Psalm 51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. PS 51:2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. PS 51:3 For I know my transgressions and my sin is always before me. PS 51:4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,… PS 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. PS 51:13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.
Repentance is term widely neglected in our time in preaching or sharing the gospel.
We say believe and you will be saved when it should be repent and believe. Psalm 51 is a beautiful passage dealing with repentance having been confronted.
What is the proper response to someone confronting us, or what kind of response do we look for in someone who has repented from their sin?
1. First someone must look immediately to the Lord. David acknowledged that only God had the mercy that he needed. Mercy is not getting what we do deserve. In other words we deserved death, hell and the grave, and the Lord gave us eternal life, heaven, and resurrection.
2. He asked God to wash him. Soap and water can clean the outside of us, but nothing but God can clean the inside. Ephesians 5:26 speaks about being holy through “cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,…” John 7:38 states, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of livingwater will flow from within him.” We need living water to flow throw and cleanse us.
3. David further says blot out my transgressions. In today’s society criminals get what is called in slang “a rap sheet” or a record of their offenses against the law. Psalm 90:8, “ You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. All things done in darkness will be revealed in the light”
4. In his search for forgiveness, the psalmist opens his sinful heart. To this end he uses the three synonyms for sin: "transgressions," "iniquity," and "sin." David looked underneath his kingly robes to see his sinful heart. And we must look beneath our flesh at our sin as well.
5. David then professes against “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.” Question, is this a contradiction in Scripture? Didn’t David, because he broke all 10 of God’s Commandments, sin against more than just God alone? Didn’t he sin against Bathsheba (adultery), Uriah (murdered), and all of Israel as their king? Where is the asking of their forgiveness? Well he couldn’t ask Uriah for forgiveness, but he could have gone to the others. And I believe that his writing of this Psalm for all to read showed everyone how sorry he was for his sin. It served as a public apology. However no one that he sinned against was offended more than God, so his chief priority, as it should be ours, was to repent to the Lord and receive His forgives. Then as James 5:16 states “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” Going to a person that perhaps we’ve sinned against is a biblical principle as well, as long as you go in a humble spirit.
Application: Here is what we look for when confronting others, although we pray their heart is soft enough to receive it. When you are confronted repent quickly as well. Tomorrow we will look at part 2.
Pastor Phil <><