(Parts one thru four can be found at the bottom of this post.)
“…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.” (Ephesians 1:4)
In the past four installments on this subject, we have looked at what “before Him”means, how the Holy Spirit desires all of us, and what the word “holy” means in this context. This post will look at the word “blameless”.
It is important to remember that we are NOT discussing salvation by works. Justification from sins is not in view here, but rather, the progressive sanctification process which develops Christ’s character in us AFTER being born again.
In Ephesians 1:4 the word “blameless” is the Greek word amoroso which means “without blemish” (Vines) or also “free from faultiness, as a sacrificial animal without spot or blemish (Lev 22:21) or as the Lamb of God (I Peter 1:19) (Wuest). In the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint), it is used in reference to “of blamelessness in character and conduct” (Vines).
This word appears in the following scriptures:
- Eph. 5:27 – Paul was speaking of the type of people that will be Jesus’ bride when he wrote: “He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.” Here the term “having no spot or wrinkle” refers to “the bride without moral blemish” (Wuest). These people are not practicing sin, which includes immorality; therefore, they are blameless or without blemish. The Bride is “holy” because the people have separated themselves from what God considers evil. These two descriptive terms explain why the bride is “in all her glory”.
- Colossians 1: 22 – “…yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshy body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach —” Through salvation Jesus has reconciled us to God so that He can present you and me as holy, separate from evil, and free from the defilement of the world, without moral blemish and beyond reproach, i.e. “not only without blemish but from the charge of it” (Wuest). We are to be conformed to the image of His Beloved Son.
- Jude 24 – in closing his letter concerning false teachers, he writes: “Now to Him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to make us stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy…”. If we will cooperate with the indwelling Holy Spirit in the sancifying process, God the Father is able to make us stand in the presence of His glory “without blemish, free from fault “with great joy”. This cooperation should be our spiritual response to the exalted position God has placed us in, in-Christ.
- I Thessalonians 3: 12-13 – “…and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all men, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father….” The word “unblamable” is another Greek adjective also translated “faultless”. Notice that living your life in love “for one another, and for all men,” is what causes your heart to be established in holiness. All the commandments of God are fulfilled by loving the Lord Thy God with your total being and your neighbor as your self (Mark 12:28 – 34). This is the key to understanding what God wishes to do in the saint through the sanctification process. More on this later.
In conclusion, we are to be found holy and blameless before His Holy Spirit NOW on Earth and at His future coming for His bride, the Church. Properly instructed born again believers are serious about getting the KNOWN sin out of their lives so we are pleasing the Lord. There are sins we are NOT AWARE OF in our lives, but the Holy Spirit will convict us of them as we grow in our Christian experience and then we should forsake them, purifying ourselves. See I John 3:3.
II Peter 2:13 speaks of false teachers in the church who are “stains and blemishes”. Here the word for “blemish” is monos and “signifies a shame, a moral disgrace, used metaphorically of the licentious” (Vines), those lacking moral restraint especially disregarding sexual restraints (Webster). The false teachers’ character was blemished because of practicing sin which included an immoral lifestyle. We see the same false teachers in the book of Jude. They are among us today. How many Christ confessing people do you know today, who are living an immoral lifestyle?
The Church has been fed a lie that the grace of God allows us to practice sin. Next post we will see what King David had to say about sin and how it relates to being found blameless.
Let us pray: Father God, we ask that you cause your love to increase in us for all Christians and for all mankind, so that we may conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Lord Jesus, pleasing You in all respects. In His Name. Amen.
“And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him PURIFIES himself, just as He is pure.” (I John 3:3 emphasis mine)