Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Holy and Blameless

Ephesians 1:4 ... we should be holy and blameless before Him in love.


Months ago I noticed a vacation magazine in America mentioning something about 'Hornbill Festival' in Nagaland.  For many that is all they know of Nagaland.  Even if a tourist come and experience the Hornbill Festival, he or she still has not seen most of Nagaland and knows very little about the State. 

The above can be an illustration of how many people read (or understand) a few selected passages in the Bible and stop from there.  Or say, let us narrow it down to the book of Ephesians.  Many people are aware of chapter 2:8-9, the salvation by grace passage.  The sad part is that their understanding is incomplete and that is why they go back to the world and live worldly and still think they have been 'saved by grace'. 

Yes, Ephesians 2:8-9 is a wonderful passage, but if we study the book of Ephesians in its entirety (instead of just a few favorite verses), we will discover that a truly 'saved person' cannot and should not live worldly.  For example, if someone claiming 'grace' is still filled with 'foul language', he may still be in darkness (Ephesians 5:3-8).  Jesus warns us not to judge (Matthew 7:1), but we are admonished to check for fruit in a person's life (Matthew 7:15-20). 

One solid sign of a truly 'saved by grace' person is that he/she tries to live 'holy and blameless' (Ephesians 1:4).  God has commanded that we should be holy and without it no one will see God (1 Peter 1:16; Hebrews 12:14).  Here I would like to touch on the background idea of 'blameless' a bit more.

As the Lamb of God (John 1:29), because Jesus was blameless, His sacrifice on our behalf was a sweet-smelling aroma to God (Ephesians 5:2).  (The opposite is a stench in the nostril of God, defective worship, Isaiah 65:5).  A person saved by grace is called to be a 'living sacrifice' that is sweet-smelling (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 2:14-15).  When the Temple was standing, God will not accept an animal offering that is blind, diseased, or crippled.  The lamb or sheep for sacrifice must be 'blameless'. 

Remember in the book of Malachi, the people were worshiping God in vain because they were offering defective animals, because of which, instead of blessings God cursed them (Malachi 1:6-14).  Scary, isn't it?  When you come to worship God in Church, make sure you are striving to be 'blameless' before the Father.  From your heart, praise Him and thank Him, and go out to do good works (Hebrews 13:15-16; Acts 11:29).  The desire of Jesus Christ is to present you 'blameless' before the Father (Jude 24-25).  Amen!

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