Wednesday, 3 April 2013
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin. Romans 4:8
Paul again quotes David from the 32nd Psalm.
“Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.”
There David noted that the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin is blessed. However, the law demanded that his sin be tried and punished. He had committed adultery and murder – both capital offenses and transgressions against God. He couldn’t go back in time and undo what he had done; time is ever-moving forward. And yet, God provided atonement for him and for those who put their faith in Him through sacrifice and repentance.
The question is, “Did the sacrifices – such as those on the Day of Atonement – take away the sin?” The answer is given in both Testaments and it is “No.” The blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin. (Psalm 51:16, 17, Hebrews 10:4, etc). So what provided the atonement? It was faith that God would withhold His wrath for the sins committed. The sacrifices merely pointed to the final sacrifice of Jesus, even if the people didn’t know that this was the case. It was faith in God and His promises and a humble walk before Him. Passages such as Micah 6:6-8 show us this –
With what shall I come before the Lord, And bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, With calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
The questions Micah asked demanded a negative response. All of the sacrifices and offerings in the world were useless without a heart for God and without faith in His providence. It is through faith that the blessedness is received. When faith is exercised, the sins are pardoned and felicity between God and man is restored.
Life application: Have faith in God’s promises which come through the Person and work of Jesus. This is what pleases God, not church attendance or charitable giving. After your faith is established, then these things have meaning, but without it they are just vapor which fades away.
Lord, I know that my sins make me deserving of Your wrath and judgment, but because of Jesus, You have granted me mercy and a pardon from the sentence. I trust that Your word is true and that what He has done is all-sufficient to restore me to You. I marvel at the perfection of what You have done through His wondrous work. Thank You, O God. Amen.