Wonderful — His Riches our Riches, Part 1

A Gospel Message by Arno C. Gaebelein

“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 Cor. 8:9

Wonderful

These beautiful words, which we find written in connection with Christian giving, contain the blessed Gospel in a most precious fullness. Like the great heart of the Gospel in John 3:16, it is so very simple and yet so very profound that its depths have yet to be fathomed.

The Holy Spirit through the prophet Isaiah, when announcing the birth of the Savior and the gift of the Son (Isa. 9:6), gives as one of His names “Wonderful.”

Even so He is.

He is wonderful in His Person and His Work.

He is wonderful in all He has done, in what He is doing and in all He will yet do.

His words, His acts, His Love, His Grace, His mercy, yes, all are wonderful.

Three wonderful facts are found in 2 Cor. 8:9.

Each fact becomes more wonderful than the previous one.

1.  The Wonderful Fact

THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS RICH

“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 Cor. 8:9

This statement leads us back into eternity past. The Riches of which this Word speaks are His eternal Riches. He ever subsisted in the form of God as the only Begotten of the Father, absolutely one with Him. One with the Father before the world existed, “He was rich.” Who is able to penetrate the mysteries of eternity? The wisdom of man, his reasoning and imaginations are all folly in the presence of such a stupendous statement. As we turn to God’s revelation we receive glimpses of that which “eye has not seen, nor ear heard” as we listen to what God in His Word has to say of the riches of the Son of His Love.

“No man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father.” (Luke 10:22) Thus He spake Himself. But it is also blessedly true that “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” 1 Cor. 2:10

What then do the Scriptures say about the eternal Riches of Christ, Who is our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ?

The Word of God tells us that the Son of God was immeasurably rich in eternity in at least three great ways.

Eternal Riches

He was rich in Possessions, rich in Love and rich in Glory. We learn from Bible revelation that His eternal Riches consisted of these, but how little we know of what they actually included! When at last Grace has brought us safely to the Father’s house, and we behold His Glory; when we shall know as we are known, then the knowledge of His Riches we shall fully enjoy. And yet, that which is now made known in the holy Scriptures about His Riches, is sufficient to fill our hearts with present wonder and our lips with praise.

Rich in Possessions.

Our conception of the riches in His possession is limited. If we fill the hands of a child full of glittering coins, that little one may look upon them and consider them as great riches. The great ones of the earth count themselves rich when they can add millions to millions, houses to houses and land to land. If the whole world were to belong at some time to one person and that one had possession of all the gold and silver, all the precious pearls and every costly stone, all the treasures of art, even all the treasures yet hidden in the mountains and hills of the earth, how rich that person would be. It would be impossible to calculate the riches of such a one, yet in comparison with Christ Who was incomparably rich, that person would still be but a poverty-stricken beggar.

What does it mean, He was rich in possessions? Let the Scripture give the answer. “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.” Colossians 1:16

In these Words we find a description of the
Riches of the Son of God.

All things belong to Him, for He created them; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is the Creator of all things, and because He is, they belong to Him, they are His and they consist by Him. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” (Psa. 24:1) None other than Jehovah, the One Who ever was in the bosom of the Father, He it is Who speaks in another Psalm: “Every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is Mine, and the fullness thereof ” Psa. 50:10–13

Again He says through one of His prophets, “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine.” Hag. 2:8

And then the great sea with its fearful and mysterious depths: of the sea with its mighty waves it is written, “The sea is His, and He made it.” Psa. 95:5

How great are His possessions; for this earth He created with all its wonders and beauties and they all belong to Him.

But His riches are greater still. He created the things that are in the heavens. What a wonderful world it must be which is above! Well did the holy spokesperson cry out through the Spirit of God, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork” (Psa. 19:1) But what are these things that are in heaven? What are these stars and suns? The human eye can obtain but a few glimpses of that wonderful creation. There are stars and planets hundreds and thousands of times larger than our earth.The sun is over a million times larger than our planet. It is a marvelous, incomprehensible ocean of fire. And yet the star Sirius has, it has been calculated, a force of light equal to over 140 suns like ours. Stars there are at such a wonderful distance from our planet that light, though traveling at 180,000 miles a second, ten million and eight hundred thousand miles a minute, or six hundred and forty-eight million miles an hour, takes several thousand years to reach our earth. There are great mysteries hid in the impenetrable depths of the universe, which no telescope can reach.

We can only wonder and exclaim, “How great is God’s creation.”

And in the heavens are the innumerable angels; their number is “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.” (Rev. 5:11) And all this, He, Who is the image of God, created and by right of creation they are all His; all belongs to Him. How rich He was in all eternity!

Rich in Love.

God did not become Love, but God is Love and has always been Love. Love needs an object. The object of the Love of God in all eternity was the One, Who is called “the Son of His Love.” In that remarkable passage in the Book of Proverbs, which can only refer to this One, we read how it is declared, “I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.” (Prov. 8:30) In the fourth Gospel, the Gospel of John, in which the Holy Spirit portrays the Lord as the Son of God, we learn of that great eternal Love-relation between the Father and the Son. Here in the first chapter, we read that “the Word was with God,” and that He is “the only begotten Son, in the bosom of the Father.” John 10:1, 18

And as we listen to His own precious words as they come from His lips in His high priestly prayer, we hear Christ speak of that eternal Love He enjoyed with the Father, a Love without beginning.

“Thou lovest Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24) What words these are Who dares to add to them or attempt to destroy that Love? One hears almost the solemn caution of old given by the Lord. “Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place where thou standest is holy.” All attempts to fully describe that Love or to illustrate it must fail. What that Love was in all eternity, what Riches of Love He enjoyed in the bosom of the Father, what delight was His, no Saint has ever fully comprehended. It is enough to know that before the world was, He is “the Son of His love,” in the bosom of the Father enjoying the Riches of His Love.

Rich in Glory.

Love puts Glory upon the beloved object. The Father’s Love and the Father’s Glory was all His in eternity.

Again we must turn to His own words to learn His eternal glory. When He uttered that marvelous prayer in the presence of the Father, He made the following request, “And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” (John 17:5) How simple and definite this statement is. He had a glory with the Father before the world was; He is the effulgence of the Father’s glory. (Heb. 13) But who can tell what that glory really was? What human eye could fully gaze upon that glory? Seers of old had visions of the Glory of the Lord. They saw the heavens opened and received faint glimpses of the glory of the Lord.

Whose actual glory was it they beheld?

A passage in the Gospel of John gives us the answer. “These things said Esaias, when he saw His glory, and spoke of Him.” (John 12:41) The prophet Isaiah saw the Lord and beheld His glory, and the New Testament tells us that it was the glory of the only begotten, the Son of God. What a glorious place it must have been where He was in all eternity, which, while on earth, He called, the Father’s house. (John 14:3) What scenes of joy and praise, when the morning stars spoke together and the sons of God, the holy angels, clapped their hands for joy. And He was the center of that Glory. To fully understand it all, we must wait till we enter that place above, when we, with all His redeemed people are with Him,. He will then show us fully His Glory.

We dare not add another word to that which we have written. Scripture gives us no other description of His eternal Riches, than these three Riches in possessions; all are His; Riches in Love; and Riches in Glory.

What a theme to meditate upon.
What joy in believing in Him “Who was rich.”

Full enjoyment of the blessed Gospel is an impossibility unless we have a consideration of His eternal Riches before us.

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