TEXT: Matthew 10:26-33
READING: Psalm 7:1-17
SUBJ: Personal worthiness in Christ and the mandate to act on it along with the encouragement given in knowing of the infinite detail to which the Lord attends
AIM: That we may, by His grace, claim the worthiness of Christ and be led thereby.
1. Often, we properly refer to our own unworthiness and then fail to claim the divine remedy wherein we are made fruitful in Him.
2. While we may know that only Christ is worthy, yet Christ is OUR life and functions in us.
3. We must endeavor to maintain a proper perspective as we deal with our sense of natural depravity (humility) and the divine ability and worth and thus be confident. We must be responsive to God’s ability in us. We are to be encouraged by the value that God has placed on us and not on any assessment of men –good or bad.
THESIS: In this text, Christ encourages the twelve to confidence against impossible odds. Not, only did God place such value on us in eternity that Christ died for us. He makes us of worth in His service. Malachi 3:16-17 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
I. There is that which diminishes worth before God and in the minds of men.
1. We must bear in mind that God created man in His own image. To degrade this thought is grievous sin.
2. Evolution sees man as a highly evolved creature – good science and good sense say otherwise – one said he didn’t have enough faith to believe the theory of evolution.
3. Humanism takes on many forms. First, its claims the ability to improve mankind and sets forth the thought of a universal morality – nobody is really bad. Secondly, it spills over into religion and claims the ability to please God in themselves.
4. What value does man place on his soul: Matthew 16:26: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? – Consider some of the things that man gives.
II. The scriptures express contempt of God for all considerations of the worth of man.
1. Consider David in: Psalms 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
2. See the following emphatic statement: Isaiah 40:15-16 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. 16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.
3. And: Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
4. Throughout man is seen as depraved and acting on his depravity – remember that man was not made that way!
III. The evaluation of man’s worth in the context of grace (more than sparrows) – infinite!
1. The divine evaluation based on redemption: Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
2. The prior commendation of love: Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
3. The Lord knows in love: 2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. – note the departure from iniquity.
1) Numbers 16:5 And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him.
2) Psalms 37:18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
3) 1 Corinthians 8:3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.
4) Galatians 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
4. Contrast: Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
5. We are made worthy for the task: 2 Thessalonians 1:11 Wherefore also 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: The word count here is alternately rendered “vouchsafe” – That He guarantees this worthiness since it is underwritten by His Son.
1) Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
2) 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.
6. Consider the mandate: Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, -- metaphors (white fields, hand to the plow, work the night cometh).
7. And then think on His knowledge of our provision – MH on the sparrows provision – hairs numbered (identified) – We are changed into worthy person by His grace and His mercy.
8. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (1 Peter 1:3-7)