“…just as David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.’ ” Romans 4:6-8 (Part two)
This quote by the apostle Paul, as was mentioned last week, comes from Psalm thirty-two, verses one and two.
“How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit!” King David penned these words under inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the same Spirit moved Paul to use this passage in exhorting and instructing the church at Rome. Last week we looked closely at verse one of Psalm 32 in an effort to gain insight into what was being communicated by the Spirit through David, particularly the meaning in some of the Hebrew words. Here’s a quick summation of that study. Transgression against the LORD is akin to outright revolt and rebellion to His law. The Hebrew word for forgiven means to have something lifted up and carried away with a view towards being destroyed or lost. A great object lesson on that word is the events concerning the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement as recorded in Leviticus 16:20-22. The Hebrew word for covered at its essence means to conceal by being clothed. This means the sins were no longer visible to man or God. To peruse the article more in depth, we refer you to www.newcreation.us This week as promised we will spotlight verse two of Psalm thirty-two of the original Hebrew text. Once more in verse two the Holy Spirit communicates the countenance of the person to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity-happy! Those that enjoy this condition before God should demonstrate their condition before Him and others, right? Most of us understand what impute means; to have something charged to your account. The Hebrew word we see translated in English as impute is chashab (khaw-shab). The root of this word means to plait, weave, or interpenetrate. To impute is to be interwoven into ones being. The iniquity (Hebrew word aw-vone meaning perversity or moral evil) that once penetrated and was weaved into the transgressor along with the fault that fell upon them, the LORD has literally unwoven. He no longer regards it as being a part of the person. It’s like a pardon. It doesn’t mean that the evil didn’t occur, it just means the repercussions in reference to the LORD and associated payment due Him are suspended. The blessed state of this individual is predicated upon a pretty important principle though. No deceit, nor guile, or more literally, no treachery in the individual in trying to delude himself and justify their actions. God only renders these blessings if the individual is honest before Him and not self-deceptive. Even though this part of David’s utterance wasn’t cited by Paul, honesty before God is a critical component in the Lord reckoning righteousness to an individual. David explains the ramifications of being keenly aware of sin but not dealing with it forthrightly in verses three and four of Psalm 32. “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me;” (NAS) The guilt of sin weighs heavily and gnaws at the conscience unless one chooses to follow God’s appointed path to pardon. Honesty leads one to follow that path. Paul notes that David moved by the Spirit recognized works would not reckon (impute) righteousness to Him before God. (Rom. 4:5) Belief, faith that God through Jesus Christ was willing to unravel our predicament for us, is what leads to imputed righteousness. We, like Abraham, being “fully assured that what He (God) had promised” believe He is able to perform what He says in Christ Jesus. The Lord “seals” our righteousness by interpenetrating us with the Holy Spirit when we believe and obey God’s plan for salvation, which includes repentance, confession, and immersion into Christ for forgiveness of sins. All are parts of that which is defined as faith in the New Testament. Notice that God’s plan for Abraham’s faith picture had to do with what Abraham would become and his role in God’s plan. When you seek to be justified by works of the law, the focus is on what wrong you had done. Walking by faith focuses on what you get to become in Christ and the fulfillment of your purpose in His plan! Amen.