When God looks at us, he sees someone pure, someone covered and redeemed in Christ's blood. We can approach him without fear because of Jesus.
If this wasn't so, we would all still having to be going through the rituals of a high priest to be able to even get close to God. There are chapters and chapters dedicated to just describing all the rules of the set up of the tabernacle and the requirements of the priests, down to the type of thread in the clothes they wore. A person had to be clean and purified to approach God - or we see what happened to those who approached God without being pure. Such as the guy who tried to stop the ark from falling and was struck dead because he touched it.
Those sort of examples seem horrifying to us. He was just trying to help! was my first reaction. But it is meant to emphasize to us the absolute holiness of God.
But that doesn't need to make us fearful, now. Because of Jesus, we have been purified. We can freely approach God. What a marvelous, amazing gift and blessing. We can go boldly into his presence, like a child to their father.
While in the old testament the priests made regular sacrifices in the tabernacle where God dwelled, on behalf of all the people - now we have a High Priest who made the ultimate sacrifice. And now God dwells in US. (That is us, as in you and me - not the U.S.)
Though we still act sinfully, we do not need to be ashamed before God. He sees us as purified.
Ok...so why do I still need to live a certain way then. Doesn't it not even matter. If it's by grace we are saved - why do anything?
The answer to that question, one that if we are honest with ourselves we have probably all considered at some time, depends on what we think life is about.
Is it just a waiting room where we sit on an uncomfortable bench until the heaven train comes to pick us up?
Or is it something meant to be lived, a time to serve God, a time to be of use in the kingdom of Heaven, while we wait for that eventual enternity?
Because then I think all the 'stuff' we think God is telling us to do, is actually his provision of a way of life that makes things easier on us. He knows that if we live the way he has told us is right, then we will live freer and happier and more purposefully.
2 Timothy 2:20-21 - In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
We are pure and without shame before God - we are sinners, but that doesn't any longer exclude us from God's awesome presence.
But if we want to be free and unburdened in His presence, to realise the joy of the purity and freedom that God has already attained for us - then we'd be wise to stop fighting against the way of life God recommends.
Those people who say "If God forgives anything, I'll just live however I want and then just repent on my death bed" are missing the point. If the last second repentance is real, then Yes, those people will still be with God like those who became a Christian at age 2.
But it's not just about where we are when we die - if we live only for ourselves, what fullness and fulfillment are missing out on while we are living on earth?