IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: BLESSED IS THE MAN TO WHOM THE LORD DOES NOT IMPUTE INIQUITY
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“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 amazing how the thrice-Holy God has chosen to justify and pardon the depraved, fallen humanity. The LORD God chooses very simple parametre for putting mankind in right standing with Himself through the faith of the individuals. Despite the three levels of man’s moral bankruptcy: (1) TRANSGRESSION (2) SIN AND (3) INIQUITY, God chooses to justify the ungodly by faith. Romans 4: 5 “But to him that worketh not, BUT BELIEVETH ON HIM THAT JUSTIFIETH THE UNGODLY, his faith is counted FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS”. There is a man in the sight of God unto whom He will not credit unrighteousness and punishment. God has no other parametres for justifying the sinners that are morally destitute and bankrupt other than THE FAITH of the same fallen humanity. Genesis15: 6. Abraham believed God and it was credited to him for righteousness.
Hebrews 11: 6 “But WITHOUT FAITH, it is impossible TO PLEASE HIM:
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven”:
David spoke of the great blessing there is for the man or woman who knows the forgiveness of God. His sin is no longer exposed; it is covered.
“Sin is an odious thing, the devil’s drivel or vomit, the corruption of a dead soul, the filthiness of flesh and spirit. Get a cover for it, therefore.”
Psalm 1 tells the way to be blessed: Don’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly, don’t stand in the path of sinners, but delight in God’s word – thinking deeply on it all the time. Yet if one has failed to do this and fallen into sin, Psalm 32 shows another way to be blessed – to make full confession and repentance of sin.
David had great opportunity to know this blessedness in his own life. This great man of God – a man after God’s heart – nevertheless had some significant seasons of sin and what may be called backsliding or spiritual decline. Notable among these were David’s time at Ziklag (1 Samuel 27, 29, 30) and David’s sin regarding Bathsheba and Uriah (2 Samuel 11). After both occasions, David came to confession, repentance, and forgiveness.
Therefore, David knew what it was like to be a guilty sinner. He knew the seriousness of sin and how good it is to be truly forgiven. He knew – as Paul would later state in Romans 4:6-8 – the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works. If David were judged on works alone, the righteous God must condemn him; nevertheless he knew by experience, blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
“Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity*: David spoke of real forgiveness by the declaration of God, not merely the quieting of a noisy conscience or an imagined peace with God. This was a standing with God declared and given, not earned.
The idea behind covered is that of sacrificial blood covering sin.
The idea behind does not impute is bookkeeping; it does not count against a person.
“The psalmist declares that the forgiveness of sin, of whatever kind – whether against God or man, whether great or small, whether conscientious or inadvertent, or whether by omission or commission – is to be found in God.”
And in whose spirit there is no deceit: The prior life of sin and double-living was over for David, the repentant and forgiven sinner. The forgiven life needs no more deceit to cover one’s ways.
“You must all have noticed in David’s case that after he had fallen into his foul sin with Bathsheba he ceased to exhibit that transparent truth-speaking character which had charmed us so much before.”
The lesson from the whole is this: be honest. Sinner, may God make you honest. Do not deceive yourself. Make a clean breast of it before God. Have an honest religion, or have none at all. Have a religion of the heart, or else have none. Put aside the mere vestment and garment of piety, and let your soul be right within. Be honest.”
