To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the beloved.
There is implied here a twofold ground of acceptance —
1. On account of our relation to His person.
2. On account of His atonement for our sins. This word "accepted" only occurs twice in the New Testament. The Spirit of God applies it here to believers in Christ. The same expression is applied to the Virgin Mary, when He proclaims her "highly favoured" (Luke 1:28). He hath made us His Hephzibahs — made us dear to Him in the Beloved — made us His delights, a joy to Himself in the Beloved. Not "the Righteous One," though that is true. Not "the Holy One," though that is true; nor through His blood and merits, although He has so done. But there is a deeper truth still: "accepted in His person" before He became man. Accepted in Him who is "the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of His person." "Accepted in the Beloved." It is not the whole truth that we are accepted for His merits and His atonement, though that is true. But here the record calls us back to a past eternity, and tells us of our being made "accepted in the Beloved." And yet there are multitudes of professing Christians who do not trust, or know, or believe that they are accepted in Him, and who do not enjoy the blessedness and rest of looking up into their Father's face and recognizing the love bestowed on them in the Father's Beloved, and the security that that love has surrounded them with! They think they are only accepted according to the measure of their prayers, their merits, their good works, and their faith, instead of according to the measure of the Father's everlasting love for His Son. Yes! we are here plainly taught that our acceptance in the first place was not even on account of Christ's own merits, or prayers, or blood, or sacrifice, much less ours, but solely and only on account of our relation to His person as God's Beloved One; and the subsequent interference of sin only brought out the resources of redemption, forgiveness, salvation, and adoption in Him "in whom all fulness dwells."
(M. Rainsford, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.