Friday, 22 April 2016

Accepted in the Beloved

Accepted in the Beloved

“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)
This wonderful verse assures that all who have been saved by God’s grace have been “accepted” by the Lord. However, this is not just a marginal acceptability. The Greek word occurs only one other time in the New Testament, and there it appears in the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary. “Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women” (Luke 1:28). That is, we are not merely accepted, we are highly favored by God!
This is not because of our own personal merits, of course. It is because God sees us as in His Son; He loves us because He loves Him, and we are in Him.
Although Christ is called God’s “beloved Son” seven times in the New Testament (each time directly by the Father Himself), there is only one other time when He is spoken of simply as “the beloved.” This is in Matthew 12:18 (quoting Isaiah 42:1), “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him.”
The love of God the Father for His beloved Son is the root source of every other love in the universe, for it is the one love that is eternal. “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24). This is what it means to be highly favored in the beloved! This was the prayer of Christ on His way to Gethsemane the night before He went to the cross.
We who are in Him are predestined to be with Him in glory, to behold His glory, and forever, as redeemed sinners saved by grace through faith, to be “to the praise of the glory of his grace” (today’s text).

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