Do Not Receive The Grace Of God In Vain

2 Corinthians 6: 1

examine-yourselves-2cor13_5We then, as fellow-workers. Continuing the entreaty of ch. 5:20, he adds, “But as [his] fellow-workers we also exhort you.” The “also” shows that he does not rest content with merely entreating them (δεόμεθα), but adds to the entreaty an exhortation emphasized by a self-sacrificing ministry. “Fellow-workers with God” (1 Cor. 3:9). Beseech. The word is the same as that rendered “beseech” by the Authorized Version in ch. 5:20, and it should be rendered “exhort:” “God exhorts you by our means; we therefore entreat you to be reconciled to God; yes, and as Christ’s fellow-workers we exhort you.” That ye receive not. The word means both passively to receive and actively to accept as a personal boon. The grace of God. To announce this is the chief 1Co6.11aim of the gospel (Acts 13:43; 20:24). In vain; that is, “without effect.” You must not only accept the teaching of God’s Word, but must see that it produces adequate moral results. It must not, so to speak, fall “into a vacuum (εἰς κενόν).” “He,” says Pelagius, “receives the grace of God in vain who, in the new covenant, is not himself new.” If you really are in Christ you must show that you have thereby become “a new creation” (ch. 5:17). The branches of the true Vine must bear fruit. (For the phrase, “in vain,” see Gal. 2:2; Phil. 2:16.) What the grace of God is meant to effect is sketched in Titus 2:11, 12.

Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 2 Corinthians (p. 144). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.