“Accepted in the Beloved”

Ephesians 1:6

 

 

            The believer’s acceptance in Christ is the work of God alone. Grace is stamped upon the whole thing. From beginning to end, the work of our acceptance is God’s operation. Ephesians 1:6 echoes Jonah 2:9, declaring that which is the universal testimony of Holy Scripture: — “Salvation is of the Lord!” Our being in Christ and accepted in Christ must be the work of God alone because no one else existed when it was done. It is a work finished from eternity!

 

            God the Father put us in Christ, the Beloved, by his sovereign decree because of his everlasting love for us. All who believe on Christ in time were put in Christ in eternity by the choice and decree of God. Our names were written with his in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). The Father put us into the hands of his Son, trusting him (Ephesians 1:12) for our everlasting salvation, as sheep are put into the hands of a shepherd (John 6:37-40). Just as the shepherd is responsible for the sheep trusted to his care, so the Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily became responsible for the salvation of his sheep in the covenant of grace. And the Father put us in the loins of his Son, making us his seed and him our Representative before him in all things.

 

            God the Son made us acceptable and accepted. The Lord Jesus Christ came into this world in human flesh to fulfill all the will of God and glorify his Father in the salvation of his people (Matthew 1:21; Hebrews 10:5-14). By his obedience to the Father as a man in the life that he lived, the Son of God fulfilled all righteousness, magnified the law and made it honorable as our Representative. We could never do that ourselves; but we have done it perfectly in Christ. By his obedience in death, our glorious Surety paid the debt of our sins to the full satisfaction of divine justice, the debt we could never pay. Yet, because he is our Surety, his payment was our payment. Thus, in him every believing sinner has perfectly fulfilled all the law of God. Now, believing on him, by our faith in Christ, we establish the law (Romans 3:31).

 

            God the Holy Spirit made our acceptance manifest to us. He does not make us more acceptable to God. He adds nothing to the work of Christ. He simply applies the work of Christ to the hearts of chosen sinners by his almighty, irresistible grace, bringing life and immortality to light by the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10). In sovereign regeneration he gave us life in Christ, by virtue of our everlasting union with him. He created faith in our hearts, giving us a blessed manifestation and assurance of our eternal union with and acceptance in the Son of God, by giving us faith in him.

 

            If this day you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord God has made you accepted in the Beloved.” Your faith in Christ is the gift of his grace, the fruit of being “accepted in the Beloved. Your faith in him is the evidence of your being “accepted in the Beloved.” Your faith in Christ is the assurance of your being “accepted in the Beloved.

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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