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                              IN WHOM has God made us accepted?

                                    "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings . . . in Christ:                                 according as He hath chosen us in Him . . . to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the                                 Beloved." Ephesians 1:3-6.

What great gift comes with our acceptance of Christ?

"And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:40. (See also John 17:2.)

GOD'S WORD AS EVIDENCE OF ACCEPTANCE

What is the foundation of faith?

"Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17.

What is the first and primary evidence of our acceptance with God?

"If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son. . . . And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son." 1 John 5:9-11.

    Note—The primary basis of all faith and acceptance is the word of God —that which God Himself has said. To receive and believe this is the first essential to salvation—the first evidence of acceptance.

Why did John write his testimony concerning God's love and purpose in giving Christ?

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." Verse 13. "These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name." John 20:31. 103

EVIDENCE WITHIN US

What witness does the true believer in Christ have that he is accepted of God?

"He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in him- self: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son." 1 John 5:10.

    Note.—Faith and feeling should not be confounded. Faith is ours to exercise in the word of God, regardless of our feelings, and often in opposition even to our feelings. Many fail to accept the pardon and assurance of the acceptance of Heaven, because they do not take God at His word, but instead turn their attention to their changeable moods and feelings. Faith always precedes the joyful feelings which naturally result from the assurance of forgiveness and acceptance. This order is never reversed.

What is another evidence of divine acceptance?

"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." 1 John 3:14.

THREE WITNESSES OF ACCEPTANCE

What three definite witnesses of acceptance are mentioned by John?

"There are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." 1 John 5:8.

How does the Spirit witness to our acceptance with God?

"Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Galatians 4:6. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Romans 8:16.

Of what is Christian baptism an evidence?

"As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Galatians 3:27.

NOTE.—In baptism, the water and the Spirit both bear witness of God's acceptance. The same Spirit which, at Christ's baptism, said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," witnesses to the acceptance of every sincere believer at his baptism. To what does the blood of Christ witness? "These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. . . . If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:4-7. "In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." Ephesians 1:7. (See also Revela- tion 1:5, 6.)

JESUS AND ACCEPTANCE

How only do any become children of God?

"Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Gala- tians 3:26.

When may we find acceptance with God through Christ?

"I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 6:2.

To whom, therefore, should we ascribe glory and honor?

"Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Revelation 1:5, 6.

THE MAN WITH THE STEAMER TICKET

There is a story told of a man who purchased a steamer'ticket to Europe, and then proceeded to get together a supply of food to last him for the trip. He had a somewhat miserable time of it, until one day someone found him eating cheese and crackers in a secluded corner. He was informed that his ticket entitled him to fine, appetizing meals at the dining table. Thereafter he was well fed. God has provided salvation through Jesus Christ. Many promises are given to us. Faith accepts the blessings Heaven progers. "Have faith in God." Mark 11:22.