English Standard Version (ESV)
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
51 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right[b] spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
David is asking God to make him clean… he is not saying… I will do X, Y, or Z to become clean…
But only by God’s washing and regeneration can he be clean. God used the prophet Nathan to point out his Sin.
We have the law to point out our sin and condemn us to death. (for the wages of sin is death)
We have the Gospel, that is, Christ pulled us out of the grave, he washed us clean, and he feeds us through his word. All this he does because he loves you, so that you shall not perish but have eternal life!
Oh, what mad, senseless fools are we! While we must ever live and dwell among such mighty enemies as the devils, we still despise our weapons and defense [2 Corinthians 10:4], and we are too lazy to look at or think of them!
Therefore, it is the duty of every father of a family to question and examine his children and servants at least once a week and see what they know or are learning from the catechism. And if they do not know the catechism, he should keep them learning it. – Luther, Preface to the Large Catechism
The following seven points summarize basic information about the human condition and God’s saving grace. You may want to memorize these points so that you may share them with someone who does not yet believe in Jesus as his or her Savior.
- God loves you! “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16)
- You are a sinner. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. (Romans 3:23)
- God punishes sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. (Romans 6:23)
- Jesus took our punishment. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us”. (Romans 5:8)
- Jesus rose from the dead. “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures”. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
- Jesus offers forgiveness of sins and eternal life to those who believed in Him. “He then brought them out and asked ‘ Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household'”. (Acts 16:30-31)
- Salvation is free – a gift from God. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast”. (Ephesians 2:8-9
Taken from Luther’s Small Catechism – Salvation Outline
He suffered on the way to the cross for our sins, he died on the cross for our sins, to the grave he took our sins so that on the last day we shall be found blameless, not on account of our doing… but because Jesus gave us HIS righteousness in exchange for our sins… why? Because he loves us! I hope you all have a blessed Easter, and whether you are with family or not… may God’s peace fill your hearts!
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