Posts Tagged ‘where our value comes from’

Yes, you heard me right. You aren’t worthy. Neither am I. None of us is worthy of anything short of an eternity in hell for rebelling against our Creator, the very One who gave us life.

The minute we see ourselves as “worthy,” that’s the moment we show how little we understand grace.
Grace is something many Christians talk about but very few understand or can explain to others. When I was younger, I learned the rote definition of grace as “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” Not really. Or at least, that’s only one small corner of what grace is.

The concept of grace as we find it in the Bible requires us to be UNworthy. If we’re worthy, if we do something or there’s something in our being that’s worth it, then there’s no room for grace. It’s kind of an either/or situation. Either we’re worthy and don’t need God’s grace, or we’re unworthy and desperately need His grace, but you simply can’t be worthy AND need grace. It doesn’t work that way.

Paul confirms this idea in Romans 11:6 when he says, “And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” If our salvation were based on our works, then we wouldn’t need grace because grace is a gift given to someone who doesn’t deserve it in any way. If a person deserves something and receives it, then it’s no longer a gift, but a wage because we’re worthy.

In fact, one of the greatest verses about salvation reminds us of this. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NIV) Notice the distinction between wages and gift. The wages, what we’ve earned and are worthy of receiving, of sin is death. Death. The wages for our rebellion against the God who created us. This is the only thing we deserve or are worthy to receive.

If the verse ended there, we’d be miserable creatures, forever lost, forever only worthy of death. But we have a God who doesn’t just love, He is love. It’s who He is, an integral part of His character, and He was unwilling to stand by and leave us in this deplorable state.

Enter grace. “The gift of God (grace) is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is the opposite of what we deserve, what our wages are. We are worthy only of death. But God steps in and gives us the opposite of what we’re worthy of. Eternal life. That’s why Paul uses the word “gift” here. A gift is given without any requirements or coercion, not because of the recipient’s worthiness to receive it, but purely because the giver chooses to give it.

The same is true with grace. If anything we are or anything we do made us worthy of receiving anything, then it wouldn’t be a gift to us; it’d be a wage.

So those who run around thinking they’re worthy of things in this world are those who show how little they know about grace in their lives. Grace is what swoops in to save us when we can’t stop our fall into death. Grace is God’s defiance of the human concept of conditional love. God’s love for us fuels His grace, a grace extended to those who realize how very lost they are and how desperate their need is for God to save them.

Our current culture tries to persuade us that there’s something intrinsically worthy in us and that we need to base our sense of self-value on who we are or what we do. As with most spiritual truths, they got a bit of it right, but the twist on it creates a fallacy that misleads many.

Humans have value. I’m not disputing that. However, our value has nothing to do with us. It only has to do with God. God chose to create us in His own image, which gives every human an incredible value that outshines all the rest of creation (and this is the major reason why I discount evolution as the origin of Man, God’s creation of Man in His image was a deliberate act, not some happenstance of millions of years of evolution).

Do we have value? Yes, but not in ourselves. We have value because the God who created us chose to love us. When our culture twists the truth and persuades people to find their value within themselves, people fail miserably (any wonder why the depression rate is so high?).

The truth, though, is freeing. Instead of looking within ourselves for some kind of value that doesn’t exist there, we look to the God of the Bible and see how He knows we’ve rebelled against Him, but yet He still loves us. And He loved us so much that He came to earth in the flesh and died on the cross to save us.

That’s a pretty awesome love if you ask me. We might be able to imagine giving our life for someone we love, but would you do it for someone you knew hated you? I doubt it. Few would.

Yet that’s what God did for us (Romans 5:6-8). His love for us isn’t based on what we can do for Him or based on who we are. His love for us is based on His character, on who He is, and that will never change.

No matter how we feel at the moment, whether we feel like a failure or feel unloved or feel worthless, we can rest assured that our value has not changed, only our momentary feelings. Our feelings can change, and often do, but our worth isn’t rooted in how we feel or in anything within us.

Our value is rooted in who God is—and that will never change.

And because we understand that we’re unworthy yet God chooses to value us, we can face life with confidence and assurance that our value will never change because our God will never change.

He will continue to love us, no matter what.

Always.

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