The Pardon of Sin
Psalm 32:1-7
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.


1. The being and inherency of sin is not taken away. Though not imputed, yet it is inherent in us. Remission and sanctification are distinct acts, and wrought in a distinct manner.

2. The nature of sin is not taken away. It is not a change of the native malice of the sin, but a non-imputation of it to the offender.

3. The demerit of sin is not taken away. Pardon frees us from actual condemnation, but not, as considered in our own persons, from the desert of condemnation.

4. The guilt of sin, or obligation to punishment, is taken away by pardon.


1. It is His act. 'Tis an offended God who is a forgiving God; that God whose name thou hast profaned, whose patience thou hast abused, whose laws thou hast violated, whose mercy thou hast slighted, whose justice thou hast dared, and whose glory thou hast stained.

2. He only can do it. Forgiveness belongs to God as —

(1)  Proprietor. He has a greater right to us than we have to ourselves.

(2)  Sovereign, He is Lord over us, as we are His creatures.

(3)  Governor of us, as we are parts of the world.

3. It is an act of His mercy. Not our merit. Though there be a conditional connection between pardon and repentance and faith, yet there is no meritorious connection ariseth from the nature of those graces, but remission flows from the gracious indulgence of the promise.

4. It is the act of His justice. There is a composition of Judge and Father in this act: free grace on God's part, but justice upon the account of Christ.

5. It is the act of His power. It is a greater work to forgive, than to prevent the commission of sin; as it is a greater work to raise a dead man than to cure a sick man: one is a work of art, the other belongs only to Omnipotence.


1. On God's part, by Christ.

(1)  By His death.

(2)  By His resurrection.

2. On our part, by faith. This is as necessary in an instrumental way, as Christ in a meritorious way (Acts 26:18).

3. This forgiveness shows —

(1)  God's willingness to pardon.

(2)  The certainty of forgiveness.

(3)  The extent of It (John 1:29).

(4)  The continuance of it.

(5)  The worth of it (Acts 20:28).


1. Perfect in respect of state. God retains no hatred against a pardoned person. He never imputes sin formally, because he no more remembers it, though virtually he may, to aggravate the offence a believer hath fallen into after his justification. So Job possessed the sins of his youth. And Christ tacitly put Peter in remembrance of iris denial of Him. The grant is complete here, though all the fruits of remission are not enjoyed till the day of judgment, and therefore in Scripture sin is said then to be forgiven. 'Tis a question whether believers' sins will be mentioned at the day of judgment.

2. In respect of the objects. Sinful nature, sinful habits, sinful dispositions, pardoned at once, though never so heinous for quality or quantity.

3. In respect of duration (Colossians 2:14, 15).


1. The greatest evil is taken away, and the dreadful consequences of it.

2. The greatest blessings are conferred.

(1)  The favour of God.

(2)  Access to God.

(3)  Peace of conscience.

(4)  It sweetens all mercies.

(5)  It sweetens all afflictions. Uses —

1. An unpardoned man is a miserable man.

(1)  There must either be pardon or punishment.

(2)  You can call nothing an act of God's love towards you, while you remain unpardoned.

(3)  All the time thou livest unpardoned, thy debts mount the higher.

(4)  It is that God who would have pardoned thee if thou wouldst have accepted of it, who will condemn thee if thou dost utterly refuse it.

2. Pardon of sin may make thee hope for all other blessings.

(1)  If once pardoned, thou wilt be always pardoned.

(2)  Thou art above the reach of all accusations.

(3)  There will be a solemn justification of thee at the last day.

(4)  Faith doth interest us in this, though it be weak.

3. Consider whether your sins are pardoned. The true signs are —

(1)  Sincerity in our walk.

(2)  Mourning for sin.

(3)  Fearfulness of sin.

(4)  Sanctification.

(5)  Forgiving others.

(6)  Affectionate love to God and Christ.

(S. Charnock, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: {A Psalm of David, Maschil.} Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

WEB: Blessed is he whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

The not Imputing of Sin
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