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ACCEPTANCE. A term meaning that a person or act is received with approval or welcomed by another. The idea is rendered by a variety of words or expressions in the OT and NT.

In the Bible the most vital need of the person is to be acceptable to God. Sin separates. Acceptance is a condition of restoration to God. It is clear that God determines who is acceptable to Him, and He it is who provides the means of reconciliation of the estranged. God instituted reconciling sacrifices, but sacrifices in themselves are of no use if men are profane in their manner of life (Isa 1:11-16). It was the penitent tax collector and not the self-justifying Pharisee whom God accepted at prayer (Luke 18:14).


A. Richardson, An Introduction to the Theology of the New Testament (1958), 296-301.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

ak-sep’-tans: A rendering of the Hebrew retson, "delight," found only in Isa 60:7. It pictures God’s delight in His redeemed people in the Messianic era, when their gifts, in joyful and profuse abundance, "shall come up with acceptance on mine altar." With "accepted" and other kindred words it implies redeeming grace as the basis of Divine favor. It is the "living, holy sacrifice" that is "acceptable to God" (Ro 12:1; compare Titus 3:4-6).