Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part X: Applying The Truth That Believers Are Acceptable To God By Jesus Christ
  1. Introduction
    1. Partly due to works-based religious backgrounds, partly due to sinful pre-salvation days and partly due to verbal abuse that makes its victims feel unalterably worthless, many who trust in Christ still somehow feel they must "gain" a "sense of acceptance" with God.
    2. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. To show why, we view one of the 33 riches of God's grace that are true of the believer the instant he trusts in Christ, the fact that the believer is "acceptable to God by Jesus Christ," cf. Lewis S. Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. III, "Soteriology," p. 243-244.
  2. Applying The Truth That Believers Are Acceptable To God By Jesus Christ.
    1. Though God is perfectly righteous and cannot tolerate man's sin, which sin the Bible claims to be "great" (in Genesis 6:5), because of the enormity and completeness of Christ's work on the cross, the instant any human being believes Christ's Gospel, he is "made accepted [by God] in the beloved" One, Jesus Christ, cf. Ephesians 1:6; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Eph. 1:6.
    2. To understand the "nuts and bolts" of this wonderful truth, we view the following truths of Scripture:
      1. First, the sinner by faith in Christ is made perfectly, positionally righteous before God:
        1. When one believes in Christ, he is imparted eternal life from God, John 20:31. This indicates he is positionally free from sin before God, for death is the product of sin, cf. 1 Cor. 15:21-22; Gen. 2:17.
        2. Indeed, in Christ, the believer is imputed the perfect righteousness of Christ, 2 Cor. 5:21.
      2. Second, the sinner by faith in Christ is positionally separated (sanctified) from sin: Paul noted that even the "carnal" believers at Corinth were positionally sanctified in Christ (1 Cor. 6:11) regardless of such experiential sins as pride (1 Cor. 4:18a), infighting (1 Cor. 6:1-8), a lack of consideration for the consciences of weaker believers (1 Cor. 8:1-13), idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14-22), indecent clothing (1 Cor. 11:2-16), the misuse of spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12-14) and gross immorality (1 Cor. 5:1).
      3. Third, the sinner by faith in Christ is positionally perfected forever before a perfect God, cf. Hebrews 10:14. There is thus no reason why the Father can not positionally tolerate him in His presence.
      4. Fourth, since God can not accept any of us who are less perfect than Himself, the instant the sinner believes Christ's Gospel, God accepts him IN His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ so he may be as fully acceptable by the Father as is the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Ephesians 1:6.
      5. Fifth, the sinner by faith in Christ is positionally made fit for heaven's glory so that he can inherit the glory preserved for God's saints in heaven, Colossians 1:12.
Lesson: Due to Christ's spiritual work on the cross, the INSTANT any person believes in Jesus for salvation from sin, he is made fully acceptable to God as follows: (a) though he as a sinner is spiritually dead and doomed for eternal damnation if left to himself, when one believes in Christ, God imputes to him the perfect righteousness of Christ so that he is ALSO given the product of God's positional righteousness -- eternal life. (b) As such, this believer is positionally set apart from sin so that there is no grounds for God not to accept him due to sin. (c) Because sin makes one imperfect, the believer is made positionally perfect in Christ in every way so that the Father can not only tolerate him in heaven, but accept him as His own perfect child. (d) Since God can not accept anyone less perfect than Himself, God positionally places the believer into Christ so that he is accepted by the Father in His perfectly acceptable, perfect Son. (e) Accordingly, the believer is positionally made fit to enjoy his part of the heavenly inheritance God has set apart for the saints, and that once he gets to heaven.

Application: (1) If we come from a background that held over our heads our imperfections to get us to "work harder" to please God, as a believer, RELAX; what we have IN CHRIST makes us ALREADY fully acceptable to the Father as is His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ! (2) If we have lived a very evil past, but believe in Christ, RELAX; our past is fully forgiven under the blood of Christ! (3) If we feel we are irreversibly worthless due to receiving verbal abuse, RELAX; in Christ, we are FULLY ACCEPTED by God the Father just as He accepts His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, for we are IN His Beloved SON!