We know that in this broken world, none of us is without sin. We are broken and flawed and there’s plenty of blame to go around. We are far from Holy and therefore cannot possible dwell with God in His presence.
However, at the same time, Paul tells us “that we should be holy and blameless before him.” (Eph 1:4b) This paradox can be quite confusing. How can we be full of sin and yet holy and blameless. Adam and Eve were holy before the fall and therefore dwelt with God in His presence. Since then, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23) So how can Paul tell the Romans that we have ALL sinned but at the same time tell the church of Ephesus that we should be holy and blameless?
The truth is found in reading the rest of the Ephesians citation in context.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace
Before the foundation, before Adam and Even and therefore before the fall, He chose us. He chose us to be holy and blameless before Him. We are cleansed and redeemed by the blood of Christ, forgiving us of all of our sin. This means that before Him (for those who chose to accept and believe in the redemptive power of the blood of Christ) we who have sinned are viewed as though we have no sin, totally holy and blameless. We have been given a gift of the greatest possible value and deserved nothing of it.
There’s a famous quote from Jesus found in Luke 12:48 that even non-religious people quote (most like unaware of the source). “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required.” But the context of this statement follows a parable of how hard servants work unaware of when their master will return. They have all been given incredible wealth to manage. The one who continues to work hard expecting his master’s return any time, receives the greatest reward. Peter recognized it at the time that the parable is about them, about us.
We have a master that has given us everything, a holy and blameless existence we don’t deserve. We are called to work hard in expectation of His imminent return. While he predestined those who will choose Him, He also chooses to use us in the process. Be open to prompting, and his guidance. Work hard to share His love and express His grace to the world. He will come soon, be looking forward to it.