A Clean Heart

Psalms 51:1-2 ESV

“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!”

To come to faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord requires that we repent of our sins and that we turn to him to now walk in obedience to his commands. Yet, this is not a cursory confession of sin, but it is literal turning away from sin to now live to the Lord and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).

But this dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness is not something we do one time and then we go about our lives as we did before. This is something that must continue in our lives, this dying to sin and living according to God’s Spirit and no longer according to our flesh (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9).

For this is not about being merely forgiven all our sins so that we don’t have to feel guilty or feel condemned whenever we do sin again. This faith in Jesus is committing ourselves to having our Lord cleanse our lives thoroughly of our sin so that we don’t live in sin any longer.

Psalms 51:7-12 ESV

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

So, this is inviting our Lord to shine his light into our hearts and lives and to expose to us our sins so that, by his Spirit, we might repent, and that we might know joy and gladness because Jesus not only forgave us our sins, but he delivered us out of our slavery to sin so that we might now become slaves of his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23).

The whole purpose of why Jesus died on that cross was that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. He shed his blood for us on that cross, in fact, to buy us back for God so that we would now honor God with our lives (1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15, 21).

So when we believe in Jesus we are born again of the Spirit of God, and we are now in Christ Jesus, by faith in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).

So, what our Lord did by rebirthing us in him, and by making us new creations in Christ Jesus our Lord, is he created within us clean hearts desirous to serve and to obey him with our lives. He did not give us permission to keep living in sin while ignoring his commands.

But it is possible for us to sin again, and it is possible for us to stray from our pure devotion to our Lord and for us to need to be brought back into fellowship with him and thus to have our joy restored and our spirits refreshed and renewed by God’s Spirit.

Psalms 51:13-17 ESV

“Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

When we have had our hearts cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and our Lord has created within us, or has restored within us clean hearts, and our spirits have been transformed or renewed of the Spirit of God, and we are now walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, then we are to teach others the ways of the Lord.

This doesn’t mean we have to have a position of teacher of any particular group of people, but that we are to encourage our fellow Christians in their walks of faith to walk in holiness and purity of devotion to our Lord, and that we are to share the gospel of salvation so that sinners will repent of their sin and turn to walks of obedient faith in Jesus Christ.

For, we are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth and we are to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. And we are to be his witnesses throughout the earth and to make disciples of Christ of people of all nations teaching them to obey Christ.

This is what it means to be a follower of Jesus. It means to live like Jesus did, and to follow his example, and to allow him to live his life out through us, and to be his ambassadors in taking his gospel to the people of the world. For we were not put here on this earth to live for ourselves but for God who gave his life up for us to free us from our slavery to sin.

For the Christian life is a call to obedience to Christ, to surrender to his will for our lives, to leave our lives of sin behind us, and to follow him wherever he leads us, and to do all that he has commanded us to do. For a broken and contrite heart God will not despise, but he will use us for his glory.

The Lord’s Anointed

An Original Work / December 16, 2011
Based off Isaiah 61

The Spirit of the Sov’reign Lord on me;
Anointed to preach the Good News;
Sent me to bind up the brokenhearted;
Proclaim freedom for the captives.
He sent me to preach release for pris’ners
Who are walking in sin’s darkness;
Proclaim God’s grace to all men who’ll listen;
And tell them about God’s judgments;
Comfort all who mourn;
Give crowns of beauty;
Oil of gladness and thanksgiving.

They will be called oaks of God’s righteousness,
A planting of our Savior, God,
For the display of our Lord’s splendor, and
They will rebuild God’s holy church.
God will renew them, and will restore them,
And you’ll be called priests of the Lord.
You will be ministers of our God, and
You will rejoice in salvation.
The Lord loves justice;
He is faithful to
Reward those who are seeking Him.

I delight greatly in the Lord;
My soul rejoices in my Savior, God.
He has clothed me with His salvation,
And in a robe of His righteousness.
He has given me priestly garments to wear,
As the bride of Jesus Christ.
As the garden of our Lord and Savior,
He causes us to grow in Him.
He makes righteousness,
Praise, and thanksgiving
Spring up before all the nations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s