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Cleansed by the Blood: Part 2

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
November 19, 2021 7:00 am

Cleansed by the Blood: Part 2

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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November 19, 2021 7:00 am

David knew that real joy comes only from righteousness in the Lord. Today, we’ll study the second half of Psalm 51, where David is deeply aware of his sinfulness and unworthiness. Rather than hiding from his sin, David asks God to cleanse him and renew his spirit. He knows that the only answer to sin is true repentance.

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David knew that real joy comes only from righteousness in the Lord today on the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce were studying the second half of Psalm 51 where David is deeply aware of his sinfulness and unworthiness rather than hiding from you soon. David ask God to cleanse him and renew his spirit.

He knows that the only answer to sin is true repentance and welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically in Psalm 51 David cries out to God for forgiveness and renewal. He knows that there is nothing good within himself and so we ask God to completely change his heart and perform a new work within his spirit turned to Psalm 51 verses 10 through 19. Let's hear about this work from Dr. Boyce. We have to study the Psalms quite a bit differently than we study other parts of the Bible, if for no other reason that being poetry, they don't have the kind of recent statements that we associate with the teaching literature of the Bible I mean by that you don't have a statement followed by reason for the statement followed by deduction withdrawn from the statement summaries and you're missing a lot of those connected words that make it easy in some cases to follow the teaching literature. Words like therefore, for box because summary so long Psalm system, but mean that the Psalms don't have reasonable progression or that they don't flow naturally and certainly Psalm 51 that were studying has that kind of progression talking about it last time when I gave you six part outline for the Psalm on hard outline to discern. It goes like this. First of all there's an approach to God in which David the psalmist is asking for forgiveness. You find that in verses one until it follows the paragraph division in the new international version. Then there's a confession of sin is what the Psalm is chiefly about your find that in verses three through 6/3 section is an appeal for cleansing the word that leads off in verse seven goes through verse nine verses 10 through 12 are 1/4 part of the Psalm, a desire for inward renewal creating of a pure heart and a steadfast spirit within that fit part has to do with testimony on David's part having been cleansed and renewed says in verses 13 through 17 that is going to teach other people kind of things that he is Lord and then at the very end part six you have a prayer on behalf of the city of Jerusalem for the prosperity of Zion is a very discernible outline if you want to trace the flow elected begins white obviously with God whom psalmist is addressing the proceeds to himself and his sin. He asked forgiveness from that and then having been forgiven and renewed. He begins to think about other people. So it's easy to see how Psalm develops.

We can handle it in other ways as well. It falls also into two parts. Verse three sections, an outline that I gave her in part one the last three sections are important to, and those two parts corresponded to great needs. David had what was his first name was first made was for forgiveness reason for that is sent in the matter of his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah and needed to be forgiven for that he had done wrong.

It was a dreadful thing you had to be assured that he had forgiveness with God so that the broken relationship I followed between himself and God. As a result of the sin might be restored out of that happen while it happens by sacrifices by an innocent dog in place of the gilding. That's why when we were studying and I emphasize verse seven which says cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean. Ashley and I will be whiter than snow reference which is veiled, many of us because we don't understand the way sacrifices were handled in the Jewish Temple. But it was certainly known anybody would read the Psalm in Old Testament times hyssop was a little plant uses a brush to sprinkle the sacrificial blood. So when David is saying cleanse me with hyssop he means. Sprinkle me with a blend of the sacrifice I did that with lepers and Dave and I suppose it's saying that's what my sin is I need that kind of cleansing I need forgiveness and the only way it comes is by the death of the substitute. We understand very clearly today that pointed forward to Jesus Christ Way, we find forgiveness of sins and Now the first nine verses of the Psalm deal with The climax, but forgiveness isn't the only need the David Hyatt need sin because he was a sinner and is aware of that. You recall he acknowledged that his confession he said he was sinful from the time his mother conceived it is not saying that there's anything sinful about sex than anything was wrong and what his mother dinner.

His father did he simply say the very first moment of my existence. I'm a sinner and that's why I sent that is true, then you need not only forgiveness for what you do but you need a renewed nature so you will keep on doing it, David. It was well aware, because of his sin. Just how simple his nature wasn't and how proud he was the one sin after another now and the second half of the Psalm prays for a renewed spirit that's what he's talking about when he says created me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me pardon and purity is what we need is not only David needs at you and I need it as well. When he pardon from the sins that we have done and will do we need purity of heart, so will stop doing them. Anyone who knows the grace of God in providing apartments and purity as well because we don't want to go on offending against Alonso great that it is sent, the Lord Jesus Christ to be our Savior.

