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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Feb. 1, 2009

  • 2009 Feb 01
  • COMMENTS
 

David-A Forgiven Sinner

I am guilty. I was wrong. I am sorry—please take from me the just punishment I deserve. So begins the greatest song about the love of God experienced by a most desperate man named David. 

David was overwhelmed. In a moment he went from absolute gloom and heaviness of soul to the joy of his sins lifted off. That weight that had grown heavier day after day was now lifted. The spiritual scales that had slowly taken the color and light from his life were removed.

His soul now flooded with light and peace began again to drink deeply from the wells of his salvation. David had fallen so far, so fast—but the dullness of his soul spread to every inch of his spiritual life had pressed him harder and harder. But now that weight was lifted. 

His cold heart was warmed, his tormented soul was set free. David was no longer trapped in a painfully chastened body. David had left the bottom, where he had stayed there for almost a year.  

How did David get back on the track? And even more pressing for each of us here this evening--how do we come back to God when we've sinned and grown cold and distant?  

God's Word gives us a pathway, we can follow David. When you have been defeated by sin, David is inspired of God to tell us four steps we can take to come back to God. 

  • #1 Understand that all Sin is Against God. (Psalm 51:1-4) 
  • #2 Take Personal Responsibility for your Sin. (Psalm 51:5-9) 
  • #3 Believe that Only God can cleanse and restore us. (Psalm 51:10-13) 
  • #4 Seek God and repent.  (Psalm 51:14-19) 

We are in the midst of an in depth look at each of these four sections. We are examining the first four verses-- 

Understand that All Sin is Against God (Psalm 51:1-4)

David starts this first section by saying—I Am Guilty. But David sweeps beyond all these human and moral considerations and looks straight at the Almighty and Holy God he had sinned against. 

By confessing that he was guilty, David was coming back to God who alone can RENEW OUR RELATIONSHIP broken by sin. v. 1 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your loving kindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.  

If you want swift, immediate and relationship restoring help from God, start with that simple guilty plea. If you want to see a David type of response to God in the NT open with me to Luke 18:9-14. 

We learned that God just can’t resist this type of heart cry to Him. The Greek tenses tell us that the publican couldn’t stop saying this, he was an ongoing longing on his heart. 

Luke 18:13  And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" 

Like the publican who wouldn’t even lift his face towards God but just said God be merciful to me, we can also come back to God. 

This cry of acknowledgment of our sin is very humbling. Paul reminds us of a secret in our lives as believers—the very way we started is how we are to continue. 

Colossians 2:6 “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him”. The word received is the very same word for salvation as we find in John 1:12 “…as receive Him, to them He gave…”. That humble contrition that brought us salvation brings us back time after time when we sin. Remember again with me how each of us came, just as we were and humbly fell at His feet pleading for mercy. 

The humble approach we need when we come to Jesus was beautifully seen in the story behind one of the best known hymns in America. It was in London, in 1822, when a visiting evangelist was invited one evening to a very large and prominent home where a choice musical was to be presented.  

The musician was Charlotte Elliott born in Clapham, England. As a young person she had lived a carefree life, gaining popularity as a portrait artist, musician and writer of humorous verse.  

Now at thirty, her health began to fail rapidly, and soon she would become a bedridden invalid for the remaining years of her life. With her failing health came great feelings of despondency. The visit that night by the noted Swiss evangelist, Dr. Caesar Malan, proved to be a turning point in Charlotte’s life. Charlotte thrilled the audience with her singing and playing. When she finished, the evangelist threaded his way through the crowd which was gathered around her.  

When he finally came to her and had her attention, he said, “Young lady, when you were singing, I sat there and thought how tremendously the cause of Christ would be benefited if you would dedicate yourself and your talents to the Lord.  

But,” he added, “you are just as much a sinner as the worst drunkard in the street, or any harlot on Scarlet Street. But I am glad to tell you that the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, will cleanse you from all sin if you will come to Him.”  

In a very haughty manner, she turned her head aside and said to him, “You are very insulting, sir.” And she started to walk away. He said, “Lady, I did not mean any offense, but I pray that the Spirit of God will convict you.” 

Well, they all went home, and that night this young woman could not sleep. At two o’clock in the morning she knelt at the side of her bed and took Christ as her Savior. And then she, Charlotte Elliott, sat down and, while sitting there, wrote the words of a favorite hymn “Just As I Am”: 

Just as I am, without one plea,

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,

O Lamb of God, I come!

 

Just as I am, and waiting not

To rid my soul of one dark blot,

To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,

O Lamb of God, I come!

 

Just as I am, tho’ tossed about

With many a conflict, many a doubt,

Fightings and fears within, without,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind—

Sight, riches, healing of the mind,

Yea, all I need in Thee to find—

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

And then the final stanza:

Just as I am—Thou wilt receive,

Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

Because Thy promise I believe,

O Lamb of God, I come! 

 

And that this is the basis on which all of us must come to Christ.     

 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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