Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
In the previous blog I didn't discuss the second part of these verses...I'm gonna try and do that now.
So, we have been reconciled by Christ and are now seen by God as holy and free of blemish or accusation... "if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel."
This is the second part of what is so amazing about God's grace. He sees us as holy and blameless...and we just have to have faith. I think sometimes the word "faith" is seen as vague and nebulous and something very intangible. But I don't think it has to be that way.
James wrote, "I will show you my faith by my deeds." (chapter 2, second part of verse 18)
Faith isn't something that just happens in our minds. It isn't something that just happens inside of us - it starts on the inside, and grows and changes us and as it does we start looking different from the outside (not physically, of course).
Faith is like a cookie, in a way. If you give a mouse a cookie, he will want a glass of milk. If you have faith in God and believe that He is who He says He is, then you will want to worship Him. You will probably want to tell others about Him. It also seems likely that you would want to follow His advice and suggestions on how to live better.
So, when Paul says that God sees us as holy - as long as we continue in our faith - I don't think he is saying that we just have to say that we believe in God and go to church and say the words on the screen and maybe attend a Bible study or something. Paul's faith wasn't something that affected part of his life. His faith changed him from killing and imprisoning others to being imprisoned and beaten (and eventually killed).
One of my former Bible study leaders said a couple times that the Bible is like a mirror. You hold it up and it will show you yourself and your flaws. But when you try to hold it up to someone else and see their flaws, it gets distorted and doesn't give a clear picture, because it isn't meant for you to use it to change others. It is meant to change you, to make you look at yourself and look at God and maybe see something/someone greater than your current self, and hopefully want that potential to become reality.