Today, I want to address the Gospel's position on human worth. Certainly, I adamantly embrace the pro-life position that, from conception to final breath, every human life has value. We must, as we talk about human worth, maintain a clear distinction between conversation on abortion (and euthanasia) and conversation on our inability to merit salvation. Please remember that these are entirely separate issues!
Popular evangelical writer Max Lucado once wrote:
“If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning… Face it, friend. He is crazy about you!”As wonderful as Lucado's words sound, however, they leave non-Christians (especially false converts) with the impression that God practically worships us. What a perverted view of His gracious love! Scripture teaches that He loves us because of His grace, not because we possess any attractive qualities. We can't bring a single thing to the table!
Instead of viewing ourselves as the centers of God's universe and thinking that He waits breathlessly for us to "make Him Lord and Savior," let's consider Scripture's assessment of the situation.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. ~~Ephesians 2:1-7 (ESV)Not the most flattering portrait of us, is it? I don't enjoy knowing that, apart from God's grace, I was dead in my sin, and a child of wrath. I'd much prefer to believe that He saw some little spark of goodness in me that made me worthy of His love and His death on the cross.
Ironically, Jesus shed His precious blood on my behalf precisely because I couldn't do anything to merit His favor. Therefore, my salvation necessarily throws the spotlight back on Him. Despite the stench of my sinful inclinations, the Lord chose to save me from the eternity in hell that I so richly deserve. Understanding the depths of my depravity enables me to rejoice in Christ's unexplainable and wonderful love for me.