SPECIAL TOPIC: BLAMELESS, INNOCENT, GUILTLESS, WITHOUT REPROACH
A. Opening Statements
1. This concept theologically describes mankind's original state (i.e., Genesis 1, the Garden of Eden).
2. Sin and rebellion have decimated this condition of perfect fellowship (i.e., Genesis 3).
3. Humans (male and female) long for the restoration of fellowship with God because they are made in His image and likeness (i.e., Gen. 1:26-27).
4. God has dealt with sinful mankind in several ways
a. godly leaders (i.e., Abraham, Moses, Isaiah)
b. sacrificial system (i.e., Leviticus 1-7)
c. godly examples (i.e., Noah, Job)
5. Ultimately God provided the Messiah
a. as full revelation of Himself (cf. John 1:1-14; Col. 1:13-17; Heb. 1:2-3)
b. as the perfect sacrifice for sin (cf. Mark 10:45; 2 Cor. 5:21)
6. Christians are made blameless
a. legally through Christ's imputed righteousness
b. progressively through the work of the Spirit
c. the goal of Christianity is Christlikeness (cf. Rom. 8:28-29; Eph. 1:4), which in reality, is the restoration of the image of God lost in the fall of Adam and Eve.
7. Heaven is a restoration of the perfect fellowship of the Garden of Eden. Heaven is the New Jerusalem coming down out of God's presence (cf. Rev. 21:2) to a purified earth (cf. 2 Pet. 3:10). The Bible begins and ends on the same themes.
a. intimate, personal fellowship with God
b. in a garden setting (Genesis 1-2 and Revelation 21-22)
c. by prophetic statement, the presence and companionship of animals (cf. Isa. 11:6-9)
B. Old Testament
1. There are so many different Hebrew words that carry the concept of perfection, blamelessness, innocence that it would be hard to name and show all the intricate relationships.
2. The main terms carrying the concept of perfection, guiltlessness, or innocence (according to Robert B. Girdlestone, Synonyms of the Old Testament, pp. 94-99) are:
a. shalom (BDB1022)
b. thamam (BDB1070)
c. calah (BDB478)
3. The Septuagint (i.e., the Bible of the early church) translates these Hebrew concepts into Koine Greek terms used in the NT (see C. below).
4. The key concept is connected to the sacrificial system.
a. amōmos (cf. Exod. 29:1; Lev. 1:3,10; 3:1,6; Num. 6:14)
b. amiantos and aspilus also have cultic connotations
C. New Testament
1. the legal concept
a. the Hebrew legal cultic connotation is translated by amōmos (cf. Eph. 5:27; Phil. 2:15; 1 Pet. 1:19)
b. the Greek legal connotations (cf. 1 Cor. 1:8; Col. 1:22)
2. Christ is the sinless, blameless, innocent One (amōmos, cf. Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:19)
3. Christ's followers must emulate Him (amōmos, cf. Eph. 1:4; 5:27; Phil. 2:15; Col. 1:22; 2 Pet. 3:14; Jude 1:24; Rev. 14:5)
4. This concept is also used of church leaders
a. anegklētos, "without accusation" (cf. 1 Tim. 3:10; Titus 1:6-7)
b. anepilemptos, "above criticism" or "no handle for reproach" (cf. 1 Tim. 3:2; 5:7; 6:14; Titus 2:8)
5. The concept of "undefiled" (amiantos) is used of
a. Christ Himself (cf. Heb. 7:26)
b. the Christian's inheritance (cf. 1 Pet. 1:4)
6. The concept of "wholeness" or "soundness" (holoklēria) (cf. Acts 3:16; 1 Thess. 5:23; James 1:4)
7. The concept of "without fault," "guiltless innocence" is conveyed by amemptos (cf. Luke 1:6; Phil. 2:15; 3:6; 1 Thess. 2:10; 3:13; 5:23)
8. The concept of "not subject to blame" is conveyed by amōmētos (cf. 2 Pet. 3:14)
9. The concept of "spotless," "unblemished" is often used in passages that have one of the above terms also (cf. 1 Tim. 6:14; James 1:27; 1 Pet. 1:19; 2 Pet. 3:14)
D. The number of words in Hebrew and Greek which convey this concept shows its importance. God has provided our need through Christ and now calls on us to be like Him.
Believers are positionally, forensically declared "right," "just," "blameless" by the work of Christ. Now believers are to possess their position. "Walk in the light as He is in the light" (cf. 1 John 1:7). "Walk worthy of the calling" (cf. Eph. 4:1,17; 5:2,15). Jesus has restored the image of God. Intimate fellowship is now possible, but remember God wants a people who reflect His character, as His Son did, to a lost world (i.e., the nations). We are called to nothing less than holiness (cf. Matt. 5:20,48; Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:13-16). God's holiness, not only legally, but existentially!
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