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A Great Man's Great Testimony

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
October 22, 2021 8:00 am

A Great Man's Great Testimony

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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October 22, 2021 8:00 am

Sin is all consuming, destructive and condemning, but there’s great news! We serve a forgiving and loving God who covers every transgression, no matter the size or scope of our sin. Today on The Bible Study Hour, Dr. James Boice will take us through Psalm 32 and remind us that when we turn to God, He will forgive us, and lead us on the path of righteousness.

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Sin is all-consuming destructive in condemning, but there is great news. We serve a forgiving and loving God who covers every transgression, no matter the size or scope of our sin this week of the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce will take us through Psalm 32 and remind us that when we turn to God, he will forgive us and leave us on the path of righteousness and welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. David knew firsthand the weight of wallowing in unconfessed sin. He also felt deeply the freedom that only comes through confessing our transgressions to a God who knows or gives and restores. If you have your Bible turn to Psalm 32. I find that again and again when I begin to introduce one of the salsa we've been studying now for some time that I find myself saying this is one of the great Psalms of the solar is because are all great Psalms was older and when I spend time studying it. I feel that it's perhaps the greatest one I've studied.

Now I look back on the audit. I know how great they are but I want you to know.

Psalm 32 is a great song.

One of the great Psalms in the solar and I hope my time I finished that you'll see why that it will be one of the great Psalms for you personally.

Let me introduce it by telling you a few things about it. It's the second of the so-called penitential song that is Psalms in which the speaker confesses his sin first to Psalm six, best known as Psalm 51 and there are a number of others so might better be called. However, a Psalm of instruction because that's what that word mosquito nets in the title. Seems to me scholars of our day are uncertain about it they don't translate it down at the bottom of the NIV, it says, probably a literary or musical term but if it means anything upward to try and translated it probably means instruction and identifies us as a Psalm of instruction because that's really what that Hebrew word for instruction is its use. That way several times in the book of Daniel, which is our best parallel.

It's the first of 12 Psalms that bear that title and they run the whole way through the book of Psalms, almost of the very and now it's a Psalm that should be taken in conjunction with Psalm 51. I said a moment ago Psalm 51 is great and best-known Psalm of repentance. It's a Psalm that we're told David composed after his great sin of adultery with Bathsheba and then covering or trying to cover up the adultery by having her husband Uriah killed Psalm 51 seems to have been written immediately after that the prophet Nathan came to David to confront him with this and and although we tried to cover it up for a considerable period of time when they can expose that he confessed that he confessed it openly and was restored and it seems to be that at that point he wrote Psalm 51 on 51 just breeze with the emotion of the moment. Psalm 32 is talking about that sin.

Apparently, but it seems to be written later.

That is, after at time of reflection and if that's the case, it may well be itself the fulfillment of the bow, David takes in the 51st song. You know the outline of the Psalm you know that the confesses his sin is aware of the forgiveness that he receives from God. And then he says, so I'm going to go now and teach transgressors your way.

In other words, that they might find the same forgiveness and the mercy of God that he had found out if teaching them God's way way of forgiveness is what David determined to do this Psalm would be an ideal expression of other words Islamists is the mosquito. It is the instruction based upon David's own experience that seems to be the way it's written certainly function that way it function that way for the apostle Paul because when he was writing the great book of Romans, in which the doctrine of salvation by the grace of God. Apart from works is expounded more completely than at any other point in the Scriptures when the guest of the fourth chapter wants to prove the doctor from the Old Testament. He does it in part by quoting from the song quotes the first two verses say Blessed is he is transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man who sin.

The Lord does not count against him.

That's what Paul uses as instruction to prove the doctrine that he unfolds in Romans, St. Augustine loved Psalm. It was one of his favorite Psalms, and according to the records he had inscribed on the wall next to his bed before he died because he wanted to meditate on it.

The bariatric explained that he liked it because Sissy said beginning of knowledge is to know yourself to be a sinner and certainly that's what this Psalm does now.

It begins with a great beatitude begins on a jubilant note because it describes the blessedness of the one of sin is forgiven is that second installment begins this way.

Other. When the begins that way. As Psalm one. As you well know, describes the blessedness of an individual to but the blessedness or happiness or joy of the manner Psalm 32 is greater when you want to compose Psalm one because Psalm one describes the blessedness of the one who walks in the way of the righteous and doesn't sin. We've all sinned here in this Psalm we find unfolding for our benefit. The blessedness or joy, the one who is not in the right way departed from its sin and repented of it and found God's forgiveness really is no joy on earth greater than that. And if you haven't known the joy of forgiven sin.

