by Mike Ratliff
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. (Psalm 32:1-2 ESV)
I debated with myself for a while about the title of this post. There is a part of me that still wants the name of it to be “What a Saviour!” My brethren, there is mischief afoot caused by a misunderstanding fostered by the deceit of the enemy of our souls. That mischief is to convince Christians that there is no need to hear the Gospel anymore now that they are safe in the arms of their Saviour. What rubbish! My times of struggling with my flesh and with overcoming the world always coincide when I am overwhelmed with discernment work or some other business that keeps me from simply expositing Sacred Scripture that points me to the Cross of the Christ. Also, proper worship should also do that very thing.
When I struggle as I stated above it seems there is a root of bitterness in me that wants to move in and take over. What amazes me is that I am perfectly aware that it is happening and no matter how much “I try” to stop it, in my distractions, it seems to have control. As I left class today, I ran right into a massive traffic jam. Fortunately, I was able to move over, take the next exit, and take the “long way home.” What should have been a 30 minute trip turned into a 50 minute trip. I was joyful all day after my good time in the Word last night. However, as I dealt with problems remotely while in class as well as other issues, by the time I hit the road to go home, I was back to being temporally focused. It got my attention because at lunch I remember joyfully thanking God for helping me dig up that root of bitterness and do away with it.
As I sat down here to prepare for this post, I put on my favorite “Gospel” song, at least, my favorite since I have been going through seizures and shoulder problems and therapy, depression, et cetera. The song is titled “Blessed is the One” and is on the Sovereign Grace album – Psalms. The lyrics are by Doug Plank and are based on Psalm 32. First, here is Psalm 32.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (Psalm 32 ESV)
This Psalm along with Psalm 51 stands out as confessional giants. The early church classified it as one if its seven penitential Psalms along with Psalm 6, Psalm 38, Psalm 51, Psalm 102, Psalm 130, and Psalm 143. When I read it, I see the Gospel all through it. I see God’s mercy, grace, and the fact that only those whose sins are forgiven are His. Oh, what a joy it is to know that that is true!
Here are the lyrics of “Blessed is the One”
Blessed is the one whose sins are overcome
Whom God has sheltered deep within His grace
Blessed is the one who trusts in God the Son
His steadfast love the sinner’s hiding place
Jesus, Your blood covers all my sin
Jesus, Your love draws my heart to sing
What a Savior, Jesus
I will always hide at my Savior’s side
I find my refuge in His sovereign care
When the waters rise, God will hear my cries
His steadfast love will hold me safely there
© 2008 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)
Here is a link to a sample of the audio. I highly recommend the song to you.
My brethren, the point I am trying to make is that we must never stop preaching the Gospel to ourselves or hearing it preached to us. It is powerful not only for the salvation of souls, but to draw each of us to the Saviour’s side for healing so we can walk in repentance.
Soli Deo Gloria!