2 Corinthians 8v9, Reading v1- 9,
Preached: 4-12-05 by in Markethill FPC by Rev James Porter
In this 8th chapter of 2 Corinthians Paul is seeking to stir up the grace of generosity among the people of God. .In particular he wanted the Corinthians to give to believers in Jerusalem who were in great need.
To promote this grace Paul speaks about the generosity of Gods people in Macedonia. The believers in Macedonia where much poorer than those in Corinth, yet they had given to Gods work, well in excess of their own means.
Following own from this Paul then proceeds to present the greatest of all incentives for generous giving among the people of God. That incentive is none other than the example of Christ Himself. Paul reminds these Corinthian believers what Christ gave for there salvation.
This he does through the words of V9 when he says, "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich."
Here Paul is referring to all that Christ done so that these Corinthian believers could partake of the benefits of redemption. In the sacrifice and death of Christ, there can be no greater example of giving.
The Bible says, "…greater love have no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
Now in looking at these words of v9, I want to pass on from the subject of Christian charity.
Instead I want to consider that actual charity and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in providing a way of salvation for sinners such as you and me..
There are 3 things in this verse that to notice regarding this wondrous grace & charity of Christ in salvation .
1. As you think about the grace of Christ in salvation note the fact that Christ was rich.
In v9 Paul's says, "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, …. .he was rich,".
As Paul speaks here about Christ being rich, he is referring to the riches & glory of Christ before he came into this world.
In John 17 v5, Christ is speaking to his heavenly Father in prayer and he says, " And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
It is this glory of Christ before the world existed that Paul is speaking about in this verse when he talks about Christ being rich.
Before coming into this world Christ was rich in the love and adoration of all the heavenly creatures.
The angels and seraphim's of heaven adored & worshipped Him. Isaiah 6 v3 speaks of the heavenly seraphim's and they cried "Holy, Holy Holy is the Lord of hosts."
Also before coming into this world Christ was rich in the love of His heavenly Father.
From all eternity the Father's love flowed toward Christ.
In Heaven Christ bathed in the infinite ocean of His Father's love.
In Proverbs 8 v30 Christ could say, " I was daily his delight."
The Father's perpetual delight was in His Son, for in Christ there was no sin, He was altogether pure.
How different is Gods view of man. When God looked down upon this earth in the day of Noah,
The Bible says, "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." Genesis 6 v5&6
God's view of man and this world is still the same today. This is because of man's sin and rebellion before God. Every one of us along with the rest of mankind have been born in sin and shapen in iniquity.
Yes Gods frown was upon mankind because of sin. However this was not so with Christ, Who was without sin. The Bible says, "yea He is altogether lovely."
The hymn writer could say, "Join all there glorious names of wisdom love and power , all are to mean to speak his worth, to mean to set my saviour forth."
We can say, that Christ was rich in power. He was the creator of this world.
All the world is his domain. Colossians 1 v17 says, "…and he is before all things and by him all things consist. ."
Also we can say that Christ was rich in glory.
All the Glory that God the Father had, Christ also had. Philippians 2 v6 says, of Christ, "Who being in the from of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God."
Oh this is something about the one in our text who Paul says was "…rich."
This is the one whom God has appointed to be our saviour. He is the only one that could deliver you and I from our sins and the consequences of our sin. He is the one that the word of God exhorts you and I to trust in for the salvation of our souls.
The bible says in John 3v17, "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." This is the whom Paul says was rich.
2. As you think further about the grace of Christ n salvation note that he became poor.
In 2 Corinthians 8 v9 Paul says, "for ye know the grace of our lord Jesus Christ that he became poor."
When he talks here about Christ becoming poor Paul is referring here to His incarnation.
The time when He came to this world and shrouded Himself with a body of clay. The time when he went to the cross to die in agony for our sins.
Philippians 2 v7&8, "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
As you think about His poverty in coming to this world remember that Christ laid aside all the worship of the heavenly creatures. He left heavens glory for a manger in Bethlehem for there was no room in the inn.
As a baby He was not wrapped in the silk of royalty, rather He was wrapped in the swaddling clothes of a pauper. At his birth there was only the shepherds and wise men to worship him.
Also in coming into this world remember that He left behind His power and glory.
He was born as a child, one who had to be cared for and fed like any other.
He was one who later knew what it was to hunger, thirst and become weary in body.
