Does God Accept Me “Just as I Am?”

Joe R. Price

Occasionally I hear or read it said that God accepts us “just as we are.” I am
not entirely sure what is meant by that statement. I would very much like for
someone who says, “God will accept me just as I am” or “God has accepted me just
as I am” to explain what that means, using the word of God to establish the
sentiment (1 Ths. 5:21-22).

The Scriptures teach that God will not accept me “just as I am”?

  1. If I refuse to believe in Jesus Christ. “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sin” (Acts 10:43). The unbeliever will not be accepted by God “just as he is”, but the lake of fire will accept him in his unbelief (Rev. 21:8). To think that Christ will save you “just as you are” while you refuse to live by faith is to be self-deceived. (Jno. 8:23-24)
  2. If I refuse to repent of my sins. “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:5). Paul preached that sinners “should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance” (Acts 26:20). So, God will not accept the liar “just as he is” – he must repent of his lying and “speak truth with his neighbor” (Eph. 4:25). God will not accept an adulterer ?just as he is” – he must repent of his adultery and stop his sinful relationship and conduct (Rev. 9:20-21). Some brethren teach people that they should continue to live in their unscriptural (sinful, adulterous, Matt. 19:9) remarriage relationship when they obey the gospel. The words of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 7:24 are twisted to support this encouragement, convincing sinners they may remain in an unholy remarriage that they believe has been sanctified by baptism. But, this passage describes people who are “with God”, and does not describe the adulterer before baptism nor does it rightly describe him if he continues to commit adultery after baptism. No, Jesus will not receive you “just as you are” if you refuse to repent of and cease your sin. One cannot continue in sin and be accepted by the Lord. (Rom. 6:1-2)
  3. If I refuse to confess my faith in Christ. “…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:9-10). Do you see the conditional nature of Jesus accepting a sinner “just as he is”? If the sinner will not confess Jesus before men, then Jesus will not confess him before the Father in heaven (Matt. 10:33). He will not be accepted “just as he is” without confessing faith – he will be lost in sin.
  4. If I refuse to be baptized for the remission of my sins. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mk. 16:16) – not the one who believes but refuses to be baptized. Many souls will be lost because they comfort themselves believing God will accept them “just as I am” in spite of their rejection of the Lord’s commandment to be baptized to be saved.
  5. If I refuse to be faithful to the Lord. “But why do you call Me “Lord, Lord,” and do not do the things which I say”? (Lk. 6:46) That warning should resonant in the ear of every Christian who thinks the Lord will accept him ?just as he is? even when he is living unfaithfully. Faith without works (of faith) is dead; while faith working through love avails in Christ (Jas. 2:17; Gal. 5:6-7). Christian, the Lord will not accept you “just as you are” if you are living unfaithfully.

What is your spiritual condition before God? Will God accept you “just as you
are”? Not if you do not believe Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of the
living God; not if you believe Jesus is the Son of God but you will not confess
your faith before men; not if you have confessed your faith but will not repent
of your sin and remove it from your life (Rom. 6:1-2); not if you reject baptism
as essential for your salvation from sin (1 Pet. 3:21; Acts 22:16); and not if
you are a Christian yet are not being faithful to Jesus in your daily life (Gal.
2:20).

God will accept you (save you) when you surrender to His will and do what He
wants instead of remaining “just as you are.”

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