The Great Example of Benevolence
2 Corinthians 8:9
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor…

Consider -


1. In possessions. All things were made by him. All things were his. Not this world only, but all worlds. Not one race of creatures, but all races and orders.

2. In power. Omnipotence untrammelled and unrepressed.

3. In homage.

(1) The adoration of the heavenly hosts; and

(2) their perfect obedience to every command and wish.

4. In the love and fellowship of the Father.

5. In purest happiness.


1. In condition.

(1) The Godhead veiled in humanity.

(2) The Divine power restricted.

(3) The God of joy transformed into the Man of sorrows.

2. In circumstances.

(1) At his birth. His cradle a manger. An outcast; no room for him in the inn; a foreshadowing of the whole earthly life.

(2) At Nazareth an artisan, earning bread by the sweat of his brow, standing thus so closely to fallen Adam.

(3) As a preacher, dependent upon casual charity.

(4) As a traveller, journeying in penury.

(5) For his triumphal entry, dependent upon strangers.

(6) As a prisoner, stripped of the little he possessed. "They parted my garments."

(7) His dying bed, a cross; his last resting place, a borrowed tomb.

3. In surroundings.

(1) Instead of homage, mockery and insult.

(2) Few friends. One of these a traitor, and the remnant faithless at the supreme moment.

(3) Heaven darkened to him. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"


1. It was purely voluntary. He gave himself. "No man taketh it from me ... I lay down my life" (John 10:18, 15).

2. It was prompted by love. "Ye know the grace," the spontaneous, unmerited love. The compulsion was the compulsion of compassion and affection.

3. It had for its object the enrichment of men.

(1) Men were poor.

(a) Always dependent.

(b) Through sin, had forfeited all title to things bestowed by God, all title to the Divine favour, all title to brighter prospects.

(c) Thus were poor deservedly.

(2) Through Christ's poverty men are made rich. Those who are redeemed by Christ lose the poverty which is inseparable from sin, and:

(a) Gain holiness.

(b) Become partakers of the Divine nature.

(c) Receive the adoption of children and become heirs of God.

(d) Become inheritors of the heavenly kingdom.

(e) Obtain present and future joy.

(f) Become sharers in the glory which Christ for a while set aside. "The glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them" (John 17:22).


1. If Christ did this for us, how ready we should be to do what lies in our power for others! In doing it to them, we show our love to him.

2. How small our sacrifice must be compared to his!

3. Self-sacrifice makes us like Christ. He not only said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive;" he himself tasted this blessedness. And he gave what? He gave himself for us. - H.

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich.

The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ
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