Accepted in the Beloved

The text of Romans 5:1-6 begins with the term justified.  To be justified means to be proven, to be accepted.  Have you ever heard of a person who has done something wrong try to justify their wrong behavior, or in essence make their bad behavior acceptable. It appears, therefore, that this text basically deals with the notion of acceptance or being accepted.

Friends, I find myself amazed at the great lengths that people will go and with what people will do to become accepted, even sometimes to the extent of becoming annoying, overly dramatic, overly compensating, or even being over or underdressed.  What causes a person to go to such great measures to be seen or accepted? One would only need to watch TV to see some of the most insecure, unhappy, dejected, disheartened and demoralized behavior.  I believe people, most often, behave this way all for the thought of being accepted by others.  I say all for the thought because it is all in the mind of what people think and believe. Everybody’s chasing after a thought.  What do others think of me?  Do they accept me or reject me.  Most people just want to be accepted for who they are.

Friends, there is not one soul that lives and breathes that do not desire acceptance.  I know someone is saying, I don’t really care what people think of me.  Please, don’t be deceived, everyone seeks acceptance, everyone from the president of a country right down to a young child seeks acceptance from those in their world. What president or politician can you honestly say cares nothing about what people think of them?  A young girl who has not experienced the acceptance and love of her daddy, will seek it somewhere else.  A young boy will seek and find that acceptance and love in the company of peers.  Now, if the peers are all angry and dejected, not having experienced the love and acceptance of their own father, you will most certainly have the workings and trappings of a group of angry and hostile youth with pent-up frustrations waiting for the first opportunity to burst forth in negative tirades in hopes of finding acceptance.

This great outcry for acceptance must be met with a clarion call from the church that there is love and acceptance for each of them. That while they were yet in their sins, while they were yet contemplating their next crime, while they were feeling rejected and insignificant, while they were feeling that no one cares, no one thinks they are worthy or acceptable, Christ died for them.  The text says that there may be a few who will die for a good man, but, not one good person will even think of risking their life for a criminal, for a prostitute, for a liar, a conniver, for a cheater or a thief.  No one would consider giving up their life for a traitor, for an adulterer, a murderer, for a bragger, a boaster, a fornicator or rapist.  No one would dare give up their life for a child molester or child abuser.   But, friends, there is a love that is so thoughtful and compassionate that it left no one out.  There is a love so broad that it considered the smallest to the most grotesque crime.  Every sin has been identified and rendered no contest to the love of Christ.  While we were yet sinners.  While we were basting in the comforts of and relishing our self-made idols of family, marriage, houses, cars, vacation homes, gold, stocks, bonds and property, Christ made a decision that we were worth it, that we were important enough to sacrifice his life.  He saw a great need to offer up his blood for the one who was struggling with pornography, the one who was struggling with lust, and homosexual desires, he longed for his love to cover a multitude of sins.  Friends, Jesus sacrificed for it all.

The Word of Truth, the Word of Grace has been extended to the least of them. This Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, the lover of our soul has fixed it so that we don’t have to worry about justifying ourselves or our actions.  We don’t have to worry about justifying our own bad behavior.  He has justified us and found us to be accepted. For everyone who has believed in your heart the Lord Jesus Christ, has received this grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  He has moved our sins away from us as far as the east is from the west. It is done, it is finished.

Not one of us can look down upon any others, regardless of what their sins were, for we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  There is nothing that you have done or could have done that rendered you acceptable in God’s eyes.  None of us found approval in God’s eyes because of any great work or obedience that we may have exhibited.  There is nothing that any of us have accomplished outside of Christ that garnered us God’s approval or acceptance. And there is nothing left for us to do, nothing to prove. It was the blood of our Lord and Savior. Therefore, friends, stop trying so hard to be accepted, and know that you are.  You don’t have to be anything or anybody other than who you are.  You don’t have to wear certain clothes or perform certain acts, you don’t have to go on reality TV or talk shows to prove your point for acceptance, you don’t have to buy friendships, beg attention, or compete with other’s to be the best, the first, the latest or the greatest, because God only see’s the blood of Jesus.  There is just one hero in this story, and His name is Jesus, There is just one who walked the face of this earth and remained sinless.  There is just one who is worthy according to God’s standard to open the sealed book of life to reveal all of our names.   Therefore, go ahead and shout right now that your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life, because, and only because of the love that is so forgiving, so patient, so longsuffering, so faithful and most all of so accepting.  Rejoice that you are accepted in the beloved.

Friends, you are not just accepted, but you are accepted in the beloved.  In essence you are numbered among people like Daniel, who God called greatly beloved, John the beloved disciple of Jesus, Timothy and others, and most of all Jesus whom God claimed through a voice from heaven, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  God, has accepted and calls you his beloved, one in whom he has greatly favored and has a deep love and affection.  You my friends, are dear to God’s heart.  Count it all joy, beloved and rest knowing that your sins are forgiven, and if no one else seems to understand, know that you are widely acknowledged by God, approved for God’s purpose and accepted in God’s love.

If you have not experienced this great love, please open your heart today, receive that Jesus is the son of God, born to the virgin Mary, was beaten, died and rose for your sins and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. If you have confessed this with your mouth and believe in your heart, allow God to indwell you with his presence through the person of the Holy Spirit and you are saved.  Run quickly and tell somebody about your new faith and that I am accepted.  I am accepted in the beloved.

In Christ,

Pastor Aldridge

Posted in Encouragement, Grace, Love and tagged , , , , , .

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