Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Table of Forgiveness, The Table of Happiness

Blessed is he 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)
The Hebrew word for “blessed” here is asher, and refers to a deep and abiding happiness. It is like a wave of joy that puts a smile on your face every time if washes over you.

What is the cause of such wonderful bliss? Knowing that your rebellion against God has been forgiven and God no longer looks at your sin. That the evil of iniquity is no longer charged to your account and you no longer feel the need to hide out from God.

Adam tried to hide when He rebelled against the Lord. “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:10). But we no longer have to be afraid—or ashamed. Because God no longer charges sin, but righteousness to our account. It is the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Get the picture? God charged your sin and mine to the account of Jesus, who had no sin of His own. Then He charged our accounts with His own righteousness, and now we can be debt-free in the most important sense. Paul revelates more on this more in his letter to the Romans:
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes 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 4:5-8)
When we receive this wonderful righteousness by faith, the blessings and benefits of the righteous belong to us. David continues in this psalm:
For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters
They shall not come near him.
You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.”

Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous;
And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
(Psalm 32:6-8, 10-11)
This righteousness and these benefits are portrayed for us at The Table of the Lord. The bread displays the body of Jesus given for us. The cup reveals the wonderful promises God has made to us in the blood of Christ, for Jesus declared, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20).

The Table of the Lord is the Table of Blessing and Benefit, the Table of Deep Happiness and Abiding Joy. Because it is the Table of Forgiveness.

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