Monday, April 29, 2019

"Accepted In the Beloved"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Accepted In the Beloved"

    One of the primary tenets of Biblical Doctrine 101 involves the truth that God imputed our sins to the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary so that He could impute Christ's righteousness to us as a free gift of grace.  Or we might say that God gave the Lord Jesus what we deserve, and gives to those who believe what He deserves.

    "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).
    "Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us… righteousness" (I Corinthians 1:30).

   Two paths lie before the human race regarding acceptance with God.  We must either be pristinely perfect from the moment of our conception until forevermore, or pristine perfection must be freely placed on our account as a gift of grace.  The former condemns the entire human race; the latter constitutes the Gospel.  Only through the imputed merits of the Lord Jesus do we become "accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6).  Our own merits and efforts can never suffice.  Because we are originally conceived of Adam's fallen race, we all share the Psalmist's lament: "in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalm 51:6).  Adam's servitude to sin passes down to all his progeny: "in Adam all die" (I Corinthians 15:22).  We cannot ourselves change this spiritual and moral disposition, nor can we absolve ourselves of sins already committed.  Thus, the first path of seeking to attain to acceptability with God by our own efforts portends of frustration, futility, and failure.  "There is no peace, saith my God to the wicked" declared the prophet, referencing those left to remain in their sins because, as the Lord Jesus said, "Ye will not come to Me that ye might have life" (John 5:40).

   The second path offers certain hope to those who repent of their deluded efforts to justify themselves and receive God's free gift of pardon and imputed righteousness in Christ.  "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Galatians 5:16).  As the most blessed bestowal of grace, God accounts trusting hearts as enrobed with the righteousness of His Son.  He sees us as "in Christ," looking upon the righteousness of the Lord Jesus when He sets His gaze upon us.  He sees the Robe, and relates to us first upon the basis of who Christ is, and who we are in Him.  Of course, this does not mean that our Father fails to faithfully chasten and scourge us as necessary (Hebrews 12:6).  However, it does mean that imputed righteousness - Christ's righteousness - supplies the primary sensibility in God's heart regarding His relationship and fellowship to born again believers.  "And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 1:14).

   Biblical Doctrine 101.  The truth we consider may be foundational.  Indeed, every new believer must be escorted as far as possible into this most blessed Light of grace.  However, such truth never grows old in its motivational and empowering impact regarding a life of faithfulness to God.  We will need to be reminded often of our being "accepted in the Beloved."  Moreover, we need to grow in our awareness and understanding of the grace whereby God gave to Christ what we deserve so that He might give to us what Christ deserves.  Fresh explorations of this wondrous expression of God's love always leads us to new vistas of glory, and new victories of the freely given favor that leads to faith and faithfulness

"Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear."
(Hebrews 12:28)

Weekly Memory Verse

   Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.

(Hebrews 12:28)


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