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6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:


What was true of Abraham was also true of David—they both were justified by faith. With verse six, Paul took up the case of David in verses six to eight. He continued to explain the quotation earlier in the chapter from Genesis 3:15.

6 just as

“Just as” links quotes about Abraham (Ge 15:6) and David (Ps 32) together in meaning. This shows that no matter the stature individuals may have in society, they stand unworthy in God’s eyes. God declared both Abraham and David righteous without their earning it. There is nothing of works in it because they received justification purely on the principle of grace, amazing grace.

David also

Paul now supplemented the example of Abraham by introducing David into the equation. The purpose was to show further evidence that justification comes apart from works in God’s eyes. David said that same thing about justification as was said about Abraham.

Paul quoted from Psalm 32:1-2 in verses seven and eight. The example from David is significant because there is no question that David needed grace from God. David was guilty of murder and adultery. He could never merit God’s favor.

describes [pronounces, declares] the blessedness of the man

“Blessedness” describes the grace in God’s justification for the believer. It is a blessing because it is undeserved and unearned. What a great blessing to receive God’s righteousness by imputation!

Blessedness for David came to him when he realized that God forgave him for the murder of Uriah and adultery with his wife, Bathsheba. David wrote from his own experience. His behavior led to guilt, remorse, and depression (Ps 32; 51), but God’s forgiveness led to “blessedness.”

to whom God imputes [credits] righteousness

The word “imputes” is the same word as counted, reckoned used early in Romans. The idea is to put God’s righteousness to the account of the believer. This phrase speaks from God’s viewpoint; He is the one who does the reckoning or imputing righteous.

The word “righteousness” here shows that chapter four is not thinking of God accepting faith merely as a substitute for righteousness, but that God accords His actual righteousness to the believer. God treats us as fully acceptable to Him based on the righteousness He gives us by faith.

apart from works:

The phrase “apart from works” makes explicit that a person receives salvation without working for it. Faith and works are antithetical to each other. God’s righteousness is not dependent on human effort to please Him.

Romans four uses “works” three times. The use consistently refers to trying to gain God’s approbation or favor by human effort. The idea is to gain God’s favor by religious works.


Jubilation is the result of God crediting to us His righteousness.


Forgiveness granted and experienced is the result of God’s grace, not our effort to please God by works. As both Abraham and David experienced God’s grace, we can as well. All of us have the opportunity to experience God’s unadulterated, unearned, and sovereign grace.

There is no way that blessing could come to us by our personal effort and works. We can rejoice in God’s grace because it is all His work on our behalf.

God manifests His grace in forgiveness. He will not bring our sins to the forefront but covers them from His view. This is the flip side of God crediting His righteousness to our account before Him. No work can bridge that gap. Sins not reckoned to our account is something only God can do by His grace. This is a forensic or judicial issue; we cannot experience God doing it. He did it judicially for us in His eternal court. He pronounces us right with Himself and He also pronounces that sin is no longer in our account.

Ps 103:12, As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Je 31:34, For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”