Ephesians 1:6: To the praise of the glory of His grace wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED – “Are there grander words in any language than these four? There seems to be a sacred poem in these words. To my heart, there is more heavenly music in those four words than in any oratorio I ever heard” (C H Spurgeon). O, the joy of knowing we are forever ACCEPTED by the Most High God! Wondrous declaration! Blessed state! The moment we repent and believe in Christ, God makes us completely, fully ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED, His beloved Son with Whom He is well pleased (Mt 3:17). And because we are in Him, O amazing grace, God is also well pleased with us! Webster says that to ACCEPT means to receive willingly, to regard with approval, to value, to esteem, to take pleasure in or to receive with favor. And so in Ephesians 1:6KJV Paul is saying in essence that the Father has ACCEPTED us willingly, with approval, with value, with esteem, with delight, not because we have in any way merited His approval, but because His Beloved paid the price in full for our approval (Jn 19:30). This glorious truth became our present reality the moment we were “justified (declared righteous) as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus,” His Beloved Son (Ro 3:24). At that moment we were transferred from our former position in Adam, to our new, eternal position in Christ, the Beloved, in Whom we are unconditionally ACCEPTED by the Father (cf 2Cor 5:17, 1Cor 15:22, Col 1:13). O glorious truth, that while we could never stand accepted before God outside of Christ, the moment we stand clothed in His righteousness, we can never be “unaccepted” by our Father! Dear child of God, do you believe “how great a love the Father has bestowed on” you (1Jn 3:1), so that now in the Beloved you are so near and dear to His heart that He also calls you His “BELOVED”? (Ro 1:7, 1Th 1:4) Do you believe that the Father loves you with the same love with which He loves His BELOVED? (Read Jn 17:23) Selah! (Pause and ponder your privileged position – cf Song 2:16). Or do you think you are less accepted by Him because you have strayed into sin or that you are more accepted because of your good behavior or “good works”? While our sins do disrupt our fellowship and communion with God (and call forth His Fatherly discipline, Heb 12:5-11), they do not disrupt our union with His Son, in Whom we are immutably, eternally ACCEPTED. So this begs the question Spurgeon once posed to his congregation “Can you put your hand upon our heart, and say, “I may not be accepted by my fellow-creatures, I may not be acknowledged by them; and, certainly, before my God, I can never be accepted in myself; but in the Beloved, clothed with His righteousness, and standing in His Person, as a member of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones, I am ‘ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED’?”
As one brave saint presented the Gospel to a precious soul, she responded by saying she had tried her best to please God, but added “I’m afraid God will never accept me.” The faithful witness replied “I agree with you. He never will,” which prompted a look of astonishment on the woman’s face at his seemingly harsh pronouncement! The saint went on to explain “No, He never will. BUT GOD (O those precious words “But God”, Eph 2:4,5) has accepted His Son, and if you accept Him by faith, you will find God’s acceptance which you desire!” Many people have been deceived into thinking they must somehow earn acceptance in the eyes of God. The message is simple – God accepts all who accept His Son by grace through faith! “In the Beloved accepted am I, Risen, ascended, and seated on high; Saved from all sin thro’ His infinite grace, With the redeemed ones accorded a place!” (Martin) Hallelujah!
All heaven declares “Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain” (Rev 5:12). The Worthy One becomes our worth when we enter the New Covenant in His blood (Lk 22:20), a covenant which is solemn and binding and by which we become one with Him, entering into an unbreakable union, a perfect oneness and a complete identification with the Beloved Son of God (Gal 2:20, Col 1:27b, Jn 17:21 ). Let us not wrestle with doubts of our our worth before God. We are worthy, because by grace through faith we are in covenant with Christ Jesus, the Worthy One (cf 2Cor 11:2). Beloved, may this truth sink deeply into our souls, freeing us from our need to seek acceptance from God and men based upon our works, and instead resting in the eternal truth of the finished work and worth of Christ that has made us accepted in the Beloved so that we are no longer under condemnation (Ro 8:1) and nothing can “separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ro 8:39) No condemnation…No separation…in the Beloved! May this great truth motivate us to Spirit filled, Christ exalting, God glorifying righteous, holy lives, knowing that whatever we do, it is because “Christ’s love controls us.” (2Cor 5:13-14NLT, cf Col 3:23, 24, Rev 19:7,8).
