Began my read through the Bible in four years plan and I was surprised by just how much I got from the first six chapters of Genesis. Each week I will respond to the idea that most captivated me and this week it was the idea from Genesis 6. Noah was righteous and blameless.
5 "The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation.
A very familiar passage about Job came to my mind. He, too, according to God, was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned from evil, Even after God allowed Satan to kill all of Job's animals and his children, Job still trusts God. From Job chapter 1:
And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The gave, and the has taken away; blessed be the name of the .”
Job's wife mocks him, "Are you still unshaken in your integrity? Curse God and die." (Job 2:9) One might wonder why Satan didn't wipe out Job's wife as well. Thank God he didn't because one of the most astonishing verses in the Bible would never have been written. From Job chapter 2:
But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips."
The evidence that both Noah and Job were blameless and upright is that they feared God and turned away from evil.
In addition to Old Testament verses I knew there were verses in the New Testament that spoke to followers of Christ being blameless, but I was not prepared for how many. Here is a sampling:
I Corinthians 1:8 - At the end of time we will be pronounced guiltless.
Ephesians 1:4 - We were chosen for the purpose of living a holy and blameless life.
Philippians 1:9-10 - How can we live pure and blameless lives? By loving others in a knowledgeable, discerning way and by approving what is excellent.
Colossians 1:22 - Before Christ we were blameless, hostile, and doers of evil deeds. (At least this is how he defines the lives of the Colossians before Christ.) Jesus died to present us holy, blameless and above reproach. This He will do if we continue in the faith.
I Thessalonians 2:10 - Paul calls his own conduct holy, righteous, and blameless.
I Thessalonians 3:13 - If we abound in love the Lord will establish our hearts blameless in holiness.
I Thessalonians 5:23 - "Now may the God of peace sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord..."
I Timothy 3:10 - One of the requirements to be a deacon was to have proven themselves blameless.
Titus 1:6-7 - To be an elder you must be above reproach.
Hebrews 7:26 - When describing the attributes of Jesus as High Priest, in the list are: holy and innocent.
Philippians 2:14-15 - This is my personal favorite. Probably because of its' convicting and encouraging nature.
" 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,.."
My take away from thinking about being blameless and upright is this. I am clothed with the righteousness of Christ. I have everything I need in Christ, under the leading of the Holy Spirit to conduct myself in a way that is above reproach in the world. One of those ways is to quit complaining and disputing. (Facebook ?) If I walk in a blameless way, I will shine as a light in the world. This is important - ESPECIALLY important - if I believe I am living in a crooked and twisted culture, which I do.
Jesus told us in The Sermon on the Mount to be salty salt and unhidden light.
Sprinkling and Twinkling
And as usual, I ask God to help me.