“6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
We are continuing our plod through Paul’s letter to the Romans, and Paul here answers a question for us that he began to address in the beginning of chapter four.
What does it mean to be blessed?
This text is communicating fundamentally the same message as Romans 4:1-5. Justification comes through faith in Christ apart from our works. Our text this week is simply a quotation from Psalm 32, which rejoices in this blessing of justification through faith. The whole of Psalm 32 is a rejoicing in this blessing namely in light of repentance, and so I want to focus on repentance today.
Repentance is a fundamental doctrine in the Christian life, and this means we are prone to grow apathetic to it, make light of it, and trivialize it. At the outset this morning, remember that repentance must be constant in our lives and that it is used by the Spirit of God to produce life and joy in us. Don’t ever allow your knowledge of a doctrine to keep you from receiving what God has for you in His Word.
Paul, from the beginning of chapter four and into our text, says to be blessed is to be justified before God, and that by faith apart from our works.
This blessing is fundamentally founded not upon earthly circumstances: wealth, a bunch of children, a spouse, a good job, stable health, or any other earthly blessing.
Paul expounds his answer regarding this blessedness further in our text, quoting from the beginning of a Psalm of David; Psalm 32.
The ultimate blessing is to have a right relationship with the holy God.
Paul explains the receiving of this blessedness through positive and negative imputations.
Blessed is the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, and blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Think of imputation as the charging of one thing or another to your account, and here before God. It is declared a great blessing to have righteousness imputed to Your account before God, and a great blessing to not have sin imputed to You.
The way this comes about is through what verse seven says. This comes through the blessing of a covering for sin and a forgiveness of iniquity, and this all comes only through Christ.
HOW TO HAVE PARDON OF SIN
Pardon of sin is the foundation of all the blessings of the Christian life. If we have this blessing from God, we have everything. If we do not have pardon for sins, ultimately we have nothing. And so we must do all that we can to see to it that we have this pardon.
We obtain such pardon by faith, and as we will see by looking at Psalm 32, which again is quoted in our text, this is a faith that cannot be separated from repentance. Repentance always accompanies saving faith, and must mark the life of the faithful throughout their walk with Christ.