Devotional: The blessings of forgiveness
What happens when a sinner believes in the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus, has faith in His blood as the final sin offering? It's beautifully described in many passages of Scripture. I will just choose two. The first one is Psalm 32, verses 1 and 2:
"Blessed is the he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sins the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit." (NIV)
Where it says in English "blessed is he" the Hebrew phrase is stronger it's "oh the blessednesses”, the countless blessings that come to the man who's transgressions are forgiven who's sins are covered by that mercy seat that covered the broken law that I spoke about a little earlier.
"Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him." Notice there isn't a man who hasn't sinned, that's not the blessedness because there is not such a man. But "blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him" whose sin has been covered by the mercy seat, who's punishment has come upon another, the sinner substitute, "and in whose spirit there is no deceit."
We have to bear in mind that we have to be absolutely sincere, open and honest with God. It's not good trying to trick or fool God with mere external religious appearance. There has to be absolute openness and honesty in our spirit toward God. We cannot cover anything up, we cannot excuse anything. We simply have to put our faith solely and totally in the sinner substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Romans chapter 5, verses 1 and 2, these words are used to describe the consequences of this transaction:
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, [acquitted, counted righteous] we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." (NIV)
There are some of the consequences. When we have accepted this sacrificial atoning death of Jesus on our behalf we have peace with God. God's wrath has been dealt with. He no longer counts our sins against us, we no longer need to tremble as guilty sinners. We no longer need to feel guilty and unworthy. We've been justified, we've been acquitted, we're accepted, we have a right to the presence of God, we can move by faith into the grace of God, something in which we can stand in, something that's solid, that's permanent. And finally, we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. So it's peace, it's joy, it's stability, it's firmness, it's assurance.
Thank You Lord for Your forbearance, the time I did not know You yet, and thank You that I know may know You, and for all the blessings that have come upon me through Your forgiveness. Help me, Lord, to always be completely sincere and honest with You, because I know that You know – and love me – anyway! Amen!