Sermon #1881 — Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: “What hath
the Lord spoken?”
Text: Numbers 23:16-21
Reading: Psalm 103:1-22
Subject: Freedom from Sin in Christ
Date: Sunday Morning — October 31, 2010
Tape #: Z-99a
Would you be interested in hearing a man preach if you were certain, absolutely certain that the word he spoke to you was the very word God put into his mouth, certain that everything he said was exactly what the Lord God compelled him to say? That’s one message I would sure like to hear. Wouldn’t you? — I’ve got just such a message for you today. Turn with me to the Book of Numbers, Numbers 23. We will begin reading at verse 16.
“And the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth.” The Lord God himself met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth. Read on…
(Numbers 23:16-17) “And the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus. 17 And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the LORD spoken?”
“What hath the Lord spoken?” That is the title of my message. — “What hath the Lord spoken?” — Read on. Let’s see what the Lord spoke. Let’s hear the word the Lord put into Balaam’s mouth.
(Numbers 23:18-21) “And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor: 19 God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? 20 Behold, I have received [commandment] to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. 21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God [is] with him, and the shout of a king [is] among them.”
“He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.” — What a message! I want to try, one more time to preach the word God put into Balaam’s mouth. If God the Holy Spirit will enable me to preach it and give you grace to receive it, it will be of greater value to your soul than buckets of gold. — “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.”
To many Balaam is one of the most puzzling characters in the Bible. We know that he was a self-serving false prophet (Jude 11; Revelation 2:14). But, at times, he appears to have been a man of character. He taught Israel to mix the worship of idols with the worship of Jehovah (Numbers 25:1; 31:16), persuading them to compromise the truth and glory of God in the name of unity and peace with those who were the enemies of God. Yet, at times, he seems to have been a man of truthfulness, committed to the truth of God, who could not be bought off or bribed, not even by the power and money of Balak, the king of Moab.
One of the great problems in recognizing false prophets is the fact that they sometimes appear to be men of integrity, principle, and character. Sometimes they seem to be self-denying rather than self-serving men. Sometimes they speak the truth, fight for it, and even put themselves at great risk in defending certain aspects of truth. Many who vehemently oppose the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ zealously contend for “the Book, the blood, and the blessed hope.” Many who deny the efficacy of Christ’s blood will put themselves in great hazard defending his deity and virgin birth. — False prophets are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Balaam was just such a man. He was like the man Bunyan called Mr. Face-Both-Ways. He represents those men who appear to have a great deal of Bible knowledge and spiritual discernment, but in reality have no spiritual understanding at all. They appear to serve God, but really serve themselves. They know much truth, but do not know him who is the Truth. They know many Bible truths, but know nothing of the Truth. They have big heads, but cold, empty hearts. And they shall at last perish with the wicked because they are the most wicked of men.
Yet, our great and glorious God uses even reprobate false prophets like Balaam to accomplish his purpose. He is an absolute sovereign. Even false prophets serve him, though they fight against him. He who caused an ass to speak to a man can easily cause that man to speak for him and speak his truth. In Balaam’s parables, we see a false prophet vindicating the faithfulness of God and declaring the truth of God, though he knew neither God nor his truth.
This should not surprise us at all. God did the same thing with Caiaphas the high priest. Though he knew nothing at all about what he was saying, he prophesied of the death of Christ and described the substitutionary character of his sin-atoning sacrifice as clearly as any inspired apostle (John 11:47-52).
(John 11:47-52) “Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. (48) If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. (49) And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, (50) Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. (51) And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; (52) And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.”
I have said all that because I want you to understand that our God is in control of all things, even of false prophets. While we despise what they are doing, we must not fret about them. Wicked men they are, and must be denounced as such; but they are nonetheless serving God’s purpose. He may even, now and then, cause one to proclaim the truth clearly, as he did Balaam and Caiaphas.
We have before us, in Numbers 23:21, one of the most wondrous, glorious aspects of gospel truth to be found in Holy Scripture. It fell from the mouth of this man Balaam, a false prophet, by the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit. By Balaam’s mouth the Lord God declares that — “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.” — That is what the Lord hath spoken. Let all hell say otherwise, the Lord has spoken this about his chosen: — “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel!”
Much Sin in Us
These words do not suggest that there was no iniquity in Jacob or perverseness in Israel. There was an abundance of iniquity and perverseness among them. But the Lord God did not mark the sins of his people against them, he did not impute sin to his chosen, he did not look upon their sins with the eye of his justice; but hid his face from them and forgave them. Notice this particularly: — The text says, “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.” He did not at the time Balaam spoke, or after Balaam spoke, or before Balaam spoke. — “He hath not (ever, at any time) beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he (ever, at any time) seen perverseness in Israel.” And that which God did for his elect among the children of Israel, he has done for his elect in Christ, his true Israel, “the Israel of God.”
