Even before He made the world God loved us and chose us to be holy and without fault , blameless in His eyes (Eph 1:4)
My human, time limited mind struggled with this verse. I approached it first with a blank stare, then confusion & maybe a little anger.
I struggled with the concept God’s love for me:
- It sometimes feels impersonal.
- Does God love me just because He loves everybody?
- Does He forgive me because forgiveness is the right thing to do?
- God couldn’t be God if He didn’t always do the right thing.
- I want to be loved because I’m lovable (at least some of the time)
I sometimes still struggle with ‘even before He made the world’
- If we were always in His mind
- If He knows the before, the beginning , the middle & the rest of our stories .
- Then why do ‘Bad Things Happen to Good People ‘?
I can understand the phrase -‘ chose us to be holy’
- Holy- something set apart for special use by God.
- Holy people are ordinary people chosen to do something.
- We live in a very function oriented society.
- I am defined first & foremost by what I do.
- So getting to do stuff for God gives me value & worth
The Biggest Struggle
But here is my biggest struggle .
- I am evaluated on the basis of performance.
- I am measured by my behavior.
- Law whether man made or God made measures me, tests me , evaluates me .
- But over & over I fail to measure up
- I get less then perfect marks in every area of my life
I can’t do anything even close to perfectly. How then can we understand the meaning of blameless (without fault) in his sight?
The phrase seems to be totally without context.
We may have heard sermons that explain the verse from a theological viewpoint. I don’t know about you but I know from my perspective those sermons can leave me feeling even more discouraged with myself & my failures.
I am a parent & a grandparent. Perhaps a clue as to how God can see me as holy & without fault in his sight lies in how we try to view our family.
Are my children flawed? Have they made mistakes , missed opportunities, caused some sorrow & grief to us as parents? Of course they have.
Those are facts of what they did or didn’t do. The facts don’t define who they are or who they are becoming.
We try to see the ‘rest of their story’. We see their growth. We see their potential.
It was not always smooth sailing. When we have faced hard times we first cried & then together did all we could to fix the wrongs & move into a new future.
Once forgiven & redeemed the past situations are never brought up again.
Our children are now adults. As we look back on their childhood & more importantly those troublesome teen & young adult years we remember only the good. We haven’t forgotten but we choose to not remember the bad. We look forward with delight & joy at what is & what is to come.
My husband & I were talking the other night to a young man who is working through some poor choices in his life. He is pressing into God in admirable ways.
Al told the young man that on the Cross Jesus took not only our sin but also our guilt. He removed the regrets & the pain from what we have done. I added that Jesus also disarmed the One who puts the label ‘shameful’ over our lives.
Colossians 2:13- 15 puts it this way.
You were dead (defeated & hopeless) because of your sins & because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive in Jesus. He forgave all your sins . He cancelled the record containing the charges against you. He took it & destroyed it by nailing it to the Cross. In this way He disarmed the evil rulers & authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the Cross.
So Don’t Let Anyone Condemn You.
Don’t Condemn Yourself
Choose This Day
Good Friday 2015
Without Fault In His Eyes
Join us daily in April for more transforming truths in the Ephesians A to Z series.