Forgiveness of Sin…and Guilt

Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”—and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:2-5
I note one major characteristic for the man who gains forgiveness from the Lord. He admits his sin to God. He does not live his life in denial of his failings and shortcomings, but is open and honest with God about where he has fallen short. “And in whose spirit is no deceit” implies that we can try to deceive God, and even ourselves about right and wrong and where we stand in relation to God’s instructions. The truth is that we ALL sin and fall short of the mark (Romans 3:23), but blessed is the man who admits this directly to God and who seeks forgiveness.
Finally, I want to point out the last phrase in these verses. We know that God forgives the sin itself, but those last words above also tell us that He can remove the guilt of our sins, as well. That is an important distinction, because the Lord does not want us to be burdened by guilt, after He has forgiven us. We see this remarkable lack of guilt in David’s words throughout the psalms.

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