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Accepted In Christ

Scripture: Ephesians 1: 1-6; Text: Ephesians 1:6

While there are many important subjects before us, we will focus our attention on verse six. The apostle who was inspired to write these words, dealt with some very difficult subjects. Though some have found them difficult to understand, he did not allow the failures of men to deter him from declaring them. He felt compelled to proclaim the whole counsel of God according to Acts 20:27. My intention is the same today. There is something here that is seldom heard, but since God spoke it, we need to understand it.

Let us begin by asking some questions we all need to answer in our hearts. How is your relationship with God? In other words, how do you feel about Him and are you close to God? Is He to be sought only in emergencies? Do you think of Him as a "safety net" to catch you when you fall, or do you seek His holy presence at all times? When you pray, is it only in times when you have a need and want something from Him? Well there are many people who think of God in these superficial ways. They do not want to get too close to Him. Many are content to approach Him only occasionally. If you feel about God as I have described, then you are missing something very special.

If we are saved, we are God's children and we should relate to Him in terms of a parent and child. Matthew 6:9. Think about our relationships with our children and parents. Hopefully there is a great deal of love and closeness. That is how it should be between us and God our Father. We should want to be close to Him , talk to Him in prayer often and to love Him as we feel His love for us. Only those who are really close to God, will enjoy such life enriching blessings. By the way, when that loving relationship is enjoyed between natural parents and children, the children not only want to receive from the generous hands of their parent; but they want to be on the giving end too. Jesus taught us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35. Therefore, we should want to give to our heavenly Father and thereby express our love to Him.

So you want to give something to this Ruler of the universe? What could He possibly need, since He owns everything? 1 Corinthians 10:26. I like what the poet once said, "What can I give Him, poor as I am?; if I were a shepherd, I'd give Him a lamb. If I were a rich man, I'd do my part; but what can I give Him?, I give Him my heart." Evidentally he had taken to heart the words of Proverbs 23:26. Yet there is something else that we can give Him. We can give Him our praise and with that thought, the message of the verse begins.


It is interesting that Paul focuses our attention on GOD'S praise. All that he mentions in thses verses, are to praise God. Therefore, we should want to praise Him too. We often become so absorbed with our desires for acknowledgment and glory, that we do not even think of praising God. We certainly want others to praise us and give us glory, but what about God? He deserves glory and praise far more than we do. Our selfishness causes us to forget that fact, so the writers of the Bible persisted in reminding us that the praise of God should be one of our chief purposes in life.

So often we are taught to praise God. The Psalmist of Israel called upon the people time and time again, to praise the Lord. His final thought which concludes all the Psalms, was an encouragement to praise God, to join with all that surrounds us and give Him praise. Psalm 150:6. Then as we come to the New Testament, we recognize that we are more informed than those who lived under the old dispensation. We have the revelation of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Paul tells us that if there is to be any praise to God, we must use our minds to think. Philippians 4:8. People seldom praise God unless they THINK about who He is and what He has done for us. This process is seen in the shortest chapter of the Bible, Psalm 117:1-2. He says we should praise God and then tells why we are to do so. So think about His goodness and praise Him for His blessings.


The idea behind praise is discovered in words like; confess, commend, to bless, give thanks and speak well of. In our text it primarily means to commend, as for a job well done. There is a glory that belongs to God by virtue of who He is and what He has done. We add to that glory as we praise Him for what He has done for us. What has He done for us? There is a detailed list of PART of that which He has done. In verse two, grace and peace are said to have come to us from God. They are two very precious companions in life. In verse three, we are said to be blessed with all manner of spiritual blessings. Spiritual blessings are far more important to us than temporal ones. In verse four, we are told that God chose us before the world was created. Those who have been chosen by God are called the elect. In verse five, he said we were predestinated to be adopted into the family of God. It was according to His good pleasure, not our will. All these are connected inseparably together in one sentence which concludes with our text. Volumes have been written on each of these verses and yet many of God's children seldom even notice them. Think about them now, aren't these enough reasons to give Him praise?

Well add to that His GRACE, for everything that he has mentioned and a great deal more, may be attributed to His grace. Grace is God's free and unmerited favor. Therefore, salvation is declared to come by His grace. Ephesians 2:8-9. Grace that is ENJOYED in salvation, is SEEN in election and predestination. We do not deserve any of it for we are all sinners. Romans 3:23. Yet in spite of our sinful nature and sinful deeds, God has because of His own goodness, blessed us in time and eternity. If you do not understand how amazing His grace really is, you have not yet seen yourself as you really are. Those who see themselves as they are and God as He is, know that we are to praise Him for the glory of His grace.

