As we continue our study of Psalm 51 this week, we will continue to look at 15 gifts that God gives us in salvation. You’ll notice that David is asking for each one of these gifts as he writes this psalm, but, as Christians today, we have already received these gifts. The earnest desire of David’s heart is ours through faith in Christ. Today, we will look at one of the more precious of those gifts: justification.
I have often heard preachers say something to this effect: “I’m justified! It’s just-(as)-if-I’d never sinned!” This is so important for us to grasp!
We spent a lot of time in this psalm dwelling on our need to admit our sinful nature and confess our sins to God. So many people want to skip over this step, but we mustn’t! When we dive down deep into our hearts, we become overwhelmed with the guilt of our sin. Then, we look at the cross. It is there that we see this burden, which we could never bear, being born by the Son of God. He died in my place. All of that filth to which I have now confessed was placed on Him. The wrath of God was poured out on Him. My sin debt is now paid! God now sees me as someone who has been justified. It’s just as if I’d never sinned.
Please read Psalm 51:9.
Sin is shameful—that’s why we cover it up. Our culture today flaunts sin in ways that make most of us blush. The promotion of sexuality, indecency, greed, selfishness, and hate is unnatural. These desires are all natural, of course, for we were born with a sin nature. But we were also made in the image of God. We were raised with some level of decency, and we were taught that we ought not to do these things.
Still, we sinned anyway. But, as we grew, we covered up our sin. Like Adam and Eve, we sewed together fig leaves to try to hide our shame. Many of us got good at sweeping our sin under the rug, and hiding the skeletons in the closet. That is why it was so difficult to accept the gifts of admission and confession: we didn’t want to lay our sin and shame out for all to see.
But now we have confessed our sins. Now Jesus has looked at our sins, and washed them away through the sacrifice of His blood. He did not just wave a magic wand and say “all is forgiven.” Our sin was serious! It demanded the death penalty! And God is just.
So God sent His Son to pay the price for our sins. Jesus took our place on the cross and paid the full price for our sins. He saw the lies, the lust, the greed, the gossip, the pride, the hatred, the stealing, the disobedience, the idolatry, and everything else. Our sin was laid bare before Him. Then, He didn’t just cover it up; He washed it away.
All our sins have been paid for at the cross. We no longer have any need to hide in shame. God now sees us as perfectly righteous. God doesn’t need to hide His face from our sins, for our sins are blotted out. As Audio Adrenaline once sang: “Your sins are erased and they are no more. They’re out on the ocean floor.” But that’s not fully accurate either, for one could theoretically go to the ocean floor. Rather, we agree with the psalmist, who writes: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). They are gone! They aren’t coming back! In Christ, my sins are erased, and they are no more.
I don’t need to hide, because I am justified. Praise God for His gift of justification!
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