Online Bible Commentary
The Day of Salvation
2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says: "In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (NKJV)
On his third missionary journey, after ministering in Ephesus for two years and three months, the Apostle Paul left for Macedonia in May, A.D. 56. Paul was in Macedonia from June to November of that year. It was there that he wrote the letter of 2nd Corinthians, likely in September and October of A.D. 56.
Paul is writing this letter to the church at Corinth, Greece. This is a message directed to those Christians and to all Christians today.
In the previous passage, Paul writes of our salvation. He writes that when someone accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and becomes a Christian, he becomes a new creation. Therefore, we interpret this passage in that same context, the context of receiving salvation and becoming a new creation.
Some commentators wrongly interpret this verse as a reference to a false Christian or a Christian who “backslides”. A false Christian is one who professed faith in Jesus Christ but was not genuine in his profession.
The term “backslider” refers to a Christian who does not live a Godly life and, therefore, loses his salvation. This term is not applicable to true Christians because the Bible teaches that Christians cannot lose their salvation, which is referred to as “The Perseverance of the Saints”.
Returning to the passage, since we are new creations, we are “workers together with Him” (v. 1a). We work together with Christ to promote Christianity. We are “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor. 5:20).
Therefore we, like Christ, “also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain” (v. 1b). “Not to receive the grace of God in vain”, means not to reject the grace that God has extended to us. This grace is our salvation, the opportunity to receive eternal life in Heaven because Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.
Verse 2 of this passage confirms that the passage is about not rejecting Christ, and not about false Christians or backsliders. It begins with the word “For” meaning that Paul is referring to what came before this verse. Then, Paul quotes a verse from Isaiah 49:8, regarding not rejecting Christ.
The verse Paul quotes from Isaiah is “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you” (v. 2a). The context of this verse is about rejecting and accepting of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus. It is a reference to our salvation.
When Isaiah wrote the “acceptable time and the day of salvation” it was a prophecy, a future reference to the church age. The church age began on Pentecost and ends with the Rapture.
In other words, the day of salvation is the period of time we have to be saved, to become a Christian. We can only become a Christian while we are on this earth. Once we die, or the Rapture occurs, it is too late.
Verse two tells us that the Lord hears us and the Lord helps us. The Lord Jesus hears the unbeliever when he reaches out to God in prayer, asking to be saved and professing belief. Any other time, God does not hear the prayers of unbelievers, only believers, Christians.
Also, the Lord helps us to become a Christian. His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, convicts of our sins and converts us to becoming a Christian.
In conclusion, ”now” is the acceptable time to become a Christian (v. 2b). And “now” is the day of salvation (v. 2c). We must not wait, for we are not promised tomorrow.
Our life on this earth may end at any moment, in the twinkle of an eye. For the unbeliever that would be the end of any hope of going to Heaven. That would be the end of the day of salvation.