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Posted on November 19, 2020 at 8:20 AM

Is it true we can never be worthy enough for God?


Many Christians certainly believe that and feel they are not worthy of God’s love and forgiveness. You might be surprised the Bible never says we are unworthy. In fact, it seems clear that we are worthy. Paul confirms this in his letters to the Christians in Thessalonica, when he says we can live worthy lives, walk worthy of God, and be counted as worthy by God (see 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 4:12 and 2 Thessalonians 1:5, 11).

Why, then, do we constantly feel unworthy? We know God is holy, perfect, and worthy to be praised. When we compare ourselves to him, it is easy to feel we come up short. That feeling of inadequacy can linger throughout our lives and leave us with a need to prove ourselves more worthy. Any time we commit sin and/or move away from the Lord we can feel alienated and at loss as to how relationship can be restored. All of us have experienced pain, anger, or resentment when someone has mistreated us or rejected us. Often, we have found it difficult to forgive in those situations and, at times, we have been unable or unwilling to reenter into fellowship with the one who has offended us. Because of those experiences in which we think we have wronged or betrayed him, we think God will not forgive and take us back.

We take our cue from the prodigal son in Luke 15 who thought he must return home as a slave perhaps. but certainly not as a full family member. When he first comes face to face with his father, the son adamantly declares, “I am no longer worthy of being called your son.” We tend to think the story stops there. However, the story is not primarily about the son. It is about the father. That is why the story continues with a “But the father….” The son did think himself unworthy to have relationship after his choices, but the father had other ideas. The key is found at the conclusion to the parable when the father says, “Everything I have is yours.” By saying that, the father has deemed the son does have value.

The word worthy is defined as “having value, worth, or merit.” It is a hard concept to learn, but we need to understand value is always determined by the buyer and not by the seller. A few years ago, I decided to sell a used car and listed it for $5,000. No one called. I finally sold it for much less. Was it worth $5,000? No, despite what I thought and what I was asking. A car or anything is only worth what a buyer will pay and nothing more. If no one wanted to buy the car, it would have been worthless. Similarly, it is incorrect to say a certain painting or gemstone is priceless. An item is never priceless because someone will buy it. God is the buyer in our case, and he has decided we do have value. What are we worth to God? What price was he willing to pay? Of course, it was the ultimate price—his coming to die for us. We have value in his sight. When we say we don’t or we continue to see ourselves as unworthy, we are denying the opinion of God and belittling the cost that was paid. 

Categories: Erased: God's Complete Forgiveness of Sins