Revive My Heart (Psalm 51)

I Am Saved


Imagine a soldier at war. The soldier is on the front lines of battle with cross-fire and gets shot in the shoulder. The doctors arrive and the wounded soldier needs to ask the doctor a question. Most of us would assume the question would be: Am I going to live? Doctor, are you able to save me? Or perhaps selflessly ask, If I don’t survive will you tell my family I love them? No one would expect the question to be: What type of gun did the enemy use to shoot me? What is the origin of the store/place the enemy purchased the gun? How many other guns are similar to the one just like the one use to shoot me?

Imagine passengers on board a ship in the midst of a storm. The winds are raging, the waves are climbing higher, the masts are creaking, the sail is splitting and the ship is tossing side to side. The crew is worried and racingpsalm 51_revive my heart logo about the stern and the bow. Yet, in the midst of the storm one passenger begins to pontificate: I wonder the source of this wind… did it come from the East or the West? What is the speed of this wind? Most would have assumed the sailing passenger do everything possible to keep the boat afloat and survive.

Imagine you are a sinner sick with sin. The pain of being wounded from the consequences of sin is real. The guilt and urgent need of forgiveness weighs heavily on your heart. The hurricane of God’s holy wrath presses upon your soul. Confusion, uncertainty, frustration and fear surround you. Death and eternal judgment await you. Most would imagine that you would run asking: How do I get rid of my sin? How can I escape the wrath of God? Where do I turn for forgiveness? Who will rescue me? How can I know the saving power of Jesus Christ?

And yet, instead we play games with God and never truly follow through with our faith. Rather than true faith with have cultural Christianity– a half-hearted, lukewarm, spiritual bandaid when instead we need a heart transplant.

This series is about such a heart transplant, from Psalm 51 called, Revive My Heart . It is a serious call to evaluate our salvation and spiritual growth. We need to understand that repentance is more than regret; true repentance of sin and true revival of our hearts is not about us trying harder or doing more religious works but about trusting in Jesus Christ and treasuring God’s ways and God’s word more than we rely on our own wisdom.

We should pray and ask like the psalmist

139:23 “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”

85:6 “Will you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.”

EXAMINE   Psalm 51       I am saved.

Remember the background of this Psalm was David which we can read about:
2 Samuel 12:7-14 “Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’”  David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.”

David violated 9 of 10 Commandments (didn’t break the Sabbath).

#1&2 (Ex 20:3-5) David presumed on God and turned selfish desires into an idol to worship

#3 (Ex 20:7) David mocked the name of God through his spiritual and kingly laziness

#5 (Ex 20:12) David dishonored his parents and family name through his wrongful actions

#6 (Ex 20:13) David murdered Uriah to rid himself of guilt for sleeping with his wife

#7 (Ex 20:14) David committed adultery with Bathsheba whom was not his own wife

#8 (Ex 20:15) David stole Uriah’s wife and property after murdering Uriah

#9 (Ex 20:16) David lied about his sin and tried to conceal it until Nathan confronted him

#10 (Ex 20:17) David coveted and lusted after Bathsheba when she was not his wife


David’s sin was great. He described his own sin with a threefold confession:

–          blot out my transgressions [peshaʿ: moral rebellion] (Psalm 51:2, 3, 13)

–          wash me from my iniquity [ʿāwōn: moral emptiness] (Psalm 51:2, 9)

–          cleanse me from my sin [ḥaṭṭāʾt: moral failure, missing the mark or standard path] (Ps 51:2, 3, 9)

As David confessed his sin he pleaded for mercy and this begins our understanding of salvation.


Salvation is experiencing God’s cleansing mercy (Psalm 51:1-2)
David opens diary of confession with a plea for mercy [hanan: gracious generosity, undeserved stooping favor; His prayer requests God for mercy according to the character of God’s steadfast love [hesed: covenant loyalty, overwhelming goodness and grace] and God’s abundant mercy [rakham: compassion from inner bowls].

Since the Garden of Eden God has sought reconciliation with mankind and pursued our rescue. Our sin drove a wedge in our relationship with God. Like swimming in the ocean and losing your spot on the beach, our sin continues a drift away from God. And yet, God is the initiator and the great and merciful Savior.

God’s mercy says that though we are sinners we can also be saved. Salvation is possible. Forgiveness is offered for every offense. There is no sin so great that it is greater than the grace of God. This is the scandalous truth of the gospel – every sinner can be saved. The cross of Jesus Christ was not insignificant; God sent His Son to die to save you.

Titus 3:5-7 “[God] saved us not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

But to the one who underestimates their sin and much more God, they will never be saved.

James 4:6-8 “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners and purify your hearts”

Sin brings a sense of uncleanness or pollution of the soul. We need God’s blotting out [māḥâ: to rub out, erase or destroy], washing [kābas: wash thoroughly by trampling with feet] and cleansing [ṭāhēr: to be bright, morally clean & clear; Levitical usage for cleansing sacrifices and lepers] as David prays (v.2).

–          If a person is raped the victim wants to immediately show, will stay in shower for long duration hoping the emotional filth will wash away.

