Character Comes First By Theodore Epp

Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1: 13-21

There is much talk today about "working for Christ" but little about "being like Christ."

Being like Christ means more than just following Him as a good teacher or example; it refers to the believer's being molded into the image of Jesus Christ. This is accomplished only as the believer yields to the work of the indwelling Christ.

The term "without blame" in Ephesians 1:4 means "without blemish"; that is, "free from faultiness." The believer is to live above reproach.

This is the potential of every believer because he is in Christ, but it is true of the believer only as he appropriates the resources God has made available to him.

The believer possesses a nature that is blameless, and he is to live accordingly. Believers are to be holy and blameless "before him" (v. 4).

Notice that this verse is not referring to a future time, such as the believer's judgment, but to the present. The believer should allow God to work in his heart so that his practice might measure up to his position--holy and blameless.

As the refiner can see his image in the purified gold, so God works with a believer until He sees His image. Each believer's prayer should be, "Search me, 0 God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Ps. 139:23,24).

"Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 1:8).

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