(Tim Challies) The Bible tells us that we are to live lives that are worthy of the gospel. Specifically, in Philippians 1 Paul tells the church, “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.” I recently found myself reflecting on that word worthy. How can we actually live in a way that is worthy of the gospel of Christ? Is that even a possibility?
Usually when we say something is worthy we are talking about merit. When we say an athlete is worthy of the all star team, it means we can look at his statistics, compare him to the other players, and say, “He deserves the spot. He has earned it.” When we say an employee is worthy of a promotion, we mean she has shown the expertise and performed the requirements, and now she deserves to be rewarded with a promotion. She has done what is necessary to be worthy of it. But that’s not the kind of worth Paul has in mind here.
When we speak of worthy we might also refer to paying something back. If this is the case, then to be worthy of the gospel we need to pay God back for his great gift—we should live in a deliberate, sacrificial way so we can make some repayment to him for all his mercy. But that cannot be it either. We know we can’t ever pay him back for all he’s done for us and that our best efforts wouldn’t even get close.