Summary: While we are not to live in a constant state of guilt, we should live in a constant state of awareness that when we offend our God with sin, we seek an honest and open confession to our God who instantly forgives. God is Good!
The Plea of the Repentant
Griffith Baptist Church – 4/5/09
Text: Psalm 51:1-6
Key verse: Psalms 51:2 – Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Premise: While we are not to live in a constant state of guilt, we should live in a constant state of awareness that when we offend our God with sin, we seek an honest and open confession to our God who instantly forgives. God is Good!
In his retirement, Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. Because Jefferson trusted that students would take their studies seriously, the code of discipline was lax. Unfortunately, his trust proved misplaced when the misbehavior of students led to a riot in which professors who tried to restore order were attacked. The following day a meeting was held between the university’s board, of which Jefferson was a member, and defiant students. Jefferson began by saying, “This is one of the most painful events of my life,” suddenly he was overcome by emotion, and burst into tears. Another board member asked the rioters to come forward and give their names. Nearly every one did. Later, one of them said, “It was not Mr. Jefferson’s words, but his tears.” Just like the student was moved by Jefferson’s brokenness, so is God by ours. When we are truly broken and sorry for our sins, this leads to repentance
In this particular Psalm, David has just been confronted by Nathan the Prophet, about his sin with Bathsheba, and his response to it.
This response is the reason David was a man after God’s own heart (1st Sam. 13:14)
Many have a warped idea of repentance:
• Some feel repentance is a way to get God off of their backs
• Others feel repentance is simply saying sorry because you got caught.
That is not the biblical idea of repentance
Here, in these first six (6) verses, we have an indication of what real repentance is.
1. The Reason for True Repentance
A. Because sin makes a person vile and corrupt – 2
i. Some years ago a remarkable picture was exhibited in London. As you looked at it from a distance, you seemed to see a monk engaged in prayer, his hands clasped, his head bowed. As you can nearer, however, and examined the painting more closely, you saw that in reality he was squeezing a lemon into a punch bowl!
What a picture that is of the human heart! Superficially examined, it is thought to be the seat of all that is good and nobel and pleasing in a man; whereas in reality, until regenerated by the Holy Ghost, it is the seat of all corruption. ’This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather that light." Moody’s Anecdotes, p. 69
ii. Ephesians 4:22 - That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
iii. Sin is missing the mark of God’s standard - perfection
a. Sin of commission – doing what we are not supposed to do (Rom. 3:23; 6:23; Tit. 2:14)
b. Sin of omission – Failure to do what is right – James 4:17 - Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (Rom. 14:23)
iv. We respond to sin through three avenues
a. Lust of the flesh
b. Lust of the eyes
c. Pride of life
B. Because the capacity to sin is inherent from birth – 5
i. Romans 5:12 – Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
a. Adam takes center stage in introducing the sin nature into man by his disobedience
b. This resulted in death and passed on to each of us, who are his offspring.
c. We are sinners now, not just by deed, but by nature.
d. This is why God could refer to us as “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3)
ii. It separates us from God at birth and is inherent, even in children - Psalms 58:3 – The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.
iii. Another birth (spiritual) is needed to give us life and relationship to God - John 3:6 – That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
C. Because ignoring sin will not negate God’s judgment – 4
i. David had the wisdom to know that all sin is an affront to God
a. All sin is ultimately against God, even if we do wrong to others.
b. David realized this when confronted by Nathan about his sin with Bathsheba