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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians


9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.


The reason Christians should give generously to the Lord is because of “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is the high bar of giving to others. Jesus Christ is the supreme example of someone who gave.

9 For you know

The Corinthians understood that the true nature of the gospel is that it revolves around God’s grace. They previously acknowledged that the essence of Christianity revolves around the grace concept.

the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Jesus willingly and sacrificially gave Himself for others (1 Jn 3:16). His “grace” connotes what he freely gives us although we do not deserve it. Our Lord has an orientation of goodwill toward us. Grace requires no merit on the believer’s part. Grace is God’s riches at Christ’s expense. It is all that God is free to do for the believer because of the cross; it is God’s provision for the Christian. Grace, therefore, depends on the character of God and His provision of Christ and His work.

that though He was rich,

Christ was “rich” in eternity before He took on human nature. In His preexistence, He was God the Son. He shared in God’s glory (Jn 17:5), which involves His eternal attributes and status as God (Mic 5:2; Is 9:6; Jn 8:58). As God, He did not and does not depend on anyone or anything else for His existence.

When Christ became the man Jesus, He did not set aside His deity; He set aside the voluntary use of His deity when functioning as a human being.

yet for your [emphatic] sakes He became poor,

The poverty that Jesus experienced refers to His incarnation. His condescension into humanity was a massive humiliation for Him. His was the poverty of limiting Himself to a human being while on earth. As a man, He gave Himself in sacrificial death, freeing sinners from their sin.

This phrase does not refer to Jesus’ socio-economic standing. There is no evidence that He lived in poverty.

that [purpose] you [emphatic] through His poverty might become [at one point] rich.

The Christian becomes rich through salvation and the operating assets that come with it, both in time and eternity (1 Co 1:4-5; 3:22; Eph 1:3).


Christ became poor like we are so that we can become spiritually rich.


Christians’ riches are available while they live on earth and also in future glory. The least they can do out of appreciation is give an incomparably slighter sacrifice, the offer of their possessions. Our Lord gave sacrificially to those who believe in Him. The glory of the Giver exhibits the greatness of grace.