Grace and MORE GRACE 7

Psalm 51:14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise. 16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

In His great mercy God broke the heart of David and delivered him from his spiritual blindness and pride. David was blinded to his sin of adultery and murder, and that because he did things in a way that hid his sin from his eyes. God sent the prophet Nathan to him and Nathan was used to deliver David by showing David what a sinner he was. David had sinned against God and his sin was directly against God. We can see from Psalm 51 that David was deeply broken and even broken the point that this king of Israel saw his utter inability to do anything to make up for his sin. He could not open his lips to praise God. Even under the sacrificial system he could not offer a sacrifice that would please God. He was devastated and convicted of his sin and was completely and utterly helpless before God as a spiritual pauper in need of grace. Nothing else would do.

We can try to imagine being under a system where sacrifices were offered to please God. Then we can try to imagine being convicted of sin and sin that would require our death. There is nothing we can do to overcome God and win our righteousness of our freedom back. There was no sacrifice we could turn to. What is it that David could do? He could do nothing. What can we do when we see the depths of our own sinful hearts? We can do nothing at all. We are utterly helpless and have no ability to help ourselves. We cannot change our circumstances and we cannot change our hearts. We can only seek the LORD to change our hearts and grant us a deep repentance from our love of self and service for self. But again, self will never cast out self and cannot cast out self. We are helpless in our love and service of self. Christ must deal with self or it will not be truly dealt with.

David saw what a true sacrifice was. He saw that a true sacrifice was not in giving up things or denying things to himself. He saw that a true sacrifice was not offering animals or things to God because those things could not pay for the sin of his soul. He saw that the only true sacrifice was the giving up of self. When a person came to a priest in the Old Testament, the animal that was being brought was supposed to be the best animal and it was to be irrevocably given over. Nothing was to be saved or held back. The animal was to be given to the priest and the one who brought it had no rights over it at all. It was to be slaughtered and offered to God, both the insides and the outside. It was all laid bare and offered up in the place of the sinner.

What we must see at this point is to know and feel that in one sense this points to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. He was the perfect sacrifice that bowed to God as the sacrificial lamb and the sins of His people were laid upon Him and He was sacrificed for the sins of His people. He bore the wrath of God in both body and soul. He did not hold anything back, but instead it was the will of the Father and not His that was carried out. He gave Himself into the hands of the Roman soldiers and became the sacrifice that did not give up just a little, but instead He was given over body and soul to the wrath of God.

Sinners are to see themselves in this as well. We are to be so broken that it should be said of us (not by us, and of us by God) that we have a broken and contrite heart. Our hearts are to be broken of pride, broken of all the strength of self, and have some contrition of spirit for our sin. When God works these things in the heart, the heart becomes crushed and becomes like soft clay in the hands of the Potter. This is a heart that is totally and irrevocably given over to God and it is His to do with as He pleases. The broken and contrite heart does not claim any rights for itself to God. The broken and contrite heart does not serve self, but serves the Master. The broken and contrite no longer has any rights to self, but now ownership has passed to the King of Kings. While this sounds hard, it is not. It is impossible for a human. It is only God who can do this as the work of sovereign and glorious grace.

We do not deserve to have our hearts broken and softened, but instead judgment by hardening. But God is gracious to whom He will be gracious. How poor sinners must look to grace alone to give them a broken heart. How we should seek the LORD and ask Him to break our hearts from pride and self. But we must seek it from Him knowing that our seeking is not meritorious in any way, but instead He must do this by grace alone. We can only truly seek Him when we seek Him by grace and for grace. We are only seeking self when we do things thinking they will move Him to give us something. How narrow is the gate and how narrow is that path.

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