So let me ask you again dearly “BELOVED of God” (Ro 1:7), how is your spiritual state? How do you feel about your standing before God? Whatever your state, may God’s Spirit enlighten “the eyes of your heart, so that you may know what is the hope (absolute assurance that God will do good to us in the future) of His calling and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Eph 1:18), especially what are the riches of the truth that regardless of your present state, your eternal standing is forever “accepted in the Beloved.” (Eph 1:6KJV). The verb ACCEPTED (charitoo) is derived from the word for grace (charis) and so could be read more literally “God has be-graced us with His grace in the Beloved.” We are veritable trophies of divine grace! As Puritan Thomas Brooks said “God has made us His favorites. God has ingratiated us. He has made us gracious in the Son of His love. Through the blood of Christ, we are lovely and beautiful in God’s eyes.” “What a healing balm is there in this truth, for a weary, heavy-laden sinner!” (H. Vicars) And Spurgeon reminds us that “accepted in the Beloved” is a “precious doctrine. We are beloved of God (1Jn 3:1). He has great pleasure toward us. He takes a delight in us (cf Zeph 3:17). We are acceptable in His sight. Oh, what a blessing this is! But remember that it is all IN CHRIST. Because Christ is accepted, therefore those who are in Him are accepted.” Jesus was FORSAKEN by the Father (Mt 27:46), that we might be ACCEPTED in the Son or as a modern hymn puts it “I’m forgiven, because You were forsaken. I’m accepted, You were condemned. I’m alive and well, Your Spirit is within me.” (Amazing Love)
Therefore Octavius Winslow encourages us “Behold your present standing, believer in Christ! Turn your eye away from all your failures, your disobedience, the flaws and imperfections that mark your sincere endeavors to serve Christ and to glorify God and see where your true acceptance is found, even in the Beloved of the Father, “The Lord our Righteousness (Jer 23:6b).” “Accepted in the Beloved,” is the record that will raise you above all the fears and despondencies arising from your shortcomings and failures and fill you with peace, and joy, and assurance.”
Indeed as Spurgeon explains “ACCEPTED signifies that we are the objects of divine satisfaction, nay, even of divine delight. How marvelous that we, worms, mortals, sinners, should be the objects of divine love! Let this bell ring (Accepted in the Beloved), for therein is a depth of silver sweetness which will make the sanctified ear and heart glad with the fullness of joy. We are today ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED, today absolved from sin, today innocent in the sight of God. Oh, ravishing, soul-transporting thought! Some clusters of this vine we will not be able to gather until we go to heaven, but this is one of the first ripe clusters, and may be plucked and eaten here. This is not as the corn on the land, which we can never eat until we cross the Jordan. Rather, this is part of the manna in the wilderness and part, too, of our daily raiment with which God supplies us in our journeying here.” In explaining our acceptance, H A Ironside says that “the saved sinner does not stand before God in any righteousness of his own, that he does not plead any merit of his own before the divine throne, but that through grace he has been received to the very heart of God. Not merely forgiven, not merely justified, not merely washed from his sins or cleansed from his defilement, but received in loving-kindness to the VERY HEART OF GOD according to the Father’s estimate of His own BELOVED SON.” Hallelujah!