God sees no sin in his people. Though there is much sin in us and done by us, as every true believer readily admits and confesses (1 John 1:8, 10), yet God sees no sin in his people. The Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to destroy, purge, remove, and take away the sins of his people; and he has done it (John 1:29; Hebrews 1:3; 9:26; 1 John 3:5).
(John 1:29) “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
(Hebrews 1:1-3) “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; (3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
(Hebrews 9:26) “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
(1 John 3:5) “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.”
All the sins of God’s elect were laid upon Christ and made his, he bore them in his own body on the tree, endured and satisfied the wrath of God for them, and bore them away. The Son of God redeemed us from the curse of the law, made an end of our sins, and justified and sanctified us by his blood. God almighty has, through the effectual atonement of Christ, so thoroughly blotted out our sins that he does not behold them. He has cast our sins into the depth of the sea. He has cast our sins behind his back. He has removed them from us as far as the east is from the west, and remembers them no more. This is the doctrine of our text, the doctrine of Holy Scripture, and the doctrine I have come here to declare to you.
Proposition: God sees no sin in his people!
I am fully aware that the doctrine I am preaching is commonly rejected and despised by men. It has been described by some as “a freak doctrine of perverted minds that leads to licentiousness and sin.” The first time I preached this doctrine, nearly forty years ago, I was publicly denounced for doing so and accused of being an antinomian, a promoter of licentious and evil doctrine. The accusation has been hurled by many since then. Why? I simply do not know. I cannot imagine anyone, who has tasted the bitterness of his own depravity and sin and has experienced the blessed forgiveness of sin by the grace of God through the blood of Christ, objecting to the fact that God “hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.”
Before I am finished, I hope that everyone here will experience the blessedness of this complete, full, total forgiveness of sin in Christ. What I am preaching to you, the fact that God sees no sin in his people, is a most glorious, comforting doctrine of the gospel, “without which,” John Gill appropriately declared, “the gospel must cease to be good news and glad tidings to the sons of men.”
I want to be crystal clear in what I am preaching. So I want to show you what the Scriptures do not mean as well as what they do men, when we are told that “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.”
When the Word of God asserts that God sees no sin in his people, the teaching is not that there is no sin in believers. Those who deduce from such passages as our text that the Bible teaches the doctrine of sinless perfection, or even the possibility of sinless perfection in this life, are simply dishonest men who do not know God and refuse to acknowledge the truth about themselves. To make such a statement as that is neither harsh nor judgmental. It is simply telling the truth (1 John 1:8-10).
(1 John 1:8-10) “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
The fact is, God’s people in this world are sinners still. To say otherwise is to speak in direct contradiction to the Word of God and the constant experience of God’s elect in this world. I do not have to convince you of this fact. It is painfully obvious to all who know the Lord. There is in every believer’s heart a continual warfare between flesh and spirit (Romans 7:17, 20; Galatians 5:17).
(Romans 7:17) “Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”
(Romans 7:20) “Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”
(Galatians 5:17) “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
Without question, God’s saints do not live in sin and are no longer under the dominion of sin. But sin still lives in us. There is in every regenerate person two opposing natures, the one flesh and the other spirit, the one is the nature of Adam and the other the nature of Christ. It is our responsibility to mortify the outward actions of sin, but we cannot rid ourselves of sin. We are to “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Ephesians 4:22). Yet, the old man never improves. The old man is never renewed. The old man is not removed. The old man does not die until this body of flesh dies. — “That which is born of flesh is flesh!”
The old man no longer reigns; but he will never surrender. Therefore, we are constantly at war with ourselves. Sin does not crop up in us now and then, in unguarded moments. Oh, no. Sin dwells in us. Paul says, “Sin dwelleth in me!” It dwells within us, not as an idle old resident, but as an active corruption, defiling all that we are and all that we do. Sin dwells in us, like an enemy who has entered the very heart of the city of Mansoul and seeks to rapidly destroy everything. Though this horrid enemy does not rule the believer’s life, he does at times bring us into captivity. Though he cannot destroy us, he constantly disturbs us. Tell me, you who are born of God, is it not so with you?
“If I pray, or hear, or read,
Sin is mixed with all I do.
You that love the Lord indeed,
Tell me is it thus with you?”
Not only does sin dwell in us, not only is it true that we are sinners still and that sin mars everything we do, we all commit sin constantly. — “There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). I know that the apostle John declares, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9). That new man, that new nature, which is born of God, cannot sin. But, as we have already seen, the believer is a person with two natures, the old man and the new, the flesh and the spirit. Our sins, everything evil in us and everything evil done by us, are the works of the flesh. Our goodness, (if I may use such language), everything good in us and everything good done by us is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:17-23).
