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The Gospel Received in Vain.

The Gospel Received in Vain.

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Published by glennpease
BY ELIHU THAYER


II CORINTHIANS, vi. 1.

WE then as workers together with him, beseech you
that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
BY ELIHU THAYER


II CORINTHIANS, vi. 1.

WE then as workers together with him, beseech you
that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 28, 2013
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THE GOSPEL RECEIVED I VAI.BY ELIHU THAYER II CORITHIAS, vi. 1.WE then as workers together with him, beseech youthat ye receive not the grace of God in vain.In the preceding part of this chapter, the apostlebrings into view the glorious dispensation of the cove-nant of grace. He shows that God is on a treaty of re-conciliation with mankind ; that he and his fellow-apostles were sent forth to publish this ti'eaty, and in-vite sinners in Christ's name to accept the graciousproposal. " We then are ambassadors for Christ, asthough God did beseech you by us, we pray you inChrist's stead, be ye reconciled unto God." He thenconcludes as in the text — " We then as workers to-gether with him, beseech you, that ye receive not thegrace of God in vain." — This mode of expression de-notes that there is danger, that sinners, to whom thegrace of God is revealed, will receive it in vain.My present design is to showI. What we are here to understand by the graceof God.136 The Gospel Received m Vain.II. What it is to receive this grace of God in vaiji.III. Point out the danger of those persons, who re-ceive the grace of God in vain.I. On this part of the subject, a few words only
 
are necessary. By the grace of God, we are undoubt-edly to understand the gospel, which reveals the graceof God to a guilty, ruined world. The love and good-will of God to sinners revealed in the gospel is hisgrace, as it is all free and undeserved. All Qod's gra-cious works, by which a door is opened for the salva-tion of sinners, together witli the way, in which theymay come to the enjoyment of God, are revealed inthe gospel, and the arguments, proper to excite themto accept this great salvation, are set before them ; allof which is the effect of the rich grace and mercy of God. Hence the gospel, which reveals these things,is (by a usual figure) called, " The ^ce of God."These observations prepare the way to show,II. What it is to receive the grace of God in vain.1. They receive the grace of God in vain, whorieglect to study the gospel, that they may improve inthe knowledge of God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ.The design of the gospel is to make us wise, good,and happy ; but it can be of no advantage, unless wediligently study and understand it. This grace of Godis unthankfully received, when it is put into our handsfor our instruction, and little or no improvement ismade in the knowledge of it. The scriptures are apeculiar talent, with which ^ve are entrusted, and whenserious enquiries are not made into their design andmeaning, we treat them as the ^vicked servant usedThe Gospel Received in Vain. 137his lord's money, Avho wrapped it in a napkin, and hidit in the earth. We might as well be without thescriptures, as to suffer them to lie in our houses with-out study. Should we not remember, that the sloth-ful servant, who neglects to inquire after his master'swill, when he has all proper advantages to know it,
 
deserves to be beaten as a wicked servant ? — Are therenot many of this character in this land of gospel light,who, while they have the revelation of God in theirhouses, " which is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,for correction, and for instruction in righteousness,"yet remain unacquainted with its most plain and im-portant truths, and are none the wiser, nor better forall which is revealed ? Such truly receive the graceof God in vain.2. They receive the grace of God in vain, who donot embrace it as coming from God. They, withwhom the scriptures have not the authority of a divinerevelation, cannot be supposed to regard them in theirpractice. And indeed, the scriptures are of no moreauthority than the writings of Plato or Socrates, onlyupon the supposition of their being a divine revelation.Unless they are received in this character, they havenot the force of a law, even admitting them to be agood system of morality. He therefore, who does notbelieve them to be from God, must undervalue andtreat them with comparative inattention, let his opin-ion of them, in other respects, be as it may. Everyhonest mind, on proper inquiry, will see the evidencesof their divinity. For is it not inconsistent with all just ideas of God to suppose, that he has given19138 The Gospel Received in rain.us a revelation of his will and our duty, and yet thatit is not attended with sufficient evidence, that it isfrom him ? And indeed, attended with such evidence,as to leave those, who enjoy it, inexcusable, if they dis-believe it. Inexcusable they could not be, were theynot furnished with sufficient evidence of its truth anddivinity. It is wholly inadmissible to suppose, thatGod requires his creatures to receive that as a divine

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