Like the sermon on the mount this Psalm begins with beatitudes. This is the second Psalm of benediction. The first Psalm describes the result of holy blessedness, the thirty-second details the cause of it. The first pictures the tree in full growth, this depicts it in its first planting and watering. He who in the first Psalm is a reader of God’s book, is here a suppliant at God’s throne accepted and heard. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven. He is now blessed and ever shall be. Be he ever so poor, or sick, or sorrowful, he is blessed in very deed. Pardoning mercy is of all things in the world most to be prized, for it is the only and sure way to happiness. To hear from God’s own Spirit the words, “absolvo te” is joy unspeakable. Blessedness is not in this case ascribed to the man who has been a diligent law keeper, for then it would never come to us, but rather to a lawbreaker, who by grace most rich and free has been forgiven. Self righteous Pharisees have no portion in this blessedness. Over the returning prodigal, the word of welcome is here pronounced, and the music and dancing begin. A full, instantaneous, irreversible pardon of transgression turns the poor sinner’s hell into heaven, and makes the heir of wrath a partaker in blessing. The word rendered forgiven is in the original taken off or taken away, as a burden is lifted or a barrier removed. What a lift is here! It cost our Saviour a sweat of blood to bear our load, yea, it cost him his life to bear it quite away. Samson carried the gates of Gaza, but what was that to the weight which Jesus bore on our behalf? Whose sin is covered. Covered by God, as the ark was covered by the mercyseat, as Noah was covered from the flood, as the Egyptians were covered by the depths of the sea. What a cover must that be which hides away for ever from the sight of the all seeing God all the filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit! He who has once seen sin in its horrible deformity, will appreciate the happiness of seeing it no more for ever. Christ’s atonement is the propitiation, the covering, the making an end of sin; where this is seen and trusted in, the soul knows itself to be now accepted in the Beloved, and therefore enjoys a conscious blessedness which is the antepast of heaven. It is clear from the text that a man may know that he is pardoned: where would be the blessedness of an unknown forgiveness? Clearly it is a matter of knowledge, for it is the ground of comfort.
Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity.
The word blessed is in the plural, oh, the blessednesses! the double joys, the bundles of happiness, the mountains of delight! Note the three words so often used to denote our disobedience: transgression, sin, and iniquity, are the three headed dog at the gates of hell, but our glorious Lord has silenced his barkings for ever against his own believing ones. The trinity of sin is overcome by the Trinity of heaven. Non imputation is of the very essence of pardon: the believer sins, but his sin is not reckoned, not accounted to him. Certain divines froth at the mouth with rage against imputed righteousness, be it ours to see our sin not imputed, and to us may there be as Paul words it, “Righteousness imputed without works.” He is blessed indeed who has a substitute to stand for him to whose account all his debts may be set down. And in whose spirit there is no guile. He who is pardoned, has in every case been taught to deal honestly with himself, his sin, and his God. Forgiveness is no sham, and the peace which it brings is not caused by playing tricks with conscience. Self deception and hypocrisy bring no blessedness, they may drug the soul into hell with pleasant dreams, but into the heaven of true peace they cannot conduct their victim. Free from guilt, free from guile. Those who are justified from fault are sanctified from falsehood. A liar is not a forgiven soul. Treachery, double dealing, chicanery, dissimulation, are lineaments of the devil’s children, but he who is washed from sin is truthful, honest, simple, and childlike. There can be no blessedness to tricksters with their plans, and tricks, and shuffling, and pretending: they are too much afraid of discovery to be at ease; their house is built on the volcano’s brink, and eternal destruction must be their portion. Observe the three words to describe sin, and the three words to represent pardon, weigh them well, and note their meaning.
We are never to stand before God with a holier than thou attitude of the Pharisees (Luke 18: 11-12) but with a humble disposition, pleading the Mercy of God through the Blood of JESUS. 1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the Blood of JESUS CHRIST His
Son CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN”. Psalm 24:3-5 “Who shall ascend into the Holy hill of the LORD, or who shall STAND IN HIS HOLY PLACE? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the God of his salvation”. The justification, which we receive from God by Grace, comes through the shed Blood of the LORD JESUS. Ephesians 1: 7 “IN WHOM WE HAVE REDEMPTION through HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His Grace”.
Hebrews 10:17 “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more”. 2 Corinthians 5:19 and 21 “To wit that God was in CHRIST, reconciling THE WORLD UNTO HIMSELF, not IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES unto them and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation. For He hath MADE HIM to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM”. What a wonderful Grace, everyone in CHRIST is the Righteousness of God. We are as Righteous as God in CHRIST JESUS. There is, therefore, now no condemnation to those who are in CHRIST JESUS! Halleluyah.
PRAYER: Father God, thanks for justifying me by my faith and trust in You. I trust in JESUS, the Messiah, the Son of God for my salvation. I make JESUS the LORD of my life. I am the Righteousness of God in CHRIST JESUS.
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