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 32:1-2
Of all the so-called treasures and pleasures this world has to offer, nothing come close to the full and free salvation that Christ gives to those who come to Him and are accepted into His love; indeed, all who come to Him are graciously accepted.
The Salvation Christ brought is a blessing unlike any other before or after it. “Money answereth all things” but certainly not this one. Christ’s blessing is “not as the world giveth”. This blessing we speak of “cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.” It is of so great a price that the whole of humanity from the beginning of time cannot afford it; God the Father had to provide it for free to whosoever will come for it.
This blessing of full Salvation, that a soul should be forgiven and sanctified and preserved is the greatest blessing that can be possessed on this side of the great divide. It produces the purest joy any mortal can ever dream of, the deepest realm of delight any man can ascend to in this present world. So great is this blessing that it cost the infinite God His equally infinite and only begotten Son to make it available.
Sin is such a cosmic blight on man that he lost his divine imprint, his divine orientation and divine purpose totally because of it. His understanding became darkened and his heart became a fertile ground for all manner of evil. Indeed, his “thoughts were only evil continually.” Gen 6:5. He became a wanderer, living like a fugitive in a strange land. He had “no hope, and without God in the world”. He became an object of wrath fit for destruction. All men, without exception, was lost in this thick darkness of Sin, (Is 64:6) and suffers the attendant woes that follows after “whosoever doeth evil.” (Rom 2:8-9)
“From the sole of the foot even to the head; from the meanest peasant to the greatest peer, there is no soundness, no good principle, no religion, for that is the health of the soul. Nothing but guilt and corruption; the sad effects of Adam’s fall.” (Matthew Henry)
Man’s plight was beyond remedy but for God’s mercy! But for God’s grace! But for God’s love! Was it not for the LORD of hosts who decided to save some, “a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah”? A total destruction! God would save some among sinful men (Mat 1:21, Lk 13:23-24 etc.), to redeem them and make them fit for glory. Though the call is to all men, but only few responded. God would “have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” but for this hardness of their own hearts, this total depravity of the heart that make men oppose God and His ways. Such is the power of Sin that it makes men shun their greatest and ultimate good; it makes men oppose God, his own very Creator! (Rom 8:7-8)
It is in the midst of this cosmic confusion and bondage that God sent us His Son Jesus Christ, who came with healing in His wings to be the Light and the Life to every man or woman, no matter how high or low, irrespective of their tribe or tongue, who will humbly and simply “look to Him and live.” (Is 45:22, Jn 1:12). This hymn captures this scene elegantly:
Whoever receiveth the Crucified One,
Whoever believeth on God’s only Son,
A free and a perfect salvation shall have:
For He is abundantly able to save.
Whoever receiveth the message of God,
And trusts in the pow’r of the soul-cleansing blood,
A full and eternal redemption shall have:
For He is abundantly able to save.
The penitent sinner only need to look and live! His sins, notwithstanding their gravity or quantity, are no match for the forgiven power and merit in the blood of Jesus. The blood of Christ atones for all sins. The sinner only needs to repent of his sins and believe the Gospel, “the message of God.” That Christ Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world to save sinners and He’s able to save him too. To “confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus”, and “believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved”. God places no heavy requirements upon man but this simple steps of faith.
God never work by halves; whatever He does is always perfect and good and lovely (Eccl 3:14). His Salvation is no exception. It is called “a great Salvation” (Heb 2:3). When He forgives, He forgives totally. The sinner’s transgression is forgiven, his sin is covered, never again to be called to remembrance! (Heb 8:12) He now stands before God as if he never committed those crime against the Great Divine. Christ take the sinners’ ashes of sin and give him beauty in return, even the beauty of His own righteousness (2 Cor 5:21, Rom 5:19). The sinner becomes righteous before God on the basis of Christ’s own righteousness. The sinner’s “sin is covered” and the Lord “does not impute iniquity”.
No other blessing in the world can equal this! The soul, whereas before was dead, is now alive in Christ. His troubled conscience has been set free! The joy and peace that passes all understanding is now his! His nature and position have been changed! A former child of Satan is now a child of God! An enemy of the Cross is now a soldier of the Cross! What transformation! What translation!
He has been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. His heart has been changed, regenerated. He who used to be evil is now a new creature who does and love to do good. He has been set free from the shackles of sin and Satan (e.g., 1 Tim 1:13, etc.). A thief who can no longer steal, a prostitute is now virtuous and comely to behold, a murderer who now values every life, a demon possessed who now possess the blessed Holy Spirit indwelling within. His body is now the temple of God, the house of God. (Jn 14:17, 1 Cor 6:19–20) What privilege! What a blessing! What transformation!
