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Our Divine Mandate to be Blameless

We as humans are spirit, soul, and body. Each part of us has its characteristics. If one part of us is hurting it affects everything else. As believers, we are blessed with the indwelling of the Holy Ghost.[1] The Spirit will minister to our spirit, our spirit to our soul, and our soul to our body. First Thessalonians 5:23 tells us,

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)

This verse shows us the divine order; everything starts with our spirit. Jesus stated, “…The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (ESV) What gets in the way of our spirit is the flesh. Galatians 5:17 present the struggle in a more transparent way when it states, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” (NIV) In addition, what gets in the way of a healthy soul is also the flesh; First Peter 2:11 tells us, 

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. (ESV)

The flesh is our enemy within; nevertheless, the mandate in First Thessalonians 5:23, “…may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (ESV) We are called; despite our inner struggles, despite the devil and his demons, and, despite this world, to present our spirits, souls, and bodies “blameless” at the coming of our Lord. The word blameless is the Greek word amémptōs; meaning “faultlessly”[2] God has given us the mandate to present our spirits, souls, and bodies without fault. But is this even possible? 

Surely it is a process and, surely, it is possible. Philippians 2:12 is the key when it tells us, “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” (ESV) The word for Salvation is the Greek word sōtēría; meaning, “Safety, deliverance, preservation from danger or destruction.”[3] The mandate is for us to work out our deliverance with fear and trembling; in other words to take it seriously, to work at it, and to do better.

Beloved, freedom is indeed available to us through Christ Jesus; John 8:36 tells us “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (NIV) There are two schools of thoughts that get in the way of that freedom: 1) the one that tells us that everything is resolved with one prayer and 2) the one that tells us that everything was resolved at salvation. Both are equally wrong. There is a mandate for us to present our spirits, souls, and bodies without fault before the Lord. We MUST have a relationship with God and His Word to feed the spirit within us. We must work on our souls: 1) our mindset, 2) our decision-making, and 3) our emotions. And, we must exercise our bodies. 

I remember a fat elder quoting me First Timothy 4:8 “for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (ESV) This elder was trying to justify the reason why he did not exercise. However, this Bible verse does not discourage physical exercise; it just places it in the correct perspective; as stated before, the divine order is spirit, soul, and body. Bodily training from an eternal perspective has little value, however, while we are on this earth, we are commanded to take care of our bodies. This fat elder was, like many believers, justifying his fatness.

In reality, any aspect of our being that is affected will affect other areas. Think about this for a minute: The Bible is clear about seeking God early in the morning. David tells us “I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.” (NLT) Jesus himself was an early riser. Mark 1:35 tells us, “Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.” (NLT) For some, the problem starts right here 1) they can’t wake up early in the morning because they go to bed late at night, or, they can’t wake up early in the morning because of their bad diet; and then, 2) they are too tired to wake up in the morning and present themselves before God. 

Because of their undisciplined bodies, their relationship with God is greatly affected, therefor their spirit is greatly affected, and, if the spirit is affected the soul will also be affected; that means that they will adopt an ungodly mindset. As a result of their ungodly mindset, they will make ungodly decisions, and, because of those ungodly decisions, they will experience ungodly emotions. Beloved, everything is connected. 

It is shameful that folks who are not even believers display a much greater degree of discipline than the average Christian. They are walking around looking great because they are disciplined in their exercises and diets while we inspire nobody with our obvious gluttony issues and out-of-shape bodies. Paul wrote about this when he states, 

All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. First Corinthians 9:25-27 (NLT)

Beloved, we disqualify ourselves as ministers when the flesh can have her way with our spirits and with our souls. I am here to tell you that it is possible to present our spirits, souls, and bodies blameless before the Lord and, that it is possible to be free; after all, it is His will. Through HIM it is possible; through his power, but we MUST do our part and, that, is to work out our deliverance; to do better, to improve, and to allow God to transform our entire being. 

As a boxer, I used to wake up before the sun came out to run 5 miles every day. I did my boxing training after school and then finished by running 3 more miles. I was lost, I was not a believer; I did it to be a good boxer. I recently prayed for God to bless me with that kind of discipline. Obviously, I am not going to train like I did when I was a teenager; but I can do much better. God is honoring that prayer. What a blessing is to wake up early, exercise this body; take a walk with God, talk, and listen to His Spirit, study the Bible, and then go on to work prepared spiritually, emotionally, and physically. 

Am I tempted? Yes! Am I perfect? No! Do I make mistake? Yes! To be free is not to be exempt from temptations, to be perfect, or to never make a mistake. To be blameless and free is to not be bound by anything: no depression, no anxiety, no jealousy, no pornography, no envy, no laziness, no gluttony, no unforgiveness, etc. I am working out my deliverance, I am free, and, with God’s help, I present myself before Him blameless… His power provides the power necessary for my freedom… In Jesus’ name!

[1] Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? I Corinthians 3:16 (ESV)

[2] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[3] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

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