In many places, the Bible tells us we are to live blamelessly, in such a way that no one can bring an accusation against us. And yet, in this technological age, where all our mistakes and failures can haunt us for decades to come, this certainly seems impossible! Seriously, have you seen Facebook, Instagram, or Fail Army?!
Living blamelessly in the modern world sounds like an impossible task, and if it were up to us, it is an impossible task. But thanks be to God that, like many things, it’s not up to us! As He did in salvation, God does the work; we are only required to surrender to that work. Let’s take a look at some such passages.
Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
(You may recall this passage from my post a couple weeks ago. Yippee! I got to write this post and flesh this idea out.)
Some may look at this passage and think, “aw man! I can’t do that!” But look at what Paul says, “may the God of peace make you holy, and may [you]…be kept blameless…God will make this happen…”. Paul is clearly not calling the Thessalonians to be blameless on their own. Rather, he is calling them to allow God to remove the sin from their lives and develop a blameless character within them.
Dear friends, I warn you as temporary residents and foreigners to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when He judges the world.1 Peter 2:11-12
Peter takes a slightly different turn on this. It is not a contrary statement, but it adds some clarification. Peter encourages believers to live blamelessly so that their neighbors are not able to bring a charge that sticks. Even then, Peter says that even they bring up something, they will see our honorable (adherence to what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct) behavior, and that they will give honor/glory to God when He judges the world. In other words, our blamelessness will bring glory to God, even if our neighbors have it out for us, when the end of all things finally comes about.
For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation — the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ — for this will bring much glory and praise to God.Philippians 1:10-11
Once again, we turn to Paul. Here, he encourages us to be filled with the fruit of our salvation, but what is this fruit? Oh, it’s the righteous character produced in your life (don’t miss this!) by Jesus Christ. So then, we cannot believe that this is by our own actions, but there is a mystery here. We are to live pure and blameless lives, but it is Jesus who produces our pure and blameless character. I encourage you to read the whole chapter for greater context, but for brevity’s sake, I’m keeping this short.
And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. May He, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
While I started with the 1 Thessalonians 5 reference, this reference actually precedes it. Here, we see that Paul is still points to blamelessness as coming through the work of God in their lives, but he also points to it being an outflow of our love growing for one another and for others. Additionally, it is part of making our hearts strong and making us holy, both things that only God can truly do.
Yet now, He has reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. As a result, He has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.
But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.Colossians 1:22-23a
Once again, Paul refines this for us. Read this one carefully, though. “He has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.” Did you see that? When we turn from our sin and choose to follow Jesus, He makes us blameless. So then, we can conclude that it is both an immediate reality and a progressive reality; we are made immediately blameless before Him, and He continues to produce in us the character to be blameless.
Now, there is a caveat here, lest someone think I’m selling cheap grace. The caveat is this; if you choose to walk away from Jesus (and I don’t know why you would!), then you are choosing to give this all up. You are choosing to be blameful, to be unholy, to reject the absolute love and work of God in your life. I can’t stop you, but I will beg you not to go there!
I could go on with many more versus that talk about being blameless and being above reproach, but I’ll leave that to your own personal study. The point here is to help you understand that the life of a Believer is one of following Jesus and trusting/letting Him clear the paths and solve the problems that come along the path. Should you clear your old Facebook posts or those inappropriate Instagrams? Yeah, probably! But even so, it is Jesus who does the work of making you TRULY blameless!
Without Jesus, we are to blame for everything; it all hangs on us, and we are guilty as the worst of all humanity! But when we accept His sacrifice in our place and choose to follow Him, with all we have, through thick and thin, happy times and painful times, Jesus clears that guilt (by His death on the cross) and make us blameless. Isn’t that a relief?
Just take a moment and meditate on that, today; in Jesus, you are now blameless! In the sight of God, tucked in with Jesus, you are blameless! No bankruptcy court, no jail time, no jerk on a street corner can take that from you. As Jesus has said, in this world, you will have troubles, but be encouraged because He has overcome this world! Whatever challenges you are experiencing, as long as you are spending time with Him, praying with/to Him, and following His lead, then those challenges are just an opportunity to be refined or to watch Him work!
What a good and glorious God we serve! If you don’t know Him, I encourage you to stop where you are, admit you have violated His standard, and accept Jesus death in your place. Then, begin living for Him by reading the Bible, spending time in prayer (talk to Him and listening for His response, whether in that moment or later on, whether audible, from the Word, or through a person). And as Paul said, “don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard” this Good News! May you walk with Him today, and everyday, to His glory and honor!
Godspeed – 1 Corinthians 15:10