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Sermon Overview + Prayer: "The Depths of Sin and Salvation"

PRAYING THE PASSAGE (PSALM 51):
“For about three thousand years now David has been teaching sinners the ways of God’s forgiveness and mercy through this written lament. Although it was an intensely personal prayer, it was deposited in the sanctuary to be used by others also in need of forgiveness…Christians have made use of this psalm in their confessions of sin, and rightly so.”
Father, we as a church are so grateful for the instruction you give us in Psalm 51. Help us as a church to apply this psalm and live in the goodness of it. Thank you that you “give grace to the humble.” Make us humble people through understanding and applying your Word.
David appeals to the Lord: “hide your face from my sins, but not from me.
Father, I want to praise you for not remembering my sins. Because of Christ, you draw near to me, yet cleanse me from all sin. I praise you for the wonder of being made righteous. Help me this week to be as astounded as I should be that you make your face shine upon me, despite my past (2 Cor. 4:6).
King David’s sins threatened the strength and fabric of the community, therefore he is concerned about the well-being of the community and prays for the community.
God, in light of David’s prayer for his community, I pray that you would protect our church from secret sin. As for our leaders, protect them from false doctrine and the temptations of this world. As for marriages, help them to be pure and undefiled. For all of us, help us walk in the light together (I John 1:7).
So, is there any sin in your life your concealing rather than confessing? Is there any secret sin you have yet to confess to God and others where appropriate?
Father, as David also prays in Psalm 139:24, I want you to search me and know my heart. Help me to know if there is any grevious way in me. If there is, give me genuine sorrow over it and help me confess so I can be healed (James 5:14). If I am walking in integrity and do not have any unconfessed sin, then thank you for your grace to keep me from sin, and help me to take heed lest I fall (I Cor. 10:12).
I strive not to minimize sin, in part because I honor God’s sacrificial plan for removing it.” -Paul House
Just as David does in this psalm, help me Lord to agree with you about the heinousness of sin so that I can rejoice in the wondrous grace of forgiveness. Help me this week specifically to have the joy of salvation restored once again to me so I can be amazed at the grace of God (Ps. 51:12).
And David could scarcely imagine God’s ultimate sacrificial plan that the sacrificial system he referenced pointed to-the one greater than David to come, the Lord Jesus Christ-who would be punished in our place for our sin so that David and all who feel the weight and gravity of their sin, all who cry out for mercy like David, might be pardoned by God for our sins.
Thank you for pardoning my sins, Lord! Thank you that Christ died once for sinners, the righteous for the unrighteous so that he might bring us to you (1 Pet. 3:18). This week, I ask that you would over and over again help me to declare how sweet it is to be forgiven of sin and to be made right before God.
OVERVIEW OF SERMON:
Psalm 51 shows the depths of David’s sin and the extent of God’s salvation. After David committed adultery with Bathsheba, the prophet Nathan revealed David’s guilt and hardness of heart. This psalm provides us with a model of genuine repentance by recording David’s plea for mercy, his confession of sin, and his prayer for inward renewal and a restored relationship with the Lord. Accordingly, the hearer is challenged to make the psalm one’s own by responding to its warnings and by rejoicing in the forgiveness ultimately found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
  1. How has CJ’s sermon reminded you about God’s heart of mercy for sinners?
  2. In many instances, our culture can blind us from the weight of sin and make it appear like it’s not a big deal. What sins or habits are you tempted to downplay, and where has the Holy Spirit been convicting you recently?
  3. After being confronted by Nathan, David recognizes his inherent sinfulness and pleads for mercy. How can we follow David’s example in this passage? Take a moment to pray through Psalm 51.
  4. Realizing the depths of sin highlights the glory of grace. How have you experienced grace and rejoicing after confessing sin? How does God’s forgiveness for David encourage us today?
  5. Practice proclaiming the good news! In a few sentences, summarize Psalm 51 and how it leads us to rejoice in Jesus Christ.