You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
It has been well said that “A believer is one who does not have to consult a bank book to see how wealthy he or she is.” Is that true of you? Read on, and I promise that you will be greatly encouraged today.
Before Jesus took on flesh and dwelt among us, as the second person of the Trinity, the Son of the living God, He had it all. He was rich in glory. He was complete in majesty. He was awesome in power. He was perfect in dignity. He was breathtaking in beauty. Moment by moment, the angels in heaven surrounded Him in worship, crying out, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts” (Isaiah 6:3). Jesus was rich beyond description. But then He became poor—not just poor, but extremely poor—for you and for me.
Clearly, when the apostle Paul says in today’s verse that for our sake Jesus became poor, Paul surely had in mind the fact that Jesus took on flesh and became a man—and not a man who would be admired and loved. Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would have “no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Instead of angels calling out to Him in perpetual worship, Jesus “was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:2-3). Instead of crying “Holy is He,” the people ultimately screamed, “Crucify Him!”
In the Incarnation, the God of the universe condescended to become a man, uniting divinity with humanity in the person of Jesus Christ. Now, Jesus did not stop being God. He did not set aside His deity; rather, Jesus laid aside the manifestation of His deity while He walked upon this earth. And he laid aside His throne and all the splendor of heaven for an existence in which he frequently had no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20).
But there is more! When Paul said that our Lord “became poor,” was also thinking about the cross, for that was the place where Jesus gave up everything and shed His very life’s blood on Calvary’s hill, so that through His poverty we, by trusting in that blood, would become rich beyond imagination . . . rich beyond what any bank book might say. Because our Lord became poor, we now have the opportunity, by grace through faith, to know “the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:7-8).
So what does your Believer’s Bank Book say about just how rich you are today? Here are just a few thoughts:
- You are rich in mercy and ministry.
- You are rich in grace and glory.
- You are rich in strength and security.
- You are rich in life and love.
Christian, it doesn’t matter how rich you are in dollars and cents. Whatever level of earthly riches you have (or don’t have, for that matter), praise God for that! What truly does matter is how rich you are in Christ. You have a spiritual inheritance that goes beyond anything this world can conceive of, riches that eye has not seen and ear has not heard. Because you are in Christ, and Christ has everything, you too have everything. The fullness of Christ is your fullness, and you can take that truth to the believer’s bank and withdraw on it every moment of your life.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!