Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.(Romans 4:6-8)
Paul has called two witnesses to the stand to testify that God justifies the ungodly, and that this gift of righteousness can only be by faith in the undeserved favor of God. Abraham and King David are both testimony to this blessed fact.
Abraham, the father of true, saving faith, was an idolater before he became a believer. God revealed himself to Abraham, in love, God preached the gospel to him, and he believed. This faith was ‘put to his credit’ for righteousness, and he became the friend of God.
King David, the God appointed shepherd of Israel, the sweet psalmist, and “man after God’s own heart”, brings out another aspect of this salvation. David stole a man’s wife, arranged for the man’s murder, and scandalised Israel, playing the hypocrite for two years before his sin was exposed. He deserved to die, and to go to hell.
But as the 32nd Psalm reveals, in the simplicity of confessing his sin to God, David found forgiveness and salvation by imputation.This is the true blessedness.
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered, blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. (Psalm 32:1-2)
Happy the man whose Transgression– open and willful rebellion- is forgiven. Whose Sin– falling short of what God made you for- is covered, To whom the LORD shall not impute(Put to the credit) his Iniquity-inner rebellion,lawlessness of heart.
When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long,For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer-Selah (Psalm 32:3-4)
As long as David refused to justify God by confessing his sin, he was dying.His sin was killing him, depressing him,alienating him from God, everyone else, even himself. God’s conviction was drying him up and crushing him.
I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.(Psalm 32:5)
In the simplicity of confession of his sin unto unto God, David found forgiveness, cleansing and refreshment.
But how could a Holy God “not impute iniquity” to an adulterer and murderer? God knew that one day a righteous substitute would step forward, after having fulfilled every aspect of God’s Holy law and after pleasing God in every respect. This person would offer himself, to be a propitiation to God, a satisfaction offering for our sins.
To him would our sin be imputed, he would become responsible for our transgression, sin and iniquity.This is the way God could justly “not impute iniquity” to a repentant Adulterer and murderer such as David.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.(Isaiah 53:4-5)
David and Abraham, Adam, Abel, indeed all of the so-called “Old testament” saints died in faith believing God, that He would do what needed to be done to justify the ungodly, and to bring us legitimately into this blessedness that David prophesied of. They were justified on credit, until Jesus came to be imputed with our sins.
“He made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be the righteousness of God in Him.”(2 Cor 5:21)