Receiving the Grace of God in Vain

by Terry Wane Benton

Have you thought about the fact that you could have received the grace of God in vain? That is a very real possibility. How can we receive it in vain?

"We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain" (II Corinthians 6:1 NKJV).

Paul was “pleading” with the brethren about this. How could they have received the grace of God in vain? The grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts (Titus 2:11). So if you received the grace of God to give you the forgiveness of sins, but you didn’t quit the fornication, adultery, covetousness, gossip and backstabbing others (Romans 1:18-32), then the grace that was designed to teach you to abandon that life of ungodliness and worldliness was “received in vain.” That means you received it for nothing. You must have thought that you could “continue in sin that grace may abound” (Romans 6:1-6), but God’s grace is not designed to work like that. If you did not learn from grace that you need to repent of sin, then you received it in vain, because God is not mocked. If you sow to the flesh, you will reap corruption (Galatians 6:7-8).

Grace teaches that you need to repent of sin, or else grace is received in vain. Jude said to be careful of those teachers who “turn the grace of God into licentiousness” (Jude 3-4). That means that some teachers are going to make you think that God’s grace gives you license to continue in your favorite sin, and emboldens you to think that you will still go to heaven (I Corinthians 6:8-10). In that case, you received the grace of God in vain. If you think you can continue to live with your boyfriend or girlfriend, which is fornication, and that you can still benefit from the grace of God, you received the grace of God in vain. The grace of God must be allowed to teach you to “deny all ungodliness and worldly lust,” and if you refuse to allow the grace of God to teach you this, then you receive it in vain. It will not benefit you at all. It will not wash away the sins you refuse to repent of (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30-31; II Corinthians 7:7-13). Are you allowing the grace of God to teach you to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts? That is the only way you can receive grace and it not be for naught! Whom God loves, He rebukes and chastens. Let His true grace be received to the end that it changes and transforms your principles, values, and whole life.

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