Riches and Righteousness of God:
Riches and righteousness of God: The Bible quotation below has been misconstrued in its usage as if Jesus died to make people rich.
“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.”
2 Corinthians 8:9
This is an insult and a devaluation of the essence of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. Also it should be seen as a gross abuse to the resurrecting power of God. It’s demeaning to say that the reason Jesus Christ died was merely for man to be rich in material things. This is a deception in the highest order, because there are riches everywhere in the world. God’s wisdom created the earth and filled it with human and material resources that could be turned into riches. So the world was not created empty! Jesus came to die for something that was missing in the world, and that is God’s righteousness. There is no way this quality could be established in this world by material and physical means.
You may decide to read this wonderful teaching “Is God a Consuming Fire?”
Riches and Righteousness of God – John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
This quotation above has no promise of riches and a wealthy life if one believes. Rather it states clearly that one will inherit eternal life if he believes. Furthermore, I have to state that the quotation above (2 Corinthians 8:9) refers to the spiritual riches that Jesus gives to all who place their trust in Him. He offers forgiveness, justification, regeneration, eternal life and glorification. He purchased mankind from slavery and sin in order to make us children of God. To crown it all He gives us the right and privilege to approach God with our request and praise.
Therefore, Jesus descended from His spiritual riches and glories to become Man in the flesh so that we could obtain the righteousness of God. This righteousness of God is what was missing in the world. By virtue of our faith in Him; the purpose was to establish us as rich people in Him. This induces in us the hope of the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the glory that awaits us. Apostle Paul puts it in an-easy to understand context in his epistle to the Church at Ephesus.
“Blessed be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ.”
Making God’s Righteousness Our Standard:
Come to think of it! When did riches and poverty become a yardstick in measuring our relationship with God? The righteousness of God has been the scale to measure one’s relationship with God. If someone is not having the righteousness of God in him he has no place in God. It doesn’t matter if he is rich and flamboyant or if he is poor and wretched in this world.
At face level, it appears that the quotation (2 Corinthians 8:9) is making blanket promises of salvation and blessing to anyone and everyone below the poverty line. For this reason many have adopted just such an interpretation and have felt that they have a special call to aim their ministry at the downtrodden in making them rich. Well, nobody was called to make anybody rich. We were called and given a great commission in our hands to preach the Gospel of Christ to sinners. The resultant effect of this is man’s salvation and his participation in the spread of the message. Apostle Paul in another verse in the Bible puts it more rightly.
“As unknown, and yet well known; dying, and behold we live, as chastened, yet not killed; as sorrowful, always rejoicing , as poor yet making many rich, also as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
2 Corinthians 6:9
Apostle Paul’s View:
From this quotation above, it is obvious that Apostle Paul was not talking about making people rich physically. This is because, there was no place we saw in the Bible that Apostle Paul went to preach the Gospel and people started making money. It’s not mentioned in the Bible that he gathered people, teaching that if they believe they will become millionaires overnight. He made mention of possessing all things. Yet it was not mentioned in the Bible that he owned a lot of properties, fleets of ships and houses. But he was referring to all things of the spiritual values. These things are supposed to be the desire of every spiritual Christian.
What Did Jesus Teach?
Jesus in His ministry never preached to people about prosperity. He knew that prosperity is not the problem of humanity. He knew that there is wealth everywhere in the world. And He also knew that whatever condition we’re in this world does not in any way determine our status in God. He knew that the hope of our glory is not in this present world. And that whatever it is that we are passing through cannot be compared to the glory that awaits us. Many have been taught that this is the era of shining. This is another lie from the pit of hell. Given that the shinning in the life of Christians now is not about riches but about being established in grace.
Let’s get it right. I am not trying to undermine the power of God in blessing the handiwork or labour of His people. But this should not take the center stage in the Gospel. This is considering that the Gospel is the power of God to give men salvation in which the righteousness of God is revealed in the life of the individual concerned from faith to faith. If riches should be the focal point in the Gospel it will be ridiculous to preach to a rich man who does not know God. Reasons being that he already has what you are preaching about.
Looking at Different Schools of Thoughts:
There is a school of thought which holds that the prosperity message is aimed at empowering Christians to be wealthy in order to be able to sponsor the Church to take the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth. Well, this school of thought is wrong. Evidences on ground have shown that those who preach the prosperity message have only succeeded in amassing wealth for themselves. They enrich themselves and their family members by bequeathing the conglomerates called branches and the hospitals and schools to them. This implies that every other investment owned by the Church are indirectly owned by their wives and children.
Money Is Not Really The Issue:
Again, it is wrong to think that for the Gospel to spread to all the nations of the world money should be a major factor to be considered. It’s very obvious in the Bible that money was never necessarily used to aid in the spreading of the Gospel. Both in the Old Testament and the New Testament days, persecution is one the things that helped in the spreading of the Gospel. And the same system and method is still working for the gospel till date. In spreading the gospel, God is only looking for vessels that are ready to do the job.
The means to do the job has not been a problem with God. I don’t know the kind of flight Philip entered that conveyed him to meet the Ethiopian eunuch. If not for persecution, the disciples wouldn’t have spread across to preach the Gospel. And if not for persecution even from among believers Paul would not have gone to the Gentiles with the Gospel. If not for persecution the Bible we are reading today wouldn’t have been translated into many languages. The money has always been there, but without the vessels that are ready to face persecution the Gospel will not be preached.
Culled from the book “The Aberrations” Written by Pastor Chukwuemeka Charles Asiegbu
About The Author:
Pastor Chukwuemeka Asiegbu is the Pastor of Saved In The Lord Evangelical Ministry Inter’l. He has authored many books and he’s behind several online Christian articles. Don’t miss the next topic.
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