Tri-County church of Christ, Watertown, NY, North Country

February 15, 2002, Vol.2, No.4.
Two new articles every two weeks. Bible Question? E-mail us.
THIS ISSUE: "Your Value in Christ" (see below)
and "
Can We Expect Signs Before the End of Time?"

Your Value in Christ

by Tom Rainwater

The way a Christian perceives himself will directly affect his conduct, and thus his eternal destiny. Each disciple of the Lord must have a proper self-view in order to be fruitful in the kingdom. He should not think more of himself than he ought, nor should he think less of himself than what the Lord does.

Overinflating Your Own ValueValue in Christ, proper Self Esteem

Many brethren have fallen from grace because they let pride and over-confidence rule their hearts (Proverbs 16:18; 1 Corinthians 10:12). Simon Peter is an example of a disciple who couldn't please his Lord unless he properly viewed himself as being subject to Christ's will (Mark 8:31-33). The apostles could not adequately serve the Lord until they stopped competing with one another and became humble like little children (Matthew 18:1-4). One cannot live in self-centered pride and be in a right relationship with God at the same time (Proverbs 8:13; 1 Corinthians 4:6,18,19; 1 Timothy 3:6; 3 John 9-11).

God wants you to humble yourself before Him (James 4:6-10), and to remember that you are an "unprofitable servant" doing what is your duty to do (Luke 17:10). You are undeserving of your salvation, thus there is no reason to boast. Jesus deserves all the glory (1 Corinthians 1:27-31) .

Getting A Proper Perspective

In order to prevent pride and promote humility, you are commanded by God to frequently evaluate your own spiritual condition.

"For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work..." Galatians 6:3-4a. (NASB)

"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test?" 2 Corinthians 13:5. (NASB)

You must closely examine your own life to ensure that you keep to the straight path of righteousness, without wavering off course to destruction. Remember that God sees you exactly as you are (Hebrews 4:11-13). Since the Lord is your judge, you must abide by His instructions.

"But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does." James 1:25. (NASB)

Devaluing Yourself

However, some Christians, in abandoning pride, go too far in the other direction. They fall past humility into a form of self-loathing. Perhaps because of life's circumstances or habitual thinking, they come to believe they are worthless in the kingdom and of little value to the Lord. As feelings of doubt and depression increase, they may decide they don't like themselves, and thus lose confidence in their ability to obey the Lord or do anything spiritual. They have forgotten their true value and potential in Christ.

Friends, this is not humility; it is self-pity. It is the temptation to be swallowed up by too much sorrow. Proper humility leads to spiritual productiveness, but self-pity leads to spiritual stagnation. Consider these differences: Pride says, "I can and I will by myself" (Daniel 4:29-33). Humility says, "I can and I will by the Lord's will" (James 4:13-16). But self-pity says, "I just can't."

Why did the Israelites panic at the doorstep of Canaan and decide to retreat at the grim report of the ten spies? (Numbers 13:30 - 14:4ff). Why did the Israelite army cower in fear at the challenge of the Philistine giant, Goliath? (1 Samuel 17:4-11,24). Why did Elijah run away and hide in a cave? (1 Kings 19:1-18). These people became inactive because they lost confidence in themselves as servants of the Lord. They were thinking "I can't" and thus they didn't.

It wasn't until God reminded Elijah of his place and purpose that the prophet got up and went back to work. For us, the Scriptures frequently prod us to obedience by reminding us of our worth and place in the kingdom of Christ.

Realizing Your True Value

Our value comes from the fact that we are wonderfully made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26,27; Psalm 139:14) and possess a soul which has greater value than all the world's riches (Matthew 16:26). God further demonstrated our value by sending Jesus to die on the cross for us (Romans 5:6-11). Our price tag is the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-21). Though in humility we know that we do not deserve the love, attention, and sacrifice of Deity, nevertheless, we must by faith believe what the Bible says about our value in the eyes of God.

As children in God's family, we are co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). We are "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people" (1 Peter 2:9). Angels minister unto us (Hebrews 1:14) and rejoice in our obedience (Luke 15:10). Jesus is preparing a place for us to live with Him in Heaven forever (John 14:2).

So, how valuable are we?

Indeed, the way we perceive our own value has a direct effect on our conduct. Knowing all these wonderful things keeps us humble and motivates us to serve Jesus with confidence and hope. The Apostle Paul understood that. He said, "For the love of Christ constrains (motivates) us" (2 Corinthians 5:14). That knowledge gave him the confidence to say, "I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).


True happiness in life comes from gaining a proper perspective of yourself from Scripture and living accordingly. There is joy in knowing who made you, who sacrificed Himself for you, and in giving Him the glory for it all.

~ ~ ~



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