Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Restoration and Spirituality

Psalm 51:10 – 13

Basic spiritual life

This Psalm has been called “the sinner’s guide” (William Plumer) because it can guide a fallen believer back into relationship with God.

It is the first Psalm to use “spirit” in reference to the Holy Spirit.

The notable part of this Psalm is that true repentance is not satisfied with know forgiveness. True repentance desperately throws the person on the mercy of God seeking renewal and restoration.

I. David’s situation:

A. David has committed adultery and covered it up by murder. (Magnified by his position as King.)

1. “One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, [3] and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, ‘Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’ [4] Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her...” [2 Samuel 11:2 – 4a]

2. “In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. [15] In it he wrote, ‘Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.’ [16] So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. [17] When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David's army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.” [2 Samuel 11:14 – 17]

B. David admitted his guilt.

1. “Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. [2 Samuel 12:13]

2. “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...” [Psalm 51:3 – 4]

II. Basic things in a right relationship with God:

A. A consecrated relationship with God. [v 10]

1. God must create something new and pure because sin has destroyed it.

a. Fake repentance wants relief. True repentance wants something new beyond cleansing or purity.

b. This newness must be created by God, it can not be achieved by us because of the utter hopelessness and total deception of the our desire to sin.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” [Jeremiah 17:9]

2. God must restore a right/steadfast spirit because once you develop a weakness it must be guarded forever.

a. Steadfast does not mean “stubborn” it means not influenced buy weakness or temptation.

b. This is a spiritual attitude that understands the sense of sin and longs for holiness.

B. A constant realization of God. [v 11]

1. Sin gives us the “worst case scenario” because it separates us from God.

a. Imagine being thrown away as something worthless. No covenant relationship, made a complete stranger, deprived of God’s favor.

b. Imagine God removing any and all sense of Himself.

2. Sad part is that we live this way all the time and seldom know or feel what we are missing.

a. Jesus’ greatest agony on the cross: “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’--which means, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” [Mark 15:34]

b. Why and how did Jesus feel this agony? “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” [2 Corinthians 5:21]

C. A correct response to God. [v 12]

1. Only God can give joy but only AFTER “pardon and purity.”

a. Sin forfeits the joy of salvation. Salvation and joy are two ends of the same stick.... if you have salvation then you have joy. If you don’t have joy then you need to examine yourself.

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?” [2 Corinthians 13:5]

b. Many lack joy because they have placed something sinful between themselves and God.

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. [4] For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Selah [5] Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"– and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah” [Psalm 32:3 – 5]

2. Only God can sustain those who are willing.

a. A willing spirit is one that wants to obey. This will take consistency, perseverance, and God’s protection.

b. Why do we do what we do? Because we want too... (traditional theory)

D. A candid responsibility for those God wants to reach.

1. Everyone who is in a right relationship with God has a desire to draw others toward God.

a. Modern world emphasizes educational degrees as a validation for position or ministry. But God has only one degree that is valid... It’s not an M.A. or an M.Div. It’s not a Ph.D. It is an “S.S.” (Sinner Saved).

b. The pardoned sinner speaks sympathetically and humbly knowing where they came from:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, [2] in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. [3] All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” [Ephesians 2:1 – 3]

2. A grateful heart returns service to God in deeds not words. (Worship is not a complete spiritual diet... without action/service, its empty of substance and dead.)

a. How do you teach others?

1.) Through your experience: Tell your story.

2.) Through your understanding: Ask questions.

3.) Through your knowledge: Share what the Bible says.

4.) Through your walk: Invite company on your journey.

b. The idea is for others to turn back to God because there is only one way and God’s love compels you.

For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.” [2 Corinthians 5:14]

III. What do you need to do?

A. Talk to God.

1. Use the word of Psalm 51:10 – 14, make them your own.

2. People in strained relationships don’t talk very well to one another because its just hard.

B. Trust God.

1. When you talk to God, rely on His mercy.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” [Psalm 51:1]

2. God will not turn away those who are sincere.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” [Psalm 51:17]

C. Tell someone!

1. The real exercise of faith is shared in community with others.

2. The real exercise of faith is shared outside the walls of the church so others have hope.

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