Saturday, October 08, 2011

October 8, 2011 … A Right View of Sin

Passage of the Day: Psalm 51: 1 – 5 … 1 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.

My Journal for Today: As John MacArthur points out in another of his Strength for Today devotionals for this date, King David may have been a man after God’s heart (see 1st Samuel 13: 14); but his adultery, conspiracy to murder his friend, and his cover up show us that, like all of us, he was a sinner in need of confession, cleansing, and redemption from his sinful flesh. And Psalm 51 demonstrates, from David’s own confession, that we all need to have a right view of sin, which, according to MacArthur, involves the following five elements: … [see passage above] …

>>>Sin deserves judgment. Honest and real confession must begin with a contrite heart … a genuine and very real admission of guilt. (see Ps. v. 1) and our highlight passage for today.
>>>Sin demands cleansing (see v. 2 in today’s highlight verse). True confession recognizes the outcomes of sin (see also 1st John 1: 7, 9).
>>> Sin is our responsibility … No denial or defensiveness. We must exercise full accountability (as in verses 1, 3 above), such as David did, referring to “MY” transgressions.
>>>Sin is primarily against God (see v. 4), even though others may be involved or even hurt by our sin, David recognized that his sins were primarily against God.
>>> Finally, sin is a part of our deprived nature (see v. 5). We all inherit Adam’s propensity for sin (see Rom. 5: 12). David fully recognized this truth.

With all of these elements involved in our sin nature, we believers need to consider that true confession seeks complete and utter cleansing from the inside out, not an external covering or a mask to hide the truth.

Though we would have never wished the events of sinfulness to have transpired for David the way they did, Psalm 51, written by King David as a full confession of his sins, has become a model of confession for the contrite and convicted believer who desires the full 1st John 1: 9 treatment from a loving God Who always has His grace ready to cleanse the humble believer who has been convicted by his sin.

So, we must ask, as did MacArthur, “Do we have a right view of sin?” And if so, will it bring us, as it should, especially when convicted by God’s Spirit, to a surrendered confession and the cleansing that follows from God’s promises? I don’t know about you; but I know how I must answer that question. And I can’t answer it by a loose attitude about sin and God’s grace. I’m just as adamant about this as was the Apostle Paul when he asked if Christians can keep relying on God’s grace by repeatedly sinning and then confessing (see Romans 6: 1 - 2), in essence by repeatedly testing God’s grace. In asking that question, Paul essentially said “NO WAY!” to this question (as you read in the Romans 6: 1 - 2 passage); and so do I here.

No, when we become Christians, we have died to our old self and a new self now can be alive to Christ and resist sin (again see the Romans 6 passage as well as 2nd Cor. 5: 17). We can, and MUST, say no to sin whenever its lure presents itself [see 1st Cor. 10: 13]. And we not only must, we CAN honor God by receiving His enabling grace and holding on to a right attitude about sin, choosing to resist its call, denying self, taking up the cross of righteousness, and following our Lord (see Luke 9: 23) on a path to Christlikeness, to which we are called as Christians.

My Prayer Today: Lord, help me to “be” clean, not just to “come clean.” Amen

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