You really are missing what God offers to us freely in the gospel. It's the greatest of all his gifts because it's wrapped up in Jesus Christ was his own son. Now these first verses are another example. A clear example of Hebrew parallelism, life pointed out on other occasions that that's the chief characteristic of Hebrew poetry are poetry is based on meter and rhyme that was not true of Hebrew versus a good thing because if it had been. It wouldn't translate well in other languages. God chose a language with poetic devices that can be carried over in other languages we can translate English verse, and other languages. It doesn't work that Hebrew can because you preserve the distinctly poetic quality and parallelism is one of this is a threefold parallelism is describing the blessedness of a certain man whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered under sin. The Lord is not count against him.

What he does.

There is give us three terms for sin which are all embracing and then three terms describing what God does with its I go so far as to say that if you understand those three terms terms were sin, you understand those three times and had to do with what God does with sin you really understand the gospel because although David in this Psalm portrays it in Old Testament imagery Old Testament imagery is fulfilled as all the Old Testament imagery is in Jesus Christ. So you understand what God did in Christ to remove the sin of which we are guilty look at each one of these works. Each one is important.

First is that word transgression very common Hebrew word shop and it really means that going away or a departure. When you use it in terms of the relationship of a human being to God. It really means a rebellion because our departure from God is a rebellion against him, and against his authority. Now that's what makes them so dreadful.

Of course it's bad enough that sin is rebellion against the law of God, and something which is harmful to other people: something that injures office, but above all, it makes it bad is it. It's rebellion against God. The 51st Psalm when David's confessing his sin, he can say God against you. You only have I said it's not that he hadn't sinned against other people.

He and sin against as well as with Bathsheba sinned against her husband sinned against the nation which suffered because of his transgression, but in the light of the sin against God. The other things they did in the relative unimportance.

One of the great commentators Alexander McLaren captured the force of this word when he said you don't understand that gravity of the most trivial wrong act when you think of it as a sin against the order of nature, which of course many of us do it against the law written on your heart or is the breach of the Constitution of your own nature are is a crime against your fellow man. You have not gotten to the bottom of the blackness until you see that it's a flat rebellion against God himself.

That's what that first-term conveyance and when David acknowledges that he is acknowledging something very significant about his transgression as I can work for sin so are, and it's pretty exact equivalent in Hebrew, Greek word hamartia, which also means sin and refers to it in the same way a home hamartia is a falling short of the marker coming short of the standard Greek term was used in archery because it describes that person sets out to shoot an arrow in the target but he doesn't shoot it far enough so the arrow fall short goes in the ground.

Use that imagery. The law of God is the target and all of us fall short of all of us miss it and that's what that term describes.

So the first describes a rebellion against God and the second describes are falling short of his standard, which is the law then there's 1/3 term. It's hard to catch that in the English translation because in the new international version.

The word is translated sin. Just as the second word is translated sin, but in Hebrew is actually a different term set word which means corrupt or twisted or crooked and it differs from the other terms because it describes how sin affects our own nature.

You see the differences.

This first-term transgression describes a rebellion against God in terms of our relationship to him were rebels, and the second term describes our relationship with the law in terms of the law we fall short. And then, here's 1/3 term, and to describe sin in relationship to ourselves and something which makes us crooked twists. This makes is less than we should be and makes us the kind of people to go about twisting other people and twisting other standards so you put those returns together and you have a rather comprehensive picture of what sin is all about sin is not something trivial. We live in a day when people want to make a trivial and of course I don't have any appreciation for forgiveness and mercy when it comes we have to see that sin is nontrivial to sin against God against a standard against others against ourselves and others of the words for sin.

Where's the blessedness that the blessedness is in the terms that David employs to show what God does with sin of the one who confesses first of all, the sin is forgiven.

According to verse one. That's an interesting word because of what forgiveness actually means to be lifted off lifted off in order to be taken away. Born away is the idea. I don't know of any better picture of black than the one captured by John Bunyan in Pilgrim's progress. If you know pilgrims progress. You know how we describes the journey of this matter starts out, not a Christian but becomes a Christian burden for us in seeking the way pointed out to him, the wicked gate. Beyond that, they killed hill of Calvary and as he makes his way through the gate and up the hill. He has many difficulties along the way as he makes his way up the hill. He comes to a cross and as he comes up on the cross looks at that great burden of sin that is been carrying around on his back is loosened from off his shoulders falls from his back and begins to tumble and continues to do so.

