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"The Beloved"

The words “The Beloved” are written in the Holy Scriptures. Who are they referring to? And what do they mean? “The Beloved” is referring to none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s “Beloved Son.” There are many different names or titles given to Jesus Christ as recorded in the scriptures and all have great significance and meaning. But somehow “The Beloved” seems to excel in transcendent splendor because of the fact Christians are “accepted in the Beloved.”

In context, the apostle Paul, at the very beginning of his letter to the Ephesian church, writes concerning the believer’s exalted position “in Christ” through God’s grace and that God has given believers many spiritual blessings which are secured in heaven. “In Christ” is very noteworthy for the fact that everyone who trusts Christ as Savior, God sees and accepts them as “being in Christ.” Through God’s grace, the believer is no longer treated as what he was in himself (without God and hope), but rather what he is now in Christ, meaning he is “a new creation” -- the old has passed away, and the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Interestingly, Paul appears to go more in-depth about the believer’s standing in grace by stating that “in love [God] predestinated us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:4-6).

“Accepted in the Beloved” seems to sum up the character of God’s beloved Son. The Bible tells us that at Jesus’ baptism, a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:7). Matthew also writes about the transfiguration of Jesus when “A bright cloud overshadowed them, and suddenly a voice come out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him” (Matthew 17:5). It is most significant that at both the baptism and the transfiguration of Jesus, God would publicly declare His delight in His “Beloved Son.” This also expresses the glory Jesus had with the Father before the world was (John 17:5).

In his sermon on Matthew 17:5, C.H. Spurgeon said the following: “It is from heaven that this voice comes. It is the voice of the Father, Himself, that speaks. And what the voice says is worthy to be treasured in the hearts of us all. “This—this man who has just come up dripping from the River Jordan, upon whom the Spirit, like a dove, descended and rested—this is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (C.H. Spurgeon, April 17, 1887). Yes, indeed. What the voice says is certainly worthy to be treasured in all our hearts. Christians should be very satisfied with God’s Beloved Son in whom we are accepted. Furthermore, it is only in Christ that ”we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

Accepted in the Beloved also means that Jesus is impeccably pure. The Bible says, “For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26). God’s gracious favor and mercy is bestowed on us in the Beloved, which is the inescapable means God has chosen to accept us as His dear children. We can rest assured God has great spiritual blessings for all who are “chosen and predestinated.”

Isn’t God the great and only source of all spiritual blessings? Paul points out that “God chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). It is worth noting that it is in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ and through His atoning sacrifice on the cross that God sees and accepts us, so that we can “be holy and blameless before Him in love” (Ephesians 1:4). It is so amazing and beyond human comprehension what the shed blood of Jesus Christ does for us now and through eternity. Therefore “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).