TO THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE: eis epainon doxes tes charitos autou: (Ep 1:7,8,12,14,18; 2:7; 3:10,11; Proverbs 16:4; Isaiah 43:21; 61:3,11; Jeremiah 33:9; Luke 2:14; Romans 9:23,24; 2Corinthians 4:15; Philippians 1:11; 4:19; 2Thessalonians 1:8, 9, 10; 1Timothy 1:14, 15, 16; 1Peter 2:9; 4:11)
See also in depth analysis:
Accepted in the Beloved
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Why did God predestine us to adoption? The result of God's gracious dealings with men is ultimately the praise of the glory of His grace.
Expositor's Greek Testament says that...
Here it is the glory specifically of God's grace and the praise of that is now stated to be the ultimate end of God's foreordination of us unto adoption, as our adoption itself has been declared to be the object of the foreordination. God's final purpose in His eternal determinations and the supreme end to which all that He will regarding us looks, are the manifestation and adoring recognition of His grace in its gloriousness. The phrase means more than "the praise of His glorious grace". It expresses the setting forth on God's part, and the joyful confession on man's part, of what the Divine grace in these eternal counsels is in the quality of its splendour, its magnificence. That this is the idea is shown by the subsequent mention of the "riches" of the same grace. (Nicoll Robertson, editor)
To (1519) (eis) means direction toward. Here eis describes the purpose of God's act in predestining certain one to be adopted as His sons was ultimately “to the praise of the glory of His grace. God elects saves us for His own glory!"
Praise (1868) (epainos [word study] from epí = upon + aínos = praise) means a commendable thing. That which is represented as being worthy of regard, confidence, kindness, etc
Glory (1391) (doxa [word study]) means to give a proper estimate of. Our predestining to adoption as God's sons gives a proper estimate of God's grace will be the object of eternal hallelujah's to God, a grace that is exemplified forever in believers, His redeemed, the objects of His grace.
Grace (5485) (charis [word study]) is not merely favor but reveals His divine character and in context gives Him glory. In praising God for what He does, we learn to praise Him for what He is. Praise is called forth from the children of God by this divine glory which appears in grace.
Great God of wonders! All Thy ways
Display Thine attributes divine;
But the bright glories of Thy grace
Above Thine other wonders shine:
Who is a pard’ning God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?
WHICH HE FREELY BESTOWED ON US IN THE BELOVED: en echaritosen (3SAAI) hemas en to egaphemeno, (RPPMSD): (Isaiah 45:24,25; Jeremiah 23:6; Romans 3:22, 23, 24, 25, 26; 5:15, 16, 17, 18, 19; 8:1; 2Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9; 1Peter 2:5) (Psalm 22:20; 60:5; Proverbs 8:30,31; Isaiah 42:1; 49:1, 2, 3; Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 3:17; 17:5; John 3:35; 10:17; Colossians 1:13)
The KJV translation rendering is beautiful...
To the praise of the glory of his grace,
wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.
See Related Resource - Accepted in the Beloved
As you read these words may Spurgeon's prayer be your prayer and your experience...
I desire that you may this morning experimentally 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 they contain!
Spurgeon goes on to comment that...
There is another precious doctrine, the acceptance of those who are adopted. We are beloved of God; He has a complacency (idea of great pleasure) toward us; He takes a delight in us; we are acceptable in His sight. Oh, what a blessing this is! But remember that it is all in Christ: "Accepted in the beloved." Because Christ is accepted, therefore those who are in Him are accepted.
"Accepted in the Beloved" - This speaks of our justification, of Christ's righteousness imputed to our account by grace through faith.
Other translations render this verse "His glorious grace He favored us with in the Beloved" (HCSB), "His glorious grace with which He has blessed us in the Beloved" (ESV)
Lewis Sperry Chafer comments on "made accepted"...
The student would do well to observe the force of the word made as it appears in a considerable number of passages, where it indicates that the thing accomplished is not wrought by the believer for himself, but is the work of God for him. If he is made something which he was not before, it is evidently the work of another in his behalf. In this instance, the believer is said to be made accepted. He is accepted on the part of God who, because of His infinite holiness, could accept no one less perfect than Himself. All of this is provided for on the basis of the truth that the believer is made accepted “in the beloved” (Eph. 1:6). Without the slightest strain upon His holiness, God accepts those who are in union with His Son; and this glorious fact, that the one who is saved is accepted, constitutes a measureless feature of divine grace. (Systematic Theology)
A W Pink...
Accepted in the beloved” 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. (The Divine Covenants)
Expositor's writes that...
