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The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. WILLIAM H. SUTHERLAND.



"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 vm, 9.
BY REV. WILLIAM H. SUTHERLAND.



"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 vm, 9.

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Published by: glennpease on Apr 27, 2014
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THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. BY REV. WILLIAM H. SUTHERLAD. "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 vm, 9. The principles of imitation and emulation are often effi- cient incentives to deeds of charity. The apostle, aware of the influence of these principles, appealed to them in this epistle. Before and at the date of the text, the poor saints in Judea were the subjects of bitter persecution. THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. 227 As it was vain for them to expect relief from the authors of their wrongs, they naturally turned an imploring look to those whose hearts God had touched. And, my breth- ren, when God touches the heart with the finger of his love, it overflows with charity toward all mankind. Hence, they implored not in vain. The Macedonians, even be- yond their ability, joyfully contributed to the relief of their suffering brethren. For this object the apostle had written also to the Corinthians ; but from some cause, not mentioned, the contribution had not been completed. To urge its completion was one of the objects of this second epistle, in the eighth chapter of which he endeavors to incite them to emulate the noble deeds of the Macedo- nians, delicately intimating, that if they, who were poor, had given so freely, the Corinthians, who were opulent, ought to equal or surpass their poorer brethren in liberal- ity. But he rises. Having given an instance of human charity, he presents an example of benevolence, of grace, the most illustrious the universe has seen — the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. "For ye know," says he, "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." The subject of this text is, obviously, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. 99 The word grace, in the Bible, has various meanings. They all, however, are comprehended in two words, excellence and favor — excellence, whether physical, mental, or moral, and favor, conferred or re- ceived. It has both these senses in the text, in the eluci- dation of which I shall consider the grace of our "Lord Jesus Christ as exhibited in I. HlS ORIGIAL RICHES. II. His subsequent poverty. III. His benevolent design. I. I am to consider the grace — the excellence of our 228 THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Lord Jesus Christ as exhibited in his original riches. " He was rich " in 1. His nature. That nature was divine. This is de- clared in the first title given him in the text. He is called "Lord." The Greek word Kvptos, here translated Lord, is the same by which the Seventy generally render the Hebrew word Jehovah, which is the incommunicable name of the ever-blessed God — a name expressive of his infinity, immutability, eternity — one which the Jews, through reverence, refuse to pronounce, and always use a circumlocution to express. Christ is, in the Scriptures, also called God. That disciple who was admitted to a peculiarly intimate communion with the Savior, who leaned on his bosom at the last supper, and whom, it is
 
emphatically said, Jesus loved, in the first verse of his Gospel says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." And the chief of the apostles testifies that Christ "is over all, God blessed forever," Romans ix, 5. As God, he possesses divine attributes. To him belong a wisdom omniscient, a power almighty, a presence universal, a holiness immacu- late, a justice without respect of persons, a goodness over- shadowing all, a mercy reaching even the rebellious, and a truth firmer than the foundations of "the everlasting hills." But divine actions, as well as divine titles and at- tributes, are ascribed to him in the Scriptures ; hence, "he was rich" in 2. His works. The beloved apostle informs us that "all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." Paul declares that "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 made by him, and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist," Colossians i, 16, 17. Here, in THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. 229 the number, order, variety, beauty, magnitude, utility, .and perfection of his works, we behold the riches of Christ. His wisdom is manifest in the tiny flower of the field, and in the giant oak of the mountain ; in the vicissitudes of day and night, and in the constant roll of the seasons ; in the conformation of the earth, and in its vast mineral treasures. The myriad creatures that move on its surface, or fly in the open firmament, or plow the deep, from the animalcule to leviathan, all display the wisdom of Christ. We ourselves are "strangely, wonderfully formed." And if we elevate our view, and behold the sun shining in his

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