(Luke 1:1-7) “Righteous and Blameless”

Nov 5 - Saints Zekeriah and Elizabeth (1st cent) parents of John the Baptist  - Catholicireland.netCatholicireland.net

As we begin walking through the Gospel of Luke, it is important to understand the “who” and “why” of this Gospel, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Over the next several months we will deeply examine the truth contained in this wonderful testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s begin.

Luke is the author of this Gospel and writes just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding from the very first, to write an orderly account” (Luke 1:2).

In the words “eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered…” he is referring to Paul, Peter, John, and Miriam (Mary) the mother of Jesus. It is these believers Luke encountered in his travels with Paul.

Luke was a Greek and a physician by trade. Before we assume this is a pretext for God giving us doctors or medicine, when the Bible never says that, let us understand what being a Greek physician meant to those in the days of Christ’s first coming.

There was no approved practice of medicine in the Old Testament as the Old Testament YHWH declared “the LORD that heals us” and He, Himself, is the one “…who forgives our iniquities and heals all our diseases” (Exodus 15:26; Psalm 103:1-3).

Most doctoring came by way of Egyptian and Greek paganism. Remember John 5, at the pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed a lame man. This pool had nothing to do with Jewish faith or practice but was an Asclepeion, or pagan healing temple.

Each one of these temples had a pool, where rituals were performed to conjure an angel to stir the waters for healing. Of course, the angels were not God’s holy angels, but the fallen and demons. At these temples, there were doctors; this is what Luke was. It is potential that he was present in Chapter 5 of John, being an Asclepeion physician.

Asclepios founded these cultic healing pools and the trade of physicians. He received his medical knowledge from a serpent that whispered hidden knowledge into his ear. This knowledge was extensive concerning the human body and not previously known to any.

Luke, being called the “beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14) is important because he left that behind to follow Christ, as it was pure paganism.

Luke was one of Paul’s longest tenured traveling companions and was obviously present, as a witness to the birth announcement of the church, for the Holy Spirit inspired him to write the book of Acts. For the things he was not an eyewitness too, he received truth from eyewitnesses, such as Mary, Peter and John, in his travels with Paul.

Consider the intimate details of Christ’s life, in His early years, and this inspired text concerning Mary “but His mother kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51). This was revealed to him in Ephesus, a church Paul loved and where Mariam (Mary) resided for a time as John the apostle took care of her (John 19:25-27). With that background let us look further into Luke 1.

Let us read Luke 1:5-7.

Luke 1:5-7 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.

In this passage we see an element of our walk with God, where God does something because of our faith, where we do something because of our right relationship to God and how we grow and mature, as we walk with the Lord.


In the passage above both of John the Baptist parents were “righteous before God”. This means that they were justified or considered not guilty before God. This righteousness had nothing to do with the next sentence, where we read of their walking in all the commandments and ordinances of God, blameless.

We know this because of what it says in Romans 3:20 “By works of the law shall none be righteous in His sight”.

Verse 6 is a testimony to their saving faith in God, as we understand “the just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17; Hebrews 10:35-38; Habakkuk 2:4).

The foundation for this truth is in Genesis 15:6, where Abraham believed God and the LORD accounted to him as righteousness. This means being considered righteous is a done deal, whereby God considered him as if he never sinned.

The word “accounted” also means “to impute”. David declares the blessing concerning this word Psalm 32:1-2 where the word of God declares “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit”.

It is important we understand that imputation or being accounted as righteous, is directly related to God’s promise of the Messiah to come, who would atone for sin. Therefore, it was still belief in God’s ultimate sin offering in the Christ, that brought justification or being deemed “not guilty” to Old Testament saints.

Abraham would have known that God’s promise to him would be the vehicle by which the promise seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15).

Let us consider Job, who was also righteous by faith (Job 1:1-5, 8). Job was recorded to have offered sin offerings for himself and his children, but it was who and what these sacrifices pointed too, that Job had placed his faith in.

Job 19:25-27 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

Job believed the Messiah would Redeem him with His own blood, as the Lamb of God slain—Job believed the Redeemer would be the Messiah who would return after dying and risings from the dead—Job believed that he would see the Redeemer himself even after Job had died. This is the hope of all the saints of God, in both the Old and New Testament times.

Old Testaments saints were justified by faith in God’s word and promise concerning Messiah; just as we are. When they died, they went to Abraham’s Bosom, to await the death and resurrection of the Messiah, then He would “lead captivity captive” (Psalm 68:18; Ephesians 4:8).

Zacharias and his wife, John’s parents, believed in the truth of Messiah the Redeemer (Luke 1:67-79). As Old Testament saints (Christ had not died or risen yet), we see the merging of justifying faith, with an effort that was blameless, in verse.

Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Ephesians 2:8-10 reveals the merging wonderfully.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Verse 10 moves us beyond being justified by faith in Christ, into the outcome of being counted as righteous by grace through faith… to walk with all our heart in those good works He ordained for us.

No we are not saved by obeying commandments and the ordinances of the LORD, but we obey the commandments and ordinances of the LORD, because being justified by faith in Christ, and made new creations, we gladly and with love desire to glorify our God and Father.

The Living... — Proverbs 13:6 (ESV) - Righteousness guards him...

This is a good foundation for understanding what Luke 1:6 declares “walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless”. So what does this speak to the follower of Jesus Christ today?

There are far to many teachers, who in error declare that to pursue holiness or expect change in our Christian lives, is an indication of one trying to save themselves. These teachers falsely preach a Gospel where Christ can wash away your sins, but is not powerful enough to give you a new life, evidenced by the good works of the Christian life; works which do not save, but certainly glorify God and His Christ.

Let me ask you Christian, do you rejoice to obey the commandments of the LORD? Do you strive to walk worthy of your calling in Christ and be blameless in keeping His word? The desire to do so does not save, but that desire is in the heart of every follower of Christ, justified by their faith in Christ’s finished work.

We were saved to do exploits for Christ, to live a life that displays Christ has destroyed the works of the devil in us and where we as new creations look like Christ in our character, thoughts and actions.

Peace until next time.

About Michael J Erdel

Mike is a pastor with The Assembly of God Fellowship. He is the lead pastor at Encounter Church in Fostoria Ohio. His desire is to encourage the Church of Jesus Christ, and declare God's hope through His Son Jesus, to a world which is long on excuses and short on hope. Mike has experienced the truth that when we kneel before Christ, surrendering to Him as Savior and LORD, being led and empowered by His Spirit. To Jesus Christ be all glory and honor.
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