Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Accepted in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6)

The name 'Beloved' is a reference to Jesus and it is a beautiful title. The word does not say precisely who loves Jesus here; it is most likely a reference to the Father, although it could also be a reference to the attitude believers have to Jesus. 

What can be said about the love the Father has for Jesus? It was the attitude of the Father for the Son throughout the eternal ages before the creation of the universe. As the Father looked at the Son he saw perfection and beauty and glory. His love was fully reciprocated, his thoughts were fully understood, and his peace was enjoyed. In each of these aspects the Father loved the Son. Yet the scriptures indicate that the primary reason for the Father’s love to the Son was his willingness to die for his people: ‘For this reason the  Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again’ (John 10:17). The love of the Father for the Son, and the love of the Son for the Father, was at its height as they contemplated the salvation of sinners.

We are ‘accepted’ in this Beloved. In order to discover what this means, we must take a journey to the past eternity to see the Father and the Son joyfully preparing the plan of salvation, particularly in the decision that the Son would lay down his life for those the Father gave him. Then we must travel to Calvary where the beloved Son suffered in our place. Then we move on to discover what happens to us when we believe in Jesus – all our sins are forgiven and we are accepted into the divine family. All this, and much more, happens to us because of Jesus.

Of course, Jesus is not only God’s beloved, for he is also the Beloved of his church. They love him with a grateful love, with a penitent love, with a deepening love. And they look forward to the day when they will meet their Beloved. With Samuel Rutherford, they exclaim, ‘Oh I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.’ 

The occupation of heaven throughout the eternity to come will be to praise God for the wonder of his grace. In verse 6 Paul mentions the glory of his grace, in verse 7 it becomes the riches of his grace, and in 2:7 it becomes the exceeding riches of his grace. What a God we have, and what a salvation he has provided! To his great name be the praise for ever!

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