(Romans 4:7-8) “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
One of the truths of the gospel is that our sins are forgiven by faith in Christ. (Romans 4:5) “But to him that does not work, but believeth on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Here the fourth chapter of Romans tells us that if one tries to keep the law to be saved, he will end up not with credit but with debt so that we all end up with a debt that we cannot pay.
It is like the old song:
“You load 16 tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
St. Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store.”
(Song by Tennessee Ernie Ford)
The more we work at being righteous, the more unrighteous and the deeper in debt we become.
But God, in His grace, gave His Son so that our debt can be paid when we put our faith in his Son. We know this because (Romans 4:5) “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
As John MacArthur says about forgiveness, “In forgiveness, the sinner stands before God as a debtor, and the debt, having been paid, is forgotten.”
We are all debtors to sin. We have a debt that we cannot pay so we must have someone to forgive it. Jesus told a parable about a king that had a servant who owed him a debt that was so big that he could not pay it. So at first, the king commanded him to be sold with his wife, children, and all that he had so the payment could be made on the debt, but the man asked for more time and said he would repay the king. (Matthew 18:27) “Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.” This is what God does for us when we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the message of this song:
“He paid the debt he did not own, I own the debt I could not pay
I needed someone to wash my sins away
And now I sing a brand new song, ‘Amazing grace’
Christ Jesus paid the debt I could never pay.
In justification, the sinner stands before God as the accused and is declared righteous.”
When we are justified by faith in the Lord Jesus, we are forgiven our debt of sin and we are made righteous so that we can have fellowship with God.
Only the righteous will be in heaven with God and with His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
Then you really can sing this, “I sing a brand new song, ‘Amazing grace.'”
If you, by faith, have been justified, which means that you have been set free from the debt of sin that you could not pay and that Jesus Christ has paid it for you; I say to you: you need to rejoice for you are one of the children of God.
*Devotional written by Ralph Williams, retired pastor and member of One Hope Mobile.