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Who Does the Bible Call Blameless
Blameless, Part 1
When you think of the word “blameless,” who is the first person you think of? Is it a relative or friend? Someone you know from church, work, or school? Someone from the Bible or past history? My first approach to studying the word “blameless” was to identify who the Bible referred to as blameless. It is a lot of people? A few people? What stories do we know about these people?
I found that people who are called blameless fall into a couple categories:
People who God calls blameless.
People who call themselves blameless.
People who are called to be blameless.
People who were blameless and aren’t anymore.
Only a few people fall into each category.
People Who God Calls Blameless
The big one here is Job. Job 1:1 says, “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.”
Not only that, God presented him as blameless before Satan—twice! Satan went out roaming the earth, trying to get people to turn away from God. And God said, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8, also in Job 2:3).
Another person in this category is Noah. Genesis 6:9 says, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” God chose Noah and his family to be the only ones to survive the worldwide flood that God would send.
In the New Testament, Zechariah and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, were also referred to as blameless. Luke 1:6 says, “Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.”
The final group that the Bible refers to as blameless is the 144,000 in Revelation 14:1–5 who were redeemed from the earth. These 144,000 are the firstfruits of mankind offered to God.
People Who Call Themselves Blameless
The main person in this category is David. David is known as the king after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). And although we never see God directly call David “blameless,” David referred to himself as blameless multiple times throughout Psalms. See Psalm 18 as an example (which is repeated in 2 Samuel 22):
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
22 All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
23 I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.
The Apostle Paul also referred to himself as blameless in 1 Thessalonians 2:10: “You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.” The “we” in this verse likely refers to Silas and Timothy, who are mentioned as Paul’s companions in 1 Thessalonians 1:1.
People Who Are Called to be Blameless
Although this next group wasn’t necessarily called blameless by God, they were called to be blameless. Some kept this command, but others didn’t.
When God confirmed his covenant with Abram (Abraham), God commanded Abram to “walk before me faithfully and be blameless” (Genesis 17:1). Abraham did this well for most of his life, demonstrated best by his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac at God’s command (Genesis 22:1-19).
Eventually, God kept his promise to Abraham, and Abraham’s descendants became a great nation, the Israelites. When the Israelites were getting ready to enter the land of Canaan that God had given them, God commanded, “You must be blameless before the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 18:13). Of course, the Israelites swung wildly between following God and following false gods, not following this command at all.
Then we get to the New Testament. Under a new covenant now, who is called to be blameless? Christians and the Church in general, of course. In Ephesians 1:4, Paul writes, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Specifically within the church, the Bible calls elders to be blameless, as seen in Titus 1:6, “An elder must be blameless...”. Titus 1 then goes on to list all the qualities of a blameless elder, which we will explore more in another post.
People Who Were Blameless but Aren’t Anymore
This last category contains only one entry, although it may refer to two different beings. In Ezekiel 28:15, Ezekiel writes about the king of Tyre: “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.” Taken in greater context, though, this passage appears to be referring to Satan, who was blameless until he tried to be greater than God and ended up cast out of heaven.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather stay out of this last category!
Of the people we know the most about, even though the Bible (or even God himself) refers to them as blameless or calls them to be blameless, we know through other stories in the Bible that none of these people were without sin. So what hope does that leave us as Christians who are called to be blameless? How can we ever reach the mark of being blameless? Read Part 2 to find out more about what the Bible says about the word blameless.
Don’t miss the rest of this study!