Text: 2Corinthians 6:1-7:1
Paul begins in verse 1 by pleading with us, as a coworker with God not to allow the grace of God we’ve received to be in vain or for nothing. Titus 2:11-12 is one verse that describes what grace should do in our lives. It says: “the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly righteously and godly in this present world”. Many believers have received the grace of God and become born again, yet they are not living out this grace life. When we are not working out the kind of life expected from us by God, we are making the grace of God to count for nothing.
Grace is not passive, it is active. God has given us an opportunity to exercise our faculties towards being holy. He doesn’t force it on us he wants us to be definite about this business of holy living and working in partnership with him. So he expects us to involve our time, talent and treasures towards fighting sin and spreading the message of his coming kingdom. When we receive grace but do not engage it, that grace becomes redundant and eventually dies off. But when we work with the little measure we received, making ourselves available for God to use us always, he uses us and equips us the more. Paul sees himself as a partner with God in this work of reconciling men to himself. This is also how we should see ourselves. When we have this mindset, it will help us to maintain our focus on the job at hand and also keep ourselves pure. Remember that now is the acceptable time. God can do it without you, but he wants you to be part of what he is doing. So, count it as a privilege.
From verses 3-10, Paul shows the heart of a true disciple of Jesus. His utmost intention is to “give no offence so that the ministry will not be blamed”(verse 3). Paul would rather suffer in so many ways, denying himself even his rights just to make sure that the ministry given to him by God does not come under any reproach. He refused to give in to pressures. He stood firm in holy living despite all he had to pass through. Today it is very unfortunate that we care less about what the world says about the church and the manner of our ministries and ministrations. We would rather make the money, name and fame and damn the consequences. But the worth of a true disciple is actually determined by his steadfastness in serving God through good times and bad. May we learn from Paul today and repent.
Read Also:The ministry of reconciliation
The Corinthians couldn’t respond to Paul’s open hearted message of love because of their unequal affections and affiliations with unbelievers. They have found other loves. They have got other companies so how can they not doubt Paul’s ingenuity. Paul warns them and us from verses 14 through 7:1 to stay away from unequal relationships. A lion and a sheep can never be friends that’s what he is talking about. The lion will devour the sheep. For a Christian, we don’t form alliances with just anybody, not as friends, marriage partners, business partners etc etc. It would be like trying to mix oil and water together. They are of two different material so they can never go together. When we disobey God and do this we are actually leading ourselves deliberately into temptation. Its either we loose our faith or we spend the rest of our lives fighting under heavy pressure to maintain it.