense Christ humbled Himself to be smaller than we are. In Himself He is much greater than we are, yet He humbled Himself to be a small piece of bread so that we can eat Him as our spiritual food and receive Him into us (Matt. 15:27; John 6:35, 51, 57). Although He is small enough for us to eat, He is the unlimited One who is living in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22).
One of the hymns we have composed concerning the experience of Christ as everything to us has fifteen stanzas and lists more than sixty-five items of what Christ is to us (Hymns, #510). Nevertheless, there are still many more items of what Christ is to us. For example, consider the full salvation of God typified by the history of the people of Israel. First, they were in Egypt, then they were delivered from Egypt and wandered in the wilderness, and eventually they were brought into the good land, the land of Canaan. Their history in these places signifies the three stages of our participation in God's full salvation. In each stage the people of Israel enjoyed certain items. In Egypt they enjoyed the passover lamb with its blood and its meat, and they also enjoyed the unleavened bread with bitter herbs (Exo. 12:3-8). Moreover, they had their loins girded and had sandals on their feet and a staff in their hand (v. 11). Later, when they were in the wilderness, at a certain point in their journey there was no fresh water but only waters of bitterness. Those waters were healed when Moses cast a tree into them (15:22-25). The tree that healed the bitter waters signifies the cross of Christ, which is a healing cross (1 Pet. 2:24). After this, the people of Israel enjoyed the heavenly manna (Exo. 16), which is a type of Christ as the bread of life (John 6:32-35), and the living water from the smitten rock (Exo. 17:1-7). The rock typifies Christ (1 Cor. 10:4), and the living water typifies the Spirit, who flowed out of the crucified and resurrected Christ to be our all-inclusive drink (John 7:37-39; 19:34; 1 Cor. 12:13). In the wilderness the people of Israel also enjoyed the tabernacle with all its utensils and the priesthood with all the different offerings. Finally, when they entered into the land of Canaan, they enjoyed the produce of the land, a land flowing with milk and honey (Josh. 5:11-12). The riches of the good land signify different aspects of the unsearchable riches of Christ (Deut. 8:7-10; Col. 1:12; Eph. 3:8).
Our knowledge and experience of the Lord should not be merely doctrinal. For example, both Hymns, #78 and #510 speak of various items of the riches of Christ, but if we commit these items only to our memory, we are increasing only our mental knowledge, not our experience of Christ. Christ can never be experienced in our mind through doctrines. We must touch the Spirit in our spirit and allow the word of God, the living word of God, to enlighten us. This is the way to genuinely touch the riches of Christ. We need to know the riches of Christ in reality. Every real experience of Christ depends on touching the Spirit in our spirit, not on doctrines.
San Marcos, TX, United States
An oldie but a goodie.
My Christ, He is the Lamb of God,
Who full salvation brings;
He is the Sun of Righteousness,
With healing in His wings.
Thank you, Christ for being our everything! You bring us full salvation every single day.
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
amazing and very touching song!!!!!!!!!!!
Kigali, Eastern, Rwanda
Amen!!! This is a great song! I am very touched. Jesus is my everything!
Storrs, Connecticut, United States
In the days of John Bunyan, when the famous thinker was writing “Pilgrim’s Progress”; when Bishop Ken had given to the Church the well loved doxology, “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow”, another less known writer wrote this hymn;
“I’ve found the precious Christ of God,
My heart doth sing for joy;
And sing I must, for Christ I have,
A precious Christ have I.
This hymn has been altered from the original, the first verse began with this line,
“I’ve found the pearl of greatest price. ”
The writer is John Mason. He was the son of a non-conformist minister, but of his early life very little is known. In 1660 he entered Cambridge University where he graduated four years later. In 1674 he was appointed Rector of Water-Stratford, “where the Lord gave him satisfaction in time of famine, and rest in the midst of troublesome times round about for twenty years. ” He died there in 1694.
Mason was an able writer, though at that time the hymns he wrote were for private edification, rather than public use. Those early hymns were later used for public worship. A number of his compositions are to be found in the early Hymn Collections of the 18C, and are known for their spiritual expression. His prose and poetry were eulogized by Issac Watts, and there is no doubt that the hymns of John Mason greatly influenced Watts and Wesley in their day.
Mason was a spiritual man, constant in prayer, and effectual in proclaiming the truths in the Scriptures. Mason’s favorite theme was the second coming of Christ, and this was greatly accentuated during the end of his life. A few weeks before his death, during the night, he is said to have had a remarkable vision of the Lord Jesus. So real did it appear to him and so deeply impressed he was by it, that he preached a sermon called “The Midnight Cry, ” in which he proclaims the near approach of Christ’s Second Coming. The sermon created quite a stir and it was widely reported the Advent would take place at Water-Stratford itself. Crowds gathered from neighboring villages, until every corner of the village was occupied. Extraordinary scenes and loud unrestrained singing occurred. The excitement had barely died down when John Mason passed away, still testifying that he had seen the Lord, and that it was time the nations to tremble and for Christians to trim their lamps.
“The frame was of his spirit was so heavenly, ” said his close spiritual friend Richard Baxter, “his deportment so humble and obliging, his discourse of spiritual things so weighty, with such apt words and delightful air, that it charmed all that had any spiritual relish. ”
John Mason’s compositions are contained in “Spiritual Songs, ” published in 1686, a copy of which—one of the earliest collections of hymns are housed in the British Museum.
( Stories and Sketches of our Hymns)
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Christ is my everything AMEN!!!
Boston, MA, United States
“ ... And I must sing and sing again OH WHAT A CHRIST HAVE I... ”
Floral Park, NY, United States
It is quite wonderful that much of the inspiration for this hymn came from a hymn penned by John Mason, 1646 - 1694. We do stand on the shoulders on many saints who have gone before us. No doubt the revisions are good.
1 1 I've found the pearl of greatest price,
My heart doth sing for joy:
And sing I must, a Christ I have;
O what a Christ have I?
2 Christ is the Way, the Truth, the Life,
The way to God on high,
Life to the dead, the truth of types,
The truth of prophesy.
3 Christ is a prophet, priest and king,
A Prophet full of light,
A Priest that stands 'twixt God and man,
A King that rules with might.
4 Christ's manhood is a temple, where
The altar God doth rest;
My Christ, he is the sacrifice,
My Christ he is the priest.
5 My Christ he is the Lord of Lords,
He is the King of kings;
He is the Sun of righteousness,
With healing in his wings.
6 My Christ, he is the Tree of Life,
Which in God's garden grows;
Whose fruit does feed, whose leaves do heal;
My Christ is Sharon's rose.
7 Christ is my meat, Christ is my drink,
My physic and my health,
My peace, my strength, my joy, my crown,
My glory and my wealth.
8 Christ is my father, and my friend,
My brother and my love;
My head, my hope, my counselor,
My advocate above.
9 My Christ, he is the Heaven of heavens,
My Christ what shall I call?
My Christ is first, my Christ is last,
My Christ is all in all.
I found one more verse listed elsewhere.
Christ Jesus is my All in all,
My Comfort and my Love,
My Life below, and He shall be
My Joy and Crown above.
Naivasha, Nakuru, Kenya
My Christ is all in all. What a privilege to have Him as friend
Praise You Lord! You are the all-inclusive One!
My peace my joy and my home! You are all in all!