Romans 4:6-8 – …just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
Little boys growing up have looked up to the ancient King David throughout history. When our sons were little, our three boys loved playing David vs Goliath. I was always cast in the role of the giant, and the boys enjoyed slaying me.
David’s name means “beloved”, and his popularity includes appearing roughly 1000 times in the Bible and being a perennially popular boys name. The shepherd boy who killed lions and bears grew up to be the King of Israel, ruling for some 40 years during a season of expansion and prosperity made possible through God’s blessing and military might. To this day, Jerusalem is called “the city of David”. The Bible books of 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles report his reign and his worship leading can be found in roughly half of the Psalms, which he composed on his harp.
The reason Paul introduces Abraham and David in Romans 4 is to teach us about their connection to Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:1 teaches us about, “Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Jesus is the Son of God promised to come through the son of Abraham and the King of Kings to come through King David. Unlike Abraham, who lived roughly 500 years before the Law was written through Moses, David lived roughly 500 years after.
When we have a hero, we tend to exaggerate the good they do and overlook the bad they do. This happened with David. Despite pride being among the worst sins, David also caved into demonic pride and called a census to count his army of 1.5 million, which is more than our current number of active duty American military. Like all of us, David’s pride was a problem in many areas of his life.
David made a good run at breaking the 10 Commandments as he was guilty of idolatry (1-2), murder (6), adultery (7), stealing (8), lying (9), and coveting (10). If he committed any of these sins on the Sabbath, he would be into the bonus round for naughtiness.
Despite polygamy being forbidden for kings (Deuteronomy 17:17), he married multiple women. This included committing adultery with a godly soldier’s wife named Bathsheba, impregnating her, and then murdering her unknowing husband Uriah to cover his crime. In confessing these sins, David penned Psalm 32:1-2 which Paul quotes, “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
Paul’s point is simple – every believer is saved by God and declared righteous the same way that David was – by grace through faith. David was not a great guy, but he did belong to a great God. David was not always faithful to God, but God was always faithful to him. David did not always do right, but God was gracious to always make it right. If we are honest, our life is just as sordid and sad as David’s and we need Jesus just as much as he did.
What “big” sins has God forgiven that you can take a moment to simply thank Jesus for dying for?
To find the free Romans study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the realfaith app.