Are we worthless without Christ?

As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
–Romans 3:10-12

One of my friends and I were talking one day, and he asserted that without Christ, we are worthless. The Scripture above was what he brought to my attention. Okay. Let’s start there.

In the KJV, the word is unprofitable. According to the Greek Lexicon, it means “make useless, render unserviceable of character.”
The passage itself quotes the following Psalm 14:1-3:
“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

To start with, have all turned away? Is there no one who does good? The Psalm explicity says that ALL have turned aside, thus implying that no one seeks God. Is that true?
The Psalm also gives a condition: Those who say there is no God. This condition is missing from the quotation in Romans.
Interestingly, the idea of worthless/unprofitable is not found in the Psalm being quoted. Instead, the word is corrupt/filthy, which in the Hebrew Lexicon is “to be corrupt morally, tainted.”

I contend that people, by being creating in the image of God, have intrinsic worth and value. God dying for the world (John 3:16), God loving us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8), means that people, all people, have to be worth SOMETHING, don’t they?

Now, whether our actions are worthwhile without Christ, that’s a good question. As far as I’m concerned, people can be capable of acts of love, charity, good, and beauty without Christ. I can see that. Are those things valuable in God’s eyes? Certainly those things don’t justify us in His sight. How much ‘use’ are we without knowing Christ? Are we useful? A case could be made that we are not. But are we, as human beings, valuable? Of course.

People wouldn’t be worth loving and redeeming if they were worthless, would they?

6 thoughts on “Are we worthless without Christ?”

  1. Joseph says:

    I disagree we are worthless without Christ. And the reason G-D chooses to redeem us is all for his glory. And that’s how it should be. What G-D does is gets something worthless and gives it value. This to prove to all that he alone is worthy. He alone is worthy of worship and praise. Our rightesnous is filthy rags ( woman menstrual rag in Hebrew) Isaiah 64:6
    praise Jesus for his mercy and free gift of salvation!!!

  2. Joseph says:

    What all humanity And that includes me, deserves is the wrath of almighty G-D.
    But by his grace, we have a chance of redemption. If we repent and turn to Jesus. We are a image of G-D, knowing good from wrong, but not a exact image of him, G-D is perfect, sinless, omnipresent, omnicsient and omnipotent. So in all respect I disagree with this thread.

  3. Seth Daire says:

    Thanks for your comments Joseph. I agree that God alone is worthy of worship and praise, that our righteousness is filthy rags, and that we deserve the wrath of God. I also agree we are not the exact image of God. All that said, by being created by God, I contend that we have intrinsic worth. We are fallen, and aren’t good enough to be holy without Christ’s righteousness, but we have some worth.

  4. Scott says:

    I agree with you Joseph. For us to say that we posses some sort of worth prior to our salvation simply states that Christ adds to our preexisting worth. No other eternal attribute that I know of does Christ’s death enhance. Because what worth is something dead? Christ through His sacrifice defined my worth not added to it. He is all and all. If we fail to possess who He is we fail to possess all of who He is. And He is worth just as much as He is love, grace, mercy, holiness and the big long list of stuff He is after that last comma. 🙂

  5. Seth Daire says:

    Thanks for your comments. Since Jesus is also creator, all worth comes from God. Creation has worth because God created it. God is both creator and redeemer. Without Christ, we are corrupt and fallen. We are rebels. I haven’t seen a Biblical explanation of how ‘the fall’ removes all value from creation, though that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. It might also depend how we are defining worth. Whatever intrinsic worth we have from being created in God’s image does not make us good or righteous or worthy, but in Christ, we are adopted into his family. It’s a change in our relational status. We go from rebels to sons and daughters. If creation is fallen, does that make creation worthless? Are the sun and mountains and streamless worthless? Or does a concept of worthlessness only apply to fallen humans? Any thoughts?

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