The context may well vindicate the KJV paraphrase with its emphasis on acceptance—"wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved." It is the objective grace of God that is in view, indicating His favorable regard, rather than the further ethical effect of that grace in making us gracious. (Gaebelein, F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament. Zondervan Publishing)
Someone has written a poem which expresses this glorious truth...
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.
(Amen and "Oh my"!)
Freely bestowed (5487) (charitoo from charis= grace) means to cause one to be the recipient of a benefit. It means to bestow grace or favor upon or to show kindness to someone. Charitoo can also convey the sense of to make one agreeable or possessed of grace. To be sure Paul's use of this verb demonstrates that man can take no credit for this bestowal of grace -- it was unearned and unmerited favor and that is why it was freely bestowed.
Ralph Earle writes that "The verb charitoo comes from the noun charis, "grace." It means "to endow with charis," or "to cause to find favor". The idea here is that God has extended His favor or grace to us in Christ." (Word Meanings in the New Testament)
Thayer says charitoo means to "pursue with grace, compass with favor, to honor with blessings."
It is interesting to observe the only other NT use of charitoo is by Luke who records the angel hailing Mary...
And coming in, he said to her, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." (Luke 1:28)
Comment: "Favored one" is charitoo in the perfect tense which speaks of the abiding nature of this bestowal of grace
Paul says more literally that God has begraced us with His grace. Christians are those who have been graced by God in the Beloved, the Son of God. John explains the relationship of grace with the Beloved Son writing that...
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'" For of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. (John 1:14-17)
Comment: Grace certainly was present in the OT but it was fully and abundantly realized when Jesus Christ came.
In the Beloved - To Whom does Paul refer? To Christ of course. He is our sole (soul) Source of acceptance with God. Take a moment to prayerfully ponder this incredible truth that we as the children of God (see 1Jn 3:1-note, 1Jn 3:2-note) are now and forever in Him (See in Christ ), in identification with Him, in covenant oneness with Him (See The Oneness of Covenant) and Oneness Notes), in an eternal bond with Him, in an indissoluble union with Him! In Christ forever we are accepted by the Father for He is forever pleased with His Beloved Son in Whom we live and breathe and have our being eternally! Amazing grace indeed that in the Beloved, the Father of glory now calls us "Beloved" (1Th 1:4-note, Ro 1:7-note, Jude 1:1), now and forever His "beloved children" (Eph 5:1-note) Hallelujah!
Ruth Paxson comments on the incredibly important preposition "in"...
"In" -- Can we ever grasp fully the meaning of this little word to us? In Him Whom the Father loves supremely we are. In the Beloved whose righteousness and holiness satisfy every demand of the Father's justice and holiness we stand. The Beloved Son is our divine rainbow, God's pledge to us who are made accepted in Him that we will never again be cast out from His presence. In the Son of His love the Father receives us as He receives Him and loves us as He loves Him. It would be impossible to believe such an apparently incredible statement did not Christ Himself declare it. Then we must believe it and rejoice in it.
Comment: Beloved, in our old nature, we all strive for "acceptance" with our fellow man, and many of us have been soundly rejected by those closest to us, and we have great difficulty "accepting" the truth that we truly are "accepted in the Beloved." So take a moment to mediate on the prayer Jesus prayed for us which contains His requests which are so transcendent and incomprehensible that it will surely take eternity to fathom their depths but which can just as surely in this present life bring solace and comfort to our souls and satisfy our hunger for acceptance...
I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me (!!!). "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." (John 17:23-26)
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
Spurgeon observes that...
God’s love of His dear Son covers all believers, as a canopy covers all who come beneath it. As a hen covers her chickens with her wings, so God’s love to Christ covers all the children of promise. 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....
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.
Can we get a step farther? Will the Holy Spirit help us while I say a few words by way of enlargement?
1. If we are “accepted in the Beloved,” then, first, our persons are accepted: we ourselves are well pleasing to Him. God looks upon us now with pleasure.
2. Being ourselves accepted, the right of access to Him is given us. 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.
3. And, being accepted ourselves, our prayers are also accepted. Children of God, can you sincerely believe this? When God delights in men He gives them the desires of their hearts.
