I am a poor sinner with a rich Savior. By a “poor” Savior was I made a rich saint. Now, in attributing poor to the Lord Jesus, I obviously mean not that He was inadequate in any way. Nor, can I mean that He was without resource. Rather, I mean according to the world’s “standards” (if they may even bear the title), as a man, He was without the kind of affluence that sought the praise of men, but rather the glory of His father.
The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (Matt. 8)
Not only did my “poor” rich Savior never commit transgression against, but He also rose to the level of perfection required, by God’s Law. All of this He did without many of the creature comforts we finite men enjoy. Alas! we possess the frail frames of mortality and, like our father Adam, we are given over to our lusts because we have “not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin” (Heb. 12). Not only haven’t we resisted unto blood, we fright at resisting unto mere inconvenience or slight discomfort.
How can I make such accusations against so many a people? Because I know my own heart and the Bible teaches that our hearts, each and everyone, with the exception of the Lord Jesus Christ, are bastions of iniquity, desperately wicked, deceitful above all things. And yet, for poor sinners, there is a great Savior. For those who are “poor in spirit,” who mourn o’er their sins, who are broken and contrite because of their manifold breaking of God’s Law, there is One Who has paid the price for their sins. He is a great Savior, indeed, and it is said concerning Him:
For he [that is, God the Father] hath made him [the Lord Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (II Cor. 5)
You see, the Lord’s people, for whom He came to save from their sins (Matt. 1:21), are made rich Saints by His condescending down to an estate of poor human kindness. By His living a life of perfect righteousness, and dying a perfect death on the cross as a satisfaction of God’s wrath against their sins. By applying said purchase to them and granting them repentance and willingness to believe in the day of His power, through the empty instrument of faith. If that’s not a rags-to-riches story, then there can be none.
Nevertheless, there is a sad case of those who are not poor, or so they think themselves. Nay, they glory in their “riches,” and cling to their filthy rags of righteousness, so as to draw God into their debt. In doing so, they heap more and more condemnation on themselves, ripening their souls all the more for the Day of Judgment. O, how they think they will be weighed and found balanced enough on the good to enter into the eternal comfortable presence of God! Yea, they carry about themselves a pretense of value to men and God alike, but there end is a woeful estate indeed.
May those who profess the title of Christian never look upon their works as any merit, nor ever cling to anything other than the Lord Jesus Christ and His righteousness. May those who profess their loyalties to Christ instead cast away their filthy rags and be shut up to faith in Christ, as if backed into a corner by the devil’s accusations and by the woeful inadequacies of their own righteousness.
Dear Christian Reader, trust not in your poverty of ‘works,’ all the which got you into a debt you could never repay, but instead trust in the richness of your “poor” Savior and His righteousness, that you may stand before God, robed in Christ’s garment of righteous riches, without spot or blemish.