On Apr 26, 2015, pastor Darin preached from Psalm 51, The Sacrifice of God. Guilt and bitterness can kill the joy in our lives. Guilt and bitterness began with man’s fall in the Garden of Eden. When man sinned against God he became guilty before him. This guilt weighs on the soul and produces bitterness and drives us away from God. There are various ways people try to deal with these things:
1) Go to church: But if the church isn’t preaching the gospel, what you have is a superficial message that downplays your sin, or a legalistic message that only prescribes works as the answer to your problem. Neither of these things can bring healing.
2) Listen to the culture: either prescribes good works, or denies that you really have a problem. Essentially the same thing as non-Gospel preaching churches.
We must deal rightly with guilt so that our joy in the Lord would be restored.
1. Dealing with guilt the right way is the pathway to joy (verses 8, 12). Examples:
a. Luke 18-19: the rich ruler went away sad when Jesus told him to sell everything (Luke 18:18-30), but the tax collector Zacchaeus gave away half of all he had and would have done more had Jesus wanted him to (Luk 19:1-10). The difference between the two is that Zacchaeus understood the gravity of his sin and as a result was freed from guilt.
b. King David and King Saul. Both had serious moral failures and confessed their sin, but only David has his joy restored. Why? Because David was more bothered by the sin itself than he was with the consequences. He didn’t try to justify himself as Saul did, but acknowledged that God was justified in condemning him (v. 4). His sin became big to him. He was seeing his sin as it truly was for the first time, and rooted it all the way back to his conception (v. 5).
c. Dig deeper: are you like King Saul and the rich ruler, downplaying the gravity of your sin and its offense to God? Or are you like Zacchaeus and David, where you recognize the deep offense of your sin and that you truly deserve God’s punishment? Deliverance from guilt and restored joy begin here. Get alone with the Lord and ask Hm to expose your sins.
2. Sin is an offense against God
a. Verse 4 – “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…” This is the key to understanding our guilt and bitterness towards God and finding forgiveness. When we wrong someone, we justify ourselves by saying that they deserved it. We are relentless in justifying our actions. But David says that against God only he had sinned. David was not violating Uriah’s law, but God’s law. Sin is heinous because it is first and foremost against God.
b. When we see our sin as being primarily against God, we can now own and confess our sin and stop justifying ourselves, and deal with our guilt. We are so undone about sin that we can’t think of the sin of others. Dig deeper: what ways do you justify yourself and minimize your sin? Confess now to the Lord and ask His forgiveness in Christ.
3. God’s mercy toward sinners
a. Verse 1: David understands who God is in His mercy. Dig deeper: do you relate to God as one whose mercy knows no limits? To do so you must understand the depths of your own sin. Read and reflect on Romans 5:18-21.
b. God is taking us on a journey to see the depth of our sin so that we might discover the depth of His mercy. How? Verse 17: the sacrifice of God is a broken heart and contrite spirit. Dig deeper: are you broken over your sin? Ask God to give you a broken heart so that He can apply the healing balm of the Gospel.
c. This is what Jesus came to do: He came to have His body broken (Isaiah 53:10 – 12). This is the sacrifice that would please God. The curse that Jesus bore on our behalf shows us just how horrible our sin is. Jesus bears the consequences of our sin so that we can be healed of guilt and bitterness. After I receive this gift by faith, He enables me now to extend grace, not bitterness, to others.
Conclusion: May we own who we are in our sin, but also who we are in Christ and the incredible provision that He has made by paying the penalty for our sins, delivering us from guilt, and how He now cleanses us from all unrighteousness as we confess our sins, and restores to us the joy of HIs glorious salvation.