I got stuck on this part:
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.”
Genesis 17:1-2 (ESV)
Blameless: We are to be blameless, here is a sample of verses that state this.
But we know we are not and can not walk blameless.
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…Romans 3:23
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more..
Confusing? Not if you read the WHOLE STORY. But the quick answer begins with a couple of questions:
How did Abraham walk blameless? Follow the progression:
And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless,that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.
He was blameless because of faith. This made him humble and submissive.
What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”
How do we walk blameless?
We believe. We have faith in God through Christ Jesus.
Read all of Hebrews 7
...and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.
We do strive to be more like Christ knowing that we will never be fully complete (blameless/perfect). Knowing that striving to be like Him never makes us blameless before God. Faith in Him alone does that for us.
The mature Christian knows this yet and does not give up. The grownup believer knows that the striving does not save him nor does it make him more loveable to God. It is simply the right way to live. Even if it brings suffering. It is what separates him from the world. There should be no boasting or arrogance but kindness, contentment and keeping your nose to the grindstone of good works. Simply because he asked us too – not because it makes us better. Not because it gives us something to talk or boast about.