Upholding the official beliefs and doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and spreading the three angels' message of Revelation 14:6-12
LESSON 13 - I'M WORTH SOMETHING!
I'M WORTH SOMETHING!
There are many possible ways of determining the value of a person. We can calculate our purely material worth, and even here arrive at the most varied results. It is usual to classify a person according to his working ability or income. We may add on a little more for special skills. The incredibly large transfer fees for footballers are a good example.
Perhaps a person is particularly valuable to me because he has certain contacts which I too can take advantage of. He is useful to me. Value has an enormous amount to do with direct or indirect usefulness. Whoever has nothing to offer is often classified as worthless, is lost in the crowd and joins the legion of the losers.
With God the whole matter is quite different. For Him everybody is valuable.
I AM GOD'S CHILD
The Bible makes many clear statements about the characteristics which distinguish a Christian. These can all be traced back to the following underlying principles:
'How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.' 1 John 3:1,2
THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT IT
Are you a child of God? Can you answer clearly yes or no? Trying to dodge the issue shows uncertainty.
An example can illustrate the point here. When someone asks, Are you married?' you don't need to think about the answer for long. You know the exact answer and will say yes or no. It is exactly the same with being a Christian. You ought to know whether you are a child of God or not, and you can know it too. The Bible tells you how.
OUR VALUES CHANGE
Whoever believes in Jesus Christ and is baptized finds himself in a new relationship with God.
'You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ.' Galatians 3:26,27
Even our own attitude to God is changed. Because I believe in Him I want to live in the way that He would wish me to live. Paul shows us in Colossians 3:1-17 how this can happen in our everyday lives. My behaviour patterns change, I react differently to those around me.
'But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.' Colossians 3:8,12.
A high demand which requires complete conversion. Yet this does not occur once, for all time. Just as I change my clothes daily so must I everyday take off again the 'old Adam', putting aside the mistakes and setbacks which constantly return again and again. But no longer am I alone. There is One who mediates for me.
'My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.' 1 John 2:1
As Christians we do not remain standing in the same place. We develop in spite of all.
'Your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.' 2 Thessalonians 1:3.
This growth does not occur of its own accord, to be sure. In order to be able to grow, the very least we need to do is eat.
'Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.' 1 Peter 2:2
We have at our disposal a whole list of measures which can be used to further our growth.
'Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.' Philippians 4:6
'"'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"' Matthew 4:4.
'But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him.' 1 John 2:5.
'Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body.' Ephesians 4:25.
'The life appeared; we have seen it and testified to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.' 1 John 1:2.
'And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.' 1 Peter 5:10.
NOT A QUESTION OF FEELINGS
With this background I can be absolutely certain that God has accepted me. In Isaiah 43:1-4 He says it quite clearly. And because God has accepted me I can also feel some self-worth.
Of course, even Christians are people who make mistakes and have weaknesses and guilt. Many may lose courage if they look at their own imperfection. Others are quite sure of their perfection, and feel that they are completely without fault.
Feelings deceive, moods come and go. Only in trusting Jesus Christ can we have absolute certainly of being a child of God. He bore our sins on the cross on Golgotha. That is an undeniable fact and the sure basis of our faith.
'And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.' 1 John 5:11,12.
He who has accepted Jesus as his Redeemer may gratefully accept this promise as his own. Only in my relationship with Jesus Christ can I really feel free.
Therefore, being a Christian makes us exceedingly happy.
'Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!' Philippians 4:4.
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