As we continue through the Gospel of Luke, I’ve been posting about what makes us worthy of the power of God. I started by looking at what the Roman Centurion said to Jesus in Luke, chapter 7.
“Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.”
The last couple of posts I talked about his words I do not deserve – the Greek word axios. Now I want to look at worthy – the Greek word hikanos. It literally means not far enough along.
There are many Christians who believe that they haven’t walked with the Lord long enough to see the manifestation of the power of God in their lives. There’s a big fallacy with this kind of thinking. The very notion that they’re not far enough along implies that there will be a time when they’re mature enough to merit this power.
I am here to tell you that will never happen on this side of eternity. In actuality the centurion had it right – “But say the word…”
Paul understood this concept. He evangelized most of the Roman Empire. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote most of the New Testament.
For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
1 Corinthians 15:9-10
Paul used the Greek word hikanos when he said he did not even deserve to be called an apostle. If Paul was not far enough along to walk in this power, then there’s no chance for us. Yet the important part of this issue is all summed up in the words “but by the grace of God.”
The simple truth is that you’ll never be good enough. It’s only by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that we may stand in His power and authority.
I’ll never be good enough or far enough along to deserve the title of son. I’ll never be worthy of His power based upon my own merits. But by the grace of God I am what I am.
It’s this thinking that drives me to work for the Lord. It’s the foundation for serving Him in the correct way. When I start to think that I can make myself more worthy I miss the whole concept of His grace.
This is what keeps us from experiencing the power of God in the church today. If I think like a child – that if I just work harder to be worthy, then I’ve lost it at the start. If I let sin go unrepentant and refuse intimacy with God then I short circuit the power.
The centurion saw how the power of God worked in the life of Jesus.
“For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
This centurion was commended for his concept of this truth.
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
It’s time for us to understand that it’s not my ability to be good that gets me anything. It’s God’s grace working in me that allows me to manifest the power of God. The Lord works perfectly through imperfect people.
Question: What’s the role of good works in the life of the believer?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi