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Abraham was a good example for the Jewish people in Rome to show that justification comes by faith.

Hebrews deals a lot with how one becomes justified by faith as a gift of a merciful God. We are going to see how a believer is freed from sin to live a life of purity and holiness, since he lives under grace and not the law. A life of purity and holiness is a worthy goal and as Christians we all strive for that goal - but we sometimes miss the mark. We lose our focus and get sidetracked and, like David, we sin - sometimes just little sins, sometimes on a larger scale.

David is a good example of justification by faith also, but he is a particularly good example for us today as a justified believer who doesn't always make good decisions. Just like we Christians who are walking in the light need to be continuously cleansed of wrongdoing as mentioned in I John 1:7, David finds he needs to be cleansed.

Let's look at how grace deals with a person who has been justified by faith, as David was and as we are, but yet sins. We'll do that by looking at the most obviously sinful part of David's life.

David seems closer to God when, as a young man, he is persecuted by Saul. He slips when things get comfortable - when kingship established - when things roll merrily along. Satan slips in and takes advantage of the easy times.

In II Samuel 11 and 12 we find the story of David and Bathsheba.


  1. David is idle. (II Samuel 11:1-5) ..."Time when kings go out to battle."
    1. David sends his army out under Joab to battle and remains home. David possibly loses his focus.
    2. David walks at night upon the roof of his house. (II Samuel 11:2-5). He gets sidetracked.
      1. David sees Bathsheba bathing and desires her.
      2. He sends for her and commits adultery with her.
      3. Bathsheba conceives.


  2. David sends for Uriah, Bathsheba's husband, who is involved with battle. (II Samuel 11:6-13)
    1. David told Uriah to go to his house - Uriah doesn't. He was a good soldier, loyal to his troops.
    2. Next night David gets Uriah drunk to help cover up David's sin - Uriah still doesn't go.


  3. Has Uriah placed in the hottest part of the battle. (II Samuel 11:14-27)
    1. Uriah sent into battle.
    2. Report comes - Uriah is dead.
    3. David takes Bathsheba as wife.
    4. Child born.

    Oh, David, being justified does not mean we have to hunt for ways to justify our own sins. Justification is best left in the hands of God. It may be significant to note that David has not mentioned God since the ninth chapter when he showed kindness to Mephibosheth.

    If only he had the wisdom of his son, Solomon ... Proverbs 28:13 - "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy."

    We can assume that at least nine months go by between David's first sin and Nathan's coming to David in II Samuel 12.

  4. Nathan is sent by Jehovah to David. (II Samuel 12:1-15)
    1. David makes a judgement - rich man slays poor mans lamb.
      1. Rich man should die; restore the lamb fourfold. Did this, no pity.
    2. "Thou art the man."
      1. "I have sinned against Jehovah."
      2. "The Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die." (II Samuel 12:13)
      3. Consequences of sin not removed - child died, David has to deal with domestic strife.

PSALM 51:1-19 - David's prayer for forgiveness and confession of sin as he hears Nathan.

  1. David's confession. (Psalm 51:3-5)

  2. What he prays for (Psalm 51:1-15)
    1. David wants: (Psalm 51:1-13)
      1. Forgiveness (Psalm 51:1-7)
        1. Mercy (Psalm 51:1)
        2. Blot out my transgressions (Psalm 51:1)
        3. Cleansing (Psalm 51:2)
        4. Purification (Psalm 51:7)
      2. Communication--For God to talk to him again (Psalm 51:8-9)
      3. A right mind (Psalm 51:10-13)
      4. Joy restored of salvation (Psalm 51:12)
    2. Result of forgiveness - when these things are done, David says, "my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness, mouth shall show forth thy praise." (Psalm 51:14-15)

  3. What will and will not get the job (forgiveness) done? (Psalm 51:16-17)
    1. Sacrifices will not get the job done. (Psalm 51:16)
    2. A broken and contrite heart will get job done. (Psalm 51:17)

  4. Once forgiven, David will offer sacrifices. (Psalm 51:19)

PSALM 32:1-6 - AMAZING GRACE chapter of the Old Testament

  1. Blessing pronounced upon the man (Psalm 32:1-2)
    1. Whose transgression if forgiven
    2. Whose sin is covered
    3. Unto whom Jehovah imputeth not iniquity
    4. Whose spirit is guileless (openly admits his sin).

  2. The guileful one (keeps silent about his sin). (Psalm 32:3,4)
    1. Body wasted away through groaning.
    2. God's heavy hand upon him.
    3. Strength dried up.

  3. David is the man. (Psalm 32:5)
    1. He acknowledges his sin
    2. No longer hid his iniquity
    3. Confessed his transgressions
    4. Jehovah forgave him.

David sings: I have been forgiven - Praise the Lord!

PSALM 103:1-8 - David sings to his soul (tells soul what God has done for it).

  1. The response of a forgiven man - Bless Jehovah. (Psalm 103:1-2)

  2. Soul's benefits of being a godly man. (Psalm 103:3-8)
    1. Forgiveness (Psalm 103:3a)
    2. Healing (Psalm 103:3b)
    3. Redemption (Psalm 103:4a)
    4. Exaltation (Psalm 103:4b)
    5. Satisfaction (Psalm 103:5a)
    6. Strength (Psalm 103:5b)
    7. Providence (Psalm 103:6)
    8. Mercy (Psalm 103:8) from a Lord who is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Soul, you have been forgiven.

As a result of God listening and forgiving ...
PSALM 116:1-19 - What shall I render unto Jehovah?

  1. He heard me so I will serve Him. (Psalm 116:1-2)

  2. The anguish of soul - but God saved him. (Psalm 116:3-8)
    Snares of death, pangs of Sheol, distress -- while in sin.

  3. What will one do who is enthroned on higher ground? (Psalm 116:9-19)
    1. I will walk before the Lord. (Psalm 116:9-11)
    2. What shall I render as I walk? (Psalm 116:12-19) David will:
      1. Take the cup of salvation (Psalm 116:13a)
      2. Call upon the name of Jehovah (Psalm 116:13b)
      3. Pay my vows (Psalm 116:14)
      4. Die faithful to Jehovah (Psalm 116:15)
      5. Praise Jehovah. (Psalm 116:19)

David has been forgiven.

When we think of sin in the Old Testament, we usually think of a sacrifice to cover that sin. Much of this sounds like New Testament concepts - sins imputed, grace, mercy, clean heart, cleansing, purification. The God of the Old Testament is also the God of the New Testament.

David was justified by faith just as we are today. He did not have the benefit of knowing that the perfect sacrifice (Jesus) would be given to remove all sin from believers - past, present and future. But David believed and trusted in God, acknowledged his own sin, and asked for mercy. Then he felt free enough to offer his sacrifice.

Today, we have the benefit of hindsight to the ultimate, complete and final sacrifice of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. We will discuss this further in chapter 6. Since I am scheduled to do the lecture on chapter 6 also, but don't plan to focus directly on forgiveness of sin, let me hit a few of those highlights with you now from that chapter that we'll be studying in a few weeks.

We are to yield ourselves to God, not to sin. For under grace, sin will have no dominion over you. (Romans 6:13-14.) We are freed from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. In return, we get sanctification and eternal life. (Romans 6:22-23.)

God decided to forgive and redeem man before the foundation of the world. God proved that to mankind at Calvary.

Jeannie Cole

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Ladies Bible Class, Fall 1992

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