Accepted in the Beloved

Geoffrey Cox

READ : Ephesians 1:3-14

. . . his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (v. 6)

The words and phrases of Ephesians 1:3-14—one long, complicated sentence in Paul’s original Greek—are like a beautiful but complex tapestry. The best way to look at it is to follow the thread of God’s action throughout. Paul lists here all that God has done for us in Christ.

The following is true for every believer (cf. v. 13):

  • God has blessed and chosen us (vv. 4, 11), and predestined us to be part of his plan to unite all things in Christ (v. 10).
  • God has redeemed us (bought us back from the slavery of sin), and forgiven us our sins (v. 7).
  • God has given us knowledge of his will and purpose for the future (v. 9).

And God has confirmed all this by marking us with the seal of the Holy Spirit (v. 13). Just as ultraviolet light shows a mark invisible to ordinary eyes, so we have been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit, which God alone sees and recognizes, as a pledge of our admission to the people of God.

All of this is summed up in one word: grace, which is bestowed on us in Christ. We are accepted in the Beloved!

PRAYER

Lord, make me live “for the praise of his glory” (v. 12).