Romans 4:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 4:7, NIV: "Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered."

Romans 4:7, ESV: "“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;"

Romans 4:7, KJV: "Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered."

Romans 4:7, NASB: "'BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED."

Romans 4:7, NLT: "'Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight."

Romans 4:7, CSB: "Blessed are those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered."

What does Romans 4:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is quoting from King David, a hero of the people of Israel. His purpose is to show that Old Testament Scriptures have always pointed to faith—not good works or deeds—as the path to being declared righteous by God as his gift to those who believe.

David wrote these words in Psalm 32:1–2. He says that those whose lawless deeds or transgressions are forgiven—those whose sin is covered—are "blessed." In other words, they have received a good thing, as a gift of grace. This forgiveness has not been earned by good works. David makes no mention of earning or working for this result. Forgiveness cannot be earned. Forgiveness can only be given, in this case by God.

Paul is connecting David's words about forgiveness with a statement in Genesis 15:6. There, Abraham's believing God is what caused God to count him as righteous (Romans 4:3). As shown by Paul, both Abraham and David demonstrate that the person being forgiven and declared righteous has earned nothing and has been given everything.