For Wednesday, September 17, 2014
“When Christians Sin”
You’re listening to The New You, the daily broadcast for people who have been made new by the blood of Christ. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s Scripture:
Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin (Psa. 51:1-2)
What happens when Christians sin? You know, as Christians we are to go about walking in the light as God is in the light (1 John 1:7). But we’re still imperfect human beings. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). I like Psalm 51 because it details for us the process through which people of God should go through when they falter, and it shows them that it is possible to get back up and to keep on going.
Today, I want to share seven points with you from Psalm 51 that are about when Christians sin. I ran across this outline several years ago, and I’m not even sure where it originated, but I think it’ll be helpful to you just as it has been helpful to me.
First, sin makes you feel dirty. In Psalm 51, David recognizes his need for cleansing. You see that in verses one, two, and seven when he asks God to blot out his transgressions, cleanse him from his sin, and wash him so that he can be whiter than snow. When we, who are supposed to be walking in the light, participate in darkness, we should feel dirty, shouldn’t we? There should be a feeling of guilt associated with it as a type of spiritual gauge to indicate that we’re in a bad place, and that we need to return to God.
Second, sin dominates your mind. David says, “my sin is always before me” (Psa. 51:3). He can’t get it off of his mind. Have you ever been there? No matter how hard you try to just go about life and forget about it, that sin keeps popping back into your mind. You try to avoid it or pretend it doesn’t exist, but it’s there. You may try to justify it in your mind, but you can’t just write it off. Your conscience knows better. David’s been there, too.
Third, sin depresses your heart. David is depressed as he understands that sin has always surrounded him. He was born into a world of sin (verse five). He feels broken (verse eight), and ashamed (verse nine).
Fourth, sin defiles your spirit. Not only did David feel dirty, he knew that, spiritually speaking, he was dirty until God forgave and cleansed him. So he begs God to create in him a clean heart (verse ten). Further, he begs the Father not to cast him from His presence (verse eleven). He longs to be restored to the joys that he once knew (verse twelve). He feels the separation that sin causes.
Fifth, sin destroys your influence. Verse thirteen is interesting: “Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.” When will he teach those transgressors? After he has been made clean and restored (going back to verses eleven and twelve). David understands that, so long as this sin continues to stain his soul, he is no position to attempt to influence others for the Lord.
Sixth, sin distracts your service. In verses fourteen through seventeen, David mentions that the guilt of sin caused his tongue not to sing aloud of God’s righteousness. His lips were shut from praising God. That’s exactly what sin does to us, isn’t it? When we are participating in deeds of darkness, we are distracted from our God-given purpose here on earth.
Finally, sin dishonors God. David recognized that sin – even sins against others – are always sins against God. The Lord would have been righteous in condemning David because of what David had done (as David says at the end of verse four). God wanted David to internalize the truth (verse six), to apply truth’s wisdom to his life and to live it. Sin takes us away from the truth that God has given us. Sin is the transgression of that law (1 John 3:4). Sin dishonors God.
Let’s wrap it up: This has been a brief look at David’s grieving process over sin. Can you relate? I know I can. Sin makes you feel dirty. It dominates your mind. It depresses your heart and defiles your spirit. Sin destroys your influence, distracts your service, and it dishonors God.
The good news is that God has made provisions for us when we falter. We have an Advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous, who Himself is the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:1-2). This certainly does not give us a license to sin. No, we shouldn’t continue in sin just so that grace may abound (Rom. 6:1). But this does show us that God is a loving, forgiving, gracious God who loves us and who wants us to be saved.
Memory Verse: Psalm 51 is an incredibly relatable psalm to the human experience because all have sinned. That’s why I want us to internalize Psalm 51:10 this week.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).
Sometime today: Read Ephesians 4:14-16, and focus especially in on verse sixteen. Tomorrow I want us to talk about involvement in the church, and I believe Ephesians 4:16 has a lot to say about that topic. Hope you’ll join me tomorrow, the Lord willing, on The New You.
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This is The New You, I’m Robert Hatfield, and I hope you have a great day!