"1Have 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." Psalm 51
To fully grasp the importance of repentance you really need to understand the destructive nature of sin. I'm sure David had an intellectual comprehension of why he didn't want to sin. He certainly had a front row seat observing King Saul's spiritual self-destruction. And I'm sure his passionate desire to please God gave him a hatred for sin.
But, despite those extremely strong aversions to sin - he sinned - TERRIBLY! And once he had fallen SO far and SO hard, he had a first-hand knowledge of how awful sin is and specifically, his sins. NOW he felt the desperate for forgiveness and was ready for true repentance.
What is involved in true repentence?
RESPONSIBILITY, Vv. 1-4
For repentance to matter it must begin by taking full and complete personal responsibility for your sin against a personal and holy God!
Face it! As a human parent you feel better when your child owns up personally and voluntarily to something they have done wrong. How much more so a God Who actually KNOWS the thoughts and doesn't just hear the words?
If you desire true forgiveness then offer true repentance beginning by taking full responsibility for your sin.
REMORSE, Vv. 1-4
Sincere repentance is demonstrated through sincere remorse. David shows that deep remorse as he cries out to God.
Real remorse goes hand in hand with taking responsibility. If you can't admit that you were very wrong then you can feel really bad about what you have done.
David did! You must, too!
RECOGNITION, Vv. 5-7
Repentance requires a stated recognition that God is holy, just, righteous, gracious, merciful and you are not!
Recognizing that you have sinned because you are sinful is more than an excuse - it is a fact. It is agreeing with God about Who He is and Who He says you are!
I John 1:9 says that if we "confess" our sins God will forgive them and cleanse you. "Confess" means to "agree" with God about your sinfulness.
RESTORATION, Vv. 8-12
Once you have come clean with God and come into clarity of Who He is, then you must be prepared to receive all the mercy and grace He offers to pentitent children.
By faith, receive His forgiveness and His cleansing and His peace and His joy and His presence and His power, and His promises - in short - ALL THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE!
Like the Prodigal father restored his pentinent son in the familiar parable, God FULLY restores those who come come to Him in true repentance.
RECOMMIT, Vv. 13-14
One of the evidences of true repentance is jumping back into serving God. And who better to teach or witness about the grace and mercy of God than one who has experienced that grace and mercy?
REJOICE, V. 15
Another evidence of one who has truly repented in his joy! Joy is expressed in rejoicing!
There is a line from an old hymn that celebrates the fact that when all the saints of God are gathered in Heaven and are rejoicing over their redemption the angels will have to fold their wings because they don't know the joy our redemption brings.
Cetainly, this is not to say that you should sin just to know the joy of forgiveness - BUT, as sinners, we MUST repent in order to receive. And once received and restored, rejoicing comes natural!
A third evidence of a true reptentant is restitution. Repentence involves making right those people you have wronged, returning what you have stolen, or fixing what you have broken.
When you have sinned against God there is no restitution you can do toward Him - other than repent.
But the good news is this - YOU DON'T HAVE MAKE RESTITUTION - Jesus did that on the cross!
Sin is awful!
Salvation from sin is awesome!
Salvation from sin is awesome!