"ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED"
"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved"- Ephes. 1:6
Legends have it, that centuries ago there stood a great city by the name of Troy. The city was surrounded by impregnable walls. For ten years the mighty Greek warriors assailed the city to no avail. Finally, one Odysseus ordered his men to build a great wooden horse, large enough to contain several of his most valiant men. Late one night, the great horse, containing its precious cargo, was left just outside the gates. The next morning, in sight of the whole city, the remaining Greeks set sail in what the Trojans thought was retreat. Thinking the horse was an offering of the gods, the Trojans accepted the gift, pulled the horse into the city, closed the gates, and held their victory celebration. But that night, while the Trojans slept, the Greek warriors crept out of their hiding place, opened the gates to the city, and let their comrades in. Thus, the fall of Troy.
I am sure that heaven's walls are much higher than those of Troy. They are watched by a keener eye. All who ascend into that Holy City must be as pure as He who holds the key to the City. Acceptance and admittance into that place involves much more than most people will tell you, for of all places, it is the most difficult place to attain. If the Greeks could not gain admittance into Troy, it is certain that man can not enter the Celestial City by himself, for here, we are hiding much more than men: we must hide our sin.
Man has tried to hide his sin in many ways to gain acceptance into the Father's courts. He has devised rituals, ordinances, and even personal sacrifice. But all of these acts of righteousness come from the tainted hands of imperfect people. The walls are much to high for man to ascend by his own labors.
Heaven's gates are so impregnable that David viewed them as sleepy; sleepy from lack of use. Wake up gates, "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors". Will there never be one who may enter? Thy walls of acceptance are high. But notice the urgency of David's cry. What does he see? Alas, one now stands before the gates. There is a hush. No cry goes up. Flaming swords are sheathed. The piercing eye of the Holy Father looks upon One who has fought a great battle. He stands before the gates of the city bearing the scars of His battle. As He enters the gates, He enter not alone. He must cry as He enters the gate for all to hear: "Behold I and the children which God hath given me"-Hebrews 2:13. The moment of rejoicing has come. The sleepy gates obey as the conquering King makes His advent into the Holy City. The enemy has been cast down. The King has returned. But David must ask for us all, "Who is this King of glory?' Heaven's answer is, "The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in"-Psalm 24:7-9.
Yes, Christ was our Trojan horse. But unlike the Trojan horse, He, as well as His brethren were well known to all the city. His acceptance into those pure gates meant their acceptance. Therefore, it is not that I have accepted His person, or His perfect work, to make me an heir of grace. He was never offered to me. He was offered FOR me. It is God the Father who has accepted me in Christ, His beloved Son, as He offered Himself without spot or blemish to the Father(Hebrews 9:14). This is how we are "accepted in the beloved".
Surely, this is "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved"- Ephesians 1:6. Father, we rejoice in thy Son!
Come to worship with us at HARMONY PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday morning. Phone 501-337-1115.
by His Grace,
Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor.