The injunction, "We intreat also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain," harmonizes in method with many others used by Paul. Let your conduct harmonize with your position in grace. With what powerful argument does he make his appeal! As "ambassadors on behalf of Christ," as though God were "intreating by us," "working together with Him we intreat." These arguments are made powerful by the method of all the apostle's ministry, which he goes on to describe.
These descriptions may be divided into groups: first, actual bodily toil endured in "patience . . . afflictions . . . distresses . . . stripes . . . imprisonments . . . tumults . . . labours . . . watchings . . . fastings"; and all these in much patience. He then passes to facts which are mental: "pureness . . . knowledge . . . longsuffering . . . kindness." And, finally, to those which are spiritual: "The Holy Spirit . . . love unfeigned . . . the word of truth .. . the power of God . . . the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left."
The apostle broke out in his second appeal for consecration. The best possible analysis of this is dividing it into appeals and arguments. The appeals are: "Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers," "Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate . . . and touch no unclean thing," "Let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." The arguments are, first, a series of questions, and then the recitation of great promises: "I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." "I will receive you, and will be to you a Father, and ye shall be to Me sons and daughters."
the Second Week after Epiphany