What Are You Worth?
"I am that I am", God told Moses (Exodus 3:14). And Genesis 1:21 says, "So God created man in his own image; in the image of God Created he him; male and female created he them." If, then, we are created in the image and likeness of God, why do we count ourselves to be of little worth? Why do we practice self- deprecation? What should be our attitude toward ourselves?
It is widely taught in the denominational world that Adam WAS created in the image and likeness of God, but that he sinned, and thus the rest of mankind inherited his sinful nature which causes us to sin. Well ... what, then, was there in Adam's nature which caused HIM to sin? But the primary purpose of this article is not to examine doctrine. Many knowledgeable brethren have already done that.
This false doctrine does, however, cause many of us to think less of ourselves than we should. Some go so far as to refuse to use a capital "I" when writing in reference to themselves! And even sayings in which there is much merit, such as "God first, others next, self last" need to be examined to see if all the applications we make of them are true. Are these attitudes of self- deprecation ones we should have toward ourselves? Let us examine what the Scriptures teach.
First, the Scriptures teach that we are worthy of salvation! No, I do NOT mean to imply in any way that we, of ourselves, can do anything to merit salvation. But think a minute. How is worth determined? Is it not determined by the price the purchaser is willing to pay? And Peter says, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, -- but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:18,19). Paul, having spoken to the Jews of Antioch in Pisidia, said, "It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, AND JUDGE YOURSELVES UNWORTHY of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles" (Acts 13:46). If they judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life when they rejected the Savior, we judged ourselves WORTHY of everlasting life when we believed and obeyed the gospel by following our Lord and Savior in baptism for the remission of our sins. Why now should we think ourselves to be of little worth?
And when we heard and believed the Gospel, did we first run and tell others the good news? Or did we, ourselves, first obey, then go and tell others? Think about it! The saying, "God first, others next, self last" does embody a good principle in its proper context. Certainly we should prefer others before ourselves (Romans 12:10). And Jesus said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor AS thyself" (Matt. 22:37,38). If we think of ourselves to be of little worth, and love our neighbor as ourselves, does it not follow that we will also think him to be of as little worth as ourselves?
In Philippians 2:5-9 Paul writes, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Jesus KNEW and recognized that He was the Son of God. For Paul, in Galatians 4:4-7 writes, "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God sent forth the spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a SON; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." If we are to let the mind of Christ be in us, should we not also recognize that WE are sons of God? Should we not "be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 9:29)?
How can we who have been redeemed by God and who have been made His sons consider ourselves to be of little worth? And if we let the mind of Christ be in us, will we not then be willing to give of ourselves for others, even as did our Lord? If one should say, "Yes, Christians are NOW worth something, but it is only because we NOW belong to God", let us inquire, "Did you not belong to God BEFORE you became a Christian?" And did not the fact that HE considered you worth something -- more than all the world -- lead him to pay that purchase price for you? Would God have paid the price of redemption He DID pay for a worthless piece of junk? Shall we presume to deprecate that for which God paid such a great price?
Rene Descartes, French philosopher and mathematician, may have said more than he realized when he made his famous statement, "Cogito, ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am). God said, "I AM", and since I am made in His image, I am worth enough that He sent his Son to die for ME! So, whether or not I think, I am!
Sandra F. Cobble
Published in The Old Paths Archive