Don't Receive the Grace of God in Vain

Written by Mike Underwood on .

Bible 10 Edited

2 Corinthians 5:16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 6:1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says: "In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

I was working on this passage for a class I am teaching and what it says stood out so strongly to me so, I thought I would walk through it with you. It starts out with Paul saying, "We are Christians and as such our world-view is spiritual, not worldly or carnal." It would be easy to stop here and preach about what all that involves, about how our lives should be different because of what we believe about what God has done and is doing and will do. But we will have to save that for another day.

Paul confesses that he used to have a carnal or fleshly world view. His understanding of the Old Testament was skewed and as a result

he expected a fleshly oriented messiah which caused him to initially reject Jesus skewed as the Messiah. But as a Christian, he and all who are true believers are recreated (born again and renewed day by day). We now think differently ... we think spiritually. We see all the people in the world and we see souls in need of reconciliation. If you don't know what that word means, if it is just a church word to you, look it up. See what God is offering us through reconciliation.

According to Paul, God through the sacrifice of His Son, our Messiah, has made it possible that humanity's sins will not be counted against us. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us. As Christians, we know that. That depth of love is why we became Christians. And now, as the saying goes, with privilege comes responsibility. We must become ambassadors for God. It's our job, and in an attitude of thanksgiving to God and love for our fellow man it should be our passion to get the word out.

In chapter 6 Paul charges us: This grace that we have received, don't let it fall flat. Now is the day of salvation ... now is the time in which God is saving people. If we don't get the word out now, if we receive the grace and don't do anything with it now, if we just go to church, sing songs, pray prayers and preach to ourselves but do not with energy, passion and urgency go out into the world around us and tell people what God has done for them ... we receive the grace of God in vain and we will have to give an account for that when we meet Him.

Paul says that we are workers together with God to get the message out. God is working to provide you the opportunities day by day to reach into the lives of those who do not know or understand. I implore you, don't leave God's work unfinished. Work with Him. Proclaim the good news. Be the light.