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Text Sermons : ~Other Speakers S-Z : D.S. Warner : (Second Work of Grace) 12. ABSOLUTE PROOF—2 CORINTHIANS 1:15

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“And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that you might have a second benefit”—margin, “second grace.”

Some may attempt to identify this second benefit with the return visit spoken of in the following verse. But we have no right to change its connection. Had the Apostle meant the benefit of his second visit, he would have said so; then it would have read thus: “And to come again out of Macedonia unto you that ye might have a second benefit.” But our business is not to dissect and reconstruct the Word of God; for thereby anything could be established. But believing with David that “the Word of the Lord is right,” we take it for granted that Paul meant just what he said when he announced the object of his early visit to the Corinthians. His solicitude for their advancement to the sure standing ground of the “second grace” was so intense that he resolved to go to them “before he went elsewhere. McKnight, Emphatic Diaglott, and Conybear and Howson all render “first” instead of “before.” Paul has left no chance to identify the “second benefit” with the second visit because the object in each visit is plainly pointed out. “I was minded to come unto you first, that ye might have a second grace,” “and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judea .”
But let us examine the Word here-translated “benefit” and “grace.” Which rendering is correct? The following facts will answer.
1. The original is “karin.”
2. With the exception of James 1:11 (“the grace of the fashion of it perisheth”) the word grace is never derived from any other word in the New Testament.
3. “Karin” is translated grace 131 times in the New Testament.
4. “Karin” is never rendered benefit but this single instance, and then they corrected their version by inserting grace in the margin.
I appeal to any man who has access to the Greek text for the correctness of these statements. Here, then, is proof positive of two works of grace. An inspired Apostle using the very form of expression that the teachers of distinctive holiness find it convenient to adopt at present—“a second grace.” It appears that the translators did not understand this perfect grace: hence, in this instance, they departed from the usual way of rendering the word.
I will give the readers the benefit of J. McKnight’s translation and paraphrase on this and the following verses. “And in this persuasion that ye believe me a faithful Apostle, I sincerely purposed to come to you first that ye might have a second gift of the Spirit as soon as possible, by the imposition of my hands. And after wintering with you,--(1 Corinthians 16:6), from you to pass through into Macedonia , and from Macedonia to come again to you, and by you to be sent forward into Judea .” The words in Italic are Scripture, the rest is paraphrase.
Now this pious and learned Presbyterian translator had no special predilections for sanctification as a second work of grace; hence, nothing but a faithful exposition of the pure word could have led him to this interpretation. But why not the Corinthians receive a second gift of the Spirit as well as the one hundred and twenty, the Samaritans, the twelve Ephesians, et al? Is not the “promise sure to all the seed?” Is it not the will of God that all His children should be sanctified—“sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise after that ye believed?”
And now dear reader what will you do? Will you have grace and humility enough to abandon your obstinate unbelief in reference to the second grace and receive heaven’s best gift to your needy soul? Or will you step entirely off of the Bible platform? If not the former, for consistency you ought to do the latter; and I do not know that God is more dishonored by one that rejects the Bible entire, than by one who willfully and hypocritically rejects its most important truth. Christ would rather have us either cold or hot than lukewarm. I think that soul must be suffering badly with lukewarmness who can ignore a large portion of God’s holy book with a simple parrot like retort, “God never does his work by halves,” or “by piece meal,” etc.
Man is usually compelled by the limitation of his power to do his work by a succession of efforts; but this is no reason why the Infinite may not for other reasons do the same: that He sometimes does His work in successive degrees no one will deny. This was his order in the creation of the world. The Almighty could have by one fiat and in a single instant brought forth the work of six days, but He chose to do otherwise. Christ could have created the organs of sight perfectly by a single word, but He saw fit to restore the blind man by two applications of the clay; the first producing but imperfect vision.
Now what becomes of the assertion that God never does His work in parts? Is it not Satan’s lie through which you reject God’s truth? But, if in material things, where all is plastic to the divine touch, the All-wise Being wrought His work in successive degrees, how much more reasonable in our salvation where human agency, human will and capacities, are coupled with, and modify the divine work.
It is a fundamental truth of the Bible that salvation is “of faith, that it might be by grace,” but it is contrary to the nature of faith to apprehend that for which we have no pressing sense of want. And another element of appropriating faith is a concentration of all the desire of the heart upon the single object. Hence, it is not in the province of faith to claim purification from inbred sin when that want is not felt and when all the powers of the soul center in a vehement longing for pardon. These facts, and others that might be mentioned, place entire sanctification beyond the reach of faith, unless received after justification. O, the depth of the wisdom and goodness of God! To restore the soul from all the effects and inbeing of sin, the Lord gives us a second touch.
Being unable by one grasp of our weak and almost dormant faith, to take all “the salvation which is in Christ Jesus,” for us, Father kindly gives us another chance, a second “access by faith into this grace,” even “His fullness.” Being willing to excite the displeasure of all who hate the “second grace” rather than depart from His plan of salvation by faith. Hallelujah!

No more delay to seek this grace,
For heaven is a holy place;
You cannot stand before your God,
Unless you’re washed in Jesus’ blood.
Too high! ‘Tis only Satan’s plea;
Look at the blood—it flows for thee.

You’ve no excuse; you too may know
That Jesus washes white as snow.
Come then; lay every weight aside,
And plunge beneath the crimson tide.
Now prove Him, and He will shew
The wonders of His love to you.

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