4. It follows, as a pleasant sequence, that our gifts are accepted, for those who are accepted with God find a great delight in giving of their substance to the glory of His name. Then let us try what we can do for Him. Here is a great lump of quartz, but if the Lord can see a grain of gold, He will save the quartz for the sake of it. He says, “Destroy it not, for a blessing is in it.” I do not mean that the Lord deals thus with all men. It is only for accepted men that He has this kind way of accepting their gifts. Had you seen me, when a young man, and an usher, walking through the streets with rolls of drawings from a boys’ school, you would have guessed that I considered them of no value and fit only to be consigned to the fire; but I always took a great interest in the drawings of my own boy, and I still think them rather remarkable. You smile, I dare say, but I do so think, and my judgment is as good as yours. I value them because they are his, and I think I see budding genius in every touch, but you do not see it because you are so blind. I see it since love has opened my eyes. God can see in His people’s gifts to Him and their works for Him a beauty which no eyes but His can perceive. Oh, if He so treats our poor service, what ought we not to do for Him? What zeal, what alacrity should stimulate us! If we are ourselves accepted our sacrifices shall be acceptable....
“Accepted in the Beloved.” May not each believer talk thus with himself--I have my sorrows and griefs, I have my aches and pains, and weaknesses, but I must not repine, 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?
And now I wish to finish with this one practical use. If it be so that we are “accepted in the Beloved,” then let us go forth and tell poor sinners how they can be accepted too.
"Accepted in the Beloved - What a healing balm is there here, for a weary, heavy-laden sinner!" - Hedley Vicars
Why is that peculiar title ("the Beloved") here used? It might have been said, we are accepted in Christ, or accepted in the Mediator; there must be some motive for giving Him this special name in this place. The motive is declared to be that we may praise the glory of divine grace. God did not want for a beloved when he made us His beloved: His heart was not pining for an object; His affections were not lone and desolate. His only-begotten Son was His delight, and there was room enough in Him for all the Father’s love; it was we that needed to be loved, and so the Beloved is mentioned that we may remember the unselfishness of divine grace. He makes us His beloved, but he had a Beloved before.
We are also reminded that we are “accepted in the Beloved” to let us know that God has not shifted His love-His first Beloved is His Beloved still. We have not supplanted His dear Son, nor even diverted a beam of love from Him. The Lord has called us beloved who were not so, and made us a people who were not a people; but He has not withdrawn a grain of love from Jesus, Whom He still calls “mine Elect. in Whom my soul delights.” All the infinite love of God still flows to Jesus, and then to us in Him. It pleased the Father that to Him a fullness of love should be given, that out of it we might each one receive. God's love to us is His love to His Son flowing in a hundred channels. For His sake He makes the wedding-feast, and we are the happy guests who sit at the table. Not for our sakes is this done, but for Jesus’ sake, that so it might be all of grace. His perpetual acceptance with God is our acceptance, that nothing legal, nothing whereof we might boast, might be mingled with the work of sovereigns grace. (Ephesians 1:6 Accepted on the Great Father)
Steven Cole also asks...
Why does Paul use that designation of Jesus Christ (Beloved) here? There could be several reasons. The eternal love that exists between the Father and the Son is a perfect love. When the Father adopts us into His family, we are drawn into this circle of infinite, perfect love (John 15:9). In Jesus’ great prayer for His disciples just before the cross, He prays (John 17:23), “I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” What a staggering thought, that the Father loves us even as He loves His own Son! So Paul calls Jesus “the Beloved” to show that we are now in this relationship of love with the Father and the Son. Also, Paul may call Jesus “the Beloved” to show the great price that God paid to adopt us as His children. Jesus was supremely God’s beloved Son, in whom He was well pleased (Matt. 3:17; Col. 1:13; Luke 20:13). Yet the Father and the Son were willing to interrupt this perfect relationship of love so that the Son could go to the cross and endure the wrath of the Father on our behalf! As Paul writes (Rom. 8:32), “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
He (God the Father) hath made us His Hephzibahs (Hebrew = "my delight is in her" - This is God's heart for Zion, who will once again be called "My delight is in her!" = Isa 62:4)--made us dear to Him in the Beloved--made us His delights, a joy to Himself in the Beloved....And yet there are multitudes of professing Christians who do not trust, or know, or believe that they are accepted in Him, and who do not enjoy the blessedness and rest of looking up into their Father’s face and recognizing the love bestowed on them in the Father’s Beloved, and the security that that love has surrounded them with!
They think they are only accepted according to the measure of their prayers, their merits, their good works, and their faith, instead of according to the measure of the Father’s everlasting love for His Son.
