FEELING UNWORTHY – A GOOD THING
There is a story shared in Arminian circles about a drowning man being saved. And when the man who was saved from drowning starts to thank the one who saved him, the savior replies – “Just make sure you were worth saving’!
And many an Arminian preacher following the error of Wesley’s doctrine of ‘sinless-perfection’ uses this illustration and tells his congregation – “Now that Christ has saved you, make sure you live your life in a manner to show God that you were worth saving”!
Now while all this tickles our emotions and may even challenge us to shoot for ‘sinless-perfection’, who among the saints can truly lay his hand on his heart and say that he was “worth saving”?!
If anything, every true child of God knows through bitter experience that he was not worth saving BEFORE Christ saved him, nor has he made himself in anywise worthy AFTERWARD!
Here is a short meditation from Spurgeon on the saint’s unworthiness –
What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am? [2 Samuel 9:8]
If Mephibosheth was thus humbled by David’s kindness, what shall WE be in the presence of our gracious Lord? The more grace we have, the less we shall think of ourselves, for grace, like light, reveals our impurity. Eminent saints have scarcely known to what to compare themselves, their sense of unworthiness has been so clear and keen. “I am,” says holy Rutherford, “a dry and withered branch, a piece of dead carcass, dry bones, and not able to step over a straw.” In another place he writes, “Except as to open out-breakings, I want (lack) nothing of what Judas and Cain had.” The meanest objects in nature appear to the humbled mind to have a preference above itself, because they have never contracted sin: a dog may be greedy, fierce, or filthy, but it has no conscience to violate, no Holy Spirit to resist. A dog may be a worthless animal, and yet by a little kindness it is soon won to love its master, and is faithful unto death; but we forget the goodness of the Lord, and follow not at His call.
The term “dead dog” is the most expressive of all terms of contempt, but it is none too strong to express the self-abhorrence of instructed believers. They do not affect mock modesty, they mean what they say, they have weighed themselves in the balances of the sanctuary, and found out the vanity of their nature. At best, we are but clay, animated dust, mere walking hillocks; but viewed as sinners, we are monsters indeed. Let it be published in heaven as a wonder, that the Lord Jesus should set His heart’s love upon such as we are. Dust and ashes though we be, we must and will “magnify the exceeding greatness of His grace.” Could not His heart find rest in heaven? Must He needs come to these tents of Kedar for a spouse, and choose a bride upon whom the sun had looked? O heavens and earth, break forth into a song, and give all glory to our sweet Lord Jesus”. Hallelujah!