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October 3, 2013

“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-sermon). 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-note 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-note). 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-note). 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-note1Cor 15:22Col 1:13-note). 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-note), 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-note1Th 1:4-note) Do you believe that the Father loves you with the same love with which He loves His BELOVED? (Read Jn 17:23-sermon) Selah! (Pause and ponder your privileged position – cf Song 2:16-note).  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-note), 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-note) 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-note). The Worthy One becomes our worth when we enter the New Covenant in His blood (Lk 22:20-sermon), 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-note,Col 1:27b-noteJn 17:21-note cf the “marriage covenant” Ge 2:24b-note). 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 our Bridegroom, Christ Jesus, the Worthy One (cf 2Cor 11:2-sermon). 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-note) and nothing can “separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ro 8:39-note) 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-noteRev 19:7-8-note).

So let me ask you again dearly “BELOVED of God” (Ro 1:7-note), 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-note), especially what are the riches of the truth that regardless of your present state, your eternal standing is forever “accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6KJV-note). 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-note). He has great pleasure toward us. He takes a delight in us (cf Zeph 3:17-note). 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-sermon).” “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-sermon) has died for us and now we who believe are dressed up in the fleece of the Lamb Who died (cf Isa 61:10-sermon). Thus, GOD HAS ACCEPTED US IN HIM, and “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Ro 8:1-note) 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-note) 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




I am accepted, I am forgiven
I am fathered by the true and living God
I am 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

And Finally here is a great old hymn…

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.

In the Beloved, God’s marvelous grace
Calls me to dwell in this wonderful place;
God sees my Savior, and then He sees me,
In the Beloved, accepted and free.

In the Beloved— how safe my retreat,
In the Beloved accounted complete;
Who can condemn me? In Him I am free,
Savior and Keeper forever is He.

In the Beloved I went to the tree,
There, in His Person, by faith I may see
Infinite wrath rolling over His head,
Infinite grace, for He died in my stead.

From → Uncategorized

  1. Isidro permalink


  2. Juanita Weldon permalink

    Love this! Thank you!

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