Maybe you thought that London’s royal wedding had no meaning for you. Ah, but it does.
Some background may be helpful. Kate was a “commoner,” you recall. She wasn’t supposed to qualify for royal occupancy in the palace. But something about her intrigued and attracted Prince William more than any other woman on the planet. None of the “A list” candidates could compare with her.
So he asked her to belong to him. That gave her a choice to make. Was she willing to surrender the identity of a commoner in exchange for the privilege of being royalty?
Kate obviously thought it was a good deal for her, and so we have a wedding today. She is now officially adopted into the royal family, a commoner no longer.
I guess you can see where we’re going with this. Jesus came down to earth as the Son of God, the Prince of heaven. We were worse than commoners—the Bible says we were “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). That’s not very flattering, but it’s true. And yet God wasn’t put off by our mortal misery. He saw value in us that many of us fail to discern in ourselves.
This has nothing to do with our character quality. It’s all about being His precious prodigals—sons and daughters of fallen Adam yet redeemable through the blood of the new Adam, Jesus Christ (see Rom. 5; 1 Cor. 15).
Which brings us to the rest of the story. “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life in Him” (John 3:16).
Jesus came to earth not to condemn us but to save us (verse 17). And He did exactly that, through the life, death and resurrection of Christus victor we are qualified for heaven’s royal family, having been rescued from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of light (Col. 1:14-16).
God did it all for us—but we still have a choice to make about accepting His gift. We aren’t automatically saved by God’s proposal and provision of salvation in Jesus, any more than Kate was automatically married when Will proposed to Kate and provided her his royal acceptance.
Let’s be clear here. At issue is not whether God will accept us. He already has “accepted us in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). The question is whether we will accept Him.
I’m wondering . . . have you come to the place where you are willing to accept God’s acceptance? Here’s how you can do that.
Marriage illustrates salvation
Think again of the royal wedding. When Will proposed to Kate, she no longer could have any reasonable doubt about whether she was acceptable to him. But they weren’t married yet. Although Will had accepted Kate for his life partner, she had a choice of her own to make. She had to accept his acceptance. Only then could they be married.
So it is with us and God. After Jesus died and rose again as our representative, God accepted Him into heaven. That was our acceptance. Now we don’t have to worry about whether we are good enough to go to heaven. We are there already in Christ! But that doesn’t mean we will go there physically when He comes again. We must accept God’s provision of Christ. Only then are we born again into our new life with God.
Do you see it? God’s salvation contract is extended to you in the nail-pierced hand of Jesus, signed in the blood of Calvary. You will never be worthy of heaven. But it’s yours right now if you will stop whatever you are doing and entrust your life to God.
I confess it took me years as a Christian before awakening to my status of being accepted in God’s beloved Son. I was confused, like a young couple who came to America from Europe and joined our church. They decided to get married and asked me to perform the ceremony. After the usual pre-marriage counseling, I explained that they needed to get a marriage license. Immediately they did, several weeks before the event. I asked them to bring it to the wedding rehearsal, so I could sign it myself and mail it in.
When they handed over the manila envelope, I found inside not a marriage license but a notarized marriage certificate! They had been married—and didn’t realize it.
God bless them! For the past couple of weeks they were living their separate lives, being careful not to kiss too enthusiastically so as not to invite temptation. They were hoping soon to get married, not realizing that they were already just as much married as they could ever be.
We had the church wedding anyway. Nevertheless, the law of the land had already accepted them as married. Their part was to identify themselves with their certified status and continue in it day by day, year by year, as long as they both shall live. As they moved in with each other and did whatever it is that married people do, new birth would happen naturally.
That explains how we are born again into God’s royal family. Holy angels, if they weren’t sinless, would be jealous.