In an instant, the former sinner now wants nothing to do with sin; indeed, he’ll prefer to die than to sin. Presently, if his wish will be granted, he’d prefer to leave this world and go straight to heaven! “Ephraim shall say, what have I to do any more with idols?” Christ is the only expert that can turn any sinner or sinners to “a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
This Salvation of Christ is a total package (Col 2:10-15) full of three main items: Justification, Sanctification and Glorification. He not only begins, but He sees to the very end the gracious work He began in a soul. It is a complete package. Christ is the Alpha and Omega of the Salvation He authored. “Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Rom 8:20)
What cost God ages to put together, and the offering of His Son to be humiliated and died a shameful death, He offered full and free! What men are looking for all over the world, looking for happiness, looking for peace, looking for joy, looking for deliverance from sin and Satan, trying this and that, is now made available at the Cross of Jesus. Men are trying lusts, materialism and pride yet they remain destitute of peace and joy, their conscience remain heavy. No joy, no peace, no hope. There is no amount of materialism or fame or power that can drown, even in this world, let alone forever, the haunting and taunting voice of a sinful conscience. Morality cannot solve it. If hand join in hand, the sinner will not go unpunished. But at the Cross, there is forgiveness and healing for the believing soul! Christ offers the “peace that passes all understanding.”
Moreover, Christ sanctifies the believer through His own blood; that is, He set Him apart for Himself. The believer is no longer his own or anyone else’s, but has been marked as the Lord’s precious possession, one of “the fruit of His travail”. The believer is now “in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption”. He is marked, he is sealed, set apart for Christ and for God. The believer is positionally set apart through Christ’s sanctification by His blood (Heb 10:10); he is justified and made to be in right standing with God in Christ.
He is also progressively or experientially being sanctified “by the washing with water through the word” (Eph 5:26) to the end that Christ might present him before God in glory “holy and unblameable before Him in love.” (Eph 1:4). The walk and work of the believer, is now a walk and work of faith (1 Thes 1:3; 2 Thes 1:11, Heb 10:38). The pardoned and sanctified soul, having been awakened, quickened and enabled is now to “work out his own salvation with fear and trembling”; that is, he is now to follow in the footsteps of His blessed Savior in walking and living a life of holiness and love and sanctification before God to the very end of his life. To follow the leading of the Spirit as He replicate the personality of Jesus in his soul. (Phil 2:12, 2 Cor 3:18, Gal 4:19). The believer now offers acceptable praises to God through his life and tongue.
Where shall my wondering soul begin?
How shall I all to heaven aspire?
A slave redeemed from death and sin,
a brand plucked from eternal fire,
how shall I equal triumphs raise,
or sing my great deliverer’s praise?
O how shall I the goodness tell,
Father, which thou to me hast showed?
That I, a child of wrath and hell,
I should be called a child of God!
Should know, should feel my sins forgiven,
blest with this antepast of heaven!
How blessed is the lot of such persons, who are now the object and recipient of God’s love! God is their rewarder and their very reward. In Christ’s glory they shall share! Christ became poor that they might become rich; He became weak that they might become strong. They are blessed forever. No more condemnation and no more separation (Rom 8:1-37). Even the whole cosmos awaits the final manifestation of the children of God (Rom 8:19, Ezek 37:26-28). This honor has all the saints, no matter their present wants and tribulations. “It may be that thou art so poor, that of thine own thou hast nowhere to lay thine head, and it is certain thou possess not one foot of land that is thine own forever. Yet art thou an heir, a child, dearly beloved, both by God and angels.” (Andrew Gray)
Would to God every carnal mind, every sinful soul, every guilty heart, every burdened conscience will prepare his heart to seek Christ today! Christ is the balm of Gilead; He heals every sickness. There is no blessing outside of Christ that is worth pursuing, or even worth desiring. Let thine Maker be thine husband! Set your hearts and mind to seek Christ and Him alone that you may be grafted in into His blessed covenant, to save you from sin and its woes, and make you a vessel of mercy fit for virtue and glory.
Come, O my guilty kindred, come,
Groaning beneath your load of sin,
His bleeding heart shall make you room,
His open side shall take you in;
He calls you now, invites you home;
Come, O my guilty kindred, come!
For you the purple current flowed
In pardons from His wounded side,
Languished for you the eternal God,
For you the Prince of glory died:
Believe, and all your sin’s forgiven;
Only believe, and yours is Heaven!