Apologeet.nlEight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel
Reason 6 – They see not their own unworthiness of a Saviour’s help
The sixth reason of why people won’t accept the Gospel:
They see not their own unworthiness of a Saviours help
They come to the market of grace with their money in their hand. They look on themselves as worthy of what Christ should do for them.
Luke 7:4 [Boston refers to this text and I will come back to it later in this video]
Though they be perhaps so far humbled as to see they must have mercy and help from the Lord, yet they look on their reformation and duties as what cannot but recommend them to Christ beyond many others. They cannot see how the Lord can reject those who come so far a length as they do. Hence the doctrine of free grace is but tasteless to them.
Look at me!! Am I a hotshot or what? I feel so good about myself… And so on. Isn’t that what we hear day in day out. We should feel proud of ourselves. We can buy a nice cosmetic crème because we are worth it. It is the language commercials, of popular psychology, popular media talk and popular paperback books. It is even the language we often hear in the modern day churches. When you know Jesus you also should know that you are wonderful! I’ve even heard a preacher telling his listeners that they shouldn’t have a poor image of themselves because that will hurt their spiritual growth. It would keep them from the richness of God’s blessing.
But if that is the Gospel, why than is Boston telling us something else? He talks about people who ‘cannot see how the Lord can reject… [them] …who come so far a length as they do.’ In other words: Why should the Lord reject them, while they are so wonderful? Can Boston be wrong here? Can it be that, because he is from a different century, he doesn’t understand the Gospel. I mean, obviously we are much more advanced in knowledge than he is, right?
Wrong! Nowhere the Gospel mentions the idea that we, as humans, are great, wonderful and worthy to be called children of God. It is true that the Bible teaches that we can become holy, but only because Christ is willing to save us. Only when we’ve received forgiveness of sin and only when we put our full trust in Him, Who ìs Holy. We are worthy, not because of the things we do, but because what He has done for us.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Listen to the story in Luke 7:2-10
Now a centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. When he heard of Jesus, he sent the elders of the Jews to Him, asking Him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they asked Him earnestly, saying, “You should do this for him for he is worthy, for he loves our nation, and he has built us a synagogue.” So Jesus went with them.
When He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy to have You come under my roof. Likewise, I did not think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard these words, He marvelled at him, and turned and said to the people who followed Him, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.
This is the attitude Jesus is looking for. The centurion could have said something else. The people were talking highly of him. It would have been so easy for him to adapt that attitude. But instead of using his given authority, he acknowledges that Jesus is more worthy than he is. We hear people say that Jesus should do this healing miracle for him. Not because they think about Jesus as being kind hearted or merciful, but because they feel that the centurion is worthy of Jesus’ compassion. The centurion may have achieved many wonderful things but he knew that he was but a humble man compared to the Christ.
You might be a very good father and husband or a sweet mother and wife. You might excel in your work. You might even be a great humanitarian worker who helps people without making any profit. People around you might say that you are worthy of being saved by Jesus. If there is one worthy enough it must be you! Even our ‘good deeds’ are not all that good. Sure, we may think we are doing something noble, but there is generally something in it for us; some hidden, self-serving motive. And even our best efforts pale by comparison to the standard of righteousness existing in the God of the Universe.
“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”
The Bible paints a pretty nasty image of our human nature. We are lost and wandering, incapable of seeking God and incapable of impressing God with our own ‘good’ works. It is very bad news. But there there is Good News: the God of the Bible, the Creator of the universe is not going to judge us on our fallen nature or our inadequate attempts. Nope, He is going to allow Jesus to pay the price for our sin and save us as an act of grace.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)