The Hymn Lyrics to “Jesus Paid It All” point us to understand all our sin is fully paid for in Christ. By changing the lyrics it shows the emphasis of how we should view our sin and our salvation.

FALSE: Jesus paid a portion; some to Him I owe; Sin had left a light stain, There’s not much to show

TRUE: Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow

Another one but without the contrast: Hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”
“My sin – oh, the bliss of this glorious though: My sin – no in part but the whole; Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more; Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!”

Salvation is experiencing God’s convicting truth (Psalm 51:3-6)
David’s guilt causes him to replay the mental record of his sins in his mind – “I acknowledge [yāda: intimate knowledge, assured awareness] my transgressions, my sin is ever before me”. David is saying he feels the filth of his falsehood. He hears the last cries from the courageous Uriah. He has touched the little toes of his dead little baby. He is inextricably guilty and lay bare before a holy God. He has done this evil before the sight of God. Proverbs 15:3 “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”

God delights in truth in the inward being. His conviction of sin is positive not negative. Guilt is God’s grace to lead you to confession and cleansing. When we feel guilty we immediately have two options:

1) We can repress or conceal it. Ignoring our conscience and the voice of the Spirit will overtime cause us to feel less shame and guilt; but it still will not remove the fact that we are shameful and guilty.

2) We can reveal or confess it. Admitting our sin may hurt at first but it is the only way to heal. We cannot reconcile what we fail to recognize. If we fail to own our problems they will own us. We must be like David and own our sin; with each phrase of sin he attached the personal pronoun: “blot out my iniquity”, “wash me from my iniquity”, “cleanse me from my sin”, “my transgressions and my sin is before me”, “I sinned and did evil”. He owns his faults and failures. We must stop blaming others, using our circumstances as an excuse to satisfy our selfish pleasures, or rationalize behavior contrary to God’s Word.

Consider these Scriptures for how God convicts

Acts 2:37-38 “Now when they heard this [the gospel message] they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

John 16:8 “And when the [Spirit] comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”

Romans 2:4 Do not “presume on the riches of God’s kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.”

Proverbs 29:1 “He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.”

ð     Are you choosing to conceal or confess sin?
1John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Salvation is experiencing God’s complete regeneration (Psalm 51:7-12)
As David clings to the mercy of God he begs for complete cleansing and full forgiveness. He knows nothing less will cleanse his conscience; nothing less will heal his heart or satisfy his soul.  

Purge [ḥāṭāʾ: remove the penalty, un/de-sin me] me with hyssop and I shall be clean. Hyssop was a small shrub used as a brush to sprinkle and splatter blood or water in purification rituals.

Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. Snow on the ground has a way of covering all the landscape imperfections. David is praying for God’s covering and more. 

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Sin saddens and soils our heart. Only God’s forgiveness can turn sin into a smile and restore joy. David was crushed and broken. He had fasted and mourned for his child to be spared his sin but God took the child from David.

Hide your face from my sin and blot out my iniquity. David’s plea is for God to turn His eyes elsewhere from his sin. Of course, we know where God’s eyes are turned – on the future righteous sacrifice of the Lord Jesus!

Create [bārāʾ: miracle divine creation, – out of nothing] in me a clean heart… and renew a right spirit within me. Only God can create new and cleanse hearts. In His grace, God revives our heart and renews our spiritual hope. Though we have walked a crooked path, God resets our compass to be going in the right direction.

Cast me not away from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit away from me.

And more, David prays to not walk his journey alone. In the OT God’s Holy Spirit was present only temporary upon individuals – for a specific purpose (craftsman of tabernacle in Ex 31:1-6; military leaders or judges in Moses, Joshua or Samson; Prophets or Kings to guide the people of God). So, the Spirit was not given for salvation purposes but more for other specific plans. David was praying that God would not withdraw His Spirit for specific plans of his kingship as He did with Saul (1Samuel 16:14). Yet, there is also the messianic hint and foreshadowing of God’s forever Spirit upon His redeemed people.


–          Today, God’s Spirit never leaves his people.
Question: How much of your salvation depends on you?

Possible Answers:

All— THEN logical conclusion is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for nothing.

Some—THEN logical conclusion is that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is lacking in some way to give you complete salvation and you must merit part of your salvation. This seems to fly in the face of Ephesians 2:8-9 “it is by grace you are saved, not of works”
—THEN logical conclusion is that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is sufficient to save you and maintain your salvation eternally. Praise God!

Question: How long does eternal life last? Did Jesus mean “eternal life [until I get tired of keeping you saved OR until you do something I dislike]”?

Answer:  No, eternal life is FOREVER. Either the Bible is wrong when it says that God gives us eternal life or the Bible is true and the believer’s salvation is eternally secure.

John 10:27-30 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. “I and My Father are one.”

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Ephesians 1:13-14 “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit. God’s grace saves and sustains us. This should give us unspeakable joy and a peace that passes all understanding.



Salvation is experiencing God’s change and continual changing.

David was changed by God’s efficient grace and His effectual grace was continuing to work in and among His life.

As John Newton said, “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am”

“Give me all of you!!! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self—in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart.” C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

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