Holy and Blameless- Ephesians 1:4

One of the most widely used phrases by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament is the phrase “in Christ”. Over and over, Paul tells believers who they are, what they have received and how they have been blessed “in Christ”. We will examine one of these occasions in Ephesians 1:3-4, in which we read as follows: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight”. All who are “in Christ” have been (past tense) “blessed with every spiritual blessing”, all believers have received all they need to be what God created them to be and do what God created and calls them to do in Christ, and this only belongs to those who are “in Christ”. So just who is “in Christ”? Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:13, where we find that “you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal”. All who have heard the gospel and placed their trust in it (been born again) are “in Christ” and receive “every spiritual blessing” in Him. Paul then goes on to list some of these spiritual blessings here in Ephesians one, and those which are first on his list are “holy and blameless”. In verse 4, we find that God “chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight”. All who are in Christ are holy and blameless. We will note three things about this verse. First, that God “chose” us here, the sovereign creator and sustainer of all life has determined before the creation of anyone or anything that all who are “in Christ” are holy and blameless in His sight. This is an indicative statement, a statement of fact made by the sovereign God and declaring all in Christ holy and blameless. Second, we note the use of the verb eimi (to be), and here in the present tense. Eimi is the Greek equivalent of the English verb “to be”, it is the verb of existence, and it tells us who and what we are. All who are in Christ are (as a fact of their existence) holy and blameless, and the use of the present tense here tells us that is what we are (not were or will be), believers are holy and blameless as a basic characteristic of their nature and existence. Third, we note the use of the phrase “in His sight”. God, as sovereign creator, is the one who defines reality, the one who tells us the way things really are. If God sees it that way, then that is the way it is. We are told here that God “sees” believers as holy and blameless, and if God sees it that way, then that is the way it is no matter what anyone else says. Having established the fact that believers are holy and blameless in Christ, we will now examine these two concepts to see exactly what they mean and how they apply to the lives of believers here and now. We will begin with blameless, what does it mean that we are “blameless”? The Greek word translated blameless here is amomos, literally “without blemish or spotless”. There are three Greek words translated blameless in the New Testament, amomos and amemptos and anenkletos, all of which refer to basically the same concept of faultless or spotless. The difference among the three is that amemptos and anenkletos are used ethically while amomos is used existentially in the NT. What that means is that amemptos and anenkletos are used in reference to behavior, to describe behavior that was blameless (1 Thess. 2:10, Titus 1:6, 2 Pet 3:14, etc.), while amomos is used to describe nature, and used elsewhere in the NT (Heb. 9:14, 1 Pet. 1:19) to describe Christ as the “spotless” lamb, pure and unblemished in nature, given up for our sins. The word translated blameless here in Ephesians 1:4 is amomos, and Paul’s use of it here in reference to those in Christ is telling believers we are “blameless” by nature. Believers are spotless before God (in His sight), faultless to stand before the throne. We are “without blame” because someone has taken the blame for us. Jesus Christ, the lamb without spot or blemish, has taken our spots and blemishes (blame) upon Himself and given His spotlessness to us, we have been made a “church without stain or wrinkle or any blemish, holy and blameless (amomos)” (Eph. 5:27). All who are in Christ are blameless by nature, blamelessness is a characteristic of our existence, it is part of who and what we are. Jesus Christ has made us blameless and God has called us blameless, we are spotless and clean before Them, and our next post will examine how God has made us blameless and what that means in our daily walk with the Lord.

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