The command to Abraham

The very first exhortation to be blameless before the Lord was given to Abraham, the father of all who believe. The Lord said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless." Gen 17:1. This was a specific initiative of the Holy Spirit toward Abraham and Sarah. Receiving new names, and baptism through the sign of circumcision, were fundamental to their capacity to obey this direction. Significantly, this marked a fundamental change in their marriage covenant and culture, which was necessary in bringing forth the child of promise, who was born according to the Spirit. Gal 4:29.

It is important to recognise that the relational culture within a house, particularly as it is expressed by the children, will reveal the culture of a marriage. We note that before Abraham and Sarah received grace from the Lord, and applied themselves to the process through which they were able to be blameless before Him, the fruit of their fallen marriage culture was Ishmael. He was born according to the flesh. The fruit of the flesh within a family will be evidenced by conflict, disobedience, scorn and derision among those within the household. This is not a house of peace.

The point for us to note is that our capacity to walk as blameless and harmless children of God until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ involves cultural reformation in our marriages and households. This is an ongoing process that is possible only as we walk by the Spirit in the fellowship of Christ's offering and sufferings. By this means, we are able to obtain the blessing that the Lord promised to Abraham when He said that all the families of the earth would be blessed in him. Gen 12:3. Gen 22:18.