(Galatians 5:17-23) “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (18) But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, (20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, (21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
There is no evil in the world, no sin committed by men, that has not been or may be committed by believers, except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Yet, when a believer sins, he can say with the inspired apostle, — “If I do that which I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me” (Romans 7:20).
I hate to burst your bubble, but I have bad news for you. As long as you live in this world, you will never stop sinning! Even when we do good, that is as good as we are capable of doing in this world, even then we sin. “If we say,” with regard to anything we do, “we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:10).
The sins that we commit are sins, just as much as the evil deeds of unbelievers are sins. That may seem redundant to you, but there are many who have the silly notion that the sins of a believer are just mistakes, slips, errors, or something of the kind, but not sins. Sin is the transgression of the law. When David committed adultery and murder, it was just as much sin as if any other man had done it. When he repented, he did not say, Father, forgive me, for I have made a mistake. He cried out to God for the pardon and forgiveness of his sin (Psalm 25:11; 32:5; 51:1-4).
(Psalm 25:11) “For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.”
(Psalm 32:1-5) “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (2) Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. (3) When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. (4) For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. (5) I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”
(Psalm 51:1-4) “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. (2) Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. (3) For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. (4) Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.”
In fact, when you and I sin, our transgressions are far more inexcusable than the sins of other people. We sin against light and knowledge. We sin against mercy, love, and grace, known and experienced in our very souls!
“Though believers are justified from all sin by Christ’s righteousness, and have all their sins pardoned through Christ’s blood, yet their sins do not hereby cease to be sins. Justification from sin by Christ’s righteousness, and pardon of sin through Christ’s blood, free them from obligation to (the) punishment due to sin, but do not destroy the nature of sin.” — John Gill
We are new creatures in Christ; but grace is needed still. And grace will not be complete until glory has begun. In other words, so long as we live in this world, we have a lot of growing to do.
Š We have faith; but our faith is lacking much.
Š We have love; but our love misses the mark.
Š We have hope; but our hope lacks confidence.
Š We have joy; but our joy is mingled with sorrow.
Š We have peace; but our peace is easily disturbed.
Š We are longsuffering; but our longsuffering can be very short.
Š We have some meekness; but we are too proud for it to be seen.
Š We have a gentleness of character; but it still has a lot of roughness about it.
The best of saints in this world are sinners still. Those who are most fully grown and mature in grace, still need to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, when the Word of God declares that God sees no sin in his people, the meaning is not that there is no sin in us.
Secondly, this declaration that God sees no sin in his people does not in any way deny or contradict his omniscience as God. We know that God almighty is omniscient. He knows all people and all things. Nothing is or can be hidden from his all-seeing eye. All the actions of all men, whether bad or good, are seen and known by God. He sees, not only what we do, but why we do it. He sees the secret, inward, hidden things of our hearts, the fountain from which all our evil deeds flow like an open, overflowing sewer. His omniscient eye sees all the sins of his own people as well as the sins of the reprobate. There can be no debate about the fact that the omniscient God sees everything about everyone and everything (Job 34:21-22; Psalm 11:4-5; 139:1-7; Hebrews 4:12-13).
(Job 34:21-22) “For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. (22) There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.”
(Psalm 11:4-5) “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. (5) The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”
(Psalm 139:1-7) “O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. (2) Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. (3) Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. (4) For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. (5) Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. (6) Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. (7) Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?”
(Hebrews 4:13) “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
When the Scriptures declare, “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel,” the declaration has no reference at all to his attribute of omniscience, but rather to his justice. The meaning is simply this: — Insofar as God’s law and justice is concerned, he sees no sin in his people.
Illustration: Debts paid and canceled are debts that the law cannot see. That which is no longer written against us in the book of God’s law cannot be seen by the eye of God’s justice.
God’s eye of justice sees no sin in his people because his hand of justice has blotted our sins out of his book, justice having been fully satisfied by the blood of Christ sacrificed for our sins (Isaiah 43:25; 44:22).
(Isaiah 43:25) “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
(Isaiah 44:22) “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.”
Thirdly, the declaration that God sees no sin in his people, that in Christ we have no sin, does not mean that God does not take notice of our sins or is not displeased by them.
I rejoice to declare to every believing sinner that the Lord God will never punish you for your sins, hold you accountable at his bar for your sins, or withhold any blessing of grace or glory from you because of your sins. For him to do so, he must violate his own justice and overturn the satisfaction of his own Son. Either Christ bore the wrath of God for us, or he did not. Either he satisfied the justice of God as our Substitute or he did not. Either he put away our sins or he did not. If he has not done this for us perfectly, completely, effectually, and permanently, then we must bear the wrath of God for our own sins, pay for our own crimes, and perish in hell.
But this is certain: — If the Son of God has satisfied the law, wrath, and justice of God for our sins, we shall never be punished for them. Justice will not allow it. God will not, in justice he cannot, and he declares that he shall not punish sin twice, both in Christ our Surety and in those for whom the Surety died.
