Unworthy to be Accepted, Justified and Saved by Christ?

I’ve been reading Edward Fisher’s The Marrow of Modern Divinity and came across this gem.  I come across many who see themselves as unworthy of salvation.  And while, of course, all of us are indeed unworthy of salvation, we are equally remiss when we respond to the gospel with despair instead of trust.

This conversation between Neophytus and Evangelista is a spot on response to those who worry that Christ would never save them.


Neophytus: Indeed, sir, if I were so holy and so righteous as some men are, and had such power over my sins and corruptions as some men have, then I could easily believe it; but alas! I am so sinful and so unworthy a wretch, that I dare not presume to believe that Christ will accept of me, so as to justify and save me.

Evangelista: Alas! man, in thus saying, you seem to contradict and gainsay both the apostle Paul, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself; and that against your own soul: for whereas the apostle Paul says, ‘that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ (1 Tim. 1:15), and doth justify the ungodly (Rom. 4:5), why, you seem to hold, and do in effect say, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save the righteous, and to justify the godly.  And whereas our Saviour says, the whole need not a physician but the sick; and that he came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance (Matt. 9:12); why, you seem to hold, and do in effect say, that the sick need not a physician, but the whole: and that he came not to call sinners, but the righteous to repentance.  And indeed, in so saying, you seem to conceive, that Christ’s spouse must be purified, washed, and cleansed from all her filthiness, and adorned with a rich robe of righteousness, before he will accept of her; whereas he himself said unto her, ‘As for thy nativity, in the day that thou wast born, thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed with water to supple thee; thou wast not swaddled at all, nor salted at all.  No eye pitied thee to do any of these things unto thee; but when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold thy time was a time of love.  And I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness; yea, and I sware unto thee, and entered into covenant with thee, and thou becamest mine’ (Ezek. 16:4-8). ‘And I will marry thee unto me for ever; yea, I will marry thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in mercy, and compassion’ (Hos. 2:19).

Wherefore, I beseech you, revoke this your erroneous opinion, and contradict the word of truth no longer; but conclude for a certainty, that it is not the righteous and godly man, but the sinful and ungodly man, that Christ came to call, justify, and save: so that if you were a righteous and godly man, you were neither capable of calling, justifying, or saving by Christ; but being a sinful and ungodly man, I will be bold to say unto you as the people said unto blind Bartimaeus, ‘Be of good comfort; arise, he calleth thee’ (Mark 10:49) and will justify and save thee.

(The Marrow of Modern Divinity, Pgs. 148-49)

Andrew Compton
Lakewood, CA

1 thought on “Unworthy to be Accepted, Justified and Saved by Christ?”

  1. The Marrow of Modern Divinity has been a favorite of mine for over 20 years! It is like reading Systematic Theology in story-form. To this day, when I am tempted to doubt that Christ died for such a worm as I, I remember that He came to call sinners unto Himself, and this definately qualifies me! Great blog, Andrew. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.


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