Reversal of Fortune in 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.”
II Corinthians 8:9
- We observe the Lord’s Supper tonight, and it behooves us to fully comprehend the transaction of salvation.
- Here is a solitary text about salvation in the midst of Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians regarding giving.
- If there is one motive that can cause us to give to others, it is our Lord Christ’s sacrificial giving for us.
- It is a simple fact that deep knowledge of Christ should make us willing to part with goods for others.
- Why should the Corinthians know? Because the basics of the gospel should be kept in memory (I Cor 15:1-6).
- Paul did not want to know or delight in anything else, so we should remember them (I Cor 2:2; Gal 6:14).
- It is a travesty of the human nature of God’s elect that they quickly let things slip (Gal 3:1; Heb 2:1-4).
- Though we despise the perilous times of the last days, our own ears itch for new things (II Tim 4:3-4).
- What should the Corinthians know? The fabulous grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in saving our wretched souls.
- Grace is demerited favor. It is not merited, nor unmerited. We are not worthy or neutral. We are damned.
- Grace is undeserved mercy. The wages we earned is death. If God were only just and fair, we are damned.
- You better learn to sing, “That when I count up all the cost, without free grace, I know I’m lost.” Glory!
- Much more could be said on this subject – each of five points deserves a sermon – but this is a summary.
WHAT WERE CHRIST’S RICHES?
- He was the Word of God, which was with God, which was God, with full rights (John 1:1; Phil 2:6).
- He was Jehovah, the great I AM THAT I AM, independently and infinitely happy in Himself alone.
- He dwelt in the beauty of holiness without any sullied thing in thought, speech, act, or created being.
- He never knew betrayal, fear, guilt, hate, loneliness, pain, shame, temptation, weakness, or death.
- He could have anything He desired, do anything He desired, or have others do anything He desired.
- He had magnificent creatures whose only purposes were to speak His praise (Is 6:1-4; Rev 4:6-8).
- He had never been subordinate, serving, or submissive before, especially to and for hateful enemies!
WHAT WAS CHRIST’S POVERTY?
- He became incarnate in the lowly man of Nazareth, Jesus, as an unknown servant to men (Phil 2:7).
- His parents were so poor there was no room in the inn, and they brought turtledoves (Luke 2:24).
- He was from a despised place in Israel near Galilee, called Nazareth, which brought scorn (Jn 1:46).
- Though the Son of David both biologically and legally, he was a mere carpenter’s son (Matt 13:55).
- There was nothing desirable about Him to men, and it seemed even God despised Him (Is 53:1-4).
- In the prime of life, He still had no place where to lay His head on a permanent basis (Matt 8:20).
- Even as a man, He humbled Himself further, by submitting to wrongful torture and death (Phil 2:8).
WHAT WAS OUR POVERTY?
- We did not have a single penny to claim, for we were corrupt from top to bottom (Romans 3:9-19).
- We were dead toward God by willful service to the devil and addiction to sinful lusts (Eph 2:1-3).
- We were foolish, disobedient, deceived, lustful, malicious, envious, hateful, and hating (Titus 3:3).
- We were dead to God by a wicked heart, dying in body, and awaiting the second death (I Cor 15:22).
- We were not seeking God, nor did we understand our own existence or His (Psalm 14:1-3; 53:1-3).
- We sent our best representative into Eden and defied our wonderful Creator (Gen 3:6; Rom 5:12).
- We were quite in agreement with the Jews who said, “We will not have this man to reign over us!”
WHAT ARE OUR RICHES?
- We are the sons of God; we do not yet see what we shall be, but we shall be like Him (I John 3:2).
- Death has been destroyed; it has no permanent claim on us; we will be resurrected (I Cor 15:50-57).
- Our eternal inheritance is God Himself in heaven with the Lord Jesus as our brother (Rom 8:17).
- We have been adopted, atoned, justified, propitiated, reconciled, redeemed, sanctified, and glorified!
- Our names are in the Book of Life; we will be saved in a horrific trial (Luke 10:20; Rev 20:11-15).
- We have an eternal inheritance with mansions to outshine any trouble now (Eph 1:11,14; Jn 14:1-3).
- We await eternal heaven without sin, pain, sickness, or dying in the presence of the Lamb forever!
WHAT ARE HIS RICHES?
- He has been given the throne of David to sit and rule the universe to the glory of God (Eph 1:21-23).
- He has been given a name that is above every name for all men to kneel and confess (Phil 2:9-11).
- David and Isaiah prophesied of His exaltation and pleasures after His death (Ps 16:11; Isaiah 53:120.
- Jesus Himself reasoned with two on the road to Emmaus about entering into His glory (Luke 24:26).
- He is at the right hand of God, Prince and King of all things forever (Ps 110:1; Heb 2:9; I Pet 3:22).
- When we see Him next, He is the glorious and dreadful Prince on a white horse (Rev 19:11-16).
- He entered into heaven and took the book of the covenant to the praise of all heaven (Rev 5:1-14).
- We may use Philippians 2:5-11 to summarize the two reversals of fortune in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- We may use Ephesians 2:1-7 to summarize the one great reversal of fortune in the life of every child of God.
- With these precious thoughts in our minds and on our hearts, we are read to partake of the Lord’s Supper.