Psalms – The joy of forgiveness
How do we receive and enjoy forgiveness? How do we understand sin?
None of us are sinless or perfect. Romans 3:23 tells us that we have all sinned and 1 John 1:8 tells us that is we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves. All of us need forgiveness. God does not want us to live in condemnation; under the judgement of sin, He wants us to live in the joy and the freedom of His forgiveness.
In the first five verses of Psalm 32 David uses three different Hebrew words for sin:
- Transgression (vs 1) – meaning rebellion and disobedience. We all rebel against God or fail to obey God’s commands.
- Sins (vs 1) – these are the things that we say or do that are wrong, evil, bad, harmful or hurtful.
- Iniquity (vs 5) – meaning inward corruption. These are our attitudes rather than our actions.
We cannot be a true Christian unless we first understand that we are a sinner. Forgiveness is meaningless unless we know we are sinners who need forgiveness.
- The joy of forgiveness (vs 1-2)- We are blessed when (1) sin is forgiven – the burden of sin is lifted from us, (2) sin is covered – concealed from sight; the embarrassment and shame of sin is gone. God has erased it and (3) God refuses to treat us as our sins deserve; He counts us as cleansed and forgiven.
- The pain and suffering of guilt (vs 3-5)- Unforgiven sin brings pain and suffering. We suffer when we hold on to our sins and guilt. We cannot put things right in our own strength. We need to come before the Lord and confess our sin. We need to come just as we are (vs 5). When we acknowledge and confess our sin we find forgiveness and freedom.
- The joy of repentance (vs 5-10) – In verse 5 the word for ‘will’ is in a continuous tense. We need to continue to confess our sin. It is also important to note that forgiveness is full – we are fully forgiven. David says we all need to confess our sins and we should not leave it until it is too late – today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:1-2).