“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:3-14
The first blessing Paul mentions in Ephesians is that God chose us in Him “before the foundation of the world.” The second blessing Paul mentions is our “adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” The third blessing is that we were adopted by Christ “to the praise of the glory of his grace.” The fourth blessing is “wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” What an amazing statement! God has made us accepted in the beloved. Some key words to understand in the context: “wherein, accepted, beloved.”
Where is the “wherein”? The words just before “wherein” are tes charitos autou – “of the grace of him.” The word “wherein” refers to “the grace of him.” That’s where we have all the blessings of God – in His Grace. Understanding, accepting and rejoicing in the unmerited favor of God is everything in a Christian’s life. We have all good things because of God’s Grace.
“made us accepted”
The Greek is echaritosen. It comes from the root word charis and means “compassed with favor, honored with blessings.” We are surrounded by God’s Grace and honored with great blessings! We do not live in a vacumn. We do not accept Christ as Lord and Savior, receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life, then walk away to spend the rest of our life alone waiting for rapture or death. We spend every minute of our lives “in” God’s Grace; we are blessed with its abundance of blessings and protection! God freely bestowed on us His great blessings; He favored us and made us accepted. God’s Grace is active! His Grace acts upon us and in the process we are accepted.
What does it mean to be accepted? The act of accepting is not ours to do. We don’t accept ourselves. We may want to be accepted into a club or school or organization, but it is the choice of the head of the club, school or organization to accept us and make us members. Salvation, the forgiveness of sins cleansing from all iniquity and the gift of eternal life, is for God to give. It is not in the power of anyone else to grant it. God and only God is the Creator of life and He alone is the One to give eternal life. God could have come up with any rule or regulation necessary for humans to be forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life. Anything God would have come up with would have been right for Him to do. He could have made us climb the highest mountains on our bleeding hands and knees for 40 years to be forgiven. He could have made us fight a thousand trained fighters and win every battle to be forgiven. He could have made us undergo the same kind of torture dealt to Jesus over and over throughout our life to be forgiven. God could have done anything He wanted to us, but what God did was love us and surround us with His Grace. That is what Grace means: we don’t deserve it, we can’t earn it, we can’t buy it, it is a free gift from God.
Paul writes that we are accepted “in the beloved.” What or Who is that?
“in the beloved”
The Greek is en toi egapemenoi. It is the perfect passive participle of agapao (love) and is used only here in the New Testament. It means an action completed in the past with results still affecting the present. “Beloved” is locative of sphere, which means God made us accepted by His Grace in the sphere of His Son.
Jesus Christ is the Beloved of God! God “accepts” us in His Beloved. We do not have to do anything for God to receive His acceptance. We do things for God because of His acceptance. How blessed we are that the Almighty God of Heaven has accepted us in Christ, His Beloved!
In Christ’s Love and Grace,