Friday, April 20, 2012

How Much Are You Worth?

What is it that makes Christians (and others) believe that they have no right to think themselves worthy of GOD’s love and forgiveness and Christ’s sacrifice?

I’ve been wondering about that for some time now. I taught a Sunday School class in which the literature provided by the Sunday School Board of our religion said that we, humans, are unworthy of the price paid for our forgiveness and of GOD’s love. Poppycock.

How is the price – the worth – of something decided? While teaching that Sunday School class, I approached the subject in the following way. I had on a pair of clip-on earrings. I took one off of my ear and held it out as I went from student to student and asked them who would give me a hundred dollars for the one earring. None would. I lowered my price as I asked again. It took a price of twenty-five cents before anyone would say that they might pay that price for the one earring. Thus the price for the single earring was – at that time – twenty-five cents. Whatever someone is willing to pay is what the price is. The value (worth) of the earring was twenty-five cents.

The worthiness of humans, the value of you and I in GOD’s eyes, was decided when the price of our salvation was decided prior to our creation. GOD and His Son decided long before the earth was made that the price for our sin would be the sacrifice of Christ. How do I know that?

When GOD created the earth, Jesus Christ was there, helping Him create the earth (John 1:1-4) and “all that therein is” (Psalm 146:6). According to Ephesians 1:4-6, before the earth was even created, GOD and His Son had decided to give us grace through salvation in Christ (KJV):

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

According to the Bible (GOD’s Word), it was GOD who set the price for us. He decided that our price – our worth – was Christ’s blood and death. People who say that we are unworthy are not just wrong, they are ill-informed or ignoring (or ignorant of) the Bible.

For us to be unworthy would be for GOD to have decided – before the creation of the earth or at any time afterward -- that the price of our salvation was to be something less than Christ’s sacrifice; or that there would be no price high enough or that He was willing to pay so that we could be saved. If that had happened, then we could have counted ourselves unworthy of Christ’s death on the cross. That didn’t happen. The Bible, GOD’s inerrant Word, says that GOD decided the price prior to creating the earth, and that Christ decided to go to the cross (John 19:11) to pay that price for us. So both GOD and Son decided the price -- our worth -- and carried through with the actions that would be necessary for our salvation: to prove our worthiness. It was their choice.

Considering the pre-planning that GOD and Son did and the fact that they willingly carried through with their plan, that seems to prove to me that we are worthy. At least, GOD’s actions say so.

Remember, GOD could have interfered with the crucifixion of Christ. GOD could have spoken a word and the people who had Christ in custody would have gone to sleep, died, been killed by hellfire and brimstone as were those in Sodom and Gomorrah. Christ could have escaped as He admits “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” Twelve legions of angels (a legion is three- to six-thousand) can accomplish a lot, don’t you think? Couldn’t thirty-six-thousand angels get Christ away from those wishing His death? Couldn’t they at least protect Him long enough for Him to make His escape?

Our worth, then, is based upon the decisions of GOD and Christ and it was they who both chose to do what it took to ensure that Jesus Christ went to the cross in our stead and paid the price for our sins. It was GOD the Father and GOD the Son who chose to pay for you and I, the sinful, messed up, inconstant, lazy, weak humans who can’t seem to get it right for more than a few months at a time. Christ -- who lived a sinless life and did nothing to deserve to die, and not those of us who truly deserved it -- died for our sins.

He "who knew no sin” CHOSE since before creation to go to the cross and bear our sins. The only one on earth who never sinned died for our sins. The “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30) CHOSE to go to the cross and be scourged and mocked and to die for us. GOD and Jesus Christ decided long before that day what our worth was.

Next time you are in church, Sunday School, a social gathering, with family and friends and you hear someone say anything about us – or themselves – being “unworthy” set them straight. You’ll be doing them a great service because in realizing their worth in Christ Jesus people also realize that GOD put that value on them. What better way to realize who you are, how much you really are worth, than to know that it was determined by the Lord God Almighty before time began?

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