For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
Recently someone "preached" to me about how Christians should be rich - in monetary terms - because of this verse (2Co 8:9) above. This verse is of course one of the favourite verses for Prosperity Gospel preachers, and many of their "misled" sheep.
Now, let me say this carefully - I have no issue with Christians who are rich in worldly wealth (praise the LORD for them)... but I do have concerns with Christians pursuing worldly riches as a "right" bought by the precious blood of Jesus.
Is 2Co 8:9, therefore, a proof text verse for Prosperity Gospel preachers?
FAAAAAAAAAAAR from it. Let me show u.
If we read 2 Corinthians chapter 8 & 9 carefully, we see that this is a section about GIVING - and not just "anyhow giving", but giving GENEROUSLY & SACRIFICIALLY with LOVE.
Apostle Paul was boasting to the Corinthian church about this amazing spirit...this amazing GRACE of giving the Macedonian church was showing - a clear PROOF of their salvation & genuine love - not because the Macedonian church was rich, but they were in EXTREME poverty.
Paul was admonishing the church to give...to excel in this act of grace...JUST LIKE how Jesus gave His life for us...so that we too can imitate and GIVE RICHLY to others who are in need.
Please read verses 1 to 9 slowly to see this vital point:
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints-- and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you--see that you excel in this act of grace also. I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
Paul was not teaching "HOW TO GET RICH" to the Corinthian church via the means of giving. Nor was he teaching about this "divine right" we have as Christians that we should all be rich in monetary terms.
On the contrary, Paul was very much AGAINST "prosperity gospel":
Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
So was Jesus in many places. Here is just one example:
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.
What is "true riches" above? Here's how Apostle Peter put it:
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith--more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire--may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: 2Co 8:9 is NOT a license to monetary riches. And prosperity gospel is a false gospel.