Saturday, July 15, 2017

covered in the fleece of the Lamb

My heart was drawn back to Ephesians Chapter One for a word study of the phrase accepted in the Beloved from Ephesians 1:5-6

Amplified: For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]— [So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

NLT: God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

Phillips: He planned, in his purpose of love, that we should be adopted as his own children through Jesus Christ—that we might learn to praise that glorious generosity of his which has made us welcome in the everlasting love he bears towards the Son.

Wuest: having previously marked us out to be placed as adult sons through the intermediate agency of Jesus Christ for Himself according to that which seemed good in His heart’s desire resulting in praise of the glory of His grace which He freely bestowed upon us in the Beloved.

Young’s Literal: having foreordained us to the adoption of sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, in which He did make us accepted in the beloved.

Jubilee Bible: having marked out beforehand the way for us to be adopted as sons by Jesus Christ in himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, in which he has made us accepted in the beloved.

NKJV:  having predestined 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.

A word study of beloved (agapao) speaks especially of love as based on evaluation and choice, a matter of will and action. The Beloved is Christ, the one the Father loves. God the Father has always loved God the Son with this love which is permanent.

In this scripture, beloved is in the perfect tense, which is very expressive. It speaks of an action that took place in the past, which was completed in past time, and the existence of its finished results. For instance, you might say, “I have closed the door," which speaks of a past completed action. But the implication is that, as a result, the door is still closed. The entire meaning is, “I have closed the door and it is closed at present."

In this context beloved is in the perfect tense, which conveys the idea of permanence and speaks of the Father having always loved Son. Christ is the One Who is ever in the state of being loved by the Father, and where are saved sinners? Accepted in the Beloved.

I heard a story several years ago which is a beautiful illustration of this Truth. A man was the guest of sheep-raisers. It was lambing time and every morning they went out to see the lambs. One morning, the man was startled to see an old ewe walking across the road, followed by a strange looking lamb. It apparently had six legs, and the skin seemed to be partially torn from its body. One of the herders caught the lamb and explained the mystery—that lamb did not really belong originally to that ewe. She had a lamb which was bitten by a rattlesnake and died. This lamb was an orphan and needed a mother’s care. But at first, the grieving ewe refused to have anything to do with it. She sniffed at it when it was brought to her, then pushed it away, as if to say, “That is not our family odor!” So the herders skinned the lamb that had died and very carefully drew the fleece over the living lamb. This left the hind-leg coverings dragging loose. After it was covered, the lamb was brought again to the ewe. She smelled it once more and this time seemed thoroughly satisfied and adopted it as her own.

What a beautiful picture of the grace of God to sinners. We are all outcasts and have no claim upon His love. But God’s own Son, the "Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the World," has died for us, and now we who believe are covered in the fleece of the Lamb who died. God has accepted us in the Beloved. Praise His Holy Name!

Lord Jesus, Thank You that I am accepted in the Beloved Son of God, and because of that, I can rest in Your finished work on the Cross. Thank You that I can rest as You carry my burdens for me. I give them all to You and I gladly receive Your rest! Teach me Your wisdom that is humble and pure, and help me to walk in the ways You set before me. Thank You for Your mercy and love that invite me to continually experience Your Peace and enjoy Your Presence, living my life resting and trusting in You! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on Ephesians 1:5-6 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:5-6 … pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:5-6 …pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – 
Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

Weekly LinkUps…


  1. Beautiful, Beth.
    Thank you.
    I love that story and is illustrates "adoption" perfectly.

    1. Amen, Mary! I so agree with you! Thank you for being such a sweet encourager to me and so many others...many blessings to you!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by, Rebecca. It does give us such a blessed assurance when we focus on the finished work of Christ. Many blessings to you!


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