the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Cleanse me from my sin.”
How bitterly David lamented his great sin may be seen by the penitential psalms which he composed. Among the most memorable of these is Psalms 51.
It has been often called The Sinner’s Guide.
He appealed to the sweeter attributes. Penitence has a quick eye for the loving and merciful qualities in the divine character. Let us appeal to them.
He could not bear to be defiled, he longed for complete pardon.
The essence of sin lies in its opposition to God, and its impudent defiance of his holy presence. David had wronged Bathsheba and Uriah, but his greatest misery was that he had offended his God. Graceless men care nothing about this.
His outward act of evil led him to look within, and there he found his inmost nature and his first original to be impure. When our falls lead us to discover and mourn over our inbred sins, we are on the sure way to recovery from them.
This is a glorious utterance of faith. The humbled soul, while mourning in the dust, yet confides in the blood of sprinkling, and believes that it can remove all stain. Foul as I am yet I am not too filthy for the precious blood of atonement! All manner of sin and of blasphemy the blood of Jesus can remove.
Sin destroys, and therefore grace must re-create. Sincere penitents are not content with pardon, they desire to be made holy for the future.
None teach so well as those who know the power of forgiving love by personal experience. Pardoned sinners are the best preachers to their rebellious fellowmen.
Deep experience led David away from mere forms into the spirit of the gospel. A real sense of sin will never allow men to be content with ordinances, they want the Lord himself to be revealed to them in spiritual worship, as accepting their contrite cries.
Thus he would fain undo the mischief he had wrought and build up the church whose walls he had pulled down by his ill example. The Lord grant that his cause and people may never suffer through our fault. Amen.
My soul lies humbled in the dust,
And owns thy dreadful sentence just;
Look down, O Lord, with pitying eye
And save the soul condemn’d to die.
Then will I teach the world thy ways;
Sinners shall learn thy sovereign grace,
I’ll lead them to my Saviour’s blood,
And they shall praise a pardoning God.
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven.”
After David had obtained a sense of pardon, he sang that sweet gospel Psalm, the thirty-second.
Yes, even a great sinner may be blessed. When his sin is effectually covered by the great propitiation, he is as blessed as if he had never sinned. Have all the members of this family tasted of this blessedness? Sin has cursed us all, has pardon blessed us all?
He who is freed from guilt is also cleansed from guile or deceit. David had been very crafty in his endeavours to hide his crime, and he felt it a great relief to escape from the tortuous way of living which arises out of deceit.
Psalms 32:3 , Psalms 32:4
While sin is unconfessed it ferments within the heart, and causes inward anguish; and when God’s hand presses from without, the awakened sinner is in a wretched plight indeed. Such are the feelings of all who seek the Lord, in a greater or less degree.
Forgiveness followed on the heels of confession, for atonement was already made. Who among us will refuse to confess? Let us all acknowledge our sin before the Lord, and the blood of Jesus will put it all away, at once and for ever.
Psalms 32:6 , Psalms 32:7
He who before he sought the Lord was compassed with sighs is now compassed with songs. If we would be happy we must be pardoned; if we would be pardoned, we must confess our iniquities, and look to Jesus who covers all our sin.
Psalms 32:8 , Psalms 32:9
Forgiven men should be tender in heart, and fear to transgress again. We ought not to need rough means to keep us out of mischief, we ought to be sensitive to the faintest touch of the Lord’s hand.
Psalms 32:10 , Psalms 32:11
Those who begin with holy weeping shall end with holy rejoicing. If there be one unforgiven one in this family, let him or her go to the. heavenly Father and cry for that gracious forgiveness which is given to all who believe in Jesus. It is not given as a reward of good works, or as the fruit of any efforts of our own; but as the free gift of God in Christ Jesus. Paul says that David here describes the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, and he declares most plainly that it is not a matter of merit but of grace. The very worst and vilest sins will be freely and at once forgiven if we will confess them to the Lord, and trust in the infinite merits of his dear Son. Do not linger then, but fly at once to the open fountain.
In Christ I have believed,
And through the spotless Lamb
Grace and salvation have received:
In him complete I am.
My sins, my crimson stains,
Are blotted out each one;
No condemnation now remains!
God views me in his Son.