Now, in some ways this second half, especially the section of the song, beginning with verse 10 is the most important most perceptive section which David specifically prays for inner cleansing reasonable. That of course is that it shows that his confession and the second part of the Psalm first half was genuine say of David merely said, forgive me for what I did but he didn't care at all about Clinton's language well what kind of a confession is lack saying to himself while it's true I sin, but in all, that's the way it is with human beings we said in God forgives. It is nature to forgive and it David it only left it at that and said well I'll probably sit again, but it's all right because God will forgive me again will say well I wasn't much of a confession feel very sorry for the sin is the second part here when David is beginning to pray that God will change his nature. We recognized sin in which the pollen was so dreadful in the experience of it was so bad determined in his heart that he never wanted to get in that mess again and yet he knew partly well that he would do it unless God changed and gave them new nature and so that's something for which he prays now. I said when we were studying the first half of this that this Psalm falls in the sections where you have a Trinitarian parallel structure that is you have something said in a variety of ways three times over. We've already seen that about three times the Psalm you find exactly the same thing here in verses 10 through 12 and it is more or less reflected in those three verses they was praying for three things. Specifically, first create a pure heart. Secondly, sustained me. Don't cast me away from your presence and finally number three. Restore the joy of my salvation that first created me a pure heart.

That is a startling request. We have to take time to think about that a little bit and the reason it's so startling is that the word that begins the first word create is the Hebrew word bar and strictly speaking, that's a word that's only used of God because it refers to what theologians call creation ex Nilo that his creation out of nothing and that's the only one they can do that. There's a sense in which you and I can create. We are made in the image of God and one thing that means that we can be creative as God's creative but we never created out of nothing. We always create out of existing materials where a sculptor we take the stone in which is a lot to make our arsenic and if we are painters we take the campus and the pain so we look at what's there and we we paid our picture and even if I creation is in the realm of ideas that is where a writer or appellant of some sort. While we do it with pre-existing thought forms and ideas that come to us partially from our minds the way God is made is also from the culture in which we live and the experiences that we have had none of us ever only create create ex Nilo and yet God does that, we see that in the first chapter of Genesis are a number of words are used for God's creative activity in that chapter and is reflected in the translation three times in that chapter and significant moments in the creative process you have that word bar. First is in verse one in the beginning God created the heavens and the art created out of nothing and then secondly when God created conscious life and animals and how the word bar and then finally when God created man in his own image, you have the word bar again. I think that corresponds the three levels of creation matter in the first level out of nothing and then you have conscious life animals and then finally you have life with God consciousness in every case, the Hebrew word virology is not that is the word that David uses here. Why is that significant is because he site what I need is what only God can do what I could give myself a new heart. I would do it. I can't do it in a God to do it for me. Derek Gartner, one of the good commentators on the storms in that little book that he prepare for inter-varsity says with a word create. He asked for nothing less than a miracle desires what only God can provide to that word really does mean to create ex Nilo out of nothing. What David is saying is that when God creates this new life within him what he calls a pure heart or a steadfast spirit. He recognizes a God going to have to do it without using anything to be found in David himself, the Lord sees not saying God make me over polish me up a little bit some of those rough edges slipped up, got me into trouble. He saying look, if you like with anything that's already in me once in me is going to contaminate what you do this like deadly germs will contaminate drinking water that will want to deadly germs and you have a whole lot of drinking water in the water can be pure. You put the germs that limit contaminates the whole, and David is saying that's what will happen if you do anything, it may so what I need is a new nature created from about the wonderful thing of course is that is exactly what God does he promise to do it in the Old Testament times and he doesn't the power of his Holy Spirit. When here. The way Ezekiel talks about it. Ezekiel is quoting God is giving this great promise in Ezekiel 36 verse 25 and following I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities from all your idols that corresponds to what David was praying for earlier when asked to be cleansed by hyssop then then I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh, and I will put my Spirit in you and move you follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws a great truth promise that is the promise to which we cling as Christians because God has caused us to be born again by the power of his Holy Spirit. That is exactly what he's done is given us a new nature aspires to holiness were not inspiring only because we don't have it. We do have all new nature within, that's what were doing and it's a wonderful thing it is flat, which he prays for in the section that deals with the creation of a new heart is that God will not cast them away.

