The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

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. 2 Cor. 8:9

Who can judge the poverty into which our Lord descended? For we cannot fathom the riches he possessed. Our Lord described it as glory which he shared with his Father before the world began (Jn. 17:5). We must remember that God did not create the world because he needed us. He created to share of his fulness with us. God did not create out of want but out of fulness. In "the happy land of the Trinity" (Fred Sanders), the Son of God was eternally and perfectly and fully and joyfully and gloriously satisfied in the fellowship of Father, Son, and Spirit.

But as the incarnate Son of God, he left this for a time, left his riches, left the glory, and descended into a fallen world, scarred and mutilated and deformed and dead and stinking from sin. He who was the eternal Word took on flesh and dwelt among us (Jn. 1:14). He became a "man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" (Isa. 53:3). He "humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:8). He became poor.

Why? He did it, the apostle says, "for your sakes." For whose sakes? For the believers there in Corinth, these people who had once been fornicators and idolators and homosexuals and thieves and greedy and drunkards and revilers and extortioners (cf. 1 Cor. 6:9-11). He did it for them. Clearly, not because they were worth it (as some modern so-called "Christian" songs say), but because of "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ." Out of the fulness of his riches, he cancelled their debt to God by dying for them and by engrafting them freely into the blessings of his grace.

And as a result, they became rich. There are no riches like this. These are not coins that devalue through inflation. These are not garments that become moth-eaten. These are not temporary pleasures. Rather, this is a sharing (in a way befitting for vessels of mercy) of the glory of God (Rom. 9:23; 5:1-3). There will be for them, and for all who belong to Jesus, never-ending and ever-increasing joys in the age to come.

Paul wrote this as a motivation for generosity. Indeed, may we so embrace the reality and richness of God's generosity and grace to us, that we willingly and joyfully extend in our own limited and imperfect way generosity and grace to others. Thanks be unto God for his indescribable gift (2 Cor. 9:15)!

By: Jeremiah Bass