Brethren Archive

Through His Poverty

by Inglis Fleming

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 Corinthians 8:9).

“His poverty.” Whose? That of our Lord Jesus Christ. He, the Son of God, Creator of the worlds, Upholder of all things by the word of His power, Heir of all things, King of kings and Lord of lords.

He for the glory of God His Father and for our salvation and enrichment stooped to POVERTY, to become a Man and die. Stooped to Bethlehem’s manger, to the Nazareth workshop, to the homeless strangership of the Galilean hills, to the shades of Gethsemane and the deeper shades of Calvary’s cross, to the judgment of a thrice holy God on our behalf, the judgment which would have sunk us into the depths of everlasting woe.

HIS POVERTY. Never can we measure the depths of this. There on Golgotha’s tree the waters entered into His soul, there “deep called to deep” at the noise of the waterspouts of wrath, there all the waves and billows rolled relentlessly over Him. The human mind in its finiteness cannot penetrate the depths of all His sorrow, or the distance He knew when He cried, in the bitterness of His abandonment in righteousness by God, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”

Wonderful poverty indeed!

“Though He was rich”! Riches had been His eternally. The angels were His ministers doing His pleasure. All things were His in His everlasting glory.

That sentence carries us into the recesses of the past. There He was rich. Not below in this world. Here He was ever poor. Laid in the manger of the stable at His birth, the King of glory amid the cattle in their stalls. The Nazarene in the despised Nazareth of Galilee of the Gentiles. His creatures had their burrows or their roosting places but He, the Creator, had not where to lay His head.

“The foxes found rest, and the birds had their nest,

In the shade of the cedar tree;

But Thy couch was the sod, O Thou Son of God,

In the deserts of Galilee.”

His riches were in glory eternal. His poverty was here, as we have seen. Never can the creature estimate His Godhead riches in glory. Never can the creature measure the poverty to which He stooped at Calvary.

“We may not know, we cannot tell

The pains He had to bear;

But we believe it was for us

He hung and suffered there.”

“THROUGH HIS POVERTY.” What accrues to us from that which He endured when “poor” for our sakes? Something of this we know now, the fullness awaits us in the Father’s house when we shall be with and like our Lord—for His glory conformed to His image.

We are “blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ.” But every blessing is hall-marked with the words, “Through His poverty.”

All that which we enjoy now comes to us through that channel.

All that which we shall enjoy for ever on high flows through that channel also.

Forgiveness is “through His poverty.”

Redemption and justification, and peace with God are “through His poverty.”

Sonship, everlasting life and the Father’s house and eternal glory for us are “through His poverty.”

Wonderful poverty—His. Wonderful riches—ours.

“Rich in glory Thou didst stoop,

Thence is all Thy people’s hope;

Thou wast poor that we might be

Rich in glory, Lord with Thee.”

And we know His grace, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, He who is now honoured and glorified—made Lord and Christ at God’s right hand. Yes! we know that grace and yet can never know it fully. We think of the glory of Him who showed it. We think of the cross of Calvary where it was expressed. We think of the deep need in which we were plunged. We think of the heights of present blessing which are ours. We think of the glory of God into which He will introduce us at His coming. And as we think of these things we wonder and we worship, amazed at His grace which passeth knowledge. But in that grace we boast and delight now and shall boast and delight eternally.

And when the glory is gained and we surround the throne with our praises how gladly shall we sing, “Thou art worthy . . . for Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God, by Thy blood, out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation and hast made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign on the earth.” And all that we have and are in that glad day, of glory we shall delight to own is “Through His poverty.”


Edification 1929

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