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2 Corinthians 6:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

We then, as workers together with him - Συνεργουντες δε και παρακαλουμεν . The two last words, with him, are not in the text, and some supply the place thus: we then, as workers together With You, and the Armenian version seems to have read it so; but no MS. has this reading, and no other version. For my own part I see nothing wanting in the text if we only suppose the term apostles; we, (i.e. apostles), being fellow workers, also entreat you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

By the grace of God, την χαριν του Θεου, this grace or benefit of God, the apostle certainly means the grand sacrificial offering of Christ for the sin of the world, which he had just before mentioned in speaking of the ministry of reconciliation. We learn, therefore, that it was possible to receive the grace of God and not ultimately benefit by it; or, in other words, to begin in the Spirit and end in the flesh. Should any one say that it is the ministry of reconciliation, that is, the benefit of apostolic preaching, that they might receive in vain; I answer, that the apostolic preaching, and the whole ministry of reconciliation, could be no benefit to any man farther than it might have been a means of conveying to him the salvation of God. And it is most evident that the apostle has in view that grace or benefit that reconciles us to God, and makes us Divinely righteous. And this, and all other benefits of the death of Christ, may be received in vain.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

We then, as workers together with him - On the meaning of this expression, see the note, 1 Corinthians 3:9. The Greek here is ( συνεργοῦντες sunergountes) “working together,” and may mean either that the apostles and ministers to whom Paul refers were joint-laborers in entreating them not to receive the grace of God in vain; or it may mean that they cooperated with God, or were engaged with him in endeavoring to secure the reconciliation of the world to himself. Tyndale renders it: “we as helpers.” Doddridge, “we then as the joint-laborers of God.” Most expositors have concurred in this interpretation. The word properly means, to work together; to cooperate in producing any result. Macknight supposes that the word here is in the vocative, and is an address to the fellow-laborers of Paul, entreating them not to receive the grace of God in vain. In this opinion he is probably alone, and has manifestly departed from the scope and design of the passage. Probably the most obvious meaning is that of our translators, who regard it as teaching that Paul was a joint-worker with God in securing the salvation of people.

That ye receive not the grace of God in vain - The “grace of God” here means evidently the gracious offer of reconciliation and pardon. And the sense is, “We entreat you not to neglect or slight this offer of pardon, so as to lose the benefit of it, and be lost. It is offered freely and fully. It may be partaken of by all, and all may be saved. But it may also be slighted, and all the benefits of it will then be lost.” The sense is, that it was possible that this offer might be made to them, they might hear of a Saviour, be told of the plan of reconciliation and have the offers of mercy pressed on their attention and acceptance, and yet all be in vain. They might notwithstanding all this be lost, for simply to hear of the plan of salvation or the offers of mercy, will no more save a sinner than to hear of medicine will save the sick. It must be embraced and applied, or it will be in vain. It is true that Paul probably addressed this to those who were professors of religion; and the sense is, that they should use all possible care and anxiety lest these offers should have been made in vain. They should examine their own hearts; they should inquire into their own condition; they should guard against self-deception. The same persons 2 Corinthians 5:20 Paul had exhorted also to be reconciled to God; and the idea is, that he would earnestly entreat even professors of religion to give all diligence to secure an interest in the saving mercy of the gospel, and to guard against the possibility of being self-deceived and ruined.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The gospel is a word of grace sounding in our ears. The gospel day is a day of salvation, the means of grace the means of salvation, the offers of the gospel the offers of salvation, and the present time the proper time to accept these offers. The morrow is none of ours: we know not what will be on the morrow, nor where we shall be. We now enjoy a day of grace; then let all be careful not to neglect it. Ministers of the gospel should look upon themselves as God's servants, and act in every thing suitably to that character. The apostle did so, by much patience in afflictions, by acting from good principles, and by due temper and behaviour. Believers, in this world, need the grace of God, to arm them against temptations, so as to bear the good report of men without pride; and so as to bear their reproaches with patience. They have nothing in themselves, but possess all things in Christ. Of such differences is a Christian's life made up, and through such a variety of conditions and reports, is our way to heaven; and we should be careful in all things to approve ourselves to God. The gospel, when faithfully preached, and fully received, betters the condition even of the poorest. They save what before they riotously spent, and diligently employ their time to useful purposes. They save and gain by religion, and thus are made rich, both for the world to come and for this, when compared with their sinful, profligate state, before they received the gospel.
Ellen G. White
The Publishing Ministry, 244.2

