By Charles H. Welch
Acceptance in the Scriptures covers a variety of related doctrines. The great
types of Leviticus show that the believer is accepted by virtue of the sacrifice
of Christ (Lev. 1:4), and that only a ‘perfect’ offering could ever be accepted
by the Lord (Lev. 22:21). These aspects of the subject lie rather in the
doctrinal sub-division of truth than the dispensational, for they are as true
to-day as when Moses gave the law. The one great dispensational use of the word
‘accepted’ is that of Ephesians 1:6, which comes as the crown and climax of the
first division of the Charter of the Church of the Mystery. This will be more
easily understood if the structure of Ephesians 1:3-14 is set out here, but for
the relation of the subdivision to the structure of the epistle as a whole
however, the reader must be referred to the article
EPHESIANS p. 275.
A | 3-6. The
WILL of the Father.
B | -6. To
the praise of the glory of His grace.
A | 7-12. The
of the Son.
B | -12. To
the praise of His glory.
A | 13,14-.
The WITNESS of the Spirit.
B | -14. To
the praise of His glory.
The reader will observe the threefold refrain of verses 6, 12 and 14, and
will also doubtless have noted that in the first, the words ‘of His grace’ are
added. Were we reading the original Greek of Ephesians 1:6, we should
immediately be aware of the close connection intended by the apostle between the
words ‘grace’ and ‘accepted’, for ‘grace’ is
charis and ‘accepted’ is charitoo,
the margin of the A.V. reading ‘lit. hath graced us’.
The only other occurrence of charitoo
is in Luke 1:28, where the salutation of the angel is recorded, ‘Hail, thou that
art highly favoured among women’. If all
that is written concerning the initial promise in Eden concerning ‘the Seed of
the woman’ be believed, and if all that is revealed concerning the miraculous
conception and birth of Him Whose name was Emmanuel, ‘God with us’ be true, then
it must go without saying that Mary occupies a unique place in the whole
creation of God. Never before was such grace and favour shown to a daughter of
Adam, even as there will never be a repetition of this same miracle of Divine
love. Equally true must it be said of those thus addressed in the epistle to the
No other calling or company, whether of Israel or of the Gentiles has been so
‘highly favoured’ as those Gentiles who constitute the Church of the Mystery,
Gentiles who of themselves were far off, without God, without Christ, and
without hope, strangers and aliens from covenants and promises. This acceptance
is not only unique in itself, but it is said to be ‘in the Beloved’, a title
used of Christ once and once only in this particular form. In another form,
Christ is spoken of in the Gospels as the ‘Beloved Son’, but even that title is
never employed by Paul. Ephesians 1:6 is doubly unique, unique in the use of the
word ‘accepted’, unique in the sphere of this acceptance ‘in the Beloved’.
The terms ‘in Christ’ and ‘in Christ Jesus’ abound in Paul’s epistles and the
choice therefore of this title in Ephesians 1:6 is all the more obvious in its
deliberate intention. Let the mind attempt to comprehend ‘the love of Christ’,
it will for ever be a subject that ‘passeth knowledge’. What then must the
Beloved Himself be in the eyes of His God and Father? When we can comprehend
that most sacred relationship, then shall we be able to appreciate the high
favour that has been bestowed upon the members of the Church which is the body