Tim Keller

When Jesus invites Peter to follow him, he’s not just saying, ‘Would you like to sign up for a few courses with me?’ He wants him to live with him. He wants him to be his family. Therefore, when the salvation of Jesus Christ comes into your life, you see yourself as more wicked and sinful than you ever dared believe, and yet you sense you’re more valued and loved and affirmed than you ever dared hope at the same time.

That is a mark, infinitely greater self-worth, infinitely greater realism about your flaws at once, which is the selfquake, which is the unique self-image, which is the transformation of identity that happens to anyone into whose life this salvation comes. I say it every so often, but it has been a while so I’ll say it again. If you were saved by works, if you go to heaven through your performance, then you might be bold but not humble when you’re living up or you’ll be humble but not bold and confident when you’re failing, but you can never be bold and humble at once.

If you are more wicked than you ever dared believe and you’re more loved and affirmed than you ever dared hope at the same time because your relationship with God through Jesus Christ is based completely and sheerly on his grace, on his call, then it means you can’t be into either superiority or inferiority at all, because at the same moment you have infinite self-worth from his affirmation and you have infinite realism about your sin.

You can’t get an inferiority or superiority. There is a boldness and a humility about you at once. It is absolutely different.

– Tim Keller

Words found in Tim Keller’s 2003 Sermon, “The Message of Jesus”