See what is thinking of here. Is this even a God should re-create him. Well, it would be possible. He thinks the T he might nevertheless fall into sin. So he says that he wants God to sustain them and to keep them never cast them away from his present your notice here in these verses. With that idea of a sustaining work of God is repeated in a variety of ways you find it in verse 10, steadfast spirit, you find it in verse 12, a willing spirit to sustain me and then especially you find it in verse 11 in the negative and not cast me from your presence, or take your Holy Spirit from me. I verse 11 is been a problem with commentators, no question, where it comes from David's predecessor as king of Israel was King Saul, and Saul had the blessing of God because he disobeyed God and the story is told in first Samuel 16 the blessing of God was removed.

Certainly David is remembering that he lived through that he understood that God removed his blessing from his predecessor Ray doesn't want that to happen to him when we sin, thinking that would be a possibility. Let that happen is that the question that that is provoked in the minds of commentators is this when David prayed for God not to take his Holy Spirit from vendor that mean that he was praying that God would not take away eternal life. In other words, he been born again. When I was going to lose his new birth and some I was going to parry thinking here in terms eternal security and the possible loss of it is he merely referring to God's favor and blessing. But if he is only referring to God's favor and blessing the why does he speak about removing the Holy Spirit?

Trouble commentators tell you how they deal with them.

I don't think the problem is all that difficult. But here's the way it's been handled. John Calvin believed in eternal security. I will come as no surprise to Calvinists. So when he came to this verse. Here's the way he handled it. He argued that David's prayer to God that he not take away his Holy Spirit was proof that God is not taken away so I don't taken away. God is already taken. The why you have the Holy Spirit so you pray, don't take away the conclusions from that that this teaches the doctrine of eternal security because Davidson greatly in the matter of adultery and murder. And yet God had not taken the Holy Spirit away from David, so therefore the conclusion would be when David prayed, don't take your Holy Spirit, it was understandable that he prayed that way, but he did need to because God would certainly not do it in a way, Calvin actually sent natural with the Saints when they have fallen into sin and have thus done what they could to expel the grace of God should feel and anxiety. Upon this point where he well understands how David would pray that way but he says it is their duty to hold fast the truth that graces the incorruptible seed of God which can never perish in any hardware. It is been deposited. As I say the bottom line of that is that they didn't have to pray the way he did. Understandable that he did not do now that second approach to this is by the fundamentalists of a few years ago, most of whom are greatly influenced by dispensational thinking that makes a big distinction between the different stations, and particularly between the Old Testament and the New Testament. They argued that where the Holy Spirit is concerned you have a different kind of operation of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament than you do in the new.

The old testament time was that according this teaching the Holy Spirit would come upon a person, but didn't dwell within a person, and now in the New Testament.

Since Pentecost Holy Spirit dwells within us Holy Spirit comes upon you. The Holy Spirit can be taken from you over.

The Holy Spirit is within you, Holy Spirit, is there today without.

Here's somebody writes that way are.

he gave line.

One of the editors of the famous Scofield reference Bible he saying in other words, that David prayed rightly but nonetheless whatever have to pray that way the prayer of the 11th verse needs not to be prayed by the St. of the New Testament, for he is accepted in the beloved one saved safe and him he may grieve the Holy Spirit. But he is nevertheless the abiding Holy Spirit, by whom we are sealed under the day redemption.

What that means.

If I understand correctly as of the Old Testament saints could lose their salvation with the New Testament things cannot. I think that's wrong for a variety of reasons, but at any rate, that's the second way this is been approached today. I think most commentators probably have a variety of schools with recognize that in this verse David is talking about eternal security of all not talking about the fear of losing your salvation is not afraid of life praying to God.

He knows that he has forgiveness through the shed blood on his morning is that he's going to be unable to live a holy life without God we need God's help is going to do that does not take that hope away from me. I need the power of your Holy Spirit working in me day by day, moment by moment of I'm going to live a holy life. What I would say is that that's no different from you and maybe we don't lose our salvation when we fall into sin.

We don't fall from grace to a state of condemnation.

