3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (Eph. 1:3-6)
The Apostle Paul writes to the Ephesians and says – to the praise of the glory of His grace – that God has made them “accepted in the Beloved”. The description of the baptism of Jesus from Matthew chapter 3, shows us that “the Beloved” is Jesus Christ Himself.
16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:16-17)
Note that the voice of the Father, ”This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”, was heard before Jesus had started His earthly ministry. At this point He had performed no miracles, healed no sick, nor even started preaching yet. Before Jesus had achieved anything, He received the revelation from the Father that He was His beloved.
Likewise, as believers in Jesus we have been accepted in Christ – the Beloved one. This means that when the Father looks at us, He sees us in His Son, clothed in Jesus’ own righteousness. The same way Jesus was God’s beloved before He had performed anything, we are accepted by God for the simple reason that we are in Christ, and He is in us. This means that God loves us with an unconditional love – in spite of our performance, and even in lack of any performance whatsoever. Just as Jesus was accepted as God’s beloved Son before He had achieved any of His purpose, we are just as accepted by God in Christ, in spite of our failures, weaknesses, and shortcomings!
I believe that the revelation that we are unconditionally loved by God is the foundation for all true ministry for Him. It is possible to zealously “serve God” and be totally wrong, if the work “for God” is not based on the right knowledge of Him (Rom. 10:2). It is possible to give all of our money to the poor, or even die as martyrs, but if this is not a result of knowing God’s love, it profits us nothing (1 Cor. 13:3).
Dear friend, God wants you to be established in His unconditional love for you. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more, and there is nothing you can do to make God love you less. His love for you does not change or fluctuate. It is constant. He has accepted you in the Beloved.
God is actually more interested in us understanding and believing His love for us, than for us to have a great ministry for Him. However, from that revelation, great ministry will follow, not as a result of our efforts or performance, but as a result of Christ living and working in and through us.
It was the revelation of God’s great love that motivated the Apostle Paul to follow God’s calling and endure persecution and hardships for the sake of the Gospel. It is this same revelation that will help you and me to fulfill God’s unique plan and purpose for our lives.
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. (2 Cor. 5:14-15)