Romans 4:7–8 (NKJV)
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered;
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.”
We use the word blessed quite often to refer to our good temporal circumstances. Sometimes we use the term to convey well wishes on friends and family as we bid them a “blessed day.” In Romans 4 Paul uses the term to describe someone who is eternally blessed. Those who are truly blessed have their sin forgiven, their guilt removed, and will never receive the just consequences of their rebellion.
At first glance this sounds unfair or unjust. How could a righteous God allow unrighteous people to be forgiven? Where is the justice for those who were victims of criminal acts? In fact this text in Romans is a quotation from Psalm 32 in which David is repenting of his forceful adultery with Bathsheba and the scandalous cover up. His sin did find him out, and David repented and cherished the glorious thought of the blessing of God’s forgiveness. But that still does not answer the question of how a man who commits a heinous act can be a blessed man and God still retain righteous justice. Paul gives a full treatment over the next few chapters in Romans, but let us consider just a taste of it in the next chapter.
Romans 5:6–11 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Are your lawless deeds forgiven? Are you truly blessed? You are the blessed one if you have been reconciled to God by Christ Jesus who bore the guilt of your sin on His body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24).
What an incredible blessing for the one who has faith in Christ. It is this blessing that will triumph in the face of tragedy and be hopeful in times of disappointment.
Romans 5:1–5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.