We fall into grace when we sin, we find God gracious.

Nevertheless, we know that were going to continue in righteousness is going to have to be by the power of the Holy Spirit of the reason we have to stay close to God's ways of talking about it.

Perhaps the Old Testament turned in the new nevertheless the same thing because the experience of the people of God with God is always been the same. Perrone whom I've often quoted explains it like this. He says this is the cry of 100 knows this he never knew before the weakness of his own nature and strength of temptation and the need of divine help. That's the second thing for which David Price. The third thing is this, he says in verse 12 restore to me the joy of your salvation is important to note that he's not praying for God to restore his salvation is lost if salvation is not talking about that annoying thing about the joy of his salvation.

Loss not the calendar sent you and I certainly will lose it as well. When we fall in the Senate fellowship with God was broken and ours will be as well, but he says I want that joy back. So I want you to sustain me in this right relationship, obeying your law living in righteousness, in order that the joy of your salvation, what you have given to me might be full.

I suppose there are few things in this column that are more relevant to people today than that. Here in our day. We have people who suppose that the way to have a good time were joy, way to be joyful to send the guidance regarding the television.

We read magazines that come into our house is killing people.

We look at those godly in ways that are well what kind of plan is letter Matt or is it significant that we use the word thought rather than the word joy but nevertheless that's the way were thinking now exactly the opposite is the case. Real joy comes from righteousness comes from being like God and the closer we are to God and the more righteous we live more godly. Our lives are true joy were going to have regardless of outward circumstance. By contrast, we choose the way of sin.

Sin is allowed to continue is going to remove every joy from our lives. Sin will take away joy and health and wealth and at last it will even take away life itself. People found that their great sorrow and their loss on a restore these things only righteousness. Nothing else in commentator writing about this is wisely the fact that the psalmist prays for so many things in these verses indicate how many things he knew he had lost the plunge and no more than anything else from Islam.

Certainly we should learn that there are other lessons we left for parts of the six part outline parts five and six. Now move from David's own personal experience of forgiveness and cleansing and renewal was relationship to other people what he says and section 5 is that he wants to be able to testify the ways of God and his righteousness, and what he says in the final section as it is concerned about the city of Jerusalem in which he lives and for which of the large measure is responsible is he saying he knows he has a duty to those about him. I pointed out in our study of the first half of the Psalm that the 32nd salt, which is the first of the penitential Psalms and the slaughter is probably a full length of the bile that he takes in verse 13. Here he says in verse 13 is then that is when God restored the joy of his salvation. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. Psalm 32 is less intense than this one. It seems to have been written later probably is the fulfillment of that file question what he says he's going to teach them. Here is ways of God. Verse 13. It later is going to cling of God's righteousness. One of those words mean well usually in the Bible when you read about the ways of God means that ways that we are to live the respect out of the law of God walking the Lord is walking righteousness is to obey the 10 Commandments and the other wants and usually when we come across the word righteousness fits an attribute of God characteristic of him. It has to do with now I want to suggest that's probably not what the words mean here because in the context what the word way or ways of God could mean is always God was sinners limited experience that. What are the ways of God with sinners well and sinners are sinning ways of God are such that he lays a heavy hand upon them because he doesn't allow us to continue enjoying our sentence and has its consequences.

God guarantees that especially for his people. And then when we come by his grace to the point of confessing the sin of finding forgiveness for the work of Christ renewal within then we discover that the way he does. That is why Jesus Christ by the power of God creating and is that which we cannot do ourselves.

Those are the ways of God with sinners. I think that's what David is talking about here. He certainly does that in the song itself and he does it even more so in Psalm 32, which I mentioned a moment ago. Describes what it was like when he was far from God.

He said your hand was heavy upon me day and night in life my bones waxed with my groaning.

It was a miserable experience that I found forgiveness and these are the words that the apostle Paul chooses. Out of all the things David wrote all of the various Psalms of David wrote all the wonderful expressions when he came to the book of Romans to explain the David understood the way of salvation which is justification through faith, so he quotes Psalm 32, one and two. Blessed is he is transgressions are forgiven. Sin is covered. Blessed is the man of sin. The board does not count against them and a new spirit. There is no deceit was of the ways of God with sinners and that's what gospel preaching is all about. That's why any real sermon that focuses anywhere in the heart of God is teaching in the Bible always has something to say about that. Ways of God with sinners.

