Remembering Our Sin

Was in California last week with kids and grandkids. As someone reminded me, “food for the soul.” But, it was also havoc for early morning routines — mostly because “all day” with the boys was in conflict with “early mornings” with my bible. Enough time in the mornings to read, hard to find time to write.

This morning I’m hovering over Psalm 51. A song written by David. A song about his sin with Bathsheba. A song which, for some who would misunderstand grace, might seem to be a psalm which shouldn’t have been written.

If David had confessed his sin . . . if David had been forgiven his sin . . . if, as far as the east is from the west, God had removed David’s transgressions from him (Ps. 103:12), then why bring it up again? And why in a song, written down for others to read? Why provide the potential for the lowest moment of his walk with God to be preserved and perpetuated? And why, by the Spirit of God, was it prompted of David to write it down so that, in fact, it would be immortalized? Shouldn’t David have just moved on? Couldn’t David have just struck it from memory? Apparently not.

It would seem that while sin can forever be forgiven, it is perhaps unwise that it should be forgotten. Not that it would be ammunition for the enemy to keep throwing in our face a debt which has been fully paid, but that it might continue to provide a condition of heart from which pleasing sacrifices to God might forever be made.

Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare Your praise.
You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;
You are not pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.
You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.

(Psalm 51:15-17 CSB)

A broken spirit, a humbled heart — those are the sacrifices pleasing to God. Nothing like a reminder of God’s graciousness in our deepest failures to prompt offering up our highest worship. No replacement for a fresh remembrance of purifying and cleansing from sin (v.7) committed against Him — and Him alone (v.4) — as a catalyst for restoring again the joy of His salvation and the sustaining power of a willing spirit (v.12). Nothing like a renewed appreciation of having been saved from my guilt to open my lips with songs of praise (v.15). Seems to me this morning that you need the depths of working through Psalm 51 on a regular basis in order to experience the heights of Psalm 103 on a regular basis.

Spurgeon, quoting J.J. Stewart Perowne, offers this to chew on:

When speaking of thankfulness, we might have expected him to say, “a joyful heart, or a thankful heart,” but instead of that he says, “a contrite heart.” For the joy of forgiveness does not banish sorrow and contrition for sin: this will still continue. And the deeper the sense of sin, and the truer the sorrow for it, the more heartfelt also will be the thankfulness for pardon and reconciliation. The tender, humble, broken heart, is therefore the best thank offering.

Are we to, from time to time, remember our sin? Is there benefit from recounting unpleasant memories of our transgressions? I’m thinking so.

In Luke 7 we can read of a woman known to be a sinner who sought out Jesus while He was dining in the house of a Pharisee. She made her way to Jesus as He reclined at His host’s table and, standing behind Jesus at His feet weeping, began to wash His feet with her tears and anoint them with the precious oil. Needless to say, she caused quite the scene and raised the hackles of indignation upon the neck of Jesus’ Pharisee host. Hear Jesus’ reply:

“Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she, with her tears, has washed My feet and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing My feet since I came in. You didn’t anoint My head with olive oil, but she has anointed My feet with perfume. Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.”

(Luke 7:44-47 CSB)

We remember our sin not to wallow in our sin, but to worship in God’s amazing forgiveness of our sin. To forget our sin, it seems to me, runs the risk of growing cold in our love for our Savior and wanting in our sacrifice to our Savior.

The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.

Because of grace. For His glory.

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3 Responses to Remembering Our Sin

  1. brent94380af445 says:

    Wow, great point Pete….and David….and Jesus.

  2. Cary says:

    Amen, praise to the most gracious Lord and Savior!

  3. Michael says:

    A Great Reminder –
    To remember we are sinners, we have sinned and continue to sin, even though we, when we have asked for forgiveness of our sins, at times forget.
    Christ did that for us, Amen!! Took our sins.

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