What comes to the mouth of the sepulcher, where it fell in see no more.

According to the way Bunyan wrote to say that's a marvelous picture. What happens to sin. When we come to Jesus Christ it's lifted off of us and you found when to be conscious of your sin that it's a great burden is a burden. Sin is a dreadful thing to carry around when you come to the Lord Jesus Christ and confess it falls off like a bird in the goes away, tumbles down the hill falls under the sepulcher and you see it no more. We sing it and see him as one of them goes my sin all the bliss of this glorious clock by sin, not in part but the whole is nailed to his cross and I bear it no more praise the Lord. Praise the Lord my soul is a second term.

David says not only is it possible to have transgressions forgiven is possible to have the sins covered doesn't mean covered over sensitive hidden from sight or ignored and covered over with the blood of the sacrifice is a term that had a specific usage. You know I talked about it before that on the day of atonement, the high priest brought the blood of the sacrifice that Ted been killed in the courtyard of the temple moments before end of the holy of holies most holy place where was the Ark of the covenant with his mercy seat and he sprinkled the blood. Thereupon, the mercy seat. That's a great picture and I was meant to teach the people how sin could be dealt with God was understood well in a symbolic way above the lid of the article. It was called the mercy seat and as he dwelt there within the holy of holies of the temple. What made the holy of holies. So holy God looked down upon the ark as he looked down upon the Ark when he saw was the law which we broken the ark tell the law of Moses the 10 Commandments is a picture of judgment. God looking down he sees the boy has to judge it easy on the day of atonement, the high priest brought the blonde then and sprinkled upon the mercy seat so the blood of the innocent victim came between the holy God and the broken law. In other words, the blood covered over long and because God saw that an innocent victim would suffer in the place of the one who was guilty as wrath was turned aside.

See, it's interesting that in the Greek language the word for turning aside the wrath of God is the word that's used in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament to translate the mercy seat or covering. In other words, was the place of propitiation, the place where the wrath of God was turned aside and that same place in Hebrew, was described by the word covering is where the covering was made say when David said blessed are those who sins are covered.

He's saying blessed are those who know an innocent victim has died, God himself is accepted that in place of the sinner who should die himself or herself see what a powerful picture that is not a wonderful thing to have the taking away in the covering over the sin described that way as 1/3 term that David uses this one is negative, the first to describe what God does. This one describes what God does not do. Blessed is the man who sin the Lord is not count against him. That word count is a bookkeeping term and it's translated in the New Testament by the word impute reckon Paul uses it a lot. In Romans, that is why he quotes these verses of Romans for what he's trying to show in Romans is that God imputes our sin to Christ punishes that they are ready imputes Christ's righteousness to us so that we stand before him, not in our Americas. We have bonded in the righteousness of Christ just as if God put our dad in Christ books and what Christ switches treasure our account.

That's what that word impute means you see you take those terms. And you put them together and have a wonderful picture on the one hand is of the terms describing sin and transgression and sins and iniquities, and they portray how bad our situation is how desperate it is in the site holy God. Then, on the other hand you have what God has done God for gifts on the basis of Christ's death. God covers over the sin and God is not imputed against us all the sin. On the one handle all the sin forgiven. On the other. I know the greater message than that. That certainly does not exist among human beings, we try some of us who are Christians to emulate that we don't do it somebody is a great wrong against us. We try to forget. We forget the part we say well I forget that but I can't ever forget that it's always good to stick in my mind that's not the way it is with God.

God forgives it all. Whatever you may have done. You look at your own heart you know the things that you've gotten you may have done some terrible things David had committed adultery and murder. The characters in the Bible to done terrible things you may stolen a great deal of money you may have cheated your partner in business you may be a liar. You lie about everything nobody can trust your word for even a moment to make even the curse God matter to say God stands ready to forgive all is no greater message than that God stands ready to forgive and 10, rent and imputed the record of Jesus Christ, who died in your place to bear it away.

That's the message of the song. Each of these stances has a special message to convey that I spend most time on the first part because that's the heart of it all. But there's a sense in which what follows.

