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Characteristics of Those Who Are Blameless
Blameless, Part 3
Knowing who the Bible calls blameless and understanding the Hebrew and Greek contexts of the word translated “blameless” in English helps us get the beginning of a picture of what the word “blameless” means in the Bible. But what I’m really interested in is learning what characteristics these blameless people have. What actions or qualities make them blameless?
Overwhelmingly, the most frequent characteristic attributed to blameless people in the Bible is that they walk faithfully with God. Here are a few example verses (italics mine throughout).
Genesis 6:9: “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”
Genesis 17:1: “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.’”
Job 1:1: “In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.”
Psalm 26:1: “Vindicate me, Lord, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.”
Psalm 119:1: “Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:8: “He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Bible also tells us that blameless people are righteous. In other words, they are morally upright and virtuous. (Yes, the word “righteous” could be a word study all on its own!) Here are a few examples.
Proverbs 11:5: “The righteousness of the blameless make their paths straight, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.”
Proverbs 20:7: “The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them.”
Philippians 1:9–11: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”
Another characteristic of blameless people is that they keep themselves from sin. A few examples are listed below.
2 Samuel 22:22–24: “For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I am not guilty of turning from my God. All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin.”
Psalm 19:13: “Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.”
Deuteronomy 18:9, 12–13: “When you enter the land the Lord is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. ... Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God.”
Speaking of sins, the Bible lists specific sins that blameless people should stay away from. From the previous section, willful sins and sins related to following other gods are definitely on the list. Other sins include:
Philippians 2:14–15: “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’”
Titus 1:7: “Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.”
Revelation 14:5: “No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.”
In contrast, blameless people should have the following characteristics:
Philippians 1:9–10: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.”
Titus 1:6, 8–9: “An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. ... He must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
2 Peter 3:14: “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this [God’s coming], make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him [God].”
That’s quite the list! After researching the characteristics of blameless people, what I came away with from my study is that the most important characteristic of blameless people is that they walk faithfully with God. All of the other characteristics fall naturally into place if you walk faithfully with God. You will tend to be righteous, you will tend to not willfully sin, and you will have qualities such as faithfulness, self-control, and hospitality.
This is so encouraging to me! Nowhere in the Bible (that I could find) does it say that to be blameless you have to be perfectly without sin. That type of blamelessness applies only to God. However, it does say that to be blameless, you have walk faithfully with God, who will then help you stay away from willful sin. Are you ready to take up the challenge? If so, what will be your reward? Read Part 4 to find out!
Don’t miss next week’s study!