2 COR. vi. 1-2. “We then, as workers together with Him, beseech
you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”
WE have here put before us the privileges of the Christian
dispensation. First, connected with the heart of God;
secondly, associated with the servants of the cross of
Christ; thirdly, looked at as in the hands of confessed
Christians; and fourthly, regarded as the blessing of the
present time, as possessed here, to be now used and now
It is to the fourth that we particularly turn.
1. What is meant by receiving the grace of God in vain?
Merely to hear, is to be like a sick man who is told of a
physician, but who does not apply to the physician; or to
be like a poor man who is told of a treasure, but who does
not seek it.
2. Only to comprehend intellectually the word of God’s
grace is to receive it in vain. Simply to understand, is to
be like a man who devotes himself to the study of the
chemistry of food, and who, while he is pursuing these
studies, neglects to eat.
3. Only to be blessed with the Christian manifestations
of the grace of God is to receive it in vain. This is like
a man who, delighting in good advice—and oh, how many
people there are of this school—takes his own way.
4. To believe what is said of the grace of God, without
a personal application of these words, is to receive it in
5. Anything short of a complete use and enjoyment of
the grace of God is in a measure to receive it in vain.
If the grace of God comes to us in a time accepted, and
in a day of salvation, comes to us in our time of need, it
cannot be received prematurely either as respects God’s
readiness to bestow or our capacity to receive.