As if all that is not enough, Paul added another reason for praise, to the list already considered. In our text he said we are to praise Him because we are made acceptable to God through His beloved. Who is the "Beloved"? It is Jesus, of course. Did you realize that Jesus is the Beloved under consideration? How can we be sure that He is really the one upon whom we can base our hopes for heaven and immortal glory? The answer is found in the Bible and it drives away all doubt and fear.

Jesus is repeatedly referred to as the Son of God. When the angel appeared to Mary prior to the birth of Jesus, he said He would be called the Son of God. Luke 1:35. Following His death, the Roman centurion said, "Truly this was the Son of God." Matthew 27:54. More important than either of them, is the testimony of our heavenly Father. He not only called Jesus His Son, but His "beloved Son." At the baptism of Jesus Matthew 3:17 tells us, "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Later on the mount of transfiguration, Jesus was again referred to in those endearing terms. We are told in Matthew 17:5, these words, "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." On yet another occasion, the Father used a parable to help us understand why Jesus came and why He died. In Luke 20:13, the Bible says, "Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him." Each time He was spoken of in such a loving way, Jesus received glory for the Father. 2 Peter 1:17. Based upon these accounts, can there be any doubt that the "beloved" is Jesus, the Son of God?

God's grace is revealed in Christ, so it was because of what Christ did for us that we are saved. We are made acceptable to God the Father, through the redemptive work of Jesus. Have you ever thought about whether or not you are accepted by God? Probably not, most people haven't, because not many preachers proclaim this truth. Think about it, God does not say that He is accepted by us, but that we must be accepted by Him. Did you know there is not a single verse in the Bible that says we must ACCEPT Christ to be saved, yet we hear that often. (Some have never heard this truth until now.) I have never had anyone to show me the scripture that says we must accept Him. They may use some other word they suppose means the same, but if it does, why didn't God say so? However, here all eyes can see the importance of our being accepted by God. It makes sense to me, if God gives the blessings, it must be by His acceptance, not ours. This is God's gracious work through His Son.

God sees us IN Christ and ACCEPTS us based on the finished work of Christ on the cross. It is not how much good we have done, nor how long we have worked in the church; that saves us. It is not our faith or baptism or the Bible, there is no Saviour but Christ. Acts 4:12. Only those chosen in Him and represented by Him through His sacrificial death and atoning blood, shall be in heaven with Him. Jesus Christ is the "beloved" of the Father and we are acceptable to God in Him because He died for our sins on the cross.

God had no need for sons or daughters, because He had a perfect Son in Jesus. Nevertheless, that we might be blessed with spiritual blessings, He chose in Christ and predestinated to be adopted as children of God, that we might be accepted in His Son. To be accepted in Him means that the Father accepts the offerings of Christ. Ephesians 5:2. It means that the offence and hostility that existed between us as sinners and our holy God, is dissolved away by the person of Christ. Colossians 2:14. It means that the death in sin has been replaced by eternal life, through Jesus. Romans 6:23. All who are accepted in Chrst Jesus will surely be carried to heaven, for that was His desire and prayer. John 17:24. There we shall have eternity to praise and give Him glory.


If your heart holds a holy desire, to praise Him in whom you are accepted, then consider these three facts about His praise. First, when we recognize and embrace this truth in our hearts, He is praised. Second, when we are grateful and thankful to Him for His goodness, He is praised. Third, when we share this message by telling others, He is praised. May all who are objects of His grace, give praise to the glory of His grace. Praise be to God, we are accepted by God the Father, in His beloved Son and our beloved Saviour.

We should begin now and continue every day we are blessed to live, to praise and glorify Him. It will not happen without a committment to Him and firm resolve to do so. It will be necessary to train and discipline ourselves, to keep His glory and praise foremost in our minds. We must try to glorify Him in all we do, according to 1 Corinthians 10:31. Are you willing to do so? Is He "beloved" to you too? Can you look beyond your selfish tendencies, to unselfishly give yourself on the alter of service? Will you live for Him, Who died for you? If so, your life will have a richeness and fullness as can be found in no other way.

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This page last updated on June 17, 2014