How to Live | Lesson 6, Part 2

Greetings MOL Family!

As we were studying in last week’s lesson, what did the Jewish elders say of the centurion? “He is worthy.” But what did the centurion say of himself? “I’m not worthy.” Well, now, which was he? Was he worthy, or wasn’t he?

 


By His Mercy

 

But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. – Titus 3:4-5

He did what according to that 5th verse? He saved us. And how does it say He didn’t do it? Not by works of righteousness which we have done. But instead, how did He do it? — By His mercy.

Now, the Jewish elders they said of the centurion, “He is worthy.” But he said of himself what? “I’m not worthy.”

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us… – Titus 3:5

According to His mercy. Now take your Ministry of Healing and we’ll read some wonderful comments on this, page 65. You notice the text we read last week from Matthew is at the top of the page:

‘…as thou hast believed,’ Christ said, ‘so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.’ – Matthew 8:13

 

The Jewish elders had commended the centurion to Christ because of the favor he had shown to ‘our nation.’ ‘He is worthy,’ they said, ‘for he hath built us a synagogue.’ But the centurion said of himself [What?] ‘I am not worthy.’ Yet [Watch!] he did not fear to ask help from Jesus. Not to his own goodness did he trust, but to the Saviour’s mercy. His only argument was [What?] his great need. – Ministry of Healing, pg. 65 {The Wisdom of the Great Physician, pg. 19}

Do you have a need? Don’t you wish you were worthy so you could get some help? Are you worthy? No, you’re not worthy. If you wait to get some help till you’re worthy, you’ll never get it. You’ll never get it in all the world. The centurion said of himself what? “I am not worthy.” Would that be a good thing for us to say? Would it be the truth? Would anything else be the truth? No. “I’m not worthy.”

What does it mean to be worthy? — To deserve something. If I were to go to a bookstore and give them $5.00 for a book and they’ve got the $5.00, I’m worthy to get the book, right? I deserve it. It’s mine. But if I don’t have any money then I’m not worthy. I don’t deserve it, do I?

…the centurion said of himself, ‘I am not worthy’. – Ibid

Is there anybody else that is not worthy? Is there anybody that is worthy? Now, I want to tell you something. Unless you get hold of the lesson we’re studying today, one of two things will happen. You will either try to make yourself believe that you’re making it, getting somewhere, or else you’ll get utterly discouraged, one of the two. And either one is a mistake.

…the centurion said, ‘I am not worthy.’ Yet he did not fear to ask help from Jesus. – Ibid

How could that be? He wasn’t worthy. He knew He wasn’t worthy and yet he didn’t fear to ask help from Christ. He was counting on God’s mercy, wasn’t he?

Not to his own goodness did he trust, but to the Saviour’s mercy. His only argument was his great need. – Ibid

 


His Great Need

 

Do you have a great need? Jesus gave Simon that parable of the two debtors. Neither one of them had anything to pay. One of them owed ten times as much as the other. The creditor forgave them both when they had nothing to pay. Jesus said, “Which one do you suppose would love him the most?” Remember what Simon said, “The one to whom most was forgiven.” Jesus said, “That’s right.”

Do you see, dear friends, the more unworthy you are the more help you can have from Jesus. What are the degrees of worthiness? They are degrees of unworthiness. There are no degrees of worthiness. That thief on the cross, that murderer, that rebel that died on the cross considered himself most unworthy. And he was. Wouldn’t you think so? The apostle Paul said:

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. – 1 Timothy 1:15

Now look at this next wonderful sentence in the new paragraph.

In the same way every human being can come to Christ. – Ministry of Healing, pg. 65 {The Wisdom of the Great Physician, pg. 19}

How can you come? — In the same way. How can the man you are working with to try to win to Christ come? — In the same way. This is the way the centurion came. This is the way the repentant thief came. This is the way Paul came. This is the way you can come. This is the way every human being can come. Let’s read that sentence again and then read on:

In the same way every human being can come to Christ. ‘Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.’ Do you feel that because you are a sinner, you cannot hope to receive blessing from God? Remember that Christ came into the world to save sinners. We have nothing to recommend us to God… – Ibid

How much have you got to recommend? How much is there? Nothing, zero. Now if I can get someone to come with me, what have they got? — Zero. Well, we’re a little better of now aren’t we? We can just keep on going here. We have what? — Nothing to recommend us to God. Do you believe it?

…the plea that we may urge now… – Ibid

What are the next two words? — And ever. We may have read this dozens of times, but we have a new look at this today; those two words — And ever.

…the plea that we may urge now and ever is our utterly helpless condition, which makes His redeeming power a necessity. – Ibid

You know the devil’s got a lot of temptations. The person that has never come to Christ, he tries to tempt him to believe, “Well, Jesus won’t pay any attention to you. You’ve just done so many wicked, bad things. There’s no use coming.”

But now he has a different temptation for most of us. His temptation is this. And notice how nice the devil is. He says, “Sure, Jesus accepted you and forgave you when you came to Him. Sure He did. But the trouble with you is that you just keep doing the same thing over and over. And He’s tired of that.” You see the devil is trying to get you to do what? — To doubt God’s mercy. He’s trying to make you think that God would forgive you provided you’d walk straight from then on.

