Confession

Where do you go to buy soap that cleans the heart?

When David sinned (and was called out for it) he went before God and confessed his sins. We can learn a lot from his prayer on how we should be quick to confess so that God can cleanse us and restore us.

The following is a message I shared at Grace Bible Chapel on July 23, 2017.

Follow along here: Psalm 51

Deliverance

Scattered throughout the Psalms, we find multiple cries for deliverance. For example, in Psalm 6:4 David cries out: “Return, O Lord, deliver me!
Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake!” In his distress, David calls on the Lord for salvation and relief. Although it’s not expressly stated in this Psalm, we believe that the Lord intervened and delivered his faithful servant from his distress!

If we fast-forward to the book of Luke, chapter 2, we will see another act of deliverance. In this passage we encounter the virgin Mary with a bulging belly. 9 months into her first pregnancy, she and Joseph made the arduous trip up to Bethlehem to be counted in a world-wide census. In Luke 2:6 we read: “So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.” (Normally, when people think about child birth, they think of the baby being “delivered”, not the mother. But here we see clearly that Mary is the one being delivered.)

When we go back to Genesis 3, we will understand why Mary needed to be delivered. It’s here that we read about the curses God pronounced on Adam, Eve, and the Serpent for the sin they committed in the garden. In verse 16 we read part of the curse pronounced on the woman. God said to Eve: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children…” From this point on pregnant women are the ones in need of deliverance from the sorrow, pain, and danger of child-bearing. (A deliverance that, really, only God can provide.)

Interestingly, in Genesis 3 we also read about the curse God pronounces on the Serpent. In verse 15 God tells Satan: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” In this passage, God sealed the fate of Satan. He promised that one day a human child would be born who would bruise [crush] Satan’s head.

Even more interesting is that when the time came for Mary to be delivered, she brought forth a male child and called His name Jesus. (She was successfully delivered!) An angel had told Mary to give the boy the name Jesus “for He will save [deliver] His people from their sins!” (Matthew 1:21) Furthermore, when Mary and Joseph brought the boy to the temple in Jerusalem, a “just and devout” man named Simeon took baby Jesus in his arms and thanked God, saying: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation [deliverance] Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)

Approximately 33 years after Jesus is born, He was nailed to a wooden cross. His death seemed to many to be His defeat, but it was actually the exact opposite. By being hung on a tree, Jesus was able to take the curse that plagued mankind since the fall. By dying on the cross, Jesus was able to deliver His people from their sins. By dying on the cross and rising again, Jesus was able to crush the head of Satan.

Salvation is freely offered to all. Salvation from sin and judgment is obtained by simple faith in Jesus Christ, the son of God. Have you put your faith in the Lord Jesus?

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and you will be saved [delivered]…”
Acts 16:21

Clean Hands

Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. (‭Psalms‬ ‭24‬:‭3-4‬ NKJV)

To a passive observer, it may seem that scripture teaches contradicting doctrines about who can approach God. In the Gospels we learn that Jesus did not come to “call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Lk 5:32) At the same time, this verse in Psalms expects people to have “clean hands and a pure heart” before they stand in the presence of God.

In reality, there is no contradiction. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that “cleanses us from all sin.” (1 Jn 1:7) The blood of Jesus washes our dirty hands and purifies our hearts so we “now have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” (Eph 3:12)

Our part is to believe in Him and keep ourselves from idol worship and deceitful speech.