ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED 2019-02-17
(NKJV=New King James. NLTSE=New Living translation 2nd edition)
EPHESIANS 1:2-6(NKJV) “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”
Have you ever entered a premises and seen a sign “RIGHT OF ADMISSION RESERVED”? This means that the owners can choose who to allow access to, based on the owner’s discretion. If you’re not suitable, you can’t go in
Heaven also has right of admission reserved.
In determining the suitability of an animal for sacrifice, under the old covenant, the animal could have no physical defects. If it had, it was disqualified for use. Not good enough. Not accepted.
For this reason, Jesus was the spotless lamb of God, who died in our place:
1 PETER 1:18-19(NLTSE) “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God”
There are several reasons why we should not be accepted into God’s family, on the grounds of “heart defects”
We have hard hearts
JEREMIAH 17:9(NLTSE) “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
EZEKIEL 36:26(NKJV) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17(NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new
We have wandering hearts
ISAIAH 53:6(NKJV) All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.
MATTHEW 11:28-30(NKJV) “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light”
We are not like minded with God
ISAIAH 55:8-9(NKJV) “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
1 CORINTHIANS 2:16(NKJV) For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ
PHILIPPIANS 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
We are unrighteous
ROMANS 3:10(NKJV)There is none righteous, no, not one
ROMANS 3:23(NKJV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
2 CORINTHIANS 5:21(NKJV) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him
We often have to deal with a sense of rejection and unworthiness, for several reasons. They may include:
Lies from the devil
Not feeling welcome in a particular social group
EPHESIANS 1:2-6(NKJV) gives us incredible promises, ensuring us of our acceptance by God
vs4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world
Clearly, before we even disqualified ourselves, God’s plan was to accept us and include us
vs5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will
God already sees who we can become, in Christ Jesus
vs6 by which He made us accepted in the Beloved
We’re accepted because of what Jesus has already done, not because of anything we still have to do
What a beautiful redemption from a “works based” relationship
to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the beloved
The work of the cross is finished but Jesus is still busy with us:
JOHN 19:30(NKJV) So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit
2 CORINTHIANS 3:18(NLTSEb) And the Lord, who is the Spirit, makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
Take heed of where you’re trying be accepted:
JAMES 4:4 You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.
Jesus is busy interceding for us right now!!
HEBREWS 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them