the Jews failed to believe the gospel, Paul said, "To you first was is
necessary that the word of God be spoken. Yet since, in fact, you are
thrusting it away, and are judging yourselves not worthy of eonian life,
lo! we are turning to the nation's, Acts 13:46.
There is a lesson here that we seem to have missed. The Jews judged that
they, themselves, were not worthy of the life of the ages, and,
therefore, they did not believe what the word of God said to them. They
were what we would call "unconverted", and yet they said they were
unworthy of the blessings that had been mentioned by Paul. It has been
thought that only saints think themselves unworthy. Here was a group of
people who showed no sign of being saints, and yet they were bothered by
a sense of unworthiness. And because they felt to be so unworthy, they
could not believe that the promises belonged to them.
People, not merely saints, but also those who are not saved, find that a
feeling of unworthiness keeps them from believing God's promises.
When I was a boy, I was told, repeatedly, that if you feel yourself to
be not worthy, that is a sure sign that you are in touch with Christ,
spiritually. Before one could "join the church" be had to proclaim
I know that a feeling of unworthiness is NOT a sure sign that one is not
in spiritual touch with Christ, but, on the other hand, it is not a
certain sign that one IS in spiritual touch with Him. It is a sign that
the person, whether or not His spirit has been touched by the spirit of
Christ, is NOT being influenced by that spirit, but he is under the
influence of erroneous teaching, which is to be found in all the
For, nowhere do the scriptures speak of a saint as unworthy!
Not only did this feeling of unworthiness keep those Jews from receiving
the blessings that are promised in the word of God, but the majority of
saints are kept from His blessings, under a false sense of their own
This vicious teaching is hurtful. But that fact that saints accept it,
and actually FEEL the force of its influence, shows that, through the
exercise of THOUGHT, a person may come to feel ANY condition. This is
true of every person. Yet there are those who sneer at the idea that
thought is powerful!
Why should we be unworthy, when we are in touch with Christ? This
expression, "in touch with Christ", does not fully express what I mean.
The spirit of Christ has come in contact with our spirit, and the two
are mixed, so that they become ONE spirit. Paul says that he who is
joined to the Lord is one spirit. No longer do we have a spirit that is
separate from the spirit of Christ. They become one spirit. Paul says,
"Living in me is Christ". We have not merely reformed. We have the very
life of Christ. If this means anything at all, it means that we are as
worthy as is Christ, for, in a sense, we have become Him, and He has
become us. Spirit is the main thing. Christ and I have one spirit in me,
and, therefore, I refuse to believe that I am unworthy. I am worthy if
And, believing this, I never think of any blessing that God has
promised, as being better than I am worthy of. Therefore, I can pray in
faith for everything that He has promised.
This widespread belief in unworthiness is one of the most baneful things
that oppose my ministry. Often I come in touch with saints who cling so
tenaciously to the idea of unworthiness, that they can see that certain
blessings belong to others, but not to THEM. They are too unworthy! God
has it in for hem, and they dare not hope for an abundance of anything!
If this were true, where is grace? Does grace go all over, looking for a
worthy person on whom to bestow its benefits? No! Grace makes us worthy,
and bestows its benefits.
That is, it bestows them where there is belief. A saint may be so
completely under the influence of this baneful teaching of unworthiness,
that he misses most of the benefits that grace has for him. Grace HAS
prepared these blessings, but it takes faith to get them. A person may
have faith that Christ in his Savior, and still indulge in disbelief to
the extent that he goes through life without many of the blessings that
would make him happy in this life.
No other false teachings seems to have become so securely imbedded in
the minds of those who believe that Christ is their Savior, as the
thought that we are unworthy, and, therefore, God has it in for us, and
can be expected to bestow on us only a very meager portion of His
universe-full of blessings. Is not this a slander on God? Is He peevish,
and spiteful? I repeat, this idea is not gotten from the word of God; it
is the product of false teaching, and may affect either, saint or
I have in mind a family, every one of which---grand-parents, children,
in-laws, and grandchildren---seem to always think in terms of calamity,
sickness, poverty. And there is hardly a day when some member is not
sick, and calamities---far more numerous than can be accounted for by
the "law of average", come upon them. Making a good salary does not
count, for they think in terms of poverty and lack, and they never make
enough to do more than "get along". The idea of negation has been
instilled into them for years. They judge themselves unworthy, and they
receive only what the unworthy are expected to get.
The fact that you FEEL unworthy, does not mean that you actually ARE so.
But the law of faith works this way: "According to your faith, be it to
you". If your belief tells you that you have no worthiness, even in
connection with Christ, then it is so, to you. This belief has led you
to doubt the power of grace, and the willingness of God to bless you,
and, therefore, you cannot ask in faith.
The Bible abounds in promise of blessing to the believer. You find
nothing good said of the doubter!
I am not discussing the passage in Acts 13:46, except to show that
unbelief keeps people from obtaining the blessings that belong to the
ages. I am not saying anything about endless salvation in the glory.
THAT does not depend on our attitude.
It is in this life that we need so many different blessings. Do you need
material things. "My God shall be filling your every need in accord with
His riches in glory in Christ Jesus". You need money on which to live,
and with which to pay your debts. Don't try to extricate God from
difficulty by saying that you don't need those things, when you don't
have them. You DO need them! God DOES provide them. Still, you may not
get them, because your false belief tells you that you are not worthy of
them. There are many things that you need, that are not manifested in
A feeling of unworthiness, which breeds doubts, keeps you from having
them, in manifest form. Faith is one of the greatest things---perhaps
THE greatest, with the exception of love---that will ever come into your
You cannot count your blessings. And yet there are many more for you.
You may be blessedly conscious of the indwelling of the Father and the
Son. Think what a blessing THIS is! They are present all the time, by
their spirits. While the Father is in you, you are also in Him. In Him
you live and move and have your being, while He lives and moves and has
His expression in you.
THE ALL-SEEING EYE
Don't stop to turn the critic's eye
On neighbor, friend, or foe;
A kicking, balky horse can't make
The wheels of traffic go.
There is an eye that's looking on,
To see the whole showdown.
The Master's eye sees every heart
Of every bum in town.
Let's ask the owner of that eye
To lend it, till we see
So truly, that our sight shall beam
In heaven's charity.
Lillian M. Denis,
Saco, Maine, shut-in
Don't you love this poem?