Remember him at the well of Jacob in sychar, the bible says in John 4, "Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
Then in life itself remember that Christ experienced poverty.
Few believed on him and adored Him. He was called a glutton and winbibber, The Jews sought to kill him. He who once had all things now had nothing. Christ himself said in Mt 8 v20, "… the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nest, but the son of man hath not where to lay his head. "
Then in death Christ became poor most of all.
In heaven He was filled with the song of holy angels, but on the cross His ear was filled with the scorn and bitterness of those who cried, "crucify him, crucify him." In heaven Christ knew the fullness of the Fathers love, but on the cross He experienced the fullness of the Fathers wrath for our sins.
Hence he cries out on the cross, "…my God my God why hast thou forsaken me."
On the cross his poverty is such, that He himself dies. He gives up the ghost and his body is laid in a tomb.
Please understand that the cross was the lowest depth of Christ's poverty.
The Bible says, "he became obedient unto death even the death of the cross."
How terrible was his death upon the cross?
Now amount of preacher's words can fully paint that terrible scene
Isaiah 52 v14 says, " As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
The hymn writer says,
" but none of the ransomed ever knew, how deep were the waters crossed. Nor how dark was the night that the lord passed through, ere he found the sheep that was lost."
You may well ask the Question why?
Why did he who was so rich become so poor.?
Why did he go to this awful cross?
Well the answer to such a question leads us to our final thought regarding the grace of Christ in salvation, which is
3. The Reason for Christ's poverty.
Notice the words of Paul as he speaks here in 2 cor 8 v9, he says, "for your sakes he became poor
In the day of Paul Corinth was one of the most sinful places on this earth. Before they were saved the Corinthian had been involved in awful sin.
1 Corinthians 6v9-11 says, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Here were read of sins that we would rather not mention or think of. Yet our text says that it was for the sake of such poor sinners that Christ became poor. "
Child of God just as Christ became poor for these Corinthian believers, so he became poor for your sake as well. Christian for your sake Christ became poor. For your sake he died an awful death upon the cross.
Romans 5 v6, " for when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Christ became poor for you who have broken Gods law, and who are an enemy of God.
He became poor for you who have lived without a thought of God.
He became poor for you who have not one good thing in you to commend Gods favour.
Now not only did Christ become poor for our sake, Paul goes on to speak about the out come of his poverty. He says, "That ye through his poverty might become rich."
Here Paul's is referring to all the blessing there is for every repentant sinner who trusts Christ as saviour.
This is the blessings of adoption in to Gods family. John 1 v12 say," But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:". Child of God through Christ poverty you have been brought into the family of God.
There is the blessing of justification Romans 5v1 says, " Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" Child of God through Christ's poverty your sins have been forgiven and you have been given a righteous standing before God.
There is the blessing of sanctification. 1Corinthians 1 v30 says, "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us sanctification." This means that through Christ poverty, God will give you grace and power to live for Gods glory.
Then there is the blessing of glorification. 2 Corinthians 5 v1, " For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Through the poverty of Christ you have the certainty of a home in heaven.
Child of God you may not have mush by way of material good and possessions but with Christ as your Saviour, you are richer than all the multi millionaires of this world. Their material gain are riches that are temporal but in Christ you have riches that are eternal. You have riches that nothing can take from not even death itself.
Romans 8 v38 & 39 says, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. What riches you have in Christ?
If you are still unsaved please realise that God offers these same riches freely to you as well.
Through repenting of your sin, & faith in Christ for salvation you to can be brought into Gods family, you can have your sins pardon, You can be given life abundant and life eternal.
John 3 v16 says, " 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."
As you think about this I ask you to compare the riches of Christ with the wages that sin, the devil and the world pays. The Bible says, For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption Galatians 6 v23. ,In James it says, " sin when it is finished bring froth death. "
The Bible says, the pleasures of your sin are only for the season.
The final end of your sin will be heartache, misery, and eternal ruin in hell itself.
This is what your sin will bring you in life and in eternity if you don not have it forgiven and put away by the blood of Christ.
However such and end will not be so, if you turn away from the folly of your sin and if your turn to Christ for salvation.
Then you will experience and enter in all the riches of Gods so great salvation. Psalm 34 v8 says " O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him."
This day may you be wise And call upon the lord to save your from your sin.
The Bible says, "for the same lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him."
May God help you to call upon Christ today for salvation & life everlasting. Amen