Paul used the example of Christ to encourage the Corinthians to give more liberally: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9). Jesus “became poor” in that He willingly left His place at the Father’s side in Heaven to come to this world of sin and sorrow to live as a humble Servant. He made the ultimate sacrifice by offering His body to suffer and die on the cross (Phil 2:5-8). It is through this great sacrifice that we can “become rich.” There are many reminders of that in Paul’s letter:
- We can have comfort in our afflictions (2 Cor 1:3-7).
- Though our outward man is perishing, our inward (spiritual) man is being renewed daily (2 Cor 4:16).
- Despite our temporary sufferings, we have an eternal weight of glory awaiting us (2 Cor 4:17); an eternal home in heaven (2 Cor 5:1).
- We have unending fellowship with Christ (2 Cor 5:8).
- We are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17).
- We are reconciled back unto God through Christ (2 Cor 5:18-20).
- Though we are guilty of sin, we can have righteousness through Christ (2 Cor 5:21).
- We are God’s people; His sons and daughters (2 Cor 6:17-18).
- God will furnish us to be able to do every good work (2 Cor 9:8).
If Jesus was willing to give everything when we had nothing, are we not able to follow His example and give what we can to further the cause of Christ and help our brethren who are in need? — By Heath Rogers