Life is oftentimes hard, and sometimes it seems almost unbearable. It is at these times we are prone to spiral downward into despondency and doubt. How do we reconcile the fact that God is good with the overwhelming circumstances we face?
The biblical concept of repentance includes an acknowledgment of sin and the need to turn away from it and to turn to Christ for forgiveness and cleansing. When repentance is genuine, it brings about a resolve in the soul to no longer live for oneself, but for the Lord, understanding that God is not interested in outward change that does not flow first from a heart that has been transformed by the gospel.
Psalm 51 provides five basic aspects of genuine repentance. As King David pours out his heart to the Lord, he takes us by the hand, as it were, and walks us through what repentance looks like in shoe leather.
The 1689 Baptist Confession states that, "although there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation, yet there is no sin so great that it shall bring damnation to them that repent, which makes the constant preaching of repentance necessary." Psalm 51 is a divine primer for penitents; a guidebook to help those who have come to understand their helplessness in applying themselves to genuine repentance.
The Bible teaches that God not only hates sin, but that by His very nature he can have no fellowship with it (Is. 59:2). If everyone has sinned—and they have (Rom. 3:23)—how is anyone going to stand before the Lord?
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