Now in verses three through five is also the Psalms part because this is David's own confession is a he begins with the beatitude Blessed is the man is been forgiven, but then Leslie think he's just speaking off the wall. As we say David explains in the second stanza that he is such a one describes first of all what it was like what he had sinned and had confessed it, we don't need to take a lot of time with that because of self-explanatory describes it in physical terms. He said it's just as if my bones were wasting away is didn't preserve any strength at all. He said I found that my strength was being drawn out as it would be if I were exposed to the heat of the summer sun. That's the way I found myself to be. During those days, and the reason was clear hand of God was heavy upon me in judgment, we like to think that God would ignore our sin. We want them to ignore our sin, but he doesn't do what you say that time of unconfessed sin. His hand was pressing down heavily upon David because he wanted to bring him back to the point confession and forgiveness and restoration key verse about section is verse five and if the confession itself is the heart of the Psalm, and this is the very heart of David's experience when you see several interesting things about verse five. First of all, it's the longest verse in the Saul I think that's significant because it's a way of drawing attention to what the different ways of drawing attention. If you rented it in boldface type, you could do that in English didn't have the option of doing that in antiquity. So David simply wrote it longer is right in the middle so we look at it. So that's the first thing the second thing is interesting about it and that is that this single verse contains each of the three terms for sin that we found in verses one and two error as iniquity and transgressions and sin translated slightly differently.

Term iniquity is in the new international version that is the same three words that are used in the first two opening verses. So David stopped there about the fullness the scope of sentiment and now in a personal way saying that when it came time to confess and that's what he did best the scope of the city and the whole part by sale confess this, but not that he can best of all, see all of it is there when is this. I think this is the most interesting thing of all, the forgiveness which you find in that verse follows immediately after the confession that's deliberate and there's no closet all it's not even a different verse right there. See, I acknowledged my sin to you, and did not cover up by iniquity. I said I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and you forgave my sin. Just like that that's a great message that first message message of the opening stanza is said God will forgive any sin at all. Sin no matter what it maybe you can send too much for the mercy of God tells us that God forgives us instantly business. I will put you on probation for six months and then we'll see at the end of that how you're doing and if you're doing all right.

I'll restore you to my favorite, no, not that at all. I noticed something that I think is interesting. You tell me if you agree that words seal out of the margin line always quite sure what that means but it seems to me pause and reflect. At this point.

That's what it does mean look how it occurs occurs before verse five and after verse five that his affidavit is described how heavy the hand of God was upon him.

He pauses and then he confesses his sin and then after God forgives that he pauses because he going to make an application but notice there is no ceiling in the middle of the verse. Pause between the confession of the sin and the experience of forgiveness as a matter of fact he doesn't even say in the latter half of that that he has confess that the Wii doesn't the beginning, but rather he says I will confess in the lobby saying I will confess it is forgiven. Something like that in the story of the prodigal son and of the prodigal son ran away from the father and when he got in such terrible straits that he realized God working in his heart that he done wrong.

He recognized and confessed that he had sinned against heaven and against his father and he said I get up and I go back to my father and I'll say I no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants me got somebody goes when he sees his father. He begins, he says, I've sinned against heaven and against you, and is about to say I'm no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me one of your hired servants and the father doesn't even wait for the second half of the confession he says quick run and get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet and the best grog until the paddock out because right now the feast, the son of mine was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found. That's a great insight to see the heart of God. If sin is foolish to try and cover that often 10.

Nothing is really happening when actually it's established a tremendous breach between you and your heavenly father is not foolish to do that when the character of God is as it's described here, anxious, yearning, forgive your sin if you only confesses when I come to them and confess it and find it to be immediate and complete total. You forgave the guilt of my sin says Lanning said that he goes on in verse six to make an application in terms of an admonition. Other people at the same sort of thing you find in Psalm 51 after these experience forgiveness is such a marvelous thing.

He says now I'm going to teach transgressors your ways, and probably that's what he's doing here. Verse six says. Therefore, why therefore well because what he experienced because of the character of God because God forgives all sin.

If it's confessed and does so immediately. Therefore, he says, because of lack, but everyone was godly pray to you while you may be found as a he is talking about praying for forgiveness. While it may be found in. He's not saying that it's the godly. Now, in the sense of those who are not sinners were praying for forgiveness with those who show themselves to be godly by confessing our sin.

