What Does "Above Reproach" or "Blameless" Mean?
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What Does “Above Reproach” or “Blameless” Mean?


As followers of Christ, we are called to live our lives according to the teachings of the Bible, striving to become more like Jesus every day. One of the most important characteristics we are encouraged to develop is that of being “above reproach” or “blameless.”

But what does this really mean, and how can we live our lives in a way that reflects this attribute?

In this blog post, we will explore the meaning of “above reproach” and “blameless” in the context of the Bible, particularly focusing on the New King James Version (NKJV).

We will delve into the scriptures that address this topic, examine the qualities expected of leaders within the church, and discuss practical ways in which all believers can aspire to live a life that is above reproach.

Above reproach

The Biblical Definition of “Above Reproach” and “Blameless”

The terms “above reproach” and “blameless” are used in various passages throughout the Bible, often referring to the qualifications and characteristics of church leaders. In the New Testament, both terms are used to describe the qualities expected of an overseer, elder, or deacon within the church.

In 1 Timothy 3:2 (NKJV), the Apostle Paul writes about the qualifications of an overseer: “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach.”

Similarly, in Titus 1:6-7 (NKJV), Paul provides instructions to Titus regarding the appointment of elders, stating that they must be “blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled.”

In both passages, being “above reproach” or “blameless” is listed as a primary qualification for church leadership. But what does it mean to be blameless? The Greek word used for “blameless” in these passages is “anepilēmptos,” which means “not apprehended” or “that cannot be laid hold of.”

In other words, it implies that there is no valid accusation that can be made against the person.

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Living a Life Above Reproach

Living a life that is above reproach or blameless does not mean that we will never make mistakes or sin. Rather, it is about striving to live in such a way that our conduct does not give cause for others to accuse us of wrongdoing or bring shame upon the Gospel of Christ.

We must be diligent in our pursuit of holiness and righteousness, seeking to grow in Christlike character daily.

Ephesians 4:1 (NKJV) exhorts us to “walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” To live a life above reproach, we should focus on several key areas:


A humble heart recognizes its dependence on God and is open to receiving correction and guidance. Proverbs 15:33 (NKJV) states, “The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.” By cultivating humility, we make ourselves teachable and willing to grow in our walk with Christ.


Integrity involves being honest and consistent in our actions, words, and beliefs. Proverbs 10:9 (NKJV) says, “He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known.” When we live with integrity, we can face any challenge with the confidence that our foundation is built on truth.


Purity of heart, mind, and body is essential for living a life above reproach. Jesus taught in Matthew 5:8 (NKJV), “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” This includes guarding our thoughts and actions, as well as avoiding situations that may lead to temptation or compromise.


Love is the core of the Christian faith and should be the driving force behind all our actions.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NKJV), Paul describes the characteristics of love: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Living a life of love means being patient, kind, selfless, and forgiving toward others, just as Christ has loved us.


Being faithful means remaining steadfast in our commitment to God and His Word. We must be diligent in our personal relationship with Christ through prayer, Bible study, and fellowship with other believers.

As Jesus said in Matthew 24:45-46 (NKJV), “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.”


In our pursuit to live a life above reproach or blameless, we must remember that it is not about achieving perfection, but rather about growing in Christlikeness daily. As we develop humility, integrity, purity, love, and faithfulness, our lives will become a testament to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit within us.

As we strive to live above reproach, we will inevitably encounter challenges and setbacks. However, we must remember that our ultimate goal is to glorify God and reflect His character in our lives. By continually seeking His guidance and submitting to His will, we can trust that He will mold us into the people He desires us to be.

Finally, let us remember the promise found in Philippians 1:6 (NKJV): “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

As we persevere in our walk with Christ, let us take comfort in the knowledge that He is faithful to complete the work He has started in us, helping us to live lives that are truly above reproach and blameless in His sight.

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.