1. God’s Forgiveness of Sin. Psalm 67:1
Text: “Have mercy upon me, O God according to Thy lovingkindness: according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”
Good morning, sin-cleansed Christian! Being cleansed from our vile sins by the precious shed Blood of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, was the first link in an entire chain of mercies we have received from our Holy Lord God of absolute wrath against all sin. Without this vital link in the chain of God’s given mercies – you and I could NEVER have been Eternally saved from our sinful transgressions of God’s immutable Law and Commandments. Fact.
The Sin Question: Sin is the failure to come up to the Lord God’s righteous and Holy standard in every area of our human lives. Our God is a perfect and a perfectly Holy Lord God Who cannot abide the very sight of sinfulness and must turn His Holy face away from it, and punish it – or He will cease to be an impeccably Holy Lord God.
“But as He which hath called you is Holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (entire lifestyle); because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am Holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
Sin’s origin is the Garden of Eden and Adam/Eve, God’s Created beings, falling into sin by disobedience to the Word of God: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
Eve, being tempted by Satan, in the form of a serpent, ate of the forbidden tree, encouraged Adam to eat of it also – and immediately, their innocent eyes were opened, and they tried to cover up their nakedness by sewing fig leaves together as clothes, and in the guilt of their disobedience, they, “…hid themselves from the Presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” God in His Holiness cursed all the Creation He had made, and sin entered the world. (Genesis 3:1-19)
Physical Death: That which was Created perfect became imperfect and fallen into sin. On the very day that our progenitors disobeyed the Lord God, they both DIED – as God said they would. However, we know that although physical death would become an integral part of God’s Curse upon mankind and the earth - it was not physical death that the Lord took away from them on that terrible day– for Adam lived until he was 930 years old before he physically died! (Genesis 5:5)
Spiritual Death: Therefore, we understand that it was Spiritual death that struck the disobedient pair on that precise day, as the Lord God said it would if they ate of the forbidden tree.
Three-part Beings: God had Created mankind “…in His own image…”, as Scripture clearly proves: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” (Genesis 1:27)
We know that our Lord God Almighty is a TRIUNE Being – made up of three distinct Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Thus, mankind, God’s creation, created in God’s own image and, “…after OUR likeness…” (Genesis 1:26) – was created a tri-partite being (three constituent parts), body, soul, and spirit.
Body, Soul & Spirit: The body, formed of the dust of the ground was to correspond to the ground from whence God formed man, and to which mankind would return to when death demanded; the soul was to correspond to the souls of other like-human beings in fellowship and social communication; and the spirit of man was that unique part of mankind that had the full ability to communicate with the One true Lord God which had created it.
On the day of Adam/Eve’s disobedience: it was this unique part of created mankind that surely died. Disobedient sin had broken the unique fellowship with a Holy Lord God – from that day onwards, all born of woman, as opposed to being created by God, would be born with a body, a soul, and a DEAD SPIRIT. Born in Adam’s fallen image and in his likeness.
“And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat (fathered) a son IN HIS OWN LIKENESS (i.e., fallen into sin!), AFTER HIS IMAGE (i.e., fallen in sin, with a dead spirit); and called his name Seth.” (Genesis 5:3)
All born of woman since that terrible day in Eden are born in Adam’s fallen image and likeness and tendency to sin against God. That is why Jesus taught us, “Ye must be born again!” We must be ‘quickened by God the Spirit, washed in the precious Blood of Christ the Redeemer Lord; and forgiven of all our sins by our Holy and Heavenly Father God.
“And you (the elect/saved) hath He quickened (made alive Spiritually), who were dead in trespasses and sins…Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved). (Ephesians 2:1-10)
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit (capital S) is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:6-7)
Verse 1. “God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us. Forgiveness of sin is always the first link in the chain of mercies experienced by us. Mercy is a foundation attribute in our Salvation.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 288)
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” (Psalm 32:1)
“God forgives, then He gives; till He be merciful to pardon our sins through Christ, He cannot bless or look kindly on us sinners. All our enjoyments are but blessings in bullion, till Gospel grace and pardoning mercy stamp and make them current. God cannot so much as bear any good will to us till Christ makes peace for us.” (William Gurnall 1617-1679)
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)
Verse 1. “God be merciful unto us. Hugo attributed these words to penitents; Bless us to those setting out in the Christian life; Cause His face to shine upon us; to those who have attained, or the sanctified. The first seek for pardon, the second for justifying peace, the third for edification and the grace of contemplation.” (Lorinus, John 1569-1634)
The first link in God’s chain of sure mercies in Salvation must be God’s forgiveness of our original sin, and our committed sins – for we serve a most Holy Lord God. Praise His Name!
Thought: God the Spirit’s first ministry to sinners is to convict us of our vile sin.