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Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 613

 Receiving God's grace in vain

Much has been written recently on this forum about the danger of improperly receiving God's grace. The Apostle Paul also shared this genuine concern, and we will do well to consider his own thoughts about this very real danger.

In the 5th chapter of his second letter to Corinth, Paul wrote - "For the one not knowing sin, was made a sin offering in our behalf, in order that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 5:21

Paul follows this expression with..."and working together with Him, we exhort you not to receive the grace of God in vain." We can see here that Paul links what God "has done" in the previous sentence with our "working together with Him." Paul did not view God's doing and our doing as antithesis to each other, but as a dynamic "co-operation."

When what God has done is properly received, it produces a
"working together". The Greek word for this is "sun + ergos" from which we derive the English word "synergy".

God's work and our response becomes a dynamic "co-operation" of grace through faith. These two components (His grace and our faith) dynamically come together in a spiritual synergy that energizes life and power within those who receive His grace by faith.

James also expresses this same dynamic synergy of grace through faith. "Laying aside all filthiness and the abundance of evil, receive in meekness the implanted word which is able to save your soul." James uses an agricultural term illustrating how the dynamic life within a seed comes into contact with the warmth and moisture within the soil it makes contact with. We call this "germination". The Greek word translated "implanted" is pronounced "infusion" and literally means "to swell". That's exactly what seeds do when they "sprout" and the life contained within is released through the dynamic synergy of planting.

The dynamic spiritual "synergy" at work when we receive the word of life is what results in the generation of spiritual life within us. If faith is not mixed with the word of promise, the life within the word can be received in vain. The word must be mixed with faith to produce this synergy.

With this understanding, let me encourage you to read how Paul himself demonstrated his own concern about not receiving God's grace in vain. I trust you will see that it is dynamically "active", not passive in any way, and his own dynamic active participation in the grace of Christ is carried all the way to the very first verse of chapter 7 as an exhortation for the Corinthian believers to bring what God has done for them to its ultimate climax.


Alan and Dina Martin

 2015/1/8 14:05Profile

 Re: Receiving God's grace in vain

Gal. 2:20-21, "I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."

Yes it is possible to frustrate the grace of God by self effort or attempting to keep the law. We are not saved or keep by the law or self effort.

Yes Christ's life in us is ALWAYS active, spontaneous, and loving.

Now the necessary faith is contained in the gospel message but anyone can refuse not to be an active participant in the grace of Christ which was so freely given to us by God in Christ.

 2015/1/8 14:47

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