“Payment God cannot twice demand,
First, at my bleeding Surety’s hand,
And then again at mine!”
(Romans 4:8) “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
But do not ever imagine that God does not take notice of or is not displeased with our sins as our heavenly Father. It is plainly written in the Scriptures that “the thing that David had done displeased the Lord” (2 Samuel 11:27). Only a very foolish father fails to see the faults, weaknesses, and offenses of his child. Though his justice forbids and prevents his wrath, our Father’s love will not allow him to let his children live in rebellion to him. In great mercy and lovingkindness, he chastises us for our sins, not to punish us, but to correct us (Psalm 89:30-33; Hebrews 12:5-11).
(Psalm 89:30-33) “If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; (31) If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; (32) Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. (33) Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.”
(Hebrews 12:5-11) “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: (6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (7) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (9) Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? (10) For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. (11) Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
This blessed declaration, “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel,” does not mean that...
1. There is no sin in us.
2. God is not omniscient.
3. He is not displeased with our sins.
4. But it does mean that insofar as his law and justice are concerned, the Triune Jehovah, our great God, the God of all grace sees no sin in his people.
The record books of heaven record no iniquity, no transgression, and no sin against God’s elect. God will not impute sin to his saints, or require satisfaction from us because our sins were imputed to Christ, paid for by Christ, and expunged from the book of God’s offended justice by our Savior’s precious blood. Read the testimony of Holy Scripture and rejoice (Romans 4:8; 8:1, 33, 34; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21).
(Romans 4:8) “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
(Romans 8:1) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
(Romans 8:33-34) “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
(2 Corinthians 5:19-21) “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
I want so much for each of you who trust Christ to get hold of this blessed, glorious fact. — “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.” Rejoice in it. Give praise to God for it. And walk in the blessed comfort and assurance of it all the days of your life.
The Lord Jesus Christ has, by the sacrifice of himself, put away our sins, all of them, past, present, and future. They were made his and imputed to him, laid upon him, punished in him, and put away by him.
Š Daniel 9:24 — He made an end of sin!
Š Zechariah 3:9 — He removed all the iniquity of his people in one day, by one sacrifice!
Š “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.”
(Isaiah 53:4-6) “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
(Acts 13:38-39) “Be it known unto you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
(Hebrews 10:11-14) “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
God the Father has, upon the ground of Christ’s blood, righteousness, sacrifice, and satisfaction, freely and fully forgiven all the sins of all his people. The blood of Christ, like the blood on the mercy-seat, covers our sins, so that our sins are not visible to the eyes of God’s holy justice. The blood of Christ has blotted our sins out of the ledger book of heaven, so that justice cannot see sin in us. For Christ’s sake, the holy Lord God has cast our sins behind his back and into the depth of the sea, so that they are not only forgotten, but gone, insofar as his law and justice are concerned!
(Jeremiah 23:6) “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
(Jeremiah 33:16) “In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.”
(Jeremiah 50:20) “In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.”
“He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.”
In God’s esteem, you and I are, as the church and bride of Christ, the very perfection of beauty and holiness. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit look upon us in Christ, washed in his blood and robed in his righteousness, as beautiful, perfect, complete, holy, unblameable, and unreproveable (Ezekiel 16:14; Song of Solomon 4:7, 9; Ephesians 5:25-27; Jude 24-25).
(Song of Songs 4:7) “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.”
(Song of Songs 4:9) “Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.”
(Ezekiel 16:14) “And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.”
(Ephesians 5:25-27) “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
(Jude 1:24-25) “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.”
The Lord our God “hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.”
Š He never has.
Š He does not now.
Š He will not tomorrow.
Š He will not in the judgment.
Š He cannot ever, because he once beheld them in his dear Son, our blessed, all-glorious Lord Jesus Christ!
(Psalms 40:12) “Innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.”
(Psalms 69:5) “O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.”
That which I have endeavored to preach to you, the fact that God sees no sin in his people is, to borrow the words of John Gill, “The glory of the Bible and the marrow of the Gospel; what most displays the riches of God’s grace, the efficacy of Christ’s blood, the completeness of his righteousness, and the fullness of his satisfaction. It is the foundation of all solid hopes of future happiness, what supports the life of faith, and is the ground of a believer’s triumph.”
Š “The Lord his God is with him!”
Š “And the shout of a king is among them!”
Would you have this forgiveness? What would you give to go out of this place this knowing that God almighty does not behold sin in you and will never charge sin to you? Wouldn’t you like to lay your head upon your pillow tonight with these words ringing in your heart: — “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin?” If you are a sinner in need of such forgiveness, come now to the Son of God. Confess your sin to God, trusting Christ, and go down to your house like the publican of old, justified (1 John 1:9).
(1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
“What hath the Lord spoken?” — “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.”
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