Title: “What hath God Wrought!”
Text: Numbers 23:16-24
Reading: Numbers 23:1-24
Subject: The Believer’s Freedom from Sin in Christ
Date: Sunday Evening — October 28, 2007
Turn in your Bibles to Numbers 23 and just listen for a minute or two. This chapter contains the words that God put in the mouth of the hireling prophet, Balaam, when he was hired by Balak to curse 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; Rev. 2:14). Yet , at times, he appears to have been a man of character. He led Israel to mingle the worship of idols with the worship of God (Num. 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 be 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 sometimes they 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 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, serve his people, and even to proclaim his gospel. He who is God, our great God, is God over all; and 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 not God or 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 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. Let’s begin in Numbers 23:16. Here we read, “And the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus.” That which follows is the word that God put into Balaam’s mouth. These are not Balaam’s words, but God’s word, and what a great word it is!
God’s Word by Balaam
First, Balaam was forced to by our God to declare to Balak this blessed fact: — God’s purpose, his grace, and his blessings upon his chosen are unalterable (vv. 18-20).
(Numbers 23:18-20) “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.”
Second, in verse 22 Balaam was compelled to declare that God’s redeemed are unconquerable.
(Numbers 23:22) “God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.”
Christ has made us more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37). Indeed, Balaam declares — our God declares — that we shall prevail over all our foes (v. 24).
(Numbers 23:24) “Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.”
Third, in verse 23, God told Balak (And it is recorded for us.) that it is impossible for anything, or anyone to injure God’s elect. — “There shall no evil happen to the just”
(Numbers 23:23) “Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!”
Then, in verse 21, the Lord God declares one of the most wondrous, glorious aspects of gospel truth to be found in all the Book of Holy Scripture. Yes, it fell from the mouth of Balaam, a false prophet, but it fell from his mouth by the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit. He declares that the Lord our God does not behold iniquity in his people.
(Numbers 23:21) “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.”
Just imagine that! — “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel!” If ever we come to see in the sweet experience of grace just a little of that which is here declared by our God, we will bow forever in astonishment and cry, “What hath God wrought!” And when our God gets done with the things of time, he will forever spread his chosen before wondering worlds, who shall cry in the screeches of hell’s torment, “What hath God wrought!”
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. 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.”
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; Heb. 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 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. That is the doctrine of our text, the doctrine of Holy Scripture, and the doctrine I want to preach to you.
Proposition: God sees no sin in his people!
I am fully aware that the doctrine I am preaching to you 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, 36 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 with my message, 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 teaching. So I want to show you what the Scriptures do not mean as well as what they do mean, when we are told that “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.”
Believers Still Sinners
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 1:7-10) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (8) 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
There is in every regenerate person two opposing natures, the one flesh and the other spirit, the one is a sin and the other righteous. 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” (Eph. 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 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” (Ecc. 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. 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” (Rom. 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).
(Psalms 25:11) “For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.”
(Psalms 32:1-5) “A Psalm of David, Maschil. 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.”
(Psalms 51:1-5) “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. (5) Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
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
Moreover, it must never be forgotten that our sanctification will never be finished in this life. — While the Bible nowhere teaches the notion of progressive sanctification, (The idea that believers get to be more and more holy, until at last they are ripe for heaven!), it does teach that our sanctification in this world is a continual, on-going process. Our sanctification in and by Christ is perfect and complete (Heb. 10:10, 14; 1 Cor. 1:30). But that sanctification which is wrought in us by God the Holy Spirit is not yet complete. The new man created in us is indeed perfect in all parts, but not in degrees. Let me show you what I mean by that. Just as Christ was a perfect human being but not a complete man the moment he was born, so the child of God, as soon as he is born again, as soon as grace is wrought in the soul, is an entirely new creature in Christ. He has all the parts of a new creature (Gal. 5:22-23); but he has a lot of growing to do.
· We have faith; but our faith is lacking much.
· We have love; but our love misses the mark.
· We have hope; but our hope lacks confidence.
· We have joy; but our joy is mingled with sorrow.
· We have peace; but our peace is easily disturbed.
· We are longsuffering; but our longsuffering can be very short.
· We have some meekness; but we are to proud for it to be seen.
· 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 anyway 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.”
(Psalms 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.”
(Psalms 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 4:12-13) “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (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.”
Sicknesses to be Healed
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 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!”
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 Sam. 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 chastens us for our sins, not to punish us, but to correct us (Psalm 89:30-33; Hebrews 12:5-11). The God of Glory looks upon the sins of his people as…
· Sicknesses of his Children to be Nursed.
· Weaknesses in his Babies to be Overcome.
· Diseases in his Family to be Cured.
· Faults in his Sons and Daughters to be Corrected.
Nothing to Punish
This blessed declaration, “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel,” does not mean that there is no sin in us, — or that God is not omniscient, — or that he is not displeased with our sins. But it does mean that insofar as his law and justice are concerned, God sees no sin in his people. He sees no crime to punish, no debt to be paid, no offense to be paid for, no foulness to cast away.
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 everyone 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.
· Isaiah 53:4-6
· Daniel 9:24 - He made an end of sin!
· Zechariah 3:9 - He removed all the iniquity of his people in one day, by one sacrifice!
· Acts 13:38-39
· Hebrews 10:11-14
“He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.”
God the Father has, upon the ground of Christ’s blood, righteousness, sacrifice and satisfaction, freely and fully forgiven all the sins of 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 50:20
(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.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
“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.”
“He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.”
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.”
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.”
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 College Grove Grace Church, College Grove, TN — (FRI 10/26/07)