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."
If blamelessness is required of Abraham before the law of circumcision is given, who does not see or understand that this covenant of circumcision does not bring about blamelessness but that blamelessness by faith is required of man before the establishment of this covenant? . . . Accordingly, the righteousness of faith is inculcated on Abraham before God commands him to be circumcised. Since he is commanded to remain righteous and blameless, as he had begun to be, he was righteous at that time. That the [Hebrew] noun [translated as "blameless"] in this passage is plural—be a man of perfections or of integrities—one can appropriately relate to the fact that there is a twofold righteousness: (1) the perfect righteousness, through which we are righteous before God through faith; (2) the imperfect righteousness, through which we are righteous before God and men so far as our conduct and reputation is concerned.
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