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“And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end” (Hebrews 6:11). The assurance of hope is true and lasting assurance that comes from a concentrated, determined, intense, passionate looking by faith to the Lord Jesus Christ as Surety of our salvation. It is also called the “full assurance of faith” (Heb. 10:22) as the believer sees and believes the way into “the holiest,” the very presence of God Himself, “by the blood of Jesus” (Heb. 10:19). The “blood of Jesus” is “the righteousness of God” (Rom. 3:21-26) freely imputed to His people and which they all without exception receive by God-given faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the ground of our salvation and the ground of our assurance of salvation. Our hope is in Christ Jesus alone. We all want to see evidences of salvation within ourselves, but we must never look to these evidences for our assurance. All true, Holy Spirit wrought evidences of salvation point us to Christ alone and Him crucified for assurance.
--- Pastor Bill Parker
There is a great and miraculous difference between a sinner seeking to establish a righteousness of his own by his works and a sinner submitting to the Lord Jesus Christ as his only righteousness before God by which he is accepted (Rom. 10:1-4). That difference is the sovereign power and grace of God through the Lord Jesus Christ in sending the Holy Spirit to impart spiritual life to a spiritually dead sinner and create within him a new heart to submit to God’s way of righteousness in and by Christ. Works righteousness is natural to sinful, fallen men. Grace righteousness, which is the righteousness of Jesus Christ freely imputed and received by God-given faith, is not of men in its creation or application. It is all of God, and, therefore, all of grace. “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:21).
--- Pastor Bill Parker
ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED
"To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). Are you a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, one who has come to the Savior for salvation, forgiveness, righteousness and life? Have you repented of your dead works and idolatry and now worship the true God through Christ and His blood sacrifice? Do you see that sinners are justified (forgiven and declared righteous) solely by His death and resurrection? Is the Son of God all of your hope of heaven? Do you love this glorious God-Man? Do you trust Him as being the only One who can save you from the curse of the law, from sin and from Satan? Do you bow to and submit to His Lordship? If by the witness of the Spirit you answer these questions in the affirmative, then I know you bless the name of our God for your salvation. I also know that since God has saved you, He has taught you that your belief and repentance are not the reasons for your acceptance. There had to be an infinitely higher cause and explanation as to why a holy God would accept sinners. "He hath made us accepted in the Beloved." There is no denying that faith and repentance are very important, but they are not conditions to be met by the sinner for acceptance, rather they are evidences of acceptance which are wrought by the power of the Spirit of grace. Paul, in the context, sets forth the origin and accomplishment of salvation. Our acceptance "in the Beloved," was not conditioned upon something we must do, but upon the eternal purpose of God and the faithfulness of our Savior to fulfill every stipulation He agreed to in the everlasting covenant of grace. The Father chose a people unto salvation (verse 4), Christ received them as a gift and redeemed them by His blood (verse 7). The chosen ones were "accepted in the Beloved" (graced in Him), therefore the Father has always looked to Him for their eternal well-being. Since Christ was "the Surety" (Hebrews 7:22) and "the Mediator" (Hebrews 12:24) of the everlasting covenant, the safety of those entrusted to Him was guaranteed. God looks to His Son and to His obedience as the sole reason for accepting us. Every believer is "accepted in the Beloved." What a blessed anchor for our faith; what a soul-comforting truth.