We are completely accepted by God in Christ. This acceptance extends beyond salvation. It’s for every part of our walk with Him, including our blessings, our ministry, and our anointing. God has no favorites, nor will He withdraw His acceptance if we remain in Christ.
Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. (Acts 10:34-35)
It’s a wonderful truth that our gracious God doesn’t play favourites. Yet many believers seem unable to grasp the full measure of this. They can believe that it applies to salvation – though many often struggle even with this truth. But when it comes to answers to prayer, the working of His power, or anointing, too many of us hang back. There is a sense that some are more deserving than others. Yet nowhere in the Bible do we see God show favouritism. All His children are loved and treated alike. He is as likely to bless or raise up the lowly street sweeper as He is to the wealthy merchant or prince. Accepted by God isn’t dependent on who or what we are, or what we are able to achieve. It has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Jesus who died for each one of us.
We are accepted by God in Christ.
The first obstacle we encounter is when we realise our own sinfulness. We have to look at ourselves and acknowledge that we cannot either deserve or earn divine acceptance. This is repentance, a critical step in receiving salvation. But the great blessing of salvation is that Jesus came to ensure we would be accepted by God. Repentance and forgiveness is immediately followed by acceptance in Christ. This is possible because we fully identify with Jesus and He fully identifies with us. That identification means that when God looks at us, He sees His Son. Despite our sinfulness and human frailty, we are accepted in the beloved because we have accepted and fully identify with the work Jesus did on our behalf on the cross. This is the power inherent in the truth that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. We have complete acceptance.
The problem, unfortunately, is that pride and the enemy keep reminding us that we still sin. It may seem like pride is a contradiction. But that’s the voice that suggests our sinfulness is too great for Jesus to fully atone for it. It’s a reverse-operating kind of pride. We imagine that pride only suggests that we’re too good to need Jesus. But falling into doubt and wondering if what Jesus did is sufficient for our overwhelming sinfulness is also pride. It’s like saying our sin is too big for Jesus. There’s something ‘unique’ about us that sets us apart, even if it is a negative. Yet the truth is that we’re already accepted by God. When we sin, no matter what it might be, as soon as we repent we receive forgiveness. Sin cannot affect our acceptance because it’s dependent on Jesus, not us.
Those accepted by God receive His blessings.
Many believers struggle to receive from God because they don’t see that acceptance extends to His blessings as well. They mistakenly believe that it’s limited to salvation. The logic is that if we continue to sin, we cannot expect to be blessed. Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that anyone who has been accepted by God is excluded from His blessings. Of course we will continue to sin. That is why we are in Christ and He is in us. It’s also why we have the indwelling Holy Spirit. None of us can ever hope to never sin again. We are accepted by God once and for all. He doesn’t withdraw it when we mess up. Yes, He may chastise us along the way. But divine discipline is a mark of His acceptance. God disciplines those who are His children – those He has accepted.
But we cannot expect to wilfully continue in sin. Where we are in engaged in deliberate and conscious rebellion, He may temporarily withhold blessings as part of our discipline. Usually, though, it is our rebellion which prevents us receiving the blessings and the acceptance. This is a very different scenario to the faithful believer who genuinely seeks to live in His ways. God never enables rebellion. But it doesn’t alter our acceptance. That’s already accomplished in Christ. The only thing that can affect this is if we choose to turn our back on God completely. Even then, it’s not Him reversing the acceptance. It’s us refusing it, which is very different. There is a misleading acceptance in the church that if we’re ‘not blessed’ it’s because there’s something wrong. There may well be, but it’s as likely that we have misunderstood what it means to be accepted by God.
The call of God is on those accepted by God.
While there is a distinction between different types of ministry callings, they are all equal. The Bible never defines one calling as more important than the other. The Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit are equally available to every single believer. As an example, the Great Commission is for every believer. To accomplish this, we need the gifts of the Spirit. We all have equal anointing, though He may call us differently to particular ministries. Every believer is accepted by God and called by God. Every one of us is an equally important part of the body, and the body needs us all equally to function as it should. Jesus did not only send out the twelve. He also sent out the seventy-two, and then every single disciple in that generation and all generations to come. That’s you and me and everyone else.
We mistake God’s particular purpose with a perception of favouritism. What this means is that we somehow believe those with ‘bigger’ ministries have more favour. They were ‘chosen’ out of all of us, so must therefore be ‘special’ in His eyes. The real truth is that our calling is related to how He made us. Paul, for example, was arrogant and a legalistic religious zealot. His boldness and zeal were required to spearhead the evangelism of the Gentiles. Paul wasn’t more accepted by God. In fact, he was opposed to God. The simple truth was that He had the right nature for that purpose at that time. But doubting Thomas, as we call Him, was also an evangelist martyred for the faith. We don’t hear much of Thomas, but he was no less accepted in Christ than Paul. They were different but their position in Christ was not.
Accepted by God is anointed by God.
This is a truth many believers have never taken hold of. I personally believe it’s the reason why the modern church is so far removed from the church of power in Acts. There’s a perception that the ‘special’ ones are anointed. The rest of us kind of bumble around as best we can and cannot expect to make a difference in the kingdom. The real truth is that if we have the Holy Spirit – the seal that we are accepted by God – we have the anointing. It’s already in us. Anointing, when we talk in terms of God, is divine empowerment to supernaturally enable us to do what He commands. Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would come upon them in power. That’s who the Holy Spirit is – the power of God to fulfil His will and purpose. He comes upon us with power – anointing.
The fact that we have never used it doesn’t mean it’s not there. If we have the Spirit we have the anointing. We have the power. It’s already in us. That’s why the Greek for to be filled with the Spirit is actually the continuous present tense. It’s really be continually filled. We’re accepted by God and anointed by God. The two cannot be separated. But too many believers never take hold of the anointing because they’re uncertain of the acceptance. God does not fill anyone who is not accepted with His Spirit. We will still sin, still mess up, and still struggle with self. He doesn’t withdraw the acceptance, and nor does He withdraw the anointing. The seal of the Spirit is our guarantee of these things. Jesus has already done the work. All we need to do is take hold of the truth and walk in it.
Accepted by God is a way of life.
Rejection is one of the most powerful spiritual doorways for the enemy. All of us have a deep, inherent need for acceptance. The liberty promised by Christ is manifest in the fact that we are accepted by God. It is this acceptance that sets us free to enjoy His blessings and fulfil our purpose in Him. But there’s more to it than simply believing it. God wants us to live in it. He desires that the truth of it fills every part of our lives. This is because we cannot walk in what He has purposed for us effectively without this transformational truth. Once we learn to live in the absolute assurance that we are accepted by God, we can receive all the other things He has planned for us. We live in it when we live in Christ, accepted in the beloved and in perfect God-given liberty.
Thank You, Father, for Your unlimited grace in making us accepted in the beloved. Thank You that it’s not about who or what we are but about Jesus and what He accomplished for us. Help us to take hold of the precious truth and live in Your acceptance, so that we can step out in faith. Release Your will and purpose in us accordingly, so that Your glory can be revealed through our liberty and acceptance in Jesus.