Psalm 51:1-19

  1. For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
  2. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
  3. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
  4. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.
  5. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
  6. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
  7. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
  8. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
  9. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
  10. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
  11. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
  12. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
  13. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.
  14. Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
  15. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
  16. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
  17. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
  18. In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem.
  19. Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you; then bulls will be offered on your altar.


Why is it so hard to genuinely repent? Lessons from Psalm 51

  1. We prefer to defend ourselves- most of us view God as a judge who unjustly accuses us of our sins, an impatient ruler without understanding, and one who imposes heavy demands on us. If we keep this perspective, we lose out on the reality of a father who wants to connect with us and to know us. One who is willing, able and ready to forgive.
  2. We want to do it for ourselves- Repentance requires an understanding that says that only God can forgive me, not because of my actions but because of his loving kindness. I cannot fast track his forgiveness and I cannot bribe God with good behaviour. It is only humility and sincerity that allows God to forgive me not personal effort of self-justification.
  3. Lack of truthfulness (Verse 6- You desire truth in the inner parts) Repentance requires transparency with God. It is easy to repent when you are not truthful, but sincere repentance means complete acknowledgement of self. In our salvation we must acknowledge that we are evil, from birth and that only in God can we find salvation. Even when we are saved, we must acknowledge that without him we are impure and sinful. Before God we can be completely honest about our desires, intentions, motives and inclinations.
  4. The inactivity of the Holy Spirit- The Holy Ghost is the agency of God at work in man to convict us of sin and return our heart towards God. It is the Holy Spirit who reminds us and speaks to our conscience about our sin and God’s ability in our sin. He breaks our defences and connects into the depths of our truth. When your conscience becomes dull you feel no conviction of sin. Remember that guilt makes you feel bad, but conviction makes you seek Him. Guilt condemns you of your actions but conviction reminds you of your shortfalls and His power to save.
  5. Poor understanding of restoration- Repentance is restorative, it is not humiliating. Repentance is not just a confessional process, it is a restorative process. God wants your repentance to bring you to where you used to be with him. In our initial salvation God is restoring us back to his original relationship with man, and in our daily confessional repentance he is resetting the clock. It is as if you have not sinned at all. You cannot keep repenting about something you repented about yesterday, God has already forgotten and forgiven you. He has wiped away the sin as if it never existed and he will not hold it against you anymore. You are free, and your slate has been whipped clean.



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Ascend Church
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