Yes! we are here plainly taught that our acceptance in the first place was not even on account of Christ’s own merits, or prayers, or blood, or sacrifice, much less ours, but solely and only on account of our relation to His person as God’s Beloved One; and the subsequent interference of sin only brought out the resources of redemption, forgiveness, salvation, and adoption in Him “in Whom all fulness dwells.” (Col 1:19-note, cp Col 2:9-note)
Verse six teaches us that every true believer has been foreordained to be such a trophy of the grace of God as to cause men to praise the glory of His grace.
What astounding grace does the Lord display—in accepting our poor, imperfect offerings! What rich merit abides in our Lord Jesus! What sweet fragrance beyond expression dwells in Him—to drown and destroy our foul sulphurous offerings, and to make us accepted in the Beloved! Glory be unto our glorious High Priest, whose perfect life and sin-atoning death, is so sweet—that the Holy Judge is well pleased with us for His righteousness' sake—and accepts us in Him, even with our sulphurous incense!
God’s grace can be poured out on believers only because of what Christ has done for them. Hence, he bestows his grace on us because we are in his dearly loved Son.
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!
Beloved (25) (agapao [word study]) speaks especially of love as based on evaluation and choice, a matter of will and action. The Beloved = Christ, the one the Father loves. Christ is the essence of the love that God with which He loves the lost and which is the product of the Spirit in the heart of the yielded believer. God the Father has always loved God the Son with this love which is permanent. Note that Beloved is perfect tense which in this context conveys the idea of permanence and speaks of the Father having always loved Son. Christ is the One Who is ever in the state of being loved by the Father! And where are saved sinners? In the Beloved by grace through faith and because of our position we are now begraced and acceptable to God.
It is interesting to note that the term "Beloved" is a title applied in the Septuagint (LXX) to Israel in its special role as God's chosen race.
The grace is bestowed in and with Christ Himself. It is in the gift of God's Son that the gift of grace becomes ours and the splendor of that grace is fully realized and seen by mankind.
God the Father declared for all to hear...
(and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying)
"This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased." (Mt 3:17)
And because we have place our faith in the Beloved Son, God the Father...
delivered (rescued - see rhuomai) us from the domain (exousia - "right and the might") of darkness (nothing less than the kingdom of Satan, in which we were all once captive slaves - see Ep 2:1, 2-note, Ep 2:3-note), and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Literally - the kingdom of the Son of His love), (Col 1:13-note)
And as a result Paul can write to the saints at Rome addressing them as..
all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ro 1:7-note)
The practical, albeit in human terms not fully comprehensible, conclusion is that because we are in covenant (see Covenant = exchange of Robes) with Christ (one with Him, identified with Him by faith), all that our Redeemer possesses is possessed by us and the Father now loves us even as He loves His own dear Son and He wills for us to enjoy every spiritual blessing that Christ enjoys in the heavenly places! What manner of love is this. How great is the love with which the Father has loved us and, yea, even love which was bestowed before the foundation of the world! (Ep 1:3, 4-note)
Wuest explains that...
The words “in the Beloved” are locative of sphere. That is, God the Father freely bestowed on us the grace which saved us, and did so in the sphere of the Lord Jesus, His Person and His work on the Cross. His grace could not operate in our salvation apart from the atoning death of our Lord, for God is not only a loving God, but a righteous and just God who cannot pass by sin, but must require that it be paid for. Only thus can He manifest His grace. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
Spurgeon notes that accepted in the Beloved connotes...
I. Positive union.
1. In the heart of Christ, and in His heart from all eternity. With prescient eye Christ beheld His people before they were yet formed. Hath He not said, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with the bands of My kindness have I drawn thee.” “As the Father hath loved me, even so have I loved you.”
2. We are also in Christ’s book. Having loved us we were chosen in Him and elected by His Father. We were not chosen separately and distinctly, and as individuals alone and apart. We were chosen in Christ. Blessed fact! the same register which includes Christ as first born, includes all the brethren.
3. We are in Christ’s hand. All those whom the Father gave to Christ were bestowed upon Christ as a surety; and in the last great day, at the Redeemer’s hand will God require the souls of all that were given to Him. Just as the Apostle Paul argues concerning Levi, that Levi is inferior to Christ; for he says, Abraham was less than Melchisedec, for without doubt the less is blessed of the greater, so also Levi was less than Melchisedec, for he was in the loins of Abraham when Melchisedec met him. So, beloved, as Levi was in the loins of Abraham and paid tithes to Melchisedec, so we were in the loins of Christ and paid the debt due to Divine justice, gave to the law its fulfilment, and to wrath its satisfaction. In the loins of Christ we have passed through the tomb already, and have entered into that which is within the veil, and are made to sit down in heavenly places, even in Him. This day the chosen of God are one with Christ and in the loins of Christ.
