WE WANT GRACE WITHOUT COST: A key tenant of Christianity is that God freely bestows grace on all who believe. Your forgiveness is based on God's grace, not your works. But although God's grace is freely given, it does not come without cost. As a result of being joined to the benefits of Christ, you must die to your old sinful desires and live guided by God's Word.
The Corinthians wanted grace, but since they didn't like Paul's authority over them, they wanted him to just leave them alone. They didn't want to make the changes to their sinful lifestyle that Paul was demanding. People are still like this today: wanting God's grace, but not wanting to bow themselves under the submission of Scripture (which has the same authority for us that Paul had in Corinth). But if the free grace people receive does not cause them to live a more Godly life, it is like "receiving God's grace in vain (v1)."
YOUR MOVE: Paul lays out a pretty impressive resume regarding his Christian life in v5-10. Granted, you likely will not be called by God to endure "beatings, imprisonments & riots (v5)," but what hardships will you be willing to face today or this week on account of Christ? You don't need to invite this trouble into your life, but on the other hand, you will instinctually navigate around trouble rather than take it on if you are not intentionally following God's will despite the associated costs.
NO YOKE: The saying 'unequally yoked (v14)' is often applied to Christians who have gotten married or romantically involved with non believers, which is a union warned against in other parts of the Bible and which often has negative ramifications. But this phrase applies to far more than just marriage, it applies to every aspect of life. As we've seen, the Corinthians were wanting the benefits of grace, but the lifestyle of pagans, and Paul here says that's not possible. We can and must live and work in harmonious partnership with our non believing neighbors, but as our society becomes more and more godless, we must be more and more active in making sure we are not yoked to it.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The Lord Almighty is our Father (v18), and He will be your God, and you shall be His people (v16)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Do not receive God's grace in vain (v1)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: