Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, March 6, 2023

Glad To Be Forgiven – Romans, part 40

Romans 4:4 Now to the one who works, the pay is not credited as a gift, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but trusts in Him who justifies the ungodly, his trust is credited as righteousness— 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man whose sin Adonai will never count against him.”

Although grace is not mentioned at all in this text, clearly, the subject is works verses grace.  And yes, grace is not mentioned, but “justification through faith (trust)” certainly is.  The questions to be answered are, what do we deserve (because we earned it) and what is God’s plan to deal with it?

Isaiah 64:5(6)a For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteousness is like a filthy garment.

Paul already dealt with our inability to live up to God’s righteous standard, in the previous chapter.  Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  The “payment” for such “shabby” works is death.    We have all earned it.  Romans 6:23a For sin’s payment is death.  But God…

Ephesians 2:4 But God was rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.

Let’s pause here for a moment to consider the big picture.  (It is about you, but it’s not ALL about you.)  God created the world and everything in it, including mankind, who He made to have free will.  The purpose for the entirety of creation is for God to have a place to love mankind, and to be loved by mankind in return.

Adam and Eve rebelled in disobedience, choosing the path of destruction against the will of God.  But God’s love is so great, He sent His only begotten Son, full of grace AND truth, (see John 1:14) to make the way for us to return to our original divine purpose, to be loved by God and to love Him in return.

Yeshua accomplished this by His death on the cross.  When He said, “It is finished,” that was the “it” to which He was referring.  It may seem counterintuitive, that death would give life, but that’s exactly what happened when Yeshua rose from His grave.  2 Corinthians 5:15 And He died for all so that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.

The quotation at the end of our subject text is from Psalm 32:1 Of David, a contemplative song. Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is pardoned. 2 Blessed is the one whose guilt Adonai does not count, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

The common translation is “blessed,” however; the Hebrew word “Ashre,” used twice here, connotes joy and happiness.  The “blessing” is a blessing of gladness.  And why wouldn’t we be glad to have our sins forgiven?  The resulting blessing is the restoration of relationship with God, creator of heaven and earth.  God’s desire is to love you.  Receive it and be glad.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 6 Mar-2023 13th of Adar, 5783 Ta’anit Esther
Ex 31:18-33:11 Isa 5 Pr 4 Ac 4 (Heb 10)
Ex 32:11-14; 34:1-10, Isa 55:6-56:8 (afternoon)