That's what he say he said prove yourself to be one of God's people by confessing sin and do it while God be found to encouragements here. That's the first there is a day of opportunity is what he saying Bible says elsewhere. Now is the day of salvation I was the day of God's grace. You can find God. Now the day is coming the day of judgment when it will be too late. The Scriptures warn us about that. Not to postpone it until the time when it's too late in your parish in your sins. Now's the day of grace, but now is the day of grace and say so-and-so seek God while he may be found. Isaiah says the same thing in one of his chapter.

Seek the Lord while he may be found is what Isaiah says so is a sees the day grace.

While you have the opportunity to something else. He says God is the hiding place for the penitent were 7 You Are My Hiding Pl., you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. What is in trouble could be understood in two ways can be understood as the troubles of this life.

I think Charles Wesley must've understood it that way.

His song Jesus lover of my soul because he wrote it like this, Jesus lover of my soul. Let me my bosom fly while the nearer waters roll while Tempest still is my hide me all my Savior applied to the storm of life is past safe until I haven God will receive my soul lasted that's what it means. It's a great promise says that the one of them, confessing sin will find not only forgiveness in God, but even there as well and I think probably David is thinking of something else, not the storms of this life, and perhaps the storms of the judgment because after all he's talking about sin and judgment, and forgiveness. One of the commentators, Perrone says of this he who thus seeks Jehovah while he may be found shall not be swept away when his judgments are let loose like floodwaters upon the earth. We sing that to Satan rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in the is what David is experiencing what is urgent upon us as he tries to teach us the ways of God is one last stanza is a great promise.

You see, we have the attitude that we have the confession and then we have the admonition, and finally at the end we have a promise, the God and find forgiveness of your sins. This is what he will do verse eight it's expressed as a God I was speaking for the very first time God is saying this I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.

I will counsel you and watch over you for things instructed teach and counsel and watch over the King James version of the Bible that was written in such a way that it sounds like God promising to give us guidance by as I said, I will guide you with my people of often said, well, that means he has to catch her.

I would look to him see is all I am by the direction of design we find out which way we should go. That's not a bad idea you find elsewhere in the song that is probably not what this is teaching new international version probably does it right in the picture is this here's a person who needs to find a way needs to know the right path needs to get to a certain destination, so here's a person who knows how to get there. He instructs them and teaches them how we should go go down this road for so much of the distance and then you turn right and if you go down there 3 miles and turn left and support you get there and this person was giving instructions only give the instruction Lisa's wire going down that road. I keep my eye on you, because if I find that you're making a mistake or going off. I want to redirect you so you don't really get far away. That's a picture of what God does with us about the wonderful thing is for this reason, the person who has Cindy been forgiven of the sin doesn't want to repeat the sin will fall into it again. And so what he or she needs is a guide to instruct them how to stay out of trouble in the future and counsel them how to live a righteous life has someone is going to watch over us, warn us were beginning to get off the path and keep us on the way of godliness. See we get to the end of this and understand why I say this is a great song because it really has to do with the work of God guiding us from sin through the perils of this life to help when I willing to take that counsel well says David. Verse nine, you're like an ignorant animal that doesn't have any understanding and if you persist in adverse tenure, like the wicked were going to experience many woes. That's not what the righteous do those were God's flock in his way to confess their sin and they find them to be everything he's promised that he will be people found that rejoice in the Lord. Glad in the Lord and they sing about the Lord and they do something else to tell other people about what David is doing all spray father, we thank you for this Psalm speaks so clearly about David's experience and experience which has been that of all your people down through all the ages and in the arts as well come to you confessing the transgressions which rise up like a barrier in your site.

Father, we thank you that provision is made through Jesus Christ we don't have to make ourselves.

All we have to do is avail ourselves of it. We pray that you use this song to bring about that kind of confession in our hearts we might experience forgiveness and from the richness of that be able to tell others what you have done for us and can do for them as well We prayed about in grandpa we might grow in holiness say thank you for listening to this message from the Bible study our listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals.

The alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars and churchmen who hold to the historic creeds and confessions of the reformed faith and who proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a reformed awakening in today's church. To learn more about the alliance visit alliance net.org and while you're there, visit our online store reformed resources. You can find messages and books from Dr. Boyce and other outstanding teachers and theologians, or ask for a free reformed resources catalog by calling 1-800-488-1888. Please take the time to write to us and share how the Bible study our has impacted you. We love to hear from you and pray for you.

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