I am starting a new blog series today! This series focuses on the identity of the Christian. Who are we in Christ? Neil T. Anderson wrote a great devotional book called Who I am in Christ. It is from this book that you will find the outline of my series. Today, I start with a reassuring truth. The Christian is accepted in Christ. Notice how I say the Christian is accepted. Only a specific group is “accepted.” I am not a universalist, meaning that I do not believe all people will go to heaven no matter what “god” they worship. I am a believer who sees in the whole story of the Bible that only those who walk the narrow way (the path of righteousness, holiness, love, etc.) and enter through the narrow gate (Jesus Christ alone) will enter into the Kingdom of God. Thus, my biblical conviction is that God accepts the Christian. Not because of the works they do, but because of the work Christ has done. The believer is accepted in Christ.
So, what does it mean to be accepted in Christ? I am sure if we looked at the lives of everyone around us and especially our own lives, we would see that we all long for acceptance. We try to impress people by showing off, saying the right things, saying things that make people laugh, following the right crowd, trying to be popular, trying to fit in, and many other things. Ultimately, we will be disappointed by the results. Not everyone accepts you. No matter how perfect we attempt to be rejection will come.
“We labor under the false assumption that if we live perfectly everybody will accept us, while there was One who lived His life perfectly, and everybody rejected Him.”
Isn’t that the truth! We strive for perfection hoping that we will win acceptance from everybody, yet we fail to look at the example of Christ’s life. How did people treat the perfect Lord of Glory? What benefits did Christ receive as the Son of God here on earth? He was rejected, despised, beaten, and crucified. He was perfect and he received rejection, so what makes us think that our strivings for perfection will result in acceptance from the world? In fact, the apostle Paul says, ” all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Even when we desire to live a life pleasing to God we will be despised and persecuted.
This should not discourage us though! Why? Because “blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on [Christ’s] account” (Matt. 5:11). We are accepted in the Beloved! Everything that we do as Christians should be in response to God’s love for us, not an attempt to earn God’s favor. If we attempt to meet our need for acceptance apart from God, we will only be doomed to reap dissatisfaction. Lay aside your quest to pursue the praise from man. You do not need to compete for the affections of man if you are in Christ. You are already secure and loved by God! What else could you need? You are accepted in the Beloved!
“In the Beloved” accepted am I,
Risen, ascended, and seated on high;
Saved from all sin thro’ His infinite grace,
With the redeemed ones accorded a place.
“In the Beloved,” God’s marvelous grace
Calls me to dwell in this wonderful place;
God sees my Savior and then He sees me
“In the Beloved,” accepted and free.
Cevilla D. Martin, “In the Beloved.”