5. As we are in the heart of Christ, in the book of Christ, in the hand of Christ, and in the loins of Christ, there is yet another thought dearer and sweeter still. We are in the person of Christ; for we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. By the mysterious operations of the quickening Spirit the sinner begins to live a spiritual life. Now, in the moment when the spiritual life was first given, there commenced in that soul a vital and personal union with the person of Christ Jesus. There had always been in that soul a secret mystical union in the Divine purpose; but now there comes to be a union in effect, and the soul is in Christ from that hour, in a sense in which it never was before.
II. Accepted in the Beloved. What does our acceptance include?
1. Justification before God. We stand on our own trial. When we stand in Christ we are acquitted; while standing in ourselves the only verdict must be condemnation.
2. Divine complacency.
3. Divine delight.
III. Divine operations; “made accepted.” All of God, not of man.
At the Cross...
we become 'accepted in the Beloved.' Here the exchange takes place between the perfect and the imperfect. Believing in the perfect One, we become 'complete in Him.' Conscious only of evil, we take refuge in Him in whom there is no evil, that we may be represented by him before God, and so treated by God as being without evil, even in the eye of His holy law. Feeling our utter lack of goodness, we flee out of ourselves to One in whom there is all goodness—who is absolutely perfect; so perfect, so infinitely perfect, that He has enough and to spare of His perfection for us. The fullness of evil that is in us is thus not only covered over by the atonement of the atoning Son of God, so as to become invisible, as if it were non-existent—but is supplanted by the fullness of all goodness, is exchanged for the perfection of another, even of the perfect One, so that God, looking at us, sees only our Representative, and deals with us according to His excellency and preciousness. What we should have received, in the shape of punishment, He gets for us; what He claims and deserves in the shape of reward, and glory, and favor, we get, as represented by Him, and treated by God as entitled to all that to which He is entitled.
Our consent to be treated on the footing of this foreign merit, this perfection of another—is what God asks of us. Such is the proposal which the gospel makes to us. This is substantially the meaning of our believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. Receiving the divine testimony to the sin-bearer as true, we give our consent to be represented by Him before God. Thus we exchange places and persons with Him. He was made sin, we are made righteousness; He takes the curse, we take the blessing. We hear the cry upon the cross, "It is finished"—and we know that the work which justifies is done. All that follows—resurrection and ascension—is the result of the completed work; not the completing of it, but the fruits of its completion. 'He was delivered, because we had sinned; He was raised, because we were justified' (Romans 4:25). As it was 'by the blood of the everlasting covenant' that He was brought from the dead (Hebrews 13:20), so was it because our justification was finished on the cross that He rose from the dead. The knowledge of this brings to him who knows it forgiveness, acceptance, justification—we become 'accepted in the Beloved.' (The Cross Of The Lord Jesus)
Horatius Bonar writes...
He who has been accepted in the beloved, has not daily to go and plead for acceptance, nor to do or say anything which implies that the condemnation, from which he has been delivered, has returned; but he has to mourn over, to confess, to seek forgiveness for daily sins. The two states are quite distinct, yet quite consistent with each other. The complete acceptance of the believing man does not prevent his sinning, nor do away with the constant need of new pardons for his sins; and the recurrence of sin does not cancel his acceptance, nor is the obtaining of new pardons at variance with his standing as a forgiven man. (Christ the Cleanser)
Behold your present standing, believer in Christ! Turn your eye away from all your failures in obedience-the flaws and imperfections that mark your sincere endeavors to serve Christ and to glorify God- and see where your true acceptance is, 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. (Christ, the Wonderful)
Arthur Pink writes...
