This afternoon, I started to memorize some new verses for this week (this is the 3rd week of working on my goals), and decided to go back through those verses that I'd worked on over the past few weeks to refresh my memory and call to mind the things God had shown me in the process. These verses are some that I actually started memorizing a week or two before, and I wanted to share some thoughts...
"Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit." (Psalm 32:1-2 NKJV)
To me, this is the gospel, right here in Psalms! Or at least, it points ahead to it. How can my awful sins be covered, my transgression be forgiven? What does it take for the Lord not to impute my iniquity to me? This all points to His mercy and grace through Christ and His finished work on the cross. There is no other way for man to be forgiven by God except on God's own terms, and the only provision He makes is through the gift of His Son Jesus. This past week, I was also struck by the similarity between the expression here "does not impute iniquity", and the one I memorized last week from 2 Corinthians 5:17, "not counting their trespasses against them."
Maybe I am seeing these connections more because I am often conscious of my own sins of lust and deceit, and the impact they have had on my marriage with Cherie. What amazing relief and peace comes, when considering my deep dark sin, to know that it is covered. How great it is to know that my every transgression has been forgiven; that God Himself does not count my iniquities against me any longer, having laid them all upon His own dear Son at Calvary. What a wonderful Savior. Thank You, God!
I mentioned "deceit" a minute ago, and perhaps that made you remember the same word in the verses quoted above. Yes, the man is truly blessed whose spirit does not have deceit in it. I want and need to have my spirit free from any deceit, and I am especially conscious of that because I have seen its ugly roots and fruits in my life and marriage. How am I to get that freedom from deceit? The exact same way that I get my sins forgiven -- it is through the grace and mercy of God in the work of Christ! God not only cleanses me from sin at salvation, in order to make me fit for His presence, but He gives me new life in Christ and deliverance from sin in everyday practical ways. Specifically here, He gives a love for the truth by His Holy Spirit; a conscience to detect deceit in my heart; and grants repentance to turn away from lies to His truth. And so I have the key to deliverance from deceit (and the blessedness that goes along with it) -- it is in the practical application of the gospel to my life; trusting God for His sanctifying work in me on a daily basis.
And of course deceit is only an example of the sin that God delivers us from. But it is more than that too, because deceit is at the heart of every sin. Satan lies to us about the reward and the consequence of sin. We believe those lies and deceive ourselves by rationalizing sin as something we deserve somehow. Then we tend to lie to others about what we have done or its seriousness, or else we spread the sin by joining Satan in wrongly depicting it again.
So deceit is serious indeed, but God has provided practical everyday freedom from it through His perfect salvation in Christ. I am so thankful for His working in my life in this area, and I am already experiencing the blessing that comes from deceit being removed from my spirit. I trust God to continue this work until the day that I am completely free from deceit - in heaven!