“ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED”
The apostle Paul, writing by divine inspiration, tells us that God almighty has from all eternity, chosen, predestinated, adopted and blessed us in Christ - “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” With those words the Holy Spirit reveals and declares to us one of the most comforting and delightful truths of Holy Scripture, and that is the fact that there is an everlasting, indissolvable, immutable union between the Lord Jesus Christ and his people.
I cannot think of a theme more delightful to my soul. Our everlasting union with Christ is the source and spring of all the blessings and benefits of grace which we enjoy in this world and hope to enjoy in the world to come. Read the first chapter of Ephesian again carefully. The Holy Spirit very specifically states that everything is in Christ. In the first fourteen verses of the chapter he uses the words “in Christ,” or their equivalent, fourteen times. He means for us to understand that all the blessings and benefits of God’s covenant grace are ours only by virtue of our union with Christ. In Christ is love, mercy, grace, pardon, forgiveness, and eternal life. Outside Christ there is nothing but wrath, judgment, death, curse, and everlasting condemnation.
Our acceptance in Christ is spoken of as something accomplished by the Lord God himself from eternity. It is not something accomplished by us in time. Because it is something done by God and done by God from eternity, it cannot in any way be dependent upon us (Eccles. 3:14). Our acceptance in the Beloved was not caused by something in us or done by us; and it cannot be altered by anything in us or done by us, either good or evil. Because it is a work of grace finished from eternity, it cannot be changed. We did not cease to be accepted when we sinned in our father Adam, when we came forth from the womb speaking lies, or when we lived all the days of our rebellion with our fists in the very face of God. Having been saved by God’s free grace in Christ, our acceptance has neither increased nor diminished. Our acceptance is, as they say, “a done deal.” When we sin, God may hide his face from us and chasten us; but he does not love or accept us any the less. The Scripture does not say, “He hath made us acceptable in the beloved,” but “He hath made us accepted in the beloved.” There is therefore no possibility that God’s elect shall by some means be made unaccepted, not even in the slightest degree.
Let men hoot and holler all they want to about man’s part in salvation, man’s will, man’s work, and man’s contribution, the Holy Spirit declares, “He,” God the Father, “hath made,” from all eternity, before the foundation of the world, “us,” you and me, vile, base, hell-bent, hell-deserving sinners by nature, but chosen, redeemed, and called by his grace, “accepted,” highly favored, honored, pleasing, and delightful to God himself, “in the Beloved,” the Lord Jesus Christ, his dear Son, our Savior.
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #655
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 606-236-8235 - Email firstname.lastname@example.org