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Are We Worthy of Him

“And who ever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Mat 10:38

When we say we are a Christian, what does that mean? Does it simply mean we went to the alter and said a prayer?  Does it mean we go to church every week, read our bibles and devotionals, and say a prayer every day?  Does it mean we come from a Christian home and inherited our Christianity? I think not.  But to answer the question, let me start from the beginning.

How are we saved?  Paul says in his letter to the Church at Rome, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Rom 10:9-10 Let’s break this down for a moment.  If we confess with our mouth Jesus is Lord.  The word translated ‘confess’ is often translated ‘profess’.  It means to profess what others already know.  We are simply professing Jesus as Lord, as a known fact. Also, we are saying that Jesus now owns us, and He has the right to rule over us.  We declare we will obey Him in everything. The next part, if we believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead.  This means believe it at the very center of our being.  And to believe what?  That God raised the Christ from the dead. This is at the very core of our beliefs.  If this is true, than it is all true.  If not, than all is questionable. And this belief is one that is exhibited in our external life. In other words, we walk the talk.  Being saved is simply being a follower of Christ.  And being a follower is more than just saying a prayer and going to church.  It is a dedication of our lives completely to Christ, with absolutely nothing, at any conceivable time, taking precedence.  It is not a casual decision, but one made with purpose and wholeheartedness.  We must understand all the costs before making such an eternal decision, and we must be willing to pay them all.

Understanding what salvation is all about is key to understanding the rest.  What did Jesus say about being worthy? First, let us look at the above verse.  We must take up our cross and follow Christ, just as He took up His cross.  So, what does taking up our cross mean?  First of all, what was the cross?  It was an instrument used to put someone to death.  Pure and simple.  It speaks of our willingness to die to ourselves and live for Christ.  Remember, He died for us on the cross, therefore we must do the same.  This dying to ourselves means that our desires, needs, hopes, dreams and very lives are secondary to Christ and His kingdom.  That whatever He calls us to do is more important than what we desire or need to do.  That we are willing to die for Him, just as Paul the Apostle, Stephen the Deacon, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and possibly Yousef Nadarkhani in Iran has.  We must put aside our comfortable lives and get involved in the work of Christ.  Many Christians all over the world are standing strong against horrific  persecution.  We must stand beside them and work with the same fervor they have.  Unfortunately, many Christians back down simply when someone looks at them a little funny and begin to become apologetic.  How can this be?  Jesus said,  “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”  Luke 9:26.  I for one do not want Christ ashamed of me. If we cannot die to ourselves and our dreams, desires and wishes to follow Christ’s, then we are not worthy of Him.

Let’s look at another passage.  Stepping back one verse, we read the following.  “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”  This precedes the first passage I spoke of, and speaks of love for Him in comparison to everyone else. We cannot love anything or any one more than the Christ.  He is saying here that if we do not love Him more than everyone else in our lives and this world, we are not worthy of Him.  This is a very difficult passage.  We all love our families and friends, and we would do anything for them. And I know how I feel about my wife and grown children.  However, Christ must come first. If there is a decision I have to make which pits my families desires against Christ’s, there can be no question. Christ’s desires will come first. If you hesitate or side with your family’s desires, you are not worthy of Him.  

Let’s look at a passage where Paul spoke of us being worthy. In Colossians we read, “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Col 1:9-10  As we can see here, Paul is telling the Church that they are to live in a manner worthy of Jesus the Christ. And he outlines what that means. First, we are to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and knowledge.  We should know His will.  How can we do His will if we do not know His will? So we need to spend time in deep study of His word. Meditating on it, letting the Holy Spirit teach us the deeper meaning rather than settling for surface level interpretation. Who better to tell us what a book is saying than the author of that book. So read, meditate and then listen to Him.  And what is the result of this, we will be fully pleasing to the Lord. In other words, we will please Him in everything. We will bear fruit in every good work, because we will have submitted to His work, rather than trying to do something for God. And we will increase in the knowledge of God.  As you study, spend time with Him, and obey what He calls us to do, with Him working through us, we can do nothing but learn about Him.

Not everyone who claims the name of Christian will be worthy of the Christ and His Kingdom.  Jesus said on the Sermon on the Mount, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” Mat 7:21-23  Note here that only those who do the will of the Father can enter in.  They are the only ones worthy.  You can do all the outward things that are expected of Christians, however, it is not the outward that matters but the inward.

Now, it may seem that I am espousing works for salvation, however, I am not.  What I am saying is that what makes you worthy of salvation is not works, but your devotion to the Christ.  If we do not love Him more than anything else, we are not worthy.  If we do not give Him everything, we are not worthy.  If we do not devote ourselves completely to Him in all we do, then we are not worthy of Him. And if we do not do His will we are not worthy of Him. We must examine our lives to see where we stand in Him.  Do we give our all, or hold back some for ourselves?  Is He the one we love the most, or is He simply in the top tier of our loved ones?  Do we do His will in all things and all times, or only when it is convenient?  Tough questions requiring extensive soul searching.  But it will be worth the time it takes.  It is important that we have made Him Lord and the Bridegroom, and do not simply offer lip service.  Remember, to be worthy of Christ is the greatest honor that can be bestowed on us.  So lets all work to be worthy of Him and be at peace as we serve Him in the fullness of His will and study to know Him as much as possible.

Categories: Theology
  1. Darrell Sroufe
    October 20th, 2011 at 04:50 | #1

    Great presentation of the truth, Bill! Is there an ebook out there with all your writings? I wish there were… hey! I got an idea! They could be published for free at Amazon publishing to be read on Amazon Kindle!!

    • WilliamHF
      October 20th, 2011 at 10:26 | #2

      I may do that. What I might do is wait till January and put all of 2011 in one ebook. Interesting idea. And I am still noodling over what we discussed. Still like the idea, however need time to formulate. Will be back with you soon on this.

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