We Must Become ‘Worthy’ Of Salvation
‘He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.’ ~ Matthew 10:37-38
False teachers have promoted the doctrine of unworthiness in the name of humility. They teach that everyone is unworthy, no one can ever be worthy of God’s salvation and that if anyone teaches different that they are not being humble.
What does it mean to be worthy? Do we have to actually be righteous and worthy to inherit the Kingdom? Will only worthy people be saved?
1.1 Worthiness Is A State Of Exhibiting Righteous Conduct
When the Bible uses the term ‘worthy’ it is always speaking in regards to ones character and conduct.
2 Thessalonians 1:4-5 ~ We ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer.
- Those who are patient in their faith and endure persecutions and tribulations are those who are termed worthy.
- These attributes are those of character and conduct.
Philippians 1:27 ~ Only let your conversation [politeuomai: to behave as a citizen] be as it becometh [axios: in a manner worthy of] the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
- Our behavior as citizens of the Kingdom is to be in a manner that is worthy of the message that we teach.
Worthiness in the Bible is a state of being that is derived from ones character and conduct and not some spiritual position we have because we once said a salvation prayer.
1.2 We Are Commanded To Walk Worthy Of God’s Kingdom
Ephesians 4:1 ~ I… beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.
- Rather than telling you that you can never be worthy, Paul commanded the Disciples that they live lives that were worthy of their calling.
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 ~ We exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
- The charge and command to all of God’s children is that they would live and behave in a godly manner that they may be worthy of God and the Kingdom he has called us to inherit.
1.3 We Must Pray That We Will Be Worthy Of Salvation
Luke 21:36 ~ Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
- Jesus said that we should always pray that God would help us to live lives that would ensure that we would be worthy to stand before him on the day of judgment and not be condemned!
2 Thessalonians 1:11 ~ We pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.
- Paul prayed for his people that they would live righteously and that God would deem them worthy so that they would experience his goodness and power in salvation.
Colossians 1:9-10 ~ We… do not cease to pray for you… That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.
- Paul also prayed that all the Disciples would behave in a manner that was worthy of Jesus.
- A life that is worthy of the Lord is a life that is filled with the knowledge of God and full of good works!
1.4 Only Those Who Are Worthy Can Be Jesus Disciples
So contrary to modern teaching was Jesus refusal to accept anyone as his disciple who was not worthy of him.
Jesus did not blindly take on whoever said they want to be a disciple. He clearly explained to them what was required and said they must be worthy if they wanted to be a Disciple of his.
Matthew 10:37-38 ~ He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
- Jesus made it very clear that a person who would not put him before everything and everyone else in life was not worthy of him.
- This worthiness had everything to do with ones choosing to live a righteous life devoted to Jesus and his cause.
Luke 14:27 ~ And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
- Jesus said that anyone who did not prove they were worthy of him by denying themselves and taking up their cross could not be his disciple.
- This requirement has not changed and never will change.
1.5 The Only People Who Will Be Saved Are The Worthy Ones
Do people have to actually be worthy to inherit God’s kingdom?
Matthew 22:8&14 ~ Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. For many are called, but few are chosen.
- Jesus said that many people will be called to the great feast in the new Kingdom but they will make it because they were not worthy.
- In order to make it to that great wedding feast we must be worthy!
Luke 9:61-62 ~ Another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
- There was a man who wanted to follow Jesus but he wanted to do something else first. Jesus immediately disqualified him for the Kingdom of God.
- Jesus said that he was not fit for the Kingdom. There are clearly standards that must be met in order for someone to be fit or worthy to inherit the Kingdom of God!
Luke 20:35-36 ~ But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
- There is a time coming when the righteous will be resurrected from the dead and obtain a new world.
- Jesus said that the people that will be at this new world are those who have been accounted worthy!
Revelation 3:4 ~ Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
- Jesus said that only those who have not defiled their garments with sin will walk with him.
- He says the reason is that they are the only ones who are worthy.
Revelation 22:14 ~ Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
- Worthiness must have been very important to Jesus because he keeps talking about this topic right up till the end where these, his very last words, were recorded in the book of Revelation.
- In these last words, Jesus says that only the people who keep God’s commandments will be worthy to eat from the tree of life and enter the Kingdom of God.
- There clearly is a right or worthiness that is obtained by keeping the commands of God and this worthiness must be obtained and kept by all who wish to inherit the Kingdom of God.