These that he forgiveness when we come to him through Jesus Christ he's made the way of salvation through what Jesus Christ is.that's why even when were talking about sin. We talk about it in the right way, joyful, messy, because the gospel by very definition is good news is they well and what about the word. Righteousness does not refer to the righteousness of God is he is in himself is characteristic while in part perhaps writing probably in this context. It also has to do with salvation. That is his righteous act in justifying the ungodly through the work of Jesus Christ. It's a way of saying that when God saves diversity doesn't righteously just said that he doesn't care about it. Although he is just God of the universe doesn't bother to judge it on only judgment but he does is in Jesus Christ of justices.that incidentally is exactly what John says in his first letter first. On one mind if we confess our sins he is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Is it exactly the same doctrine faithful and just to forgive us our sins that were Johnston Greek is exactly the same root word is the word righteousness. Although we translate it differently so we could say translating it this way. If we confess our sins he is faithful and righteous and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Why is it just because he does it on the basis of the work of Jesus Christ.

Why is he faithful because he is faithful to his promises that if you come confessing your sin. That's exactly what he will do a marvelous message. You don't have to worry when you come to God if you come through Jesus Christ. You don't have to say to yourself, perhaps he will receive me. Maybe he will receive me. I hope we will receive me, he will receive you if you come through Christ can return side work of the sun, perfect son of God. David understood that he came to see it in fresh ways for which that analysis. That's what I want to make known other people.

He also says here that he wants to praise God for once to sing them and declare the praise of God the glory. Think about this on the kind of passive way to proclaim it all with joy because there is no greater thing in the world because they hear that the nose God doesn't delight in sacrifices. That means contradicting himself earlier in verse seven he was cleansed on the basis of sacrifice here. He says God doesn't need a sacrifice. Later on when thoughts about Zion is going to talk about people doing sacrifices in the city that what he saying something that all the thing that is no value in the sacrifices we simply saying the sacrifices have no value if they don't perceive from a renewed heart the right rituals of religion don't save any money claims of the work of Christ work of the Holy Spirit, one who has come to God that way offer up all kinds of sacrifice of the Bible, sacrifices of praise is what David wants to do the very last section talks about client number of the commentators found this to be a problem. I say look this means that David couldn't written that the didn't write those verses and maybe didn't even write all my argument is that walls were down in David's date was read part of the time after the exile of the Jews were concerned about the broken down walls of Jerusalem and wanted to build them up. Well, that's a possibility, of course, it's possible that these last verses were put on later to give a liturgical cast is something to David earlier but is not necessary to think that way about the walls. David could've been thinking about them in two ways alas were symbols of protection so we can be speaking metaphorically can be acknowledging that is sin greatly damage the stability of the city and the because of his in the city would be in great danger he was going to build up those narrow levels again could be talking that way can also mean thinking literally about the walls because we read in first Kings that they were not completed entirely until the time of Solomon first Kings three, verse 1000. That verse of the last buildings and temple were not completed until Solomon's day that's the case what David is saying is this work in the midst of a great work here were building up the walls of Jerusalem are establishing a city of God.

I recognize that my sin is long and that might actually hinder that working because it forgotten her latest life.

I don't want that to happen is last prayer is that his sin might not hinder what God is doing.

You and I need to be very sensitive to that.

We sometimes hear today.

Well, it's all right if I do it as long as it doesn't hurt anybody sin and always hurt somebody somebody else.

Sometimes many people undoubtedly more people than we ever imagined.

Sin does hurt but righteousness helps those who confess their sin will find forgiveness and renewal will be able to teach others ways of God and where that is done, the blessing of God will follow up on an individual life, home, church, community or nation's primary father, we thank you for this great home.

One of the most profound pieces of literature concerning the relationship of an individual to yourself that is ever been written all the long history of the world recognizes our sin and the need not only for forgiveness and cleansing but also for renewal in order that as redeemed and renewed people.

We might be witnesses to your ways, your grace and help other people. While the grant that we might do that, we thank you for the opportunities we have to do it here was our efforts. Above all, it was wholly live. Thank you for listening to this message from the Bible study our listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars and churchmen who hold to the historic creeds and confessions of the reformed faith and who proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a reformed awakening in today's church. To learn more about the alliance visit alliance and while you're there, visit our online store reformed resources.

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