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God Sees No Sin in His People


“He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.” (Numbers 23:21)


These words do not suggest that there was no sin or perverseness in Israel. There was an abundance of 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. 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.”


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 the Lord our 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). All the sins of God’s elect were laid upon Christ. 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 blessed, deep sea of divine forgetfulness. 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. Therefore, God sees no sin in his people!


I am fully aware that this doctrine 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.” 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.” 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.”


Would you have this forgiveness? What would you give to go to bed tonight knowing that God almighty does not behold sin in you and will never charge sin to you, 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 your way, like the publican of old, justified. It is written in the Scriptures, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Both God’s faithfulness and his justice demand the forgiveness of all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.




Don Fortner








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