The Poverty that Made us Rich.

February 12, 2023 Preacher: Thinus Meyer Series: Misquoted

Topic: Christian Living, The Gospel Scripture: 2 Corinthians 2:1–15

2 Corinthians 8v9 is widely used by false prosperity teachers to teach a false prosperity gospel. 

Writing to the church about generosity, Paul emphasizes God’s grace as a model for our giving, not as a lottery ticket for riches. Nothing about this passage focuses on what we can get, but rather, on what we can give. 

Paul discussed the offering he was collecting for the poor saints in Jerusalem. In verses 1-8 he points out the example of the Macedonian churches who gave generously and sacrificially despite their extreme poverty. Although the Macedonian Christians didn’t have much to give, they really wanted to give. They saw it as a privilege to give. True Christian generosity can’t be measured by how much one has given. Often those who have less are more generous with what they have. They are poor, but Paul says they have a “wealth of generosity” (2 Corinthians 8:2).

Verse 9, describes Jesus Christ descent from riches to poverty so that believers can ascend from poverty to riches. Jesus, who is worthy, became poor to make us, who are unworthy, rich. This is NOT physcial but spiritual!

 This verse may be categorised in 3 headings.

  1. The Riches of Christ (v.8-9a)
  2. The Poverty of Christ (v.9b)
  3. The Gift of Christ. (v.9c)

Using Jesus as the original model for sacrifice, this passage calls us to remember how generous God has been with us, and to do likewise. 

Christ came to earth, left his seat at the right hand of God’s throne, humbled himself by taking on flesh, and gave himself as a ransom for broken sinners (John 1:1Phil. 2:7–81 Tim. 2:5–6). He possessed heaven’s riches and celestial glories this world has never seen, yet he came to earth, became poor both spiritually and physically in comparison to his eternal dwelling place, in order to die to die for undeserving sinners like us. Because of him, we who are in Christ have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:3), and we now possess an eternally abundant life (John 10:10).

Regardless of how much (or little) you have in the bank right now, your net worth on earth is temporary, but your true riches in heaven are eternal because of Jesus. What could be more generous than that?

Getting Started                         

  1. Costi Hinn, (nephew of Benni Hinn) says that 2 Corinthians 8:9 is a notorious passage that prosperity preachers twist out of context to back up their claim that God’s will for every Christian is that they be rich, rich, rich! What other get rich schemes or scams have you heard about or been affected by?

 Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-15

  1. What insight, principle, or observation from Sunday’s sermon did you find to be the most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling?

 Digging Deeper

  1. Paul starts the chapter discussing the churches of Macedonia in that, despite a severe trial brought by affliction, “their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.” What does Paul ask the church to do?(Also seen in Romans 15:26-28)  


  1. Paul is writing to the church about generosity. Nothing about this passage focuses on what we can get, but rather, on what we can give. What is Paul emphasizing as a model for our giving and care for others? (Hint v.1; 6; 7; 9)


  1. Using Jesus as the original model for sacrifice, this passage calls us to remember how generous God has been with us, and to do likewise. How has Jesus been generous to us? Read the following verses and discuss: John 1:1; Phil. 2:7-8; 1 Tim. 5-6; John 10:10.

The Heart of the Matter

  1. Jesus became poor so that we may become rich. When you think about what that really means, it hits WAY different than some watered-down, prosperity gospel version of it. As we meditated on this real meaning on Sunday, what has it meant to you?


  1. Wealth is not a sin; it’s a responsibility we are to handle with care. What are some key principles or practical ways you can take to begin putting this into practice?


  1. How do we respond knowing we have a share in the eternal, heavenly wealth of Jesus?


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