Ironside goes on give us a beautiful illustration of our acceptance in the Beloved: “Years ago I was preaching in the small town of Roosevelt, Washington. I was the guest of friends who were sheep-raisers. It was lambing time and every morning we went out to see the lambs—hundreds of them—playing about on the green. One morning I was startled to see an old ewe go loping across the road, followed by the strangest looking lamb I had ever beheld. It apparently had six legs, and the last two were hanging helplessly as though paralyzed, and the skin seemed to be partially torn from its body in a way that made me feel the poor little creature must be suffering terribly. But when one of the herders caught the lamb and brought it over to me, the mystery was explained. That lamb did not really belong originally to that ewe. She had a lamb which was bitten by a rattlesnake and died. This lamb that I saw was an orphan and needed a mother’s care. But at first the bereft ewe refused to have anything to do with it. She sniffed at it when it was brought to her, then pushed it away, saying as plainly as a sheep could say it, “That is not our family odor!” So the herders skinned the lamb that had died and very carefully drew the fleece over the living lamb. This left the hind-leg coverings dragging loose. Thus covered, the lamb was brought again to the ewe. She smelled it once more and this time seemed thoroughly satisfied and adopted it as her own. It seemed to me to be a beautiful picture of the grace of God to sinners. We are all outcasts and have no claim upon His love. But God’s own Son, the “Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the World,” (Jn 1:29) has died for us and now we who believe are dressed up in the fleece of the Lamb Who died (cf Isa 61:10). Thus, GOD HAS ACCEPTED US IN HIM, and “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Ro 8:1) We are as dear to the heart of the Father as His own holy, spotless Son.”
“Near, so very near to God, Nearer I could not be; For in the Person of His Son, I’m just as near as He. Dear, so very dear to God, Dearer I could not be; For in the person of His Son, I’m just as dear as He.” Glory!
We are now and forever the “beloved of God” because we have been “accepted in the Beloved.” Praise the Lord. Let me encourage you be still and know that He is God (Ps 46:10) and listen to the the words of the beautiful song “My Beloved” as if they are sung to your heart from the heart of your Father, for you are forever His beloved in His BELOVED. Amen
God see us as God sees Him. And, God’s name for His own dear children is His special people, and we are beloved.
Alan Carr – We used to be on God’s hit list, so to speak, but now, we are on His list of favorites! This means that God is literally pleased with us! A lot of Christians waste a lot of time trying to do what Jesus did when He died on the cross – please the Father! (⇒ The Father is pleased with me, because I wear the righteousness of Christ. What a blessing!)
As Spurgeon said “Some Christians seem to be accepted in their own experience. When their spirit is lively, and their hopes bright, they think God accepts them, for they feel so heavenly-minded, so drawn above the earth! But when their souls cleave to the dust, they are the victims of the fear that they are no longer accepted. If they could but see that all their high joys do not exalt them, and all their low despondencies do not depress them in their Father’s sight, but that they STAND ACCEPTED in One Who never alters, in One Who is always the Beloved of God, always perfect, always without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, how much more joyful they would be, and how much more they would honor the Saviour! Rejoice then, believer, in this: You are accepted “in the beloved.” You look within, and you say “There is nothing acceptable here!” But look at Christ, and see if there is not everything acceptable there. Your sins trouble you; but God has cast your sins behind His back (Micah 7:19), and you are accepted in the Righteous One. You have had to fight with corruption, and to wrestle with temptation, but you are already accepted in Him Who has overcome the powers of evil. The devil tempts You. Be of good cheer, for he cannot destroy you, for you are accepted in Him Who has bruised Satan’s head (Ge 3:15). Know by full assurance your glorious standing. Even glorified souls are not more accepted than you are. They are only accepted in heaven “in the BELOVED,” and you are even now accepted in Christ after the same manner.”