Every poor sinner who has fled to Him for refuge stands "accepted in the Beloved" (Eph 1:6). Hallelujah! (The Attributes of God)
By nature we were "under the (sentence of) law," but now believers are "under grace" (Ro 6:14). By nature we were "children of wrath" (Eph 2:2), but now we are "accepted in the Beloved" (Eph 1:6). Under the first covenant we were "in Adam" (1Cor 15:22), but now we are "in Christ" (Ro 8:1). As believers in Christ we have everlasting life, and because of this we "shall not come into condemnation." (Comfort for Christians)
Such a one has been accepted in the Beloved, accorded a standing before God which neither the Law nor Satan can challenge, and made nearer and dearer to God than are the holy angels. Tell such a one that something else is still required from him, before God can regard him with approbation—that the redemption of Christ must be added to, by his own good works—and he rejects such an aspersion with the utmost abhorrence, as the Devil's lie! (An Evangelical Spirit)
A present salvation is an essential element of this Gospel Banquet thus provided for us in the wilderness. For the lack of a more simple recognition of this aspect of the gospel, many of God's people are deprived of much blessing. If saved at all-we are saved now. The believer is as entirely pardoned- as completely justified- as fully adopted at the present moment, as he will be when glorified. "By grace you are saved." "Accepted in the Beloved." "You are complete in Him." Could any truth be expressed in terms more strong, or placed in light more lucid? Oh marvelous banquet, that meets and satisfies all the requirements of the soul! Come to it with what infirmity- with what need- with what sorrow- with what frame you may, there is a place and a viand for you; a loving welcome, and a most free meal. "You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies." (The Banquet)
How few, in the language of the prophet, "possess these possessions." But the word of God fully justifies this view of a present salvation. Listen to its language. "I write unto you, little children, because ,our sins are forgiven for His name's sake " Observe, it is a present forgiveness! " To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved." Observe, it is a present acceptance! "Beloved, now are we the sons of God" Mark, it is a present adoption! "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus " Notice, it is a present acquittal! Such is the authority upon which we earnestly urge you to realize your present standing in Christ. (THE GOD OF PATIENCE)
"He has made us favorites," so Chrysostom and Theophylact render it. "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.
Ruth Paxson writes...
"Accepted" -- what a gracious word! What a wealth of significance in it! Those that were by nature "children of disobedience and wrath"." (Eph 2:2,3); so "far-off" from God that they were called strangers" (Eph 2:19); so deep down in the abyss of death and depravity that they were "without hope" (Eph 2:12); yet here said to be "accepted." How could such a change ever be wrought in the sinner? If so utterly disobedient, he would not want acceptance; if so utterly depraved, he could not make himself acceptable, even if he desired to. The sinner of Eph 2:1-3 is rendered both hopeless and helpless by sin. Then by whom and on what ground was the change wrought by which he was taken into the very heart and home of God?
"Made accepted." God has left to the sinner not an inch of ground for boasting. Not an atom of anything either in his character or in his conduct can avail to bring him into God's favour. If he is ever accepted by God, God Himself must act on his behalf.
John 17:23. "That the world may know that thou hast... loved them as thou hast loved me. "
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.
"To the praise of the glory of his grace." Surely every saint should have a singing heart, and the theme of his song should ever be the matchless grace of God. The saints on earth and the redeemed in heaven unite in one grand, glorious symphony of "praise to the glory of his grace" wherein He took sinners like us and "made us accepted in the beloved."
Let us take one backward glance at our immeasurable wealth in the Father's grace before we look forward to that in the redemptive work of His Son:
Through His grace -- chosen -- loved
Through the riches of His grace -- predestinated -- loved as adult sonsThrough the exceeding riches of His grace -- accepted -- loved as the Son is loved.
Could our Father do more than this for us? Could He do less for His Son? Then should not our fearful, trembling hearts rest full-length upon the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus? [FONT color="#008000">And should not the dominating passion of our lives be to live to the praise of the glory of His grace?
John Trapp...recalls several human examples of "acceptance" based upon another person...
David saw the features of his friend Jonathan in lame Mephibosheth, and therefore loved him. He forgave Nabal at Abigail's intercession; and was pacified toward Absalom at Joab's. Pharaoh favoured Jacob's house for Joseph's sake. Shall not God do as much more for Jesus' sake? Joseph was well pleased with his brethren when they brought Benjamin; bring but the child Jesus in our arms (as Simeon did, and as Themistocles did the king of Persia's child) and he cannot but smile upon us. Were he never so much displeased before, yet upon the sight of this his well-beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased, all shall be calm and quiet, as the sea was when once Jonas was cast into it. (Trapp's Commentary on the New Testament)
J Sidlow Baxter associates the OT Levitical high priest's role (Aaron) in assuring acceptance of the sons of Israel before God (see Ex 28:38) and the NT truths about our Great High Priest...
