"Favored" In The Beloved
Arthur Pridham

"To the praise of the glory of His grace, through which He hath made us accepted* in the Beloved" (Eph. 1:6).

The grace of God is glorified as the effective means by which the purposes of electing love are compassed. That conscious sinners should be encouraged to assume the place of sons of God, is indeed a triumph of His grace. The language of this verse is most significant. We are viewed with acceptance in the Beloved. But since the Beloved of the Father is also the despised of men, the manifestations of His love to usward are according to the tenor of our calling, as confessors of the cross. We are not, therefore, brought, as a token of the Father's favor, into the fatness of an earthly portion. Instead of riding on the high places of the earth, which is the heritage of Jacob, we are invited by the Gospel to look upwards into heaven; to view there the Pattern of our blessedness in the Person of the ascended Son of man. Instead of being spread visibly before us in the multitude of outward blessings, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Christ glorified is the living assurance to His brethren, that they for whom He suffered in the flesh are loved in Him, as He is loved of God. The Father hath bestowed that manner of love on us. As, therefore, the Beloved is in heaven, so are we also, in the eyes of God's affection, even in the midst of our conflicts and afflictions in the world. The Person of the Beloved becomes thus the all-absorbing Object of true Christian faith. We love Him whom the Father loves; knowing and loving the Father in the Son. On the other hand, we are loved in Him according to the strength of an affection which none but our Lord Jesus can yet worthily appreciate. If, therefore, we would learn the manner of our blessedness, we must surrender our hearts to the direction of that Comforter who expounds to God's children the secret of their joy, by declaring to them what the Father knows to be in the Lord Jesus. Both what we are and what we have, must be learned by immediate reference to Him in whom we stand.

Grace, then, which gives its efficacy to the sovereign will of God, becomes, for that reason, a theme of glorious praise to Him. But who are to minister this praise? Assuredly, the fullness of creation will consent with gladness to its Maker's glory in the coming day. And in that general anthem, the ransomed Church will have preeminence, in praises as in place. She will lead, instead of following, the choir of heaven. But, already, grace is glorified in praise wherever faith has tasted that the Lord is gracious. To show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light, is the proper occupation of those who already are a royal priesthood through electing grace. By the Spirit, our Lord Jesus, the First-born, moves the celebration of the Father's praise among the brethren of His love. It is the glory of our calling to offer a continual sacrifice of praise to God, by the steadfast confession of the Lord Jesus, as the only hope of our souls. True Christian worship dates its beginning from our consciousness, through faith, of our personal acceptance in the Beloved. For they who worship God in the Spirit, "rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." --



* This term appears to express, first, our being favored absolutely in Christ, according to the sovereignty of Divine election; and, second, our subjective investment with the comeliness of Him who alone is acceptable in the Father's sight.