Am I STILL a worm?

‘Cause I am a sinner and You are the Savior… so,
I want to make much of You, Jesus.  I want to make much of Your love.
I want to live today to give you the praise that You alone are so worthy of.
I want to make much of your mercy, I want to make much of Your cross.
I give You my life, take it and let it be used to make much of You!

I remember a gospel song from several years ago that had the line “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.” Some people were offended by that line, saying that we are not JUST sinners. If we have experienced God’s grace, we are sanctified, righteous, pure. They would say that we shouldn’t refer to ourselves as present sinners.
I think back to that old hymn At the Cross. Now, I’m not endorsing this old hymn in whole – one line says “and now I am happy all the day” which I find somewhat too simplified. But anyway, one verse says it this way: Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I? So unpopular (and some even think unbiblical) that it was later changed in most Baptist hymnals to “sinners” or even less degrading – “such a one”. By the way, I still sing it “worm”, so you can probably tell where this blog is going. 🙂
I recently read an article in which the writer states: “Worm Theology is a term used for a system of belief within Christianity (often found in Reformed and/or Calvinism circles) that a feeling of worthlessness and expression of low self esteem means God is more likely to show mercy and compassion. This thinking was prevalent …, as it was believed that we were all as ‘worms’ in the dirt and despair of our sin. Worm Theology is false humility and is morbid. It is also a false doctrine.”
In the Bible, there’s Job 25:6 and Pm 22:6 that refers to sinful/human man as a worm. (Maybe some others.)
 
So I’m gonna stir the pot a little today 🙂 … should I refer to myself, now in Christ, as a worm? What did Paul mean when he told Timothy that Christ came into the world for sinners “of whom I am the worst”? In the original Greek the word “am” is in the present tense, so he does indeed mean “am” and not “was”. But, he could be referring to the fact that when he was a sinner, he was the worst. He does go on to say that he “was” shown mercy as the worst of sinners. But I’m still not convinced that he doesn’t mean “am” when he says “am”. 🙂 So here goes.
 
As a follower of the risen Christ am I redeemed? righteous? forgiven? Yes!
Am I just a sinner saved by grace? I say Yes!
 
The same Paul also said “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”
 
It is true that He HAS saved us and therefore we are, as Paul said, “a slave to God’s law.” (Eph. 2:8) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God…  But it is also true that He IS saving us. (2 Cor. 4:16) Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
 
SCC sings “I am a sinner, and You are the Savior. I want to make much of You, Jesus.”
I just wonder, will I make as much of Jesus as I should if I think of myself as no longer a worm. I understand that people would say that I am no longer a worm because of Jesus’ blood and sacrifice. He has forgiven me. But if I am no longer a worm, a sinner, why do I sin? Which bring us to that age old question: Am I sinner because I sin or do I sin because I am a sinner? Once again, the answer is YES! 🙂
I have concluded (for now, anyway) that I am a worm. I am just a sinner saved by grace. But I also was a worm and I was a sinner, needing God’s grace.
 
I want to make much of Jesus. I want to make much of His love and mercy. He alone is worthy and I give Him all the glory. Nothing I’ve done or ever could do will make me worthy of His sacrifice and death on the cross.
I’m so thankful for His grace in my life. That amazing grace that saved a wretch and a worm like me! I do not view myself as “wormly”, to portray or burden myself with some sort of false humility. The truth is that I was in the dirt and despair of sin. And I still am. What I want to do, I don’t. What I don’t want to do, I do.
One day I will be rescued from this double life. 🙂 The worm in me will be totally transformed into the butterfly God has planned for me to be. But it isn’t going to happen until I’m glorified with Christ. So for now, the worm struggles to be free of this cocoon of humanity that I’m wrapped in. Through His strength and power, this struggle gradually frees me more and more from the bondage of sin and is also what is sanctifying me daily to that ultimate, and one day permanent, glorification.
Whew! 🙂

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