Living Free – Throwing Off the Chain of Our Unworthiness

There is a branch of theology that says, “You are not worth it.”  There are voices in your past that say, “You are not worth it.”  There are messages from the church that say, “You are not worth it.”  There are Bible teachers who say, “You are not worth it.”  My simple answer to all of these is, “Do not believe it, you are worth it.”

“Worth what?” you might ask.  You are worth being ransomed, redeemed, delivered, rescued, set free.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).  God’s love, God’s plan, God’s salvation, and God’s promise are so beautifully summarized in this one verse.

But in the beauty of seeing God’s love extended to the entire world, we sometimes miss the personal message God has for us.  Did you know that, “God so loved you that He gave His only begotten Son for you, so that if you believe in Him, you will not perish, but you will have eternal life”?

God loved and loves you.  Christ gave His life for you.  And He says you were worth it.  Christ did not die in your place out of obligation.  Christ did not die in your place as a noble sacrifice.  Christ died because He loves you.  When Christ died in your place, there was a joy in your rescue.

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2).  There was and is joy in Jesus’ rescue of you.  You were worth “the precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (I Pet 1:19).  We often think that an incredibly valuable sacrifice – the blood of Christ Himself – was required because of our great sin.  But could it be that the sacrifice was so great because that is what you were worth; that was the price required because you were worth it?

I guess what I am trying to say is this.  What God – in His judgment, purposes, and wisdom – determines is worthy of being redeemed is never to be devalued.  Never, never, ever.

Now, lest we get carried away and think that somehow we were “worth it” because we were basically good people, without sin, let’s come back to reality.  Prior to Christ, we were sinners indeed.  We were totally lost without any hope of saving ourselves; lost with absolutely no value in any of our own self-righteousness.  So how do we go from depraved, lost, and sinful individuals to worth the precious blood of Christ?

We need to understand the difference between worth and merit.  Regarding merit, in our standing before God, we have none.  We did not earn our salvation.  We were not “good enough” to warrant redemption.  We contributed nothing to our ransom from sin.  It is all grace.  It is all a pure gift.

But worth is a different thing altogether.  We arrive at our high view of worth because of our brand new and united identity with Christ.  As Dwight Edwards writes, “What frees us from the paralyzing grip of inferiority and inadequacy is not the power of positive thinking but the astonishing wonder of united identity.  As believers, we no longer have the option of thinking about ourselves apart from the indwelling Christ to Whom we are inseparably united.”  As a “partaker of the divine nature” (II Pet 1:4), you are inseparably united with the indwelling Christ.

I write all this because I see two prominent errors affecting the church in this theology of our unworthiness.  First, if we believe that we are just worthless sinners somehow covered by Christ’s blood, we will never fulfill the destiny that God promises of experiencing victory over sin.  God’s promise is that sin will not be our master after our conversion.  Your “worthless sinner” status was removed when you embraced the gospel message; when you were saved.  Your destiny as one united with Christ is to experience His power, living inside you, to live the Christian life.

The second error is that if we believe that we are just worthless sinners somehow covered by Christ’s blood, we will seek to rise above that status through our own self-effort.  We will try to “prove” our worth by our works.  We will be always striving to attain God’s acceptance by our works.  And there is no joy in this approach to living the Christian life.  You are already loved and accepted by God.  And He is doing the work inside to lift you into the supernatural Christian life.

So don’t let those voices of your unworthiness that rattle around in your head keep you in chains.  In your daily functional beliefs, embrace His freedom by seeing who you are in your united identity with Christ.  You are a new creation who carries not only the image of God – as all mankind does; but in us, His followers, you carry His divine nature as well.

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