Monday, February 04, 2008

Blameless Not Sinless

And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.
(Luke 1:6 – ESV)

When the bible speaks of men like Noah as blameless or perfect it does not mean that they were without sin, and it does not mean that they were good enough to be saved apart from God’s grace. Verses such as Luke 2:25 and Acts 10:2 point to people who were devout followers of God, but this doesn’t mean that they were saved because of their own merits. They were doing all they knew to do, but they were not sinless, and they still needed atonement. Considering the Apostle Paul, Philippians 3:6 shows that although Paul was blameless according to the Pharisaical understanding of the Law, he knew it still wasn’t enough to make him truly righteous, he needed the righteousness of faith in Christ (3:9).

1 Timothy 3:2, in giving the qualifications for being a church leader, also gives us the point about the idea of being blameless. The meaning of blameless is not sinless, but irreproachable. We also see Paul instructing those wanting to be a bishop to be a deacon first, and to be found blameless in that office (3:10). It is not about being perfect, but about being proved and being proper. 1 Timothy 5:7 gives additional evidence of this.

Friends, no one is without sin, and yet there are people without blame. In situations where you are not guilty of any offense, say in some other event across the world, it is easy to see that you are without blame in that matter. Put this in the realm of known rebellion. If you are not in any way bringing reproach to the name of Christ by harboring sin, and you have no cause to hide your life were it to be seen before all, then in that sense you can be said to be blameless. This is what is meant by our text above. They were not sinless, and yet they were blameless. To say blameless is to say that nobody could charge them with any open rebellion, no scandalous sin. They were living honestly and without offense, and this is as ministers are supposed to do, that the ministry be not blamed by their blame.

Now being blameless doesn’t mean that no one is ever going to accuse you falsely, or misrepresent or you, or misconstrue what you have said. It means that you will be proven over time, you will be shown to have been blameless. When 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says “Abstain from all appearance of evil” we must take into consideration that some only have the evil eye, and we cannot avoid looking bad to them. To those we would say this: if you look for sin, you will find it, but how about looking in the mirror first, you will find all you can handle right there.

“Who are you to tell me?” “Let him who has no sin cast the first stone.” “Judge not lest ye be judged.” How often do we hear someone rationalize their rebellion by using the excuse that no one is without sin, and so therefore no one has the right to do anything about said rebellion? The truth is that a rebellious attitude is different from a repentant one. There must be a minimum standard of faithfulness for a certain standard of fellowship. Just because we have no sinless doesn’t mean we have no standards. We cannot be sinless, but we should be blameless.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


Nettie said...

Haha! I was the first one to read your blog. :) What am I doing up at this hour? Just wanted to say Hi. It was nice having lunch with you and your lovely wife. May God Bless You.
Sorry that I am not commenting on what I read, it has to soak in first. But, it was good, as always.
Good Night.

Even So... said...

Thanks for commenting, and yes, it was nice at lunch...hope to see you all this week for the meetings...

Christopher Cohen said...

Amazing that this was the topic of conversation between my wife and I today!

I believe that I spent most of my adult life in a blameful state, which is why for the last 3-4 year I have had a hard time figuring out how to move past that and live in the righteousness in Christ.

There is a person that I have looked up to and respected for a long time. He recently has gone on a power trip proclaiming his righteousness and how he cannot be touched because he is one of God's righteous. Blatently unhumble. At the same time I know he is greedy with money and always willing to take advantage of the little old lady by talking her into paying 4000% for his service. Then he takes his tithe and goes before his church as the rich man who funds all the churches needs. He is a pharisee.

I felt enlightened but then realized that God usually reveals to us problem areas of other people to actually reveal to us our own problem.

So am I an undercover pharisee? That was the lunch topic. I tried to really examine myself. Am I living honestly and without offense as I proclaim that I have righteousness in Jesus Christ?

This brought up a string of thoughts that we are going to study together. The main one is about humility as we both believe that we try to live humbly before God. I am trying to live an existence of perpetual repentance. The act of being humble goes right along with being blameless I think. The more humble we become concerning God's soverignty, the closer we get to a blameless righteousness in Jesus Christ.

Maybe I just saw the lack of humility in my friend, and need to then really pay attention to that in myself. Is lack of humility in itself a blameful character trait? Hmmmm.

Christopher Cohen said...

BTW pastor,

If you haven't realized by now, my wife and I do and say some nonsensical things if we don't get tucked into beddie-by at an appropriate hour. :)

Even So... said...

A key is to focus not on the righteousness Christ gives to us, imparted, but the righteousness He is for us, is the imputed righteousness of Christ that saves us (2 Corinthians 5:21)...

donsands said...

Nice teaching on a deeper than usual Bible subject.

I always think of how a bishop/pastor/elder is called to a higher calling as well. Not that God doesn't want all His children to strive to be blameless, cause He does.

"If you are not in any way bringing reproach to the name of Christ by harboring sin, and you have no cause to hide your life were it to be seen before all, then in that sense you can be said to be blameless."

Nice quote here.