July 13, 2022 – Wednesday
2 Corinthians 6:1-2 NIV
1 As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” *
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
* from Isaiah 49:8
Is Paul saying you can receive God’s grace in vain? If you can receive God’s grace in vain Paul is certainly urging you (us) not to do so. Barnes’ Notes on the Bible says, The “grace of God” here means evidently the gracious offer of reconciliation and pardon.
There are two explanations of how on can receive God’s grace in vain. The first according to the Expositor’s Greek Testament tell us it is offered, independently of man’s faith and obedience, but it will not profit without these. Without faith and obedience, one receives God’s grace in vain. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges takes very much the same position when it says, make not His kindness in being reconciled to you through Jesus Christ useless by neglecting to walk according to the new life He hath given you in Him. The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary is the most direct when it says we can make His grace in vain—by making the grace of God a ground for continuance in sin. By a life of sin, showing that the word of reconciliation has been in vain, so far as you are concerned.
Surely the above commentaries are correct but looking at verse two along with verse one another way of looking at in vain may be considered as well. Consider what Matthew Henry has to say, The gospel is a word of grace sounding in our ears. The gospel day is a day of salvation, the means of grace the means of salvation, the offers of the gospel the offers of salvation, and the present time the proper time to accept these offers. The morrow is none of ours: we know not what will be on the morrow, nor where we shall be. We now enjoy a day of grace; then let all be careful not to neglect it. I think we all know people who do this, they hear the gospel but put off acting on it always waiting for some time in the future to act. All too often they wait until it is entirely too late and what they heard, what they were offered was all in vain for them.
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible takes a similar position writing, We entreat you not to neglect or slight this offer of pardon, so as to lose the benefit of it, and be lost. It is offered freely and fully. It may be partaken of by all, and all may be saved. But it may also be slighted, and all the benefits of it will then be lost. And if that is not clear enough, Barnes adds, it was possible that this offer might be made to them, they might hear of a Saviour, be told of the plan of reconciliation and have the offers of mercy pressed on their attention and acceptance, and yet all be in vain. They might notwithstanding all this be lost, for simply to hear of the plan of salvation or the offers of mercy, will no more save a sinner than to hear of medicine will save the sick. It must be embraced and applied, or it will be in vain.
Medicine – salvation – is offered, but it must be embraced and applied, or it will be in vain. This short sentence embraces both views of in vain, for it must be first embraced when one becomes aware of it before it is too late and then it must be applied in changing one’s life or it has all been in vain.
Bottom Line: Let us not only embrace God’s grace but apply to our lives day in and day out.
Prayer: Almighty God, Your offer of grace, unmerited favor, is so freely offered.. Help us to not only embrace it but apply it to our lives daily. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton