Receiving God’s Forgiveness

MEMORY VERSE: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” —I John 1:9

PSALM 51:1-12

PSALM 51 is associated with David’s condemnation by the Prophet Nathan because of his sin with Bathsheba. However, the essence of the psalm is appropriate for any confession or search for forgiveness by God. Few of God’s servants throughout the age have stood in greater need of forgiveness than did David. But according to the Lord’s own testimony David was a man after his own heart, and God loved him despite his imperfection. He continued to use and bless him as the king of Israel, and as head of the royal house of kings which foreshadowed the royal house of sons of the Millennial Age.

Indeed, so beloved was David that according to the Scriptures the throne of the messianic kingdom is referred to as the throne of David which would be occupied by Jesus. The scriptural expression “sure mercies of David” is based upon God’s merciful dealings with him as head of his typical royal family despite his imperfections.

In verse 5 David expresses a basic truth in connection with the experiences of the human race: “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” This expresses the scriptural view that all mankind is born in sin because of the original transgression of Adam. The only way to receive full forgiveness in the sense of freedom from the condemnation to death that has resulted from sin, is through the merit of the shed blood of Christ whom God gave to be man’s Redeemer, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.—John 3:16

Paul put it in other words when he wrote, “As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Rom. 5:19) And again, “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”—Rom. 6:23

I Corinthians 15:21,22 reads, “Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” To this Paul adds, “But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming,” or during his presence.

Paul carries this thought through to its conclusion, saying, “Then cometh the end [of the messianic kingdom reign], when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”—I Cor. 15:24-26

To obtain forgiveness from sin would be of no lasting benefit unless there is release from the “wages of sin.” As we have noted, Paul assures us that this is the divine plan. Those who die in Adam are made alive in Christ through the resurrection of the dead. The extent of the awakening from the sleep of death will be just as inclusive as death itself has been.

In the order of the resurrection Paul speaks of “Christ the firstfruits.” This is a reference to Christ and his dedicated followers who take part with him in the “first resurrection” to live and reign with him a thousand years. In the resurrection these will be exalted to heavenly glory, while mankind in general will be restored to life as humans here on the earth, which God provided to be man’s eternal home.

David, the man after God’s own heart, was beautifully expressive in his request for forgiveness, and for help to do God’s will more perfectly: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” “Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.”—Ps. 51:7,10,11

God’s ancient servants were blessed with the Holy Spirit as an inspirational power in their lives, but in the present age, it is to the followers of Jesus the Spirit of sonship; and we are begotten, anointed, and sealed by this Holy power of God; and eventually—in the resurrection—will be born of the spirit to glory, honor, and immortality.


In what manner has God provided for the full and lasting blotting out of sins, and a restoration to life for the condemned world of mankind?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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