But somebody says, “Do you mean people can just go to God and get forgiven and go sin again, and come and get forgiven and go sin again, and just keep right on and on, and on?”

No, that isn’t exactly what I’m trying to get at. But I’ll tell you the cure for that, and don’t miss this! Sinning and repenting, sinning and repenting is not getting scared that we’ve about run out of mercy from God. That isn’t the cure for it at all.

Let’s study a little further, here. Let’s start reading again:

We have nothing to recommend us to God. The plea that we may urge now and ever is our utterly helpless condition, which makes His redeeming power a necessity. Renouncing all self-dependence, we may look to the cross of Calvary and say, ‘In my hand no price I bring; Simply to Thy cross I cling’. – Ibid

Do you know what song comes to mind? — Rock of Ages:

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow?
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
In my hand no price I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;

I want to tell you something, friends. This is studying how to live, this class is. And the way we live is looking to the cross, look and live.

Now in this class, and in our other classes, we’ll be learning many things that we are to do. We need to drink water every day and if we don’t we’ll suffer for it. We need water. This brain you’re thinking with is 83% water. We need to breathe deep. Every cell in the body needs oxygen. We need to eat proper food at proper times. We need to get enough sleep. We need to get enough exercise. We need to get rest. We need to take time to pray, time to be with nature, time to study the Word of God. We have our work to do and studies. It’s quite a program, isn’t it?

But I want to tell you something, friends. Don’t miss this! It is not the grade you give yourself on how you’re getting along with all that, that should be the basis for your courage and cheer. No, no. Come to Jesus today, and tomorrow, and the next day, every day just as you are. And the more you study the great program that God has given, the more you’ll sense you come short of it.

But the centurion came and said what? “I am not worthy.” But did he still expect some help? Do you know why? He needed it. Do you need it? The more unworthy you are, the more you need it. The more short you seem to yourself to come to the standard, the more you need Jesus’ help, and the more His heart of love goes out to you. Jesus isn’t just looking for children that can get out of the cradle and start running and never fall down. Of course, that’s all right. But most of us, when we’re taking steps out of the cradle we do what? We fall.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not teaching you that you have to fall. But I’m just teaching you that when you fall, you’re not to feel that God is going to cut you off, kick you out and if you do come back then He’s going to keep you in the dog house until you prove you can do better. No, no. What did we read there in Titus that is quoted on this page? Look at that verse again:

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to [What?] his mercy he saved us. – Titus 3:5

And this, so far from discouraging us from doing all these good things, has just the opposite effect. We’ll be so glad to drink our water, and get our sleep, and study our Bible, and pray and exercise, why? Not only to please Him, but because we understand that this is the way we can be stronger physically, mentally, and spiritually. But watch it! We do not grade our acceptance with God according to how we think we’re making it on all these physical, mental, and spiritual habits. No, no. We are accepted in the beloved.

Suppose, here’s a mother, she’s going to teach her little girl how to play the piano. Might the little girl hit some wrong keys? Wouldn’t it be too bad if she thought, “You know, if I could ever learn this piece so I never hit the wrong key I’m sure mother would love me. But I tell you, I don’t know whether I’m going to make it or not.”

Suppose she would lie awake at night, just lie there awake, the little child and “Oh, I wish I’d hit the right key every time today because then mother would love me. But I don’t know. Mother’s disappointed and I don’t know whether she’s going to give me breakfast in the morning or not.” Wouldn’t that be too bad?

Ah, my dear ones, never think that your worthiness is the basis of your acceptance. Never think that. What did the centurion say? “I am not worthy.” Did he tell the truth? Yes, he did friends. You’d better tell the truth.

In some places, there are what you call, “Charity Hospitals.” Do you know what kind of people get in there? — People that don’t have any money. Suppose a man comes and he comes in the business office and says, “I want a room here. I can pay $50 a day.” Do you know what they’d say to him? — “You go to one of the other hospitals.” “Oh, but I want to come in here.”

Do you know the way to get in there? Prove you don’t have a nickel, then you can get in. God is running a charity hospital in this world.

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. – Titus 3:5

Let’s get in on the basis He has made possible. What do you say?


Heavenly Father, I have a great longing today that everyone shall sense how simple it is to come to Jesus, not merely the first time, but every time, every day. In our hands no price we bring, simply to Thy cross we cling.

Oh, Thou who died for us, Thou who doest live for us, Thou who doest plead for us, make us conscious this moment of how great Thy love is for us. May we not be on some strain to get all these things done that Thou hast told us to do. They’re all good things. We need to do all of them, Lord. By Thy grace, Thou art going to help us to do all of them. But Lord we’re not going to hold our breath till our record looks good to us.

This moment we hang our helpless souls on Thee. This moment as we surrender all, we believe that Thou doest accept us. We thank Thee that we’re loved, that we’re accepted and treated just as if we had always been good. Oh, what love, what wondrous love! We thank Thee in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Until next week – Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then… 

Continue on to the next study–

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Because of the love and mercy of God, we are saved. Like the centurion, we too may understand that this is our greatest and most urgent need.  >> Learn More

 

 

 


 

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*This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.