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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ephesians 4:1

    In Ephesians 4:1, Paul encouraged the Christians to "walk WORTHY of their calling."  This tells me that it IS possible to walk in a way worthy of the Gospel call (cf. 2Thessalonians 2:14).  Paul wrote to the Philippian church, "your conduct must be WORTHY of the Gospel" (Phil. 1:27).

            The Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (1Corinthians 15:1-4). I don't know about you, but for me it is a very humbling thought to think that I could ever live my life in such a way so as to be worthy of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ! However, it is possible because the inspired apostle commands it.

            In Matthew 10:38, Jesus says, "He who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me." Again, it is therefore possible to walk worthy of Jesus, and the way to do it is by taking up our cross and following Him.

            Now, it is totally important that we understand that this "worthiness" results only from a knowledge of, and belief in, our own "unworthiness!"  That sounds like a contradiction, but it isn't. Revelation chapter 5 explains that only One in all Heaven and Earth was "worthy" to take the Book of Life from the hand of God and break its seals, and that was Jesus. Furthermore, Jesus said, "even after we have done all that we have been commanded to do, we are still unprofitable servants" (Luke 17:10).  Therefore, our "worthiness" results *only* when we are created anew in Christ Jesus (2Corinthians 5:17), and this happens when we truly repent and are baptized into Him (Galatians 3:27).

            The Centurion said he was "not worthy" for Jesus to come to his house (Matthew 8:8). John the Baptist said he was "not worthy" to even untie Jesus' sandals (Matthew 3:11). Only One is truly "worthy," and that is our Lord (Revelation 4:11). Therefore, our "worthiness" comes only from being "in Him."

            In Colossians 1:10, Paul told the Christians to "walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.  Part of being worthy of salvation is "fully pleasing Him" – being "fruitful in every good work" – and, "increasing in the knowledge of God."

            In the parable of the Wedding Feast, Jesus explained that those who were invited but made excuses not to come, were *not worthy* (Matthew 22:8).

            In Acts 13:46, Paul said those who refused the Gospel, judge themselves "unworthy of salvation!"

            Even the Lord's Supper must be taken in a "worthy" manner, (in a respectful and reverent way, with knowledge and understanding of what we are doing), else we eat and drink judgment unto ourselves.  In fact, *all* things we do in the church must be done in a manner worthy of God (3John 6).

            Perhaps the most unique use of this word appears in Hebrews 11:38, when talking about those who were totally faithful to God, even unto death. "The world is NOT WORTHY of such people!" In other words, God has a pretty "high opinion" of those who faithfully follow His Word. What is God's opinion of you?   Toby Miller

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