1. a term which imports the admission of man into the favor of God. As things are best understood by contrast with their opposites, so acceptance is to be understood from its opposite, rejection, the sense of which will be found by reference to Jer 6:30; Jer 7:29. To understand aright the Scriptural idea of acceptance with God, we must keep in mind the fact that sin is highly displeasing to God, and is attended by the hiding of his face or the withholding of his favor. Sin causes God to refuse to hold friendly intercourse with man; but the mediation of the Son of God restores this intercourse. Sinners are said to be "accepted in the Beloved" (Eph 1:6); that is, in Christ. They are no longer held in a state of rejection, but are received with approbation and kindness. It is to be noticed that it is an idea of a positive kind which the word acceptance contains. As the rejection which sin occasioned was express, equally express and positive is the acceptance of which Christ is the author. One who had disgraced himself before his sovereign would be particularly refused any share in the favors of the court. When this breach was repaired, the excluded party would again be favorably received (Eden). SEE ACCEPT.
2. Acceptance (Eph 1:6); in theology, is nearly synonymous with justification. We mistake the terms of acceptance with God when we trust in, 1, the superiority of our virtues to our vices (Ro 3:20; Jas 2:10); 2, in a faith in Christ which does not produce good works (Jas 2:14); 3, in the atonement, without personal repentance from sin (Lu 13:5); 4, in the hope of future repentance, or conversion on a dying bed (Pr 4; Pr 24-31). SEE ADOPTION; SEE JUSTIFICATION.