Ephesians 1:6KJV says our ACCEPTANCE is “To the praise of the glory of His grace.” “What a wonderful expression this is,—not only “the glory of His grace,” but the praise of that glory! God has done all things with a view to magnifying His grace in the hearts of the sons and daughters of men. Accepted in the Beloved.” Oh, what honey this is in the mouth, what cheer this is in the heart! Are all of you, dear friends, “accepted in the Beloved”? (CHS) Grace is God’s acceptance of me. Faith is my acceptance of God’s acceptance of me. God accepts me in the Lord Jesus Christ. Now the Father sees every saint in His Son, clothed in His righteousness and recipient of the same love with which He loves His own Son! (Cp Jesus’ words that the Father “loved them even as” He loved His Beloved Son – Jn 17:23). Jesus is the object of the Father’s love and because we are in Christ, we too are the objects of the Father’s unconditional love. Amazing grace indeed! And absolutely nothing can “separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ro 8:39)
“The BELOVED” of course is Jesus of Whom the Father said “This is my BELOVED SON in Whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17;17:5). Indeed, “He is Beloved in all His offices to us, Beloved in all His characters, Beloved in the manger, Beloved in the shame and spitting, Beloved on the tree, Beloved on the throne. We cannot think of Him without our heart beginning to beat high and fast.” (CHS)
Precious indeed is the truth that God “HATH MADE” the child of God accepted, that redeeming grace has so answered every judgment our sin deserved, and so fully satisfied every stroke divine justice demanded through the merit of Another, so that now the Father sees every saint in the standing of His Son, clothed in His righteousness and recipient of the same love with which He loves His own Son! (Cp Jesus’ words that the Father “loved them even as” He loved His Beloved Son – Jn 17:23). We are accepted in the Beloved and are objects of God’s highest plans and tenderest love, the same love with which He loves His Beloved Son! In Jesus’ prayer He prays that believers “may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst LOVE THEM, even as Thou didst LOVE ME. (John 17:23) Jesus is the object of the Father’s love and because we are in Christ, we too are the objects of the Father’s tender love. Amazing grace indeed! And nothing can “separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ro 8:39) It is therefore only fitting that such a measureless accomplishment should redound “to the praise of the glory of His grace”!
Would it comfort us to think the Father loved us, and was well pleased with us? If we believe in Jesus—he does love us, and is well pleased with us for his sake! All believers are “accepted in the beloved!” What sweet words are those! They have sustained the people of God in a dying hour. How could any man bear the thought of entering God’s presence, were it not for the assurance that the Father will receive him in the name of his own beloved Son
Spurgeon encourages us to recall to mind the truth that “I am accepted in the Beloved. “I have my sorrows and griefs, I have my aches and pains, and weaknesses, but I must not be discontent, for God accepts me. Ah me! How one can laugh at griefs when this sweet word comes in, “accepted in the Beloved.” I may be blind, but I am “accepted in the Beloved:” I may be lame, I may be poor, I may be despised, I may be persecuted, I may have much to put up with in many ways, but really these troubles of the flesh count for little or nothing to me since I am “accepted in the Beloved.” Is not this a word to die with? We will meet death and face his open jaws with this word, “Accepted in the Beloved.” Will not this be a word to rise with amidst the blaze of the great judgment day? God’s love of His dear Son covers all believers, as a canopy covers all who come beneath it. (cf Isa 4:5b) As a hen covers her chickens with her wings, so God’s love to Christ covers all the children of promise (Gal 4:28). As the sun shining forth from the gates of the morning gilds all the earth with golden splendor, so this great love of God to the Well-Beloved, streaming forth to Him, enlightens all who are in Him. God is so boundlessly pleased with Jesus that in Him He is altogether well pleased with us.”
Accepted in the Beloved means that God loves us in spite of our failures. As A W Pink says, this truth “goes deeper and means far more than “accepted through Him.” It denotes not merely a recommendatory passport from Christ, but a real union with Him, whereby we are incorporated into His mystical body, and made as truly partakers of His righteousness as the members of the physical body partake of the life which animates its head.” O, that the Spirit of Christ would enable us to grasp even a small measure of this life transforming truth. Octavius Winslow said “Behold your present standing, believer in Christ! Turn your eye away from all your failures, your disobedience, the flaws and imperfections that mark your sincere endeavors to serve Christ and to glorify God and see where your true acceptance is found, even in the Beloved of the Father, “The Lord our Righteousness.” “Accepted in the Beloved,” is the record that will raise you above all the fears and despondencies arising from your shortcomings and failures and fill you with peace, and joy, and assurance.” Wayne Barber adds God’s acceptance of us in the Beloved, frees us “from the attitude of feeling we have to do more to be accepted by God. We are free from that performance mentality because we are accepted in the Beloved. This truth sets us free from feeling like we have to measure up to a certain standard. We are free from that works mentality because Jesus measured up for us when He declared “It is finished.” (Jn 19:30) We are free from having to try to live like Jesus. Have you ever tried to live like Jesus? We are free from that because now the Beloved seeks to live His life in and through us (Col 3:4, Gal 2:20). We are free to be what He has designed us to be. Everything God demanded of our lives we are now free in Him to meet those demands in His power. He lives in us to live His life through us.”