God's cause can afford to be fair and true; it can afford to deal on right principles. When any such work as cutting down wages is contemplated, let a circular be published setting forth the true situation, and then ask those employed by the conference if, under the pressure of lack of means, they could do with less means of support. All the arrangements with those in God's service should be conducted as a sacred transaction between man and his fellow man. Men have no right to treat the workers together with God as though they were inanimate objects to be handled about without any voice or expression of their own.—Letter 31a, 1894. PM 244.2

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 202.1

As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. 2 Corinthians 6:1, N.I.V. RC 202.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 381

I was shown that the usefulness of young ministers, married or unmarried, is often destroyed by the attachment shown to them by young women. Such do not realize that other eyes are upon them, and that the course pursued by them may have a tendency to very much injure the influence of the minister to whom they give so much attention. If they would strictly regard the rules of propriety, it would be much better for them and much better for their minister. It places him in a disagreeable position and causes others to look upon him in a wrong light. Yet I saw that the burden of the matter rests upon the ministers themselves. They should show a distaste for these things, and if they take the course which God would have them, they will not be troubled long. They should shun every appearance of evil, and when young women are very sociable, it is their duty to let them know that it is not pleasing. They must repulse this forwardness even if they are thought to be rude. Such things should be rebuked in order to save the cause from reproach. Young women who have been converted to the truth and to God will listen to reproof and will be reformed. 1T 381.1

Ministers should follow up their public labors by private efforts, laboring personally for souls whenever there is an opportunity, conversing around the fireside, and entreating souls to seek for those things which make for their peace. Our work here is soon to close, and every man will receive his reward according to his own labor. I was shown the saints’ reward, the immortal inheritance, and saw that those who had endured the most for the truth's sake will not think they have had a hard time, but will count heaven cheap enough. 1T 381.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 432

I saw that ministers who labor in word and doctrine have a great work before them; a heavy responsibility rests upon them. In their labor they do not come close enough to hearts. Their work is too general, and often too scattered. Their labor must be concentrated to the very ones for whom they are laboring. When they preach from the desk, they only commence their work. They must then live out their preaching, ever guarding themselves, that they bring not a reproach upon the cause of God. They should illustrate by example the life of Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:9: “For we are laborers together with God.” 2 Corinthians 6:1: “We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” The minister's work is not done when he leaves the desk. He should not then throw off the burden and occupy his mind with reading or writing unless this is actually necessary. He should follow up his public labors by private efforts, laboring personally for souls whenever an opportunity presents, conversing around the fireside, beseeching and entreating souls in Christ's stead to be reconciled to God. Our work here is soon to close, “and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.” 1T 432.1

I was shown the saints’ reward, the immortal inheritance. Then I was shown how much God's people had endured for the truth's sake, and that they would count heaven cheap enough. They reckoned that the sufferings of this present time were not worthy to be compared with the glory which should be revealed in them. The people of God in these last days will be tried. But soon their last trial will come, and then they will receive the gift of eternal life. 1T 432.2

Brother Hull, you have suffered reproach for the truth's sake. You have felt the power of the truth and of an endless life. You have had God's Spirit witness with yours that you were owned and accepted of Him. I saw that if you gird on the armor anew, and stand at your post, resisting the devil and fighting manfully the battles of the Lord, you will be victorious, and will soon lay off your armor and wear a conqueror's crown. Oh, is not the inheritance rich enough? Did it not cost a dear price, the agony and blood of the Son of God? I call upon you in the name of the Lord to awake. Break away from the awful deception which Satan has thrown over you. Lay hold on everlasting life. Resist the devil. Evil angels are around you, whispering in your ears, visiting you with lying dreams, and you listen to them and are pleased. Oh, for the sake of Christ, for your own soul's sake, tear away from this dreadful influence before you grieve God's Spirit entirely from you. 1T 432.3

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