Help Lord! I Blew It!

Read: Psalm 51

Text: Psa 51:4 (KJV) Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Theme: True repentance is just as necessary for restoring a failed believer to fellowship with God, as it is for salvation in the first place.


Psalm 51 is a record of how King David, a man after God's own heart, discovered divine forgiveness and healing, after committing horrible sins.

It begins with great anguish of heart, and ends with hope and worship.

It has its context in 2 Samuel 12, where Nathan the prophet accused David of adultery and murder, and David, his sins revealed, demonstrated true confession and repentance.

I. You Must See Sin For What It Is. (vss. 1-6)

QUOTE: (Ray Stedman, in a sermon on Psalm 51, had the following to say) "What a marvelous understanding of the nature of sin and the character of God's forgiveness is found in those verses! There are three things David asks for. First he understands that sin is like a crime. If a criminal is going to be delivered from the effects of his crime he needs not justice but mercy. Sin is an illegal act, a violation of justice, an act of lawlessness, of rebellion and therefore requires mercy. Then he says, "Blot out my transgressions," and thereby he reveals that he understands sin is like a debt. It is something owed, an account that has accumulated and needs to be erased. Finally he cries, "Wash me thoroughly, and cleanse me." He understands that sin is like an ugly stain, a defilement upon the soul. Even though the act fades into the past, the dirty defiling stain remains a stigma upon the heart. So he cries out and asks to be delivered from these things."
A. It is against God. (vs. 4)
1. David's sin affected others:
(Uriah, Bathsheba, the baby, Nathan, Joab, other men who were slain at the wall, all God's people who looked up to David as their spiritual leader and king...)
2. But sin is ONLY against GOD!
ILLUS. Of Abimelech's sin, when he would have taken Sarah as his wife, we read in Gen 20:6 (KJV) "And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her."
ILLUS. Joseph understood this when he told Potiphar's wife "There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" Gen 39:9 (KJV)
ILLUS. Prodigal son understood it also. Luke 15:18 (KJV) I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
B. It is your nature. (vs. 5)
1. The Bible says so.
Psa 58:3 (KJV) The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
Rom 3:23 (KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Eph 2:3 (KJV) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
2. Experience says so.
ILLUS. Kids don't have to be taught to be evil.
ILLUS. Copperhead in driveway - didn't surprise me that it was striking... snakes tend to do that.
ILLUS. Champ chasing rabbit into woods the other day... dogs tend to do that.
ILLUS. Frogs croak, cats meow, dogs bark, cows moo, snakes hiss, and SINNERS SIN!
QUOTE "We are not sinners because we sin, but rather we sin because we are sinners."
ILLUS. When Dr. Carey was suffering from a dangerous illness, the enquiry was made, "If this sickness should prove fatal, what passage would you select as the text for your funeral sermon?" He replied, "Oh, I feel that such a poor sinful creature is unworthy to have anything said about him; but if a funeral sermon must be preached, let it be from the words, 'Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness; according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.'" In the same spirit of humility he directed in his will that the following inscription and nothing more should be cut on his gravestone:-- WILLIAM CAREY, BORN AUGUST 17th, 1761: DIED - - "A wretched, poor, and helpless worm On Thy kind arms I fall.."
C. It is totally contrary to what God demands of you. (vs. 6)
Rom 3:23 (KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (i.e. missed the mark)
D. There is no one else to blame it on.
ILLUS. Man who killed Robin ??? in Cleveland at ATM... his defense was that, although he meant to rob her, he never meant to kill her. It was an accident that the gun went off. How sad that we live in a day where everybody is quick to have an excuse for their actions. David gave no excuse... only recognition that he stood before God with NO EXCUSE.

II. You Must Seek Both Forgiveness and Cleansing From Sin. (vs. 7)

Forgiveness is two-fold in the Bible.
1 John 1:9 (KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (Refers to both initial forgiveness and continual washing.)
Forgiveness is freely and wonderfully available to all! - DAVID KNEW THIS.
Psa 130:3-4 (KJV) If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
Rom 8:1 (KJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
A. Forgiveness is once unto salvation.
B. Washing is often.
ILLUS. Jesus washing disciples' feet. READ John 13:1-10, esp. vs. 10
C. Forgiveness brings salvation.
D. Washing restores fellowship.
E. Forgiveness is needed by the lost.
F. Washing is needed daily by the saved.

III. You Must Seek The Filling Of The Holy Spirit. (vss. 11-12)

A. David feared losing the Spirit of God.
(As he had witnessed happen to Saul.)
B. New Testament believers need not fear this.
C. David understood the role of the Spirit, however, in the believer's walk.
Gal 5:16 (KJV) This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

IV. You Will See Some Results.

A. Forgiveness and cleansing (vs. 7)
(So clean, that there is no word to describe it!)
ILLUS. Unlike the Kirby salesman, who could always find more dirt in the carpet no matter how many times he swept it.
B. Restored joy (vss. 8,12)
ILLUS. Peter, "I go a fishing." Without joy, until restored to fellowship by a conversation with the savior.
ILLUS. Tim Martin, "I'm just plain miserable."
C. Restored fellowship (vs. 17)
ILLUS. Prodigal was totally restored to fellowship.
D. Restored service. (vs. 13)
(Note that soul-winning is especially mentioned.)
E. Advancement of the kingdom. (vss. 18-19)

A London psychologist once told Billy Graham that seventy percent of the people in mental hospitals in England could be released if they could find forgiveness. Their problem was a bad conscience and they could gain no relief from the guilt and pressure under which they lived.

David knew that no child of God need live with a guilty conscience. He spoke from experience when he said, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."

There is a lesson here for all who have blown it somewhere along the line.

It is the same message that James taught when he said, "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you."

It is the same message that John taught when he said, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

It is the same message the songwriter taught, when he said, "I've wandered far away from God, now I'm coming home. The paths of sin too long I've trod, Lord I'm coming home."

Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson .
Last modified on August 19, 1996.
Copyright © 1996 William E. Johnson.