Accepted in the Beloved is a positional truth which calls for a practical response. Spurgeon says that “You will begin your new career accepted in the Beloved, with a life within you that can never die, and with a pardon granted to you that can never be reversed. You shall be so completely saved that you shall never return to the old follies and sins in which you formerly lived, because you will not be saved because somebody has persuaded you to live in a different fashion, but because you have been made a new creature altogether (2Cor 5:17).” John Piper adds “now that you are accepted in the Beloved—justified by faith alone—the Holy Spirit goes to work on you, and you start to become in practice what you are in Christ. And thus the pilgrim principle is unleashed: You must change. You cannot be at home in your present condition. “If then you have been raised with Christ…Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col 3:1–2). Justification and sanctification—in that order—are the root of the indigenous/pilgrim tension. We are righteous in Christ—indigenous, at home. Now we must become what we are—the pilgrim must make progress.” Indeed, God does not change us in order that He may love us, but He loves us and accepts us in the Beloved in order that He might change us into the likeness of His Beloved.
Where am I? I am in Christ. And, if I’m in Christ, I am rich in my person. When God looks at Jesus, He sees me. When God looks at me, He sees Jesus. You may not believe that, but it is true. As Spurgeon reminds us “You are accepted at this moment, but you are not justified because you feel in a sweet frame of mind or because your heart rejoices in the Name of God. Oh, no!” We are accepted in the Beloved not according to our faithfulness, not according to our zeal or devotion, but according to our Father’s thoughts concerning His Beloved Son. “Beloved in God the Father” (Jude 1), are you resting in the truth that you are accepted in the Beloved and so you can rest from your striving to gain acceptance with the Father? We have no worthiness in ourselves, but find all our worthiness IN CHRIST. “In Christ alone my Hope is found. He alone is my light, my strength, my song. Firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love. What depths of peace. When fears are stilled, When strivings cease. My Comforter, my all All in All. Here in the love of Christ I stand….No guilt of life. No fear of death. This is the power of Christ in me.” Beloved, we stand forever “accepted in the Beloved.”
The hymn says “I’m forgiven, because You were forsaken. I’m accepted, You were condemned. I’m alive and well, Your Spirit is within me. Because You died and rose again. Amazing Love, how can it be, That You, my King should die for me? Amazing Love, I know it’s true. It’s my joy to honor You in all I do to honor You.”
Jesus gave His life for us at Calvary, that He might now give His life to us.
Jon Courson – We are accepted because we’re in the Beloved—we’re in Christ. It doesn’t matter how you feel about yourself. You don’t have to take your spiritual temperature hour by hour. You don’t have to wonder, ‘Am I hot? Am I cold? How am I doing?’ You won’t have to go through the kind of introspection which will inevitably set you up for spiritual depression if you understand the simple principle that you are embraced not because of who you are, but because of where you are. Where are you? You’re in Christ. And once you accept this truth, you will enjoy your relationship with the Father in a brand new way. You’ll throw away your spiritual thermometer; you’ll quit analyzing how you’re doing; and you’ll rejoice that you are simply, totally, wonderfully in Christ. (A Day’s Journey)
Our sin will cause us to lose the sweetness of fellowship and communion with the Father, but our acceptance with God never changes, because His acceptance is not on the basis of anything we have done. He accepts us for Christ’s sake. The only way we could become “unaccepted” is if God were to reject His own Son, for we are immutably in Christ, identified with Him, in union with Him, in oneness with Him by the indissoluble new covenant in His blood. O, blessed security of the glorious truth that God has “made us acceptable in the Beloved,” in spite of times of faithlessness and failure, a truth that redounds to the “praise of the glory of His grace!”
