You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
– Romans 5:6-8
“It is idle to say men are of equal value. If value is taken in a worldly sense – if we mean that all men are equally useful or beautiful or good or entertaining – then it is nonsense. If it means that all are of equal value as immortal souls then I think it conceals a dangerous error. The equal value of each human soul is not a Christian doctrine. God did not die for man because of some value He perceived in him. The value of each human soul considered simply in itself, out of relation to God, is zero. As St. Paul writes, to have died for valuable men would have been not divine but merely heroic; God died for sinners. He loved us not because we are lovable, but because He is love. It may be that He loves all equally – He certainly loved all to the death – and I am not certain what the expression means. If there is equality it is in His love, not in us.”
– C. S. Lewis, ‘Membership’
If C. S. Lewis were around, I feel that I would agree to disagree with him.
I agree that there is equality in God’s love for us and that we are sinners. Even if you take Lewis’ premise that our value is zero, since we are sinners in this world compared to the holy ‘other’ world, then we are all on equal ground, all at zero. I agree, in God’s realm, outside time and space, where everything is pure and untouched by sin, we are indeed equal value in that world. His penultimate statement in this quote is repeated in other Lewis works, at least in concept. “He loved us not because we are lovable, but because He is love.”
In The Screwtape Letters (a Lewis book about a fictional demon), Screwtape talks about how the Enemy (God) seems to be irrational in his love for these worthless bipeds. That, to me, seems to indicate that we are of some worth. Not of ourselves, but to God. Why would He place this cosmic dance of stars, planets, and humans into motion so many years ago, if there was not some purpose in it?
We have worth, but only in our devotion, love, and praise for our heavenly Father.
In the old Indiana Jones movie, I am reminded of a quoted quote – “You chose wisely.”
God could make any number of creatures who would bow down and praise Him, but in humans, a fallen species, He loves us, and He died to save those who are willing (yet, sometimes reluctantly, as Lewis admitted) to call upon Him as their Lord and Savior.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.