Theme: The Only Answer to Our Sin
In this week’s lessons, we see that forgiveness comes to all who genuinely repent of their sin, which leads to godly living.
Scripture: Psalm 130:1-8
Sin is the problem, then. And what the psalmist seeks is forgiveness, which God gives freely. How terrible it would be if all we could expect of God is one who keeps a record of our sins. Suppose that is all God did, keep a record of our sins? Who could stand if he did that? The answer obviously is no one. No one can hope to stand before God on the basis of his works. For as Paul wrote in Romans 3, citing Psalms 14 and 53, “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Rom. 3:10-12; quoting Pss. 14:1-3; 53:1-3).
Ah, but there is great news, and that is that there is forgiveness from God in the gospel. “But with you there is forgiveness” (v. 4). Let that be said again: “But with you there is forgiveness.” “But” is a wonderful word! You may not find forgiveness with other people. Your husband or your wife may not forgive you, if you have wronged him or her. Your children may not forgive you. Those you have wronged at work may not forgive you. You may not even be able to forgive yourself. But there is one who will, and that one is God. Mark that. Write it down where you can see it and reflect on it often. Our God is a forgiving God. He will not remember our transgressions against us. He will remove them as far as the east is from the west—if we will cry out to him for mercy. 
Moses asked to see God and received this defining revelation of what God is like: “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin” (Exod. 34:6, 7). What a wonderful word for Moses! What wonderful, joyful, comforting good news for anybody! 
This is such important good news that I am tempted to spend the rest of this study upon it. I won’t, but let me encourage your thinking along this line just a bit further. Notice the following points. 
1. This forgiveness is inclusive. The verse does not say, “There is forgiveness for this sin or that,” while leaving out some other sin, perhaps the one you have committed. It sets no limits at all. It says, “There is forgiveness,” forgiveness for any sin by anybody. Murder, adultery, lying, stealing, coveting, failing to keep the Lord’s Day, taking the name of God in vain, whatever it may be. There is forgiveness with God. You may be utterly ignorant of the Bible. You may not know a single item of theology. But know this at least: “There is forgiveness.” There is forgiveness with God. 
2. This forgiveness is for now. The translators have rightly used the verb “is,” putting this sentence in the present tense. But the force of the sentence is even stronger in the Hebrew where there is no verb at all. The Hebrew simply says, “With you forgiveness.” This means that you do not have to hope that somehow you might have forgiveness at the last day, at the final judgment, and need to stand in trembling uncertainty until then. It does not mean that you can have it if you determine to work for it or earn it. You could never do that anyway. It says that there is forgiveness now, at this very moment. And it is for you, whoever you may be, wherever you are, or whatever you have done. At this very moment you can pass from death to life and know that your sins have been forgiven by God forever. 
Study Questions:

What does the psalmist seek? 
How does Romans 3:10-12 relate to this psalm? Why do we need to remember that God is a loving God? 
List the two points made about the forgiveness God gives to his people. How do they encourage you in your Christian life?

Reflection: Are you able to forgive others the way God forgives you? 
Application: Memorize verse 4 of this psalm and reflect on it often.
Key Point: Our God is a forgiving God. He will not remember our transgressions against us. 
For Further Study: Download and listen for free to James Boice’s message from Romans 3, “No One Righteous.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

Study Questions
Tagged under
More Resources from James Montgomery Boice

Subscribe to the Think & Act Biblically Devotional

Alliance of Confessional Evangelicals

About the Alliance

The Alliance is a coalition of believers who hold to the historic creeds and confessions of the Reformed faith and proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in today’s Church.

Canadian Donors

Canadian Committee of The Bible Study Hour
PO Box 24087, RPO Josephine
North Bay, ON, P1B 0C7