The Grace of Christ
The minds of many at the moment are devoted to money matters. We are certainly living in difficult times economically and the situation may get worse. People are already losing their jobs and even their homes. It must be said that for years as a nation and perhaps as individuals we have been living way beyond our means. We know from past experience however that these things tend to go in cycles: there is every likelihood that finances and bank balances will improve sometime in the future.
There is a more important ‘balance’ to consider however: our spiritual balance. The Bible tells us that Adam’s sin and fall brought him and his descendants from a pure state into a sinful, miserable state. In Adam we all became guilty, naked and corrupt. We can no longer serve God and have been put out of our home in paradise. We are bankrupts and cannot buy our way back to God. Our prospect as sinners is eternal punishment in hell. Left to ourselves we shall never know anything but spiritual ruin.
The message of the gospel is that the Lord Himself has intervened in this calamity. Without this we would remain in our lost and sinful state forever. In love God sent His Son to deliver needy souls from their poverty. “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2Cor.8:9). What grace! Condescending grace, abounding grace, saving grace! How so?
Jesus Christ is rich. He is the only begotten Son of God, possessing all the attributes of deity. His dwelling is “the ivory palaces” of perfect blessedness (Psa.45:8). He brought the universe into being. He is the Lord of all creation and the Heir of all things. He is the Prince of heaven, adored by the holy angels. This was His home from all eternity.
Jesus Christ became poor. The Son of God put off the regalia of royalty as He came into this sinful world, assuming our manhood. He laid aside His divine glory such that His Godhood was hidden to the natural eye when He walked this earth as the man Christ Jesus. The ‘poverty’ of our blessed Saviour was His entering into His state of humiliation, from His conception in Mary’s womb to His burial in Joseph’s tomb.
Christ’s incarnation meant two things. As man He was dependent upon God’s help. “I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly” (Psa.22:10). As Messiah He was obedient to God’s will. “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death” (Phil.2:8). Think of it! The Lord of glory was mocked, buffeted and crucified in shame and yet He came willingly.
Jesus Christ makes His people rich. He descended into the depths of personal poverty and rose again for this reason – that the grace of God might be lavished upon sinners. He finds us as paupers, clothed in rags, lying in the filthy ditch of our sins. Then He lifts us up, washes us clean in His blood and clothes us with His righteousness. But there is more. He introduces us to the friendship of God. He takes us into the palace of the King and sets us with “the princes of his people” (Psa.113:8)!
Our spiritual poverty as sinners before a holy God is very great. But see God’s marvellous grace is sending His own dear Son to bless sinners with everlasting wealth. The wise thing then for us all is to confess our sins to God and put our trust in the only Saviour, Jesus Christ.