The Poverty of Christ the Source of Heavenly Riches
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…

I. THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. The term "grace" is of common use in the Scriptures, the meaning of which is determined by its connection. It sometimes implies wisdom, "Let no corrupt communication," etc. (Ephesians 4:29). It also signifies power, "My grace is sufficient for thee," etc. (2 Corinthians 12:9). But generally it imports benevolence, favour, love, or goodwill (Romans 5:20; 1 Timothy 1:14). This grace is —

1. Free and generous in its nature. Grace must be liberal and spontaneous, otherwise it is no more grace. Had the conduct of Christ towards man been the result of any overwhelming necessity, it could not, with any propriety, have been denominated grace. All the movements of the Deity are voluntary and free. God never acts necessarily.

2. Unsolicited and unsought on the part of man.

3. Disinterested in its character. Human beings are selfish in their actions. Self-interest sways the multitude, and it is difficult to divest ourselves of this principle: we have generally some interest in all we do, either present pleasure or the expectation of future reward. But the Lord Jesus is the supreme and eternal God, who is infinitely removed from all those low and sordid views by which man is actuated. His actions are perfectly disinterested.

4. Distinguishing in its operations. Two orders of intelligent beings offended their Maker, angels and men. But the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ was displayed to man — fallen, miserable, rebellious man.

5. This grace was made known. "Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ." God hath gloriously displayed it. It was made known to our primitive parents almost as soon as sin entered into the world. It was revealed to Abraham, to Moses, to David, to Isaiah, and all the prophets; for "to Him," namely, to Christ, "give all the prophets witness" (Acts 10:43).

II. CONSIDER THE DISPLAY OF THIS GRACE. "Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor.

1. He possesed all the incommunicable perfections of the Deity.

2. He possessed all the moral perfections of the Deity. Now thus think upon Christ.

(1)  Consider the grandeur of His abode.

(2)  Consider the extent of His dominion.

(3)  Consider the dignity of His titles.

(4)  Consider the number and splendour of His attendants.

(5)  Consider the profusion of His liberality. See how He scatters His bounty in every direction. There is not a particle of animated matter that He does not feed.The riches of Christ are widely different from the riches which men possess.

(a) His riches are His own, exclusively and eternally. Ours are derived from others. The riches of Christ are His, not derived, not procured, but essential to His nature.

(b) Christ's riches are undiminishable and inexhaustible. Ours may be squandered and exhausted.

(c) The riches of Christ are illimitable and incomprehensible.But He "became poor," that is —

1. He assumed our nature in its lowliest and most degraded state.

2. He suffered the penalty due to our sin.


1. That we might be rich in grace; rich in all the fruits of righteousness.

2. Rich in glory. We shall inherit a glorious place (2 Peter 1:11). We shall be associated with glorious society, and be invested with glorious privileges. These are the true riches in opposition to those of the world, which are treacherous, false, and deceitful. Satisfactory, in opposition to earthly wealth, which cannot satisfy the infinite desires of the mind (Luke 12:15). Imperishable, in opposition to those which wax old and perish in the using. They are riches attainable by all. The good things of this world are possessed by few. The connection between the poverty of Christ and the riches of the Christian may be easily discovered.

(1) By the humiliation, sufferings, and death of Christ an atonement was made for sin, and a way of access to God made plain. God is the chief good: man by sin became an alien from Him.

(2) By the atonement of Christ all the blessings of grace and glory are procured for us.

(a)  From the subject before us we infer how deeply we are indebted to Christ.

(b)  We see with what confidence we may come to Christ.

(c)  We discover from the text that it is our privilege, no less than our duty, to know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(R. Treffry.)

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.

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