If you are a Christian, you are blessed. Did you know that?
No question about it. The Bible says so, and God’s Word doesn’t lie. You might say, But I don’t feel so. I mean, I don’t see a lot of blessings in my life right now. I have problems in my health, my marriage, my children, my job, and a whole lot of stuff in this and that other area.
Well, my friend, let’s go to where it all starts, the root and source where all blessings stem from. And no, it’s not more obedience, more good works, more listening harder to God, not even mustering more faith.
The apostle Paul writes in Romans 4:6-8 David’s description of “the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works”:
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” (Romans 4:7-8, quoting Psalm 32:1-2)
Immediately, we see 2 points of blessedness that David describes: (1) the person whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; (2) the person to whom the Lord shall not impute sin. That means, if you are a Christian believing in Jesus today, you are this person and both of these titles apply to you!
Let’s look in more detail what each description actually means.
Most Christians are familiar with the first, that their lawless deeds and sins are forgiven. Note the past tense used here – it doesn’t say that our sins “will be forgiven” as we go along and confess our sins that we commit after becoming Christians, it says our lawless deeds and sins “are forgiven”. Jesus did a perfect work at the cross.
By virtue of it being perfect, it means there is nothing that can be added to it, nor is there a need to. Confession of our sins isn’t necessary to get us back into relationship or fellowship with God, because He already forgave us once and for all – for all our sins, for all time – when we accepted Jesus’s perfect work on the cross for us. We don’t need to be forgiven again and again. The first and one time was perfect enough.
Yes, Jesus’s work is so perfect that He saw ALL the sins of our entire life, for everyone who ever put their trust in Him, from the patriarchs of old like Abraham and Moses, to Christians today like you and I, and He put them away and blotted them out of God’s record book, forever. Yes, even the sins we’ll commit tomorrow, or the day after. God is outside time. And if you think about it, when Jesus died on the cross, all of our sins were future anyway.
Today, we can have such peace and rest in our souls knowing that His forgiveness of our sins is perfect and absolute. This doesn’t mean we will excuse or overlook our sins and not talk to God about them – instead, it will cause us to run to Him and free us to talk to Him openly about it when we do something wrong today, knowing that He has already forgiven us for it.
This brings us to the second point, that today, the Lord shall not impute sin to us, meaning He no longer puts any sin to our account. This can only make sense for a person who still sins, which in reality, is all of us. Meaning, not only are our sins forgiven, but today, when we sin, God doesn’t count it against us.
How can that be? It is so, not because God just decided on a whim, but He did it on a righteous and judicial foundation, by His design.
Under the system of the law, God instituted animal sacrifices for the Israelites to atone for their sins. When someone sinned, they had to bring an unblemished lamb as their sin offering. The priest would check the lamb to ensure it was free from defects of any kind, before the sinner laid his hands on the head of the innocent lamb and it was killed as a sacrifice for the sinner. In doing so, the sin of the person was transferred to the lamb, and the lamb’s innocence and blamelessness was transferred unto them.
When Jesus came, John the Baptist identified Him as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus was tested, checked and declared by God, the priests, and the Roman governor to be of no fault i.e. sinless in every way. At the cross, a divine exchange took place, where Jesus took upon Himself all our sins, and in return bestowed upon us His righteousness and spotlessness, that far exceeds any human righteousness and is permanent and everlasting!
I don’t know about you, but I find that pretty mind-blowing. And the best part? It is the birthright of every born-again believer and child of God. Not because we did anything to deserve it, but it’s simply a grace gift from God.
That’s the Good News of Jesus Christ. Jesus who deserved everything took our nothing so that we who deserved nothing got His everything. That’s why it’s grace.
But hang on, aren’t these dangerous things to say? Won’t that tempt people to sin all they like since they are now ‘free to sin without consequences’?
Imagine you have a brand new dark green Ferrari 458 Italia (or you can put in whatever dream car you fancy, I just used a personal favourite as example). The manufacturer tells you it’s a special car, that is scratch-proof, dent-proof, and crash-proof. It’s basically perfect in every way. You can leave it in the garage, not wanting to drive it out for fear of damaging it, in case the manufacturer’s claims were false. You can turn on and off the lights of the garage repeatedly. Whether you see it or not, and whether you drive it or not, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s there, it’s perfect, and it’s yours.
Say one day you decide to take it out for a spin, and in carelessness scrape it as you are leaving the garage. You frantically get out to check it, only to find to your amazement and relief that the car is indeed damage-proof as the manufacturer promised. Does this make you want to drive recklessly and crash into walls and barriers just to prove its indestructibility? Well, it all depends on how much you love, value and appreciate the car. If it’s really your beloved dream car, you probably won’t want to damage it anyway, but its damage-proof assurance gives you that added peace of mind. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever get into accidents and such, but you’ll learn to be a better driver over time.
And God hasn’t just given us a fantastic car, He has given us everything through the one key of righteousness by faith. For His promise of being “the heir of the world” to Abraham and his seed – which is us, in Christ – is not through the law, but through the righteousness of faith (Romans 4:13). Heirs are to be envied. That means they are rich in every way – spiritually, in health, in possessions, in marital, family, and career blessings, and anything else you can think of!
And it all starts with believing those 2 lines of truth that is yours to have as a believer today. God wants you to have it. That’s why Jesus came.
Because when you encounter Jesus, you encounter grace.