Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:3-14, NKJV
Focus on verse 6.
Why so many versions of The Bible in the English language? Two primary reasons shed light on the issue.
1. To get the most accurate word-for-word translation, known as formal equivalent. The NASB, ESV and KJV would be grouped into.
2. To achieve the most readable, flowing version possible, known as dynamic equivalent. The NLT, NRSV and NIV might be grouped into class.
3. A third grouping whose purpose is the render a flowing, more readable version is a genre known as paraphrase. The Message and Living Bible are part of grouping.
This explains in part why when we read certain passages we may find differences that appear to be contradictory and/or adding something or omitting something.
Such is the case with Ephesians 1:6
The KJV & NKJV: To the praise of the glory of His grace, whereinHe hath made us accepted in the Beloved.
The NLT: So we praise God for the wonderful kindness He has poured out on us because we belong to His dearly loved Son.
The NIV says… to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.
Careful study reveals that these versions communicate the original text accurately, but they go about it in different ways.
In Ephesians 1:6 the word “accepted” or the phrases “has poured out on us,” or “which He has freely given us” are translated from a word tied with GRACE = (χαριτόω – chritoo), (hi-re-toe)
· endued with special honor.
· to make accepted.
· to be highly favored.
KJV translators used the specific word “accepted” to convey the point that IN CHRIST we have received God’s Grace and thus are “accepted” by God.
Other translators went with the IDEA that the word conveys and used phrases to convey the meaning of highly favored or special honor which are acceptable ways to translate (χαριτόω – chritoo).
They both convey the meaning that: God has freely given, and poured out His Grace on the believer and that makes us ACCEPTABLE before Him.
Do You feel Accepted By God?
Paul tells the Ephesian believers that IN Christ they are ACCEPTED by God. He places only one qualifier on this reality… that of being IN Christ.
I ask, in your everyday experience of life, do you feel accepted by God? This is an important issue to consider because how we respond to this truth determines the course of our life.
· performance ~ vs ~ faith
· fear ~ vs ~ confidence
· anxiety ~ vs ~ rest
· dread ~ vs ~ joy
If I live in the perception that God may not accept me, then I will chase better performance to show God I’m worthy.
But since my performance will never match the perfection of Christ, I will live in fear that I’m not measuring up, leading to anxiety about poor performance and dread that I am destined to a lifetime of being a day late and a dollar short with God
If I live in the light of TRUTH then joy over God’s acceptance will be my anchor, leading to rest and confidence in Him and faith that He will lead me in the path of development that will mold me in the image of Christ.
One path that leads to bondage and one leads to freedom.
Author of Acceptance = God The Father
Referring to God The Father Paul writes …He has made us accepted…. Our acceptableness is the work of God Himself.
Basis of Acceptance = God The Son
God achieves our being acceptable to Him through the salvific work of Christ Jesus, His Son - …He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
The “Beloved” one is none-other than Jesus. Matthew 3:12; Mark 9:7; Philippians 2:5-11.
Because we are IN Jesus, what is true of Him becomes true of us…
· He suffers for sin and pays the debt in full… IN Him my sin debt is fully paid.
· He rises from the dead with Eternal Life… IN Him I am raised to Eternal Life.
· His righteousness is fully exposed in His obedience to and faith in The Father’s Redemptive plan… IN Him I am clothed with His righteousness.
God’s Word declares this to be true and leaves us with only 1 of 2 choices in relation to it…
1. Not believe = work ourselves crazy trying to find acceptance with God within ourselves.
2. Believe = rest in what Christ as done on our behalf.
One leads to a life of bondage and fear the other to freedom and joy.
The Reason for Acceptance = Praise of the glory of His grace.
The REASON leaves us with 1 of 2 focuses…
· Centered on man
· Centered on God Himself
VS 6 gives us the answer… to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved…
It shows to all creation the:
· infinite magnitude of His love.
· incalculable storehouse of His grace.
· inexhaustible reservoir of His mercy.
In the midst of this full-on display of God’s Divine Glory, we are lifted out of eternal condemnation and cemented into eternal approval and it’s all done by HIM.
The Daily Application of Acceptance - Faith
I must exercise the FAITH God has given me and believe His Word.
· I don’t have to understand it… But I do have to profess it.
· I don’t have to have to earn it… But I do have to lay hold of it.
· I don’t have to keep it… But I do have to remind myself often of its reality VS3.
Nothing To Prove!
In Christ I have nothing to prove!!!! – but only praise for the One who makes me Accepted and Acceptable to God.