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Psalm 51

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

The sinner's guide to repentance

When we sin as believers our attitude to the sin is all important.

Sometimes we might try to pretend there is no sin or even to justify it, other times we point the finger to others.

David was a believer who committed a terrible sin.

This Psalm teaches us what to do if we also fall into sins.

Structure of Psalm 51

Verse 1-12 – King David’s confession and plea

Verse 12-19 – King David’s anticipation of forgiveness and restoration

Read Psalm 51: 1-19


Verse 1; Plea not for just deserts but mercy according to God’s nature

Verse 2; Thorough cleansing needed inside and out

Verse 3; The repentance process can only begin with confession

Verse 4; All sin is ultimately against God. His laws are right and just.

Verse 5; The fallen nature of man but cannot be used as an excuse

Verse 6; God not only desires truth in our hearts but is able to impart it to us

Verse 7; At Passover, the hyssop was dipped in the blood of the sacrificial lamb

Verse 8; David’s heartfelt desire to be freed from the destructive effects of his sin and restored

Verse 9; Only God can cover and then remove our sins

Verse 10; David’s heart was unclean, but he recognized his need for God to create something in him that was absent

Verse 11; Part of the fear of the Lord is the dread of being banished from His presence. In the new covenant Jesus promised not to remove the Holy Spirit from believers, but we can still grieve the Holy Spirit with our sins

Verse 12; Plea to restore first love and sustain us in it

Verse 13; Only when our hearts and lives are right before God can we be in any position lead unbelievers to the Lord.

Verse 14; Only God can remove the stain of the sin of murder from a man’s heart. The graceful act of God’s forgiveness produces our most joyful praise!

Verse 15; By faith David begins to receive his cleansing and forgiveness

Verse 16; The Lord wants heart repentance not ritual offerings

Verse 17; The Lord will accept truly repentant people

Verse 18; Once we are restored to fellowship with God then He can begin to rebuild our lives and ministries and the Church of Jesus Christ.

Verse 19; Then with clean heart and hands we are in the right position to offer our service to the Lord

Summary of key points

When believers sin we need to

1. make full confession and acknowledge of our sins and guilt (1 John 1:9)

2. realize that our sins hurt God and that only He can forgive them

3. realize that the blood must be applied

4. know we receive our forgiveness by faith

5. know that when we are restored, it is right to praise God and rededicate our service to Him.


Lets do it, lets pray!

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