Our Rags to His Riches
“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 (KJ21)
The release of a new movie about Cinderella has caused a lot of discussion in the press. The rags-to-riches story of the young servant girl has fuelled the imagination of many generations, and is one of the bedtime favourites of my granddaughters.
The Bible discusses the sacrifice of Jesus in terms of a rag-to-riches story: our rags to His riches. “We are all”, it says in Isaiah 64:6, “as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” In this, Isaiah is explaining our need for grace. There is nothing we can do to gain or maintain salvation. All the rules we follow to that end, all the good things we do in order to try to qualify for salvation, are as filthy rags. The problem is that, as hard as we may try to rectify ourselves, we remain stained with sin. God’s gracious purpose is to “take away the filthy garments” (Zechariah 3:4) through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, “in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
This weekend we remember the crucifixion and the resurrection of our Lord, but this is not a story in which we are spectators, like someone watching a film on TV or at the cinema. God’s viewpoint is that we are all participants in what happened, and in everything we do together with Him. His story is our story.
It is because of the cross that we go from our rags to His riches.
Loving Father, thank you for Jesus who died for me and rose for me, and has clothed me with the riches of His righteousness. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. This weekend James is speaking at our Camberwell and London Churches. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.