We see pictures of the Father’s unconditional acceptance of us in His Beloved in the OT where David accepts Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan (2Sa 9:6) based on his desire to show kindness to any left of the house of Saul (2Sa 9:3) and in the NT where we see in Philemon where Paul says “if he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.” (Philemon 1:18) All our debts have been paid in full by our Beloved! We see a picture of this acceptance in the Prodigal son’s return home (Lk 15:11-32, 20) – “And he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him.” 22 “But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and be merry;
Spurgeon adds that “If we are “accepted in the Beloved,” then our persons are accepted: we ourselves are well pleasing to Him. God looks upon us now with pleasure. Being ourselves accepted, the right of access to Him is given us (Ro 5:1-2). When a person is accepted with God he may come to God when he chooses. He is one of these courtiers who may come even to the royal throne and meet with no rebuff. No chamber of our great Father’s house is closed against us; no blessing of the covenant is withheld from us; no sweet smile of the Father’s face is refused us. And, being accepted ourselves, our prayers are also accepted (Heb 4:16, 10:19-22). Children of God, can you sincerely believe this? When God delights in men He gives them the desires of their hearts.
So dear, so very dear to God,
More dear I cannot be;
The love wherewith He loves His Son,
Such is His love to me.
So near, so very near to God,
Nearer I could not be,
For in the person of His Son,
I am as near as He.
Rob Hayward’s song I’m accepted, I’m forgiven relevant lyrics…
I’m accepted, I’m forgiven,
I am fathered by the true and living God.
I’m accepted, no condemnation,
I am loved by the true and living God.
There’s no guilt or fear as I draw near
To the Saviour and Creator of the world.
There is joy and peace as I release
My worship to you, O Lord.
I may not be rich
Don’t wear fashion clothes
Don’t live in a mansion
Don’t have much that shows
Never won a contest in popularity
Don’t have much to offer
But Jesus loves me
I’m accepted, accepted
I’m accepted by the One who matters most
Never set a record in sports agility
Never was magnetic in personality
That don’t really matter
I’ll do the best I can
‘Cause there’s a God above me
Who loves me like I am
I’m accepted, accepted
I’m accepted by the One who matters most
If you think you’re a loser
When you fail it seems at everything you do
Just remember there’s a Savior
And you are worth enough
He gave His life for you
I’m accepted, accepted
I’m accepted by the One who matters most
Spurgeon on Accepted in the Beloved – There are many locks in my house, and all with different keys; but I have one master-key which opens all. So the Lord has many treasuries and secrets, all shut up from carnal minds with locks which they cannot open; but he who walks in fellowship with Jesus possesses the master-key which will admit him to all the blessings of the covenant; yea, to the very heart of God. Through the Well-beloved we have access to God, to heaven, to every secret of the Lord.
Much went before this, but, oh, what a morning without clouds rose upon us when we knew our acceptance and were assured thereof. Acceptance was the watchword, and had troops of angels met us we should have rejoiced that we were as blest as they. Understand that this acceptance comes to us entirely as a work of God–“He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” We never made ourselves acceptable, nor could we have done so, but He that has made us first in creation, has now made us new by His grace, and so has made us accepted in the Beloved. That this was an act of pure grace there can be no doubt, for the verse runs thus, “Wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved,” that is, in His grace. There was no reason in ourselves why we should have been put into Christ, and so accepted; the reason lay in the heart of the Eternal Father Himself.
As you read these words may Spurgeon’s prayer be your prayer and your experience – “I desire that you may experientially enjoy the precious drop of honey from the Rock Christ Jesus which is contained in the four words-Accepted in the Beloved. Oh that the Holy Spirit may make you enter into the treasures which these words contain!”
Courtesy of preceptaustin.org/accepted_in_the_beloved.htm