Accepted in the beloved. — Eph 1:6
What a wonderful 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 delight, nay, even of divine joy! How marvelous that we worms, we mortals, we sinners—should be the objects of divine love! But it is only “in the beloved.”
Some Christians seem to think that they are accepted in their own experience. When their heart 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 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 honor the Savior! Rejoice then, believer, in this—you are accepted “in the beloved.”
You look within, and you say, “There is nothing acceptable here!” But look at Christ, and see if there is not everything acceptable there. Your sins trouble you but God has cast your sins behind His back, and you are accepted in the Righteous One. You have to fight with corruption, and to wrestle with temptation but you are already accepted in Him who has overcome the powers of evil. The devil tempts you but be of good cheer, he cannot destroy you, for you are accepted in Him who has broken the red dragon’s head! Even glorified souls in heaven—are not more accepted than you are! They are only accepted in heaven “in the beloved,” and you are even now accepted in Christ, after the same manner!
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe. — Mark 9:23
A certain man had a demoniac son, who was afflicted with a dumb spirit. The father, having seen the futility of the endeavors of the disciples to heal his child, had little or no faith in Christ, and therefore, when he was bidden to bring his son to Him, he said to Jesus, “If You can do anything—have compassion on us, and help us.” Now there was an “if” in the question but the poor trembling father had put the “if” in the wrong place. Jesus Christ, therefore, without commanding him to retract the “if,” kindly puts it in its legitimate position. “Nay, truly,” He seemed to say, “there should be no ‘if’ about My power, nor concerning My willingness, the ‘if’ lies somewhere else.” “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” The man’s trust was strengthened, he offered a humble prayer for an increase of faith, and instantly Jesus spoke the word, and the devil was cast out, with an injunction never to return.
There is a lesson here which we need to learn. We, like this man, often see that there is an “if” somewhere but we are perpetually blundering by putting it in the wrong place. “If” Jesus can help me, “if” He can give me grace to overcome temptation, “if” He can give me pardon, “if” He can make me successful?
Nay, “if” you can believe—He both can and will. You have misplaced your “if.”
If you can confidently trust, even as all things are possible to Christ, so shall all things be possible to you. FAITH stands in God’s power, and is robed in God’s majesty; it wears the royal apparel, and rides on the King’s horse, for it is the grace which the King delights to honor. Girding itself with the glorious might of the all-working Spirit, it becomes, in the omnipotence of God, mighty to do, to dare, and to suffer. All things, without limit, are possible to him who believes. My soul, can you believe your Lord tonight?