March 26, 2014
God, be merciful to me; On Your love I rest my plea.
By Your vast abounding grace, my transgressions all erase.
From the stain of every sin, wash and make me clean within.
For my sins before me rise, always present to my eyes.
I have sinned ‘gainst You alone; in Your sight I’ve evil done;
So Your words are proven true; righteous are Your judgments, too.
Truly, I was born in sin; sinful when conceived within.
Surely You desire to find faithfulness in heart and mind;
You will, deep within my heart, wisdom unto me impart.
O with hyssop sprinkle me, and from sin I clean will be.
Wash me from its stain, and so, I’ll be whiter than the snow.
Make me hear joy’s cheering voice; Let the bones You crushed rejoice.
From my sins, O hide Your face; my iniquities erase.
O my God, renew my heart, and a spirit right impart;
Cast me not from You away; nor Your Holy Spirit take.
Give salvation’s joy again, and a willing mind sustain.
Then Your perfect ways I’ll show, that transgressors may them know;
Sinners are converted then; turning back to You again.
From blood-guiltiness, O God, set me free, my Savior, God.
Then my tongue will joy express, singing of Your righteousness.
Open now my lips, O Lord; from my mouth will praise be poured.
Sacrifice You will not take, nor the off’ring I would make.
Off’rings burnt bring no delight; but a broken heart, contrite;
God’s accepted sacrifice; You, O God, will not despise.
Prosper Zion in Your grace; build Jerus’lem’s walls in place.
Then will sacrifices right, off’rings burnt bring You delight;
Then will men, their vows to pay, bulls upon Your altar lay.
CONSIDER THIS. . .
Can you remember your first real sin? I remember mine. I stole $20 from my mother’s wallet, and to make it ok, I went out into the backyard, wadded up the money, threw it on the ground and walked away about ten yards. Then I turned back around and walked back over to surprisingly and delightfully find a $20 bill wadded up on the ground. Someone must have dropped it! Brilliant! Then I invoked the “finders-keepers” rule. Next I made the ill-fated decision to run and tell my mom of my good fortune. How long do you think it took her to do the math on that one? Exactly.
That’s the junior version of stealing someone else’s wife, getting her pregnant, and then arranging her husband’s death. In case you aren’t aware, Song #51 was David’s confession in response to his treacherous sin.
I used to think I became a real sinner on that ill-fated day in the backyard. Now I know better. I used to think I was a sinner because I sinned. This song tells me the hard truth. I was born this way. I was born into the corrupted lineage of the human race. I am not a sinner because I sin. I sin because I am a sinner. Major difference!
There’s a bigger question afoot here. Am I destined to always sin? Am I forever stuck in the broken category of “sinner?” Can this cancer be cured or is managing the size of the tumor the best we can hope for? If I was “born this way,” what are the implications of being “born again?”
Though a far, far cry from it today, the Methodist movement believed in and experienced a cure. They used the old fashioned biblical term for it: Sanctification. They believed a person could become so infused with the holiness of the Love of God that sin would actually lose its hold on them. Another way of saying this is these men and women took the Gospel at its word.
In a letter he wrote to a Mr. Walter Churchey, John Wesley put into words what he saw happening:
Entire sanctification, or Christian perfection, is neither more nor less than pure love; love expelling sin, and governing both the heart and life of a child of God. The Refiner’s fire purges out all that is contrary to love, and that many times by a pleasing smart. Leave all this to Him that does all things well, and that loves you better than you do yourself.
Do you believe this is possible? Your answer will be determinative of your future.
Song #51 is the the beginning of the cure. Can you sing it in that key? CLICK HERE.
J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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