I know this title will stir some controversy, but frankly I don't care. There's several lies permeating the church, enhanced by social media, and our general stubbornness at following our heart as opposed to Scripture, and one of these is that God accepts us just as we are. God loves us DESPITE the way we are. If God accepted us as we were, than Jesus died for nothing!
A little background on me (it's vulnerability time), I have been steeped in sexual desire and sin for a long time. I ran away from God to chase women (living in the wild country), and ended up broken by my choices. God did not and does not accept me this way. No, He called me from death to life (See below). If I was called from death to life, than that means I was NOT accepted where I was. Christ came down to where we were, lived among us and died to bring us to Himself. We cannot live the Old life and the New Together, it doesn't work (Matthew 9:14-17 has something to say about that). And when we sin, He is faithful and just to forgive, but He does not give His approval stamp. Let's stop making excuses for why we are not living the life in Christ we should be, and get in to the word, and let the Holy Spirit transform and conform us through His word, the breaking of the bread, fellowship and prayer (Acts 2:42-47). Let's let the awe and power of God transcend us, fall upon us, consume us, and then flow through us! God is amazing, I am dust. I am temporary, He is eternal. I want to be like Him. It's time to start acting like it!
Ephesians 2 English Standard Version (ESV)
By Grace Through Faith
2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.[b] 4 But[c] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
One in Christ
11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,[d] but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by[e] the Spirit.
a. Ephesians 2:3 Greek flesh
b. Ephesians 2:3 Greek like the rest
c. Ephesians 2:4 Or And
d. Ephesians 2:19 Or sojourners
e. Ephesians 2:22 Or in