Ephesians 1:6

            The word here translated “accepted” is a much stronger word than our English word “accepted.” This word means, “highly favored, laudable, praiseworthy.” We are not and never could be “accepted” before and by the holy Lord God, except in Christ the Beloved. But in him, in the Beloved, every believer, every sinner chosen, redeemed, and called by grace, is so completely and totally accepted of God that, even in the eyes of the holy, omniscient Lord God, we are highly favored, laudable, and praiseworthy!

            1. Our acceptance with God is thorough, complete, total, and absolute. To be “accepted in the beloved” is to be justified from all things, freed from all sin, the objects of divine complacency and delight, and worthy of our heavenly inheritance (Col. 1:12). The Lord God looks upon his people in Christ with such total satisfaction that he declares us to be pure, chaste, undefiled, so much so that we ravish his very heart! He says, with regard to all his elect in Christ, “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.” (Read Song 4:1,7,9.) The apostle Paul declares to every believing sinner, “Ye are complete in him” (Col. 2:10). This is not something we anticipate, but something that is ours already in Christ.

            2. Our acceptance with God is only “in the beloved.” God the Father is well pleased with his Son. And he is well pleased with us in his Son. When our Savior was upon the mount of transfiguration, the Father spoke from heaven and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 17:5). He did not say, “with” or even “by,” but “in whom I am well pleased.” God the Father is pleased with his Son and pleased with all who are in his Son. We recognize that even our right-eousnesses are filthy rags in God’s sight (Is. 64:6). God could never receive us or anything done by us apart from Christ. We know that even our prayers are accepted of God only through the merit and mediation of Christ (I Pet. 2:5). But, blessed be God, in Christ we are accepted!

            3. Our acceptance with God in Christ is everlasting and therefore immutable. Bless God, our acceptance does not depend upon us. It did not begin with us. It is not maintained by us. And it cannot be altered by us. Though we fell in our father Adam, yet we were “accepted in the beloved.” Though we came forth from our mothers’ wombs speaking lies, we were still “accepted in the beloved.” Though we spent our days, from our youth up, in wanton rebellion against God and in league with hell, we were still “accepted in the beloved.” And though after the Lord God saved us by his wondrous grace, we sin and fall a thousand times a day, as we all do, yet it stands in the Scripture that we are “accepted in the beloved.” What a glorious position this is. You and I who believe are “accepted in the beloved!” And that never changes or fluctuates because our God never changes or fluctuates (Mal. 1:6).

“Unchangeable His will, Though dark may be my frame;

His loving heart is still Eternally the same:

My soul through many changes goes, His love no variation knows.”

Don Fortner