“…the Lord appeared to (Abram) and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless” Genesis 17:1.
God has a simple requirement for all who would want to walk with Him: blamelessness.
“Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken” Psalm 15 (read also 24:3-4; Micah 6:8).
Blamelessness is a condition of our heart. Blamelessness is not the same as faultlessness. If a young child wants to help his parents clean up the house, but drops a bowl and breaks it, the child is not faultless, but he is blameless. His heart had the desire to help his parents. In the same way, God is looking at our heart’s attitude. Holiness begins in the heart.
Called to be Holy
“Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’” 1 Peter 1:15-16 (see also Matthew 5:48; Exodus 15:13; Psalm 29:2).
If we are to walk with the Lord on a daily basis, we must be like Him in heart and action (Amos 3:3).
“Make every effort to live in peace with all and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God…” Hebrews 12:14-15.
The grace of God enables us not just to live a holy life, but to be holy as God is holy! (read 2 Peter 1:3; Ephesians 4:17-32; Titus 2:11-14).
Three Parts to Holiness
To be launched into a holy life, we must understand three separate parts to holiness:
Righteousness is the starting point of the Christian life – it is a gift from God (Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Blamelessness is where we walk in that righteousness – it is the expression of holiness in our daily lives (2 Peter 3:11,14). Faultlessness is the goal of God’s work, as He conforms us to the likeness of His Son (Romans 8:29; Philippians 1:6).
“Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression” Psalm 19:12-13.
God continues to work on our “hidden faults”, but His major focus is our “willful sins”. Blamelessness is a condition of the heart (Isa.51:6; Psa.51:10; 86:11) – a desire to walk in purity before God (see Rom.6:19; 1 Cor.1:4-8; Phil.2:15; 1 Thess.5:23). Holiness, however, is the dynamic outworking of that pure heart in godly behavior. Both come only by God’s grace.
“…by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace” 2 Timothy 1:8-9 (see also 1 Thessalonians 4:7).
Motives and Attitudes
“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom” Song of Songs 2:15.
God is seeking to produce the fruit of His presence in our lives (John 15:5,8; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:8-10). But there are “little foxes” – impure motives and attitudes – which will spoil that fruit. 1 Peter 2:1 lists five of these little foxes:
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.”
Malice:A desire to inflict injury or suffering on another; vicious purposes or intent.
Deceit:Guile (KJV); baiting and crafty; the setting of traps for people.
Hypocrisy:Pretending to be something you aren’t in order to get something for yourself.
Envy:Discontentment at another’s success; a coveting of what belongs to others; a desire to be elevated above others.
Slander:Evil speakings (KJV); ill will expressed in backstabbing; speaking down of someone to others.
“Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” 2 Timothy 2:22.
In order for us to walk in blamelessness, God must deal with these five little foxes. God did this by crucifying our old self in Christ on the Cross (Romans 6:6-7). As we count ourselves dead to sin and the world and alive to God and His righteousness (Romans 6:11), we are told to offer ourselves to God (Romans 6:13). God then releases His grace in our lives.
“For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace” Romans 6:14 (read also Galatians 5:13-26).
The Way of Holiness
“And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way…” Isaiah :8.
Holiness literally means “to be set apart” (read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). This does not just mean being “separated from the world”, but also being “separated unto God for His holy use” (2 Timothy 2:20-21). Holiness is not a condition of “distance from evil things,” but rather of “closeness to the heart of God.” As we walk before God in blamelessness, His grace is released in our lives to produce the same kind of holiness that God Himself has (Ephesians 4:22-24).
“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy” Jude 24.