2 Corinthians 6:1 As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.
This verse has two major points. The first refers back to the last two verses of the previous chapter, which say that by Gods incredible grace, in Christ we are made into God’s righteousness and act as His direct representatives. That is an earthshaking assertion indeed. Then Paul, secure in that position and authority, urges the Corinthian believers not to receive God’s grace in vain. Just what does that mean? God’s grace is poured out on all mankind. Jesus didn’t die just for the Jews, or for that matter, just for the “nice guys.” Rather, as John 3:16 so famously declares, he came for the whole world, that whoever would believe would receive eternal life. However, the key word there is believe; we don’t receive without faith. And as Jesus and James both said directly, genuine faith acts. (Luke 6:46, James 2:17) Even if we say we believe, but then don’t live out the faith we proclaim, we are receiving God’s grace in vain. Anything less is deceiving ourselves. (James 1:22)
Both halves of this are of major importance in my life, as I think they should be for every Christian. I have demonstrated that I am very proficient at deceiving myself, because I have had extensive knowledge of the Bible from an early age, yet my obedience to God has been spotty indeed. I am very grateful God didn’t give up on me, but then, He sees the end from the beginning. I was not yet a teenager when I memorized 2 Corinthians 5:20 as part of my participation in Royal Ambassadors, a Southern Baptist group for boys, and I really liked it. The idea of acting as God’s agent excited me! That said, I didn’t really grasp the level of submission that is involved in that. If I am to do the things Jesus did, (John 14:12) I’ve got to be as submitted to the Father’s will as He was. (John 5:30 and several more) I realized many years ago that when believers really grasp who they are in Christ, they change the world. Our individual impact may seem small, but as the Church indeed, the Body of Christ, we are such that the very gates of hell cannot withstand us. (Matthew 16:18) To this point in my life I haven’t been involved in much world transformation that I’ve been aware of, but God is the judge and Jesus is Lord, so I look forward to what He is going to do through me.
Father, You bring this to my attention from time to time, and it really whets my appetite. Sunday we had five nations represented in our service right here. Nothing is impossible for You! May Your name be acknowledged as holy indeed and Your kingdom come as Your will is done, even right here and even in and through us, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!