As our Lord (Jesus Christ) represents us on high, "Holiness to the Lord" flashes from His brow. The brow is the noblest and most distinguishing feature of man. Holiness must be written here, to be seen before all else as the High Priest enters the most Holy Presence. This is the first thing God beholds in our glorious High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. He bears it on HIS forehead that WE may be accepted! As Aaron was to bear the "holy crown" always (Ex 28:38), so Christ bears it always for us, so that in Him we become ALWAYS ACCEPTED! All this is taught doctrinally in the New Testament - especially in Ephesians and Hebrews. We are "accepted in the Beloved" (Ep 1:6) who bears us on His heart before God. We are chosen "in Him" to be "holy and without blame," (Eph 1:4) for He is our holiness. (Ed: Our "holiness" positionally is the Person of Christ. This truth should motivate and empower us [renew our minds] to daily work out of our high, holy position in practice!) We are told of the Divine "power to us-ward who believe" - and that power is seen, in Christ who bears His people on His mighty shoulder, "far above all principality and power and might, and every name that is named"! (Eph 1:21) Well may our praise forever flow to God for such a Saviour!
[FONT Through the riches of His grace -- predestinated -- loved as adult sonsPastor Ray Stedman applies the truth of Ephesians 1:6...[/FONT>
[FONT Through the riches of His grace -- predestinated -- loved as adult sons
Through the riches of His grace -- predestinated -- loved as adult sonsWe must reestablish the great fact
of our relationship to Christ.
We must have ground for believing and reassuring ourselves that we are indeed "justified by faith," standing in God's presence not by our own righteousness, but by the righteousness of the Son of God, that we are accepted in the Beloved, that we are "in Christ," because, as Paul tells us in Romans 8, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those that are in Christ," Romans 8:1). In Christ all that He is appears on our behalf and therefore there is no condemnation to us. Now, therefore, if we are going to silence the doubts of our hearts, we must know that we are "of the truth." That is where we must begin. (Ed: As an aside, remember that truth counters the lies of Satan and that the battlefield is our "mind.") This is what we saw in Ephesians where the Apostle Paul urges us to put on the breastplate of righteousness Ephesians 6:14), by which the heart is guarded, the emotions, which are so easily subject to discouragement, gloom, and despair. Put on the breastplate of righteousness. Realize again that you are "of the truth," for it is by the mind's knowledge that the heart's doubts are silenced.
William S Plumer writes...
The Christian is a paradox. Because he has Christ, he has the unsearchable riches of Christ. .
Believers . . .
have full and free forgiveness of all their sins;
are fully accepted in the Beloved;
are clothed in Christ's spotless righteousness;
are adopted into the family of God;
have a perfect title to heaven through Christ;
have God for their Father,
have Christ for their Savior,
have the Holy Spirit for their Comforter,
have heaven for their home;
shall be like Christ and with Christ forever;
shall inherit all things;
(Believers) are sure of ultimate victory over . . .
Dwight Edwards commenting on Phil 1:2 gives us the balance we must remember when we speak of "accepted in the Beloved"...
We are thoroughly secure in the father --> son relationship we have with God, for we are eternally ACCEPTED in the Beloved. Eph. 1:6. Nothing, but nothing can separate us from the love of God. It must also be remembered however, that Christ is our Lord. We have been bought with a price and our bodies are no longer our own. We now are the property of Jesus Christ and are subject to His desires for our life. Therefore we are ACCOUNTABLE as well as ACCEPTED.
J C Philpot in "Meditations on Matters of Christian Faith & Experience" has a section on the miserable dregs of self...
"To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved." Ephes. 1:6
We are ever looking for something in self to make ourselves acceptable to God, and are often sadly cast down and discouraged when we cannot find . . .
that calm submission to the will of God,
that serenity of soul,
that spirituality and heavenly-mindedness
which we believe to be acceptable in His sight.
Our . . .
fretful, peevish minds,
alienation from good,
headlong proneness to ill,
with the daily feeling that we get no better but rather worse, make us think that God views us just as we view ourselves. And this brings on great darkness of mind and bondage of spirit, and we seem to lose sight of our acceptance in Christ, and get into the miserable dregs of self, almost ready to quarrel with God because we are so vile, and only get worse as we get older.
Now the more we get into these dregs of self, and the more we keep looking at the dreadful scenes of wreck and ruin which our heart presents to daily view, the farther do we get from the grace of the gospel, and the more do we lose sight of the only ground of our acceptance with God. It is "in the Beloved" that we are accepted, and
not for any . . .
good hearts, or
good intentions of our own.
If our acceptance with God depended on anything in ourselves, we would have to adopt the Wesleyan creed, and believe we might be children of God today and children of the devil tomorrow.
What, then, is to keep us from sinking altogether into despair, without hope or help? Why, a knowledge of our acceptance "in the Beloved," independent of everything in us, good or bad.
"Their righteousness is of Me, says the Lord."
"You are complete in Him."
What a universal chorus of harmonious voices do we hear all sounding forth the same melodious strain--that we are accepted in the Beloved.
