On Easter Sunday when I was 13, with 4 or 5 other boys my age, I went ‘forward’ at the end of the church service and publicly accepted Jesus Christ as my personal saviour. After I was baptised that evening I expected a difference in my life. There was none. But, nine years later I finally received Jesus Christ as my saviour. I had learned that to accept something you have to make a judgement call in your mind. I had accepted years before that Jesus was the Son of God, but that didn”t make me a Christian. On the day I received Him, it was not with my mind but my heart. I found, with great personal joy, there is a big difference between accepting and receiving.
I have also learned that we have to be acceptable to God. I had to repent of my sins to be acceptable. I had to have my sins cleansed by the only sacrifice acceptable to God And, I had to make a choice to lay down my life to be able to receive His. God is the One who determines my eternal destiny. I couldn’t become high minded and accept Him. He had to accept me. He is the Creator, I am the created. I had to humble myself before Him and now I live in heavenly places. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose hame is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit…” (Isa 57:15).
What does it take to be acceptable?
Under the Old Testament all sacrifices had to be acceptable to God, and many times they were not. No strange (out of the order sanctioned by God) offerings were accepted. No offering from a stranger (not one of God’s people) was accepted. Animal sacrifices for sin, etc, were without blemish. But these type of physical sacrifices were done away with under the New Testament with the blood sacrifice of the sinless, unblemished Lamb of God at the cross.
What I have found to be acceptable in the scriptures is in the sacrfices offered to God from the heart. In the Old Testament there were varied sacrifices for varied things for God’s people, Israel. Bull, goats, heifers, sheep, turtle doves, grain, etc. Under the New Testament there are also varied sacrifices for Christians. Let me show you some of what God has said we can do that He will accept. First though, note these sacrifices must come from the heart and spirit within His people.
1 Pet 2:5, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ,”
Also, God has us to realize what we are sacrificing (or else is it really a sacrifice). In Rom 12:1 & 2, we are told to “…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,…(and)…prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God…”.
In Ps 19:14, “let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord…”
Ps 119:108, “…the freewill offering of my mouth…”
Prov 21:3, “justice and judgement…”
Heb 12:28, “..reverence and godly fear…”
1 Tim 1:2 & 3, “…quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty.”
1 Pet 2:20, patient suffering
I’m sure you could find others. But note. these are not physical sacrifices but “spiritual sacrifices, accetable to God…”. Given from the heart and not for personal gain.
To prove what is acceptable and live in them we need to “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15). Which brings me to the ultimate relationship of a man with God and God with that man. It is a loving God that approves and a loving God that uses prepared vessels to meet the needs of His creation. I don’t think there is a greater calling than this. Look at Peter’s words concerning our Example. Acts 2:22, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you…”. Jesus left us an example that we should follow his steps which we can do with a life given to serve Him. What greater calling than to walk with God’s acceptance and approval as a son of God.
See immortalityroad.wordpress.com for more on the sons of God