Paul has just emphasised* that God is making his appeal through Paul. This is the appeal: Paulís readers should not receive Godís grace (kindness) in vain. ĎIn vainí means without a proper purpose, or without a worthwhile result.
We may ask how the grace of God could ever be in vain. The answer seems to be, if it does not achieve its proper purpose in a personís life. So, previously*, Paul said that Godís grace towards him was not in vain. He explained this by reference to his special work for God, and the way that Godís grace worked through him.
On the other hand, Paul elsewhere describes a Christian who does not achieve Godís purpose for his life*. Although God will save that person, the personís work fails Godís test*. That person will enter heaven without the reward that Godís grace would have achieved in his life. A possible reason appears in 1 Corinthians 13:2-3. A person may carry out all kinds of wonderful and great deeds, but act without love. Therefore, in Godís opinion, that person has achieved nothing.
The Christians in Corinth were doing some very wonderful things by the power of the Holy Spirit*. However, they had been acting without love*. Paul had reminded them that he gave up his own rights to show Godís love to other people*. He urged them to become mature Christians, who would gladly choose to act in a similar manner.
In his first letter, Paul had to warn Corinthís Christians often about their selfish and wrong behaviour. It was very difficult for them to obey his instructions. However, in the end, they did the right things*. Now Paul wanted to encourage them and to give them confidence. He was sure that their love was genuine*.
Next part: Now is Godís time to save you (6:2)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.