"He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His mercy." Titus 3:5
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Dr Harry A Ironside has the following illustration on "Accepted in the Beloved" (Eph 1:6KJV) writing that...
Years ago I was preaching in the small town of Roosevelt, Washington, on the north bank of the Columbia River. 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 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,” has died for us and now we who believe are dressed up in the fleece of the Lamb who died. Thus, God has accepted us in Him, and “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” We are as dear to the heart of the Father as His own holy, spotless Son. (Illustrations of Bible Truth. Moody Press, 1945)
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.
(cf John 17:23)
Comment: Beloved, do you see what John 17:23 is saying? Jesus is saying the love which the Father has for believers in Christ is of the same degree as the love which He has for His Son! Now if that does "blow us away" with God's amazing grace, I don't know what will!
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In Morning and Evening, Spurgeon writes the following devotional on Ephesians 1:6...
What a state of privilege! It includes our justification before God, but the term "acceptance" in the Greek means more than that. It signifies that we are the objects of divine complacence (Ed: Webster's 1828 = "the cause of pleasure or joy"!), nay, even of divine delight. How marvelous that we, worms, mortals, sinners, should be the objects of divine love! But it is only "in the beloved."
Some Christians seem to be accepted in their own experience, at least, that is their apprehension. When their spirit is lively, and their hopes bright, they think God accepts them, for they feel so high, 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 really 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 happier they would be, and how much more they would honour the Saviour! Rejoice then, believer, in this: thou art accepted "in the beloved." Thou lookest within, and thou sayest, "There is nothing acceptable here!" But look at Christ, and see if there is not everything acceptable there. Thy sins trouble thee; but God has cast thy sins behind His back, and thou art accepted in the Righteous One. Thou hast to fight with corruption, and to wrestle with temptation, but thou art already accepted in him who has overcome the powers of evil. The devil tempts thee; be of good cheer, he cannot destroy thee, for thou art accepted in him who has broken Satan's head. Know by full assurance thy glorious standing. Even glorified souls are not more accepted than thou art. They are only accepted in heaven "in the beloved," and thou art even now accepted in Christ after the same manner.
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So Many Blessings - When disaster strikes, people are exceedingly generous in their outpouring of assistance. After the terrorist attacks in September 2001, New York City was flooded with an estimated $75 million worth of towels, blankets, flashlights, water bottles, canned beans, shovels, toothpaste, stuffed animals, radios, rubber boots, and thousands of other items. There was so much stuff that those affected could not use it all.
This reminds me of what happens when we turn in faith to Christ as our Savior. We were facing a personal disaster. Our sins put us in danger of an eternity of separation from God. The future was dark, hopeless.
Then Jesus stepped in and offered rescue. When we trusted Him, our heavenly Father lavished us with spiritual riches. Now we have more blessings than we can possibly use up. We are part of God's family (Ephesians 1:5). We have "redemption" and "the forgiveness of sins" (Ep 1:7). We are heirs of the One who owns everything (Ep 1:11). Our inheritance is sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ep 1:13,14).
The blessings of being a Christian just keep on coming. They'll never run out. What a generous, thoughtful God we serve! Let's praise Him for the countless blessings that overflow in our lives. —Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Give me a spirit of thankfulness, Lord,
For numberless blessings given;
Blessings that daily come to me
Like dewdrops falling from heaven.
God's generous giving deserves thankful living.
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Accepted - As the gospel was being presented to a woman, she explained she had tried her best to please God. Then she added, "But I'm afraid God will never accept me."
The Christian talking with her said, "I agree with you. He never will."
A look of astonishment came over the woman's face, for she had not expected such a response.
The believer then explained, "No, He never will, but God has accepted His Son, and if you join yourself to Him through faith, you will find God's favor!"
Many people have been deceived into thinking they must somehow earn acceptance in the eyes of God. The Bible, however, tells us that there is nothing in us, nor in what we do, that can in any way merit God's love and favor (Ro 3:28; Eph. 2:1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Our salvation is rooted in God's sovereign choice, His mercy, and Christ's sacrificial death for us (Eph. 1:4, 5, 6,7).
Trying to understand why God accepts us may baffle our minds, but the how is clear. Our acceptance comes in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for our sin, and who joins us to Himself. When we put our personal trust in Him and accept His forgiveness, we can be sure that we have been accepted. --Henry G. Bosch (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Sons of God, beloved in Jesus!
O the wondrous word of grace;
In His Son the Father sees us,
And as sons He gives us place.
God accepts all who accept His Son.