"We then, as workers together with God, beseech you, also, that ye receive not the grace of God in vain."—2Co_6:1.
This subject presents to us,
I. A striking Description of the Ministers of the Gospel.
"Workers together with God."
Not lords, not hirelings, not idlers—but workers. All the statements and figurative descriptions of Scripture represent them as such. They are watchmen, Eze_33:7; fishers, Mat_4:19; sowers, Psa_126:6; shepherds, &c., Act_20:28 Their work is,
(1) Spiritual. They have to do with spirits, employ spiritual instruments and weapons. Design spiritual. 2Co_10:4.
(2) Arduous and difficult. Enemies &c., powerful, numerous, and too often successful. To be diligent, instant in season, &c.
(3) Solemn and responsible. Eternal interests of men at stake. Must give an account to God, &c.
2. Workers with God.
Under his direction—in his service—with the same end and object in view.
3. Workers together with God.
God the Great Cause—they are his instruments. Treasure from God—they are the earthen vessels through which it flows. They sow—God blesses. They proclaim the gospel—God makes it powerful to salvation. They prophesy—God breathes upon the dry bones. Ministers are workers together with God We have,
II. An interesting Representation of the Gospel.
"Grace of God." See, also, Tit_2:11. It is so, as it is,
1. The production of grace.
Whole scheme originated in grace "Herein is love," &c.
2. It is a revelation of grace—Of pardon, peace, and eternal life to rebels; without any merit or worthiness in them.
3. It is graciously bestowed.
Without money or price. Isa_55:1, Rev_22:17.
4. It effects a gracious change in the soul.
Darkness to light; sin to holiness, Satan to God. 1Co_6:11. We have,
III. An affectionate Entreaty addressed to the Recipients of the Gospel.
"We then, &c., beseech you, also, that ye receive not the grace of God in vain."
1. When is it received in vain?
When we do not understand it. When we feel no interest in it. When we are not saved by it.
2. What are the principal causes of men receiving it in vain?
Inconsideration; Deu_32:29; Isa_1:3. Love of the world; Mat_13:22. Unbelief; Heb_4:2.
3. What will be the result of receiving the grace of God in vain?
Ignorance of mind; disquietude of soul, hardness of heart; eternal death.
4. How necessary, then, that we beseech men that they do not receive it in vain!
By the preciousness of their souls—blessedness of religion—peace in dissolution—and everlasting glory, we are to be seech. &c.
We must beseech plainly, earnestly, affectionately, constantly with many tears with much prayer, &c.
Learn, 1. The invaluableness of the gospel. 2. The responsibility of the ministerial office. 3. The importance of a practical use of our privileges