Myth 68: Receiving the grace of God in vain
2nd Corinthians 6:1 “As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.”
Believers often quote this verse as if a Christian can lose his salvation by “receiving the grace of God in vain”. These is often quoted to Christians who back-slided, Christians who would not toe the line or just “disobedient” believers. In fact, we labeled many of these people as people who have “received the grace of God in vain”, and if they are not careful they will lose their salvation.
In fact this is what this article says: http://smashingidols7.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/70-ways-a-believer-can-fall-away/
As you can see, such a view comes from a holier than thou attitude. Let’s again look at the context and see what it really means. Here is the passage reading from 2 Corinthians 5. Do note what I highlight:
11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
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.”[a]
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
Note how many times Paul mentions the word “we”. Notice who are this people called “we”. He gives a description of them:
a) People who given the ministry of reconciliation;
b) People who don’t count people’s sins against them.
c) People who have been committed the message of reconciliation.
d) Christ’s ambassadors,
e) people who God is making his appeal.
Last but not least “co-workers”.
Who are these people who may receive God’s grace in vain? What is Paul talking about?
He is referring to people who preach the Gospel. He is saying that the time for salvation is short. As such he is encouraging to preach the Gospel of Grace. Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to forget about what hinders them and to join him to share the Gospel while they can. He encourages them not to let anything discredit them.
3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors;9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
To receive God’s grace in vain is NOT to share this grace with others. It has nothing to do with a believer losing his salvation. He is saying today is the day of salvation. Hence as the love of Jesus compels, let us share this Gospel to others.
Let us thus “not receive God’s grace in vain” and share with others for “today is the day of salvation”.
Dear Grace will breed love. Love means giving. How can a person who is touched by grace not share the grace of God with others?
For those of you who are new, these series of articles are dedicated to refuting the teaching that a believer can lose its salvation. I am using a reference of 70 ways a believer can fall away from a blogger who name himself smashing idols.
(His full article is here: http://smashingidols7.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/70-ways-a-believer-can-fall-away/
Also you can follow the refutes of his 70 ways here by just click to this link:https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/tag/70-ways-to-lose-your-salvation/)