Thursday, November 7, 2013


The word "unworthy" appears only two times in all of the Bible, and yet, with the exception of Jesus, there never has been a "worthy" human being!  In Acts 13:46, two words combine to be translated "unworthy":  the Greek οὐ (ou), from which we understand that the negative or opposite is meant; and ἄξιος (axios), which denotes "one meriting something."  Bible students view one's worthiness as being the exact opposite of grace, or unmerited favor.  Here, the text is referring to one's status with God:  "Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles."  In 1 Corinthians 6:2, the Greek ἀνάξιος (anaxios) is used, which in context means, "unqualified or unfit for a task."  Paul wrote:  "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?  And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?"     

You would think that the Bible, a book which clearly emphasizes that human beings are seriously flawed, would contain the word "unworthy" far more than twice, but it doesn't.  However, a synonym for "unworthy," is "unrighteous," and if you had to guess how many times it is found in Scripture, you would probably guess "hundreds."  Again, you would be wrong; the answer is only nine (Ex. 23:1; Job 27:7; Ps. 71:4; Isa. 10:1; 55:7; Lk. 16:11; Rom. 3:5; 1 Cor. 6:9).  Based upon just these two words, we would have to say that the negativity attributed to God's Word is grossly exaggerated.  Then again, there are other words in the Bible which could be used to justify such an opinion.  Words like "sin" (600+ times); "evil" (600+ times); "wicked" (300+ times); "transgress" (150+ times); and "hate" (87 times) appear.  Yes, when it comes to describing mankind, the Bible is quite negative!

But, the Bible is more about redemption than it is condemnation!  From the provision of skins for the first sinners, while standing naked before Him (Gen. 3:21), unto the very last soul who will receive salvation by faith in the One who permitted His life to be taken (Jn. 10:18), God has revealed His incomprehensible love for rebellious humanity.  After writing that "all have sinned" (Rom. 3:23), Paul wrote, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8)!  Yes, man is, and always will be, unworthy of anything but death and hell, but Christ has provided for us His worthiness, that by faith in Him, we have eternal life and heaven (2 Cor. 5:21)!

  Truly, God does not want a single person to perish (2 Pet. 3:9)!          

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