The idea of God accepting us “just as we are” holds only a half-truth in it. First, accepting is a bad term to be used, even if it is readily accessible. What is communicated by accepting is not what is communicated on the cross. Jesus’s death and resurrection was not an acceptance of sin, but a continuing declaration of war that dealt a decisive victory against sin. Second, we are not accepted for who we are, but we are accepted based upon no prior criteria as God chose us before the foundation of the world, before we existed, before we had done any works or had willed anything; God chose according to his own mercy and grace and love, not according to anything within us; God does not accept us. Thirdly, as we are not accepted but chosen, we are chosen in Jesus Christ, not in ourselves. God demands perfection, and perfection is satisfied in the Son and it is wrought in us through the Holy Spirit in continual renewal until the day we are glorified before the Lord.