2 Corinthians 6:1
We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that you receive not the grace of God in vain.
I. THE ADMONISHERS.
1. Not loiterers, but labourers; therefore they are often compared to husbandmen, builders, soldiers, and fishermen. They who imagine that the ministry of the gospel is an easy work are greatly mistaken.
2. "Workers together."(1) With God. They are engaged in the same cause with Him who "would have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth." Without Him they can do nothing. Melancthon began with too much confidence in himself, and after many fruitless exertions, said, "Old Adam is too strong for young Melancthon." But old Adam is not too strong for the God of all grace, who hath said to His ministers, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world."(2) But the words "with Him" are in italics, and may be omitted. As if He had said, we differ in our abilities, modes of preaching, etc., and there are some who take advantage of this to form divisions, and say, "I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas"; whereas we are fellow-workers.
II. THE SUBJECT OF THEIR ADDRESS.
1. What are we to understand by "the grace of God"?
(1) The source of the gospel. Was it not "free" in every sense of the word!
(2) Its subject. The gospel is an offer of free, full, and everlasting salvation to sinners.
2. The gospel is received in vain when it is received —
(1) Partially. If you regard it as a system of doctrine only, or as a system of duty only, you only receive one-half of it, and the one cannot live without the other.
(2) Speculatively. I mean in distinction from experience and practice; for such a reception does not accord with the nature and design of it.
(3) Unperseveringly. "He only that endureth unto the end shall be saved."
III. THE REASONS OF THEIR ANXIETY AND EARNESTNESS. They "beseech you."
1. They apprehend the event which very commonly follows. In all ages God's servants have been compelled to complain, "Who hath believed our report?" Four soils received the very same seed. Only one of the four yields anything to the purpose.
2. They dread the event as deplorable. They are affected by the thought of it —
(1) On God's account. They know how He is dis-honoured; Christ is made to have died in vain.
(2) On your own account: they knew that hence will arise your chief sin and condemnation.
(3) On their own account. It is painful in the extreme to plant and not to gather, to sow and not to reap.
Parallel VersesKJV: We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.