Psalms 51 pt IV

Dr. Steve Viars September 4, 1993

- we're studying Psalm 51
- remember we've said that this Psalm has three natural
   - verse 1-6 - David's repentance -the admission of his
   - verses 7-12 - David's prayer requests - we'll talk more
         about that this morning.
   - verses 13-19 - David's "resolutions" - Lord willing,
         we'll study them next week.

- we've studied:
    - the background of this Psalm
    - verse 1-6
    - we've been working on his prayer requests
    - our goal today is to finish the prayer requests and be
        ready for the resolutions next week.

- (quickly run through the transparency)

- we're starting today under Roman II, Letter B
- read 51:7-12

    B. I ask for your forgiveness

        - v. 9, 11

        - INPUT - what phrases from these verses speak about

        - another passage you could add to this is:
          - Psalm 103:12 - "As far as the east is from the
             west, so far hath he removed our transgressions
             from us."

- we're saying that another key answer to the question - What
   should I do when I've blown it? - is to clearly and
   definitely ask God's forgiveness.

   - these verses show that David highly valued fellowship
      with God
   - this is evidence of the fact that he was serious about
       "letter A"
         - none of this - "I'll make it right--but now I
            don't want any part of you" (have your kids ever
            pulled that one?)

       - David valued fellowship with God and part of his
         repenting process was to very clearly request that
         his sin be forgiven.

    C. I ask for restored joy in you

        - v. 8, v. 12

        - INPUT - what phrases from these verses speak about
           David's anticipated joy?

        - that’s what's wrong with the "current events"
          stories we mentioned last week.
            - because our world doesn't deal with the state
              of guilt -- people are headed for depression
              and despair
            - the great thing about the method we're
               advocating today is--it brings lasting joy
               because the sin is dealt with and handled.


- so the overall points we've made from Psalm 51
   - after you've sinned...
     - don't blame it on someone else, don't run, don't hide

     - instead - look to our Lord - call out to him for mercy
       - recognize and clearly admit your sin
       - ask him for cleansing, forgiveness, and restored joy

- before we move away from that, we need to ask...
   - Is that the way you tend to handle it when you've blown
      it?  Would those around you agree with your answer?

- now, there's one last division of this Psalm that is very

- David uses this occasion to make some resolutions//promises
    to the Lord.
      - we're going to take the rest of our time talking
         about David's resolutions.

- let's just take a minute and talk about this matter of
   - INPUT - what are some occasions at which a person might
        make resolutions//promises?

       - we don't typically think of the time of
         confession//asking forgiveness as being a "normal
         time" to make resolutions--but it really is.
       - We're going to see from these verses that David
         used the occasion of his being forgiven by God as an
         opportunity to make four spiritual promises.

- there's a very important point to be made here about the
   whole forgiveness/restoration process
    - that is that the process is not an end in itself.

    - instead, the Lord wishes to restore us to a position of

    - God has definite purposes He wants us to accomplish
       with the life He's given, and He doesn't want sin to
       undermine those purposes.
    - now, sometimes sin can stop a person from ministering
       in a certain office because they no longer meet the
       biblical qualifications ....but even in that situation
       the Lord still wants that person restored to some
       position of service and ministry

- point is - after the confession//cleansing//forgiveness
   process is taken care of--the next issue on the agenda is
   how the person is going to be busy serving the Lord.

- read 51:13-19

III. A Prayer of Resolutions

    - the first resolution David makes is in verse 13

    A. Resolution #1 - concerning evangelism

        - David says, "then will I teach transgressors thy
        - in other words, David couldn't keep silent about
          the forgiveness God has granted to him, and he was
          anxious about sharing the joy of a merciful,
          loving, forgiving God with those the Lord had
          placed around him.
           - he just couldn't keep silent

- READ Psalm 32

- this Psalm illustrates the kind of teaching David was
    talking about.

- I think we need to ask - do you find yourself engaged in
   the same kind of activity because of all the ways God has
   forgiven you?
   - another way of asking that question--what "transgressors
      are you teaching concerning the forgiving ways of God?"

   - INPUT - what are some ways you can teach this in our
        society today?

              AGAINST YOU)

          - in other words - you can "teach transgressors
              God's ways" by example.  (cf. Eph. 4:32)

- this should lead to all of us asking some important
   questions -- are you a merciful person when someone else
   makes a mistake//or when someone else sins against you.
   - does you response indicate--"you sinned--and I never do"
      or "you sinned but I sinned to"

- responding right in these sorts of situations can turn into
   some wonderful witnessing opportunities.

    - cf. - hypothetically - you take your car in and the guy
            says it will be ready by 3:00--it turns out that
            it's not ready by 6:00
              - you're patient with him and he thanks you for
                your patience
              - great opportunity to say something like,
                "I've set some deadlines that I wasn't quite
                 able to meet and the Lord was surely patient
                 with me-the least I can do is be patient
                 with you."

- that’s not pious or "preachy," but it is an opportunity to
   "teach transgressors their ways."

- the important point we need to leave this section of Psalms
    51 with is - there is a relationship between forgiveness
    and evangelism.

    - let's take a minute and bat that around - how would you
       respond to the question - what is the relationship
       between being forgiven and being evangelistic.  (the
       person who really appreciates the forgiveness of God
       will want to share it with others)

- you see that pattern in the Scripture

   - Andrew - John 1:35-42 (Develop)

- so we're saying that a person who genuinely understands and
    appreciates how God has forgiven him/her is going to
    naturally be interested in sharing it with others

    - we could also turn that around and say that a person
       who has no interest in "verse 13 kind of activity" may
       have never experienced "verse 12 kind of activity"!

- one other thing we need to say about this verse is--we're
   talking about a resolution//a promise.
     - David was promising the Lord that he would aggressively
       and creatively share the good news of our forgiving
       God with the people the Lord placed around him.
         - have you made a similar promise?
         - as you experience God's forgiveness from sins now,
             do you use that time as an opportunity to
             redouble your efforts in evangelism?

- David's second resolution is found in verse 14.

B. Resolution #2 - Concerning the presentation of

    - "my tongue shall sing of thy righteousness."

    - INPUT - how does David address the Lord in this verse?
        (the God of His salvation)
        - it should encourage us that if we come to the Lord
           in the proper way (like these verses indicate), we
           needn't address Him as the judge - we can address
           Him as the God of our salvation.

- David is saying to His God - I promise to joyfully sing of
    thy righteousness.

  - when David speaks of righteousness, he is speaking about
     God's perfect righteousness, and the standards of
     righteousness God has given for us in His Word.
    - David knew he violated God's standards of righteousness

    - between the time he sinned and the time he made it
       right, he was in no position to tell others about the
       righteousness of God.
       - INPUT - why is that true?

       - cf. John White - "Christians often become soft in
         their presentation of sin when they are living in
         sin themselves.  On the other hand, some Christians
         involved in sin become extremely self-righteous and
         judgmental of others to distract people (and
         themselves) from their own sin.

- but once David took the proper steps we've been studying--
   he's now in a position to "joyfully sing of God's

- INPUT - what are some ways a believer can do this today?

    1) by seeking to live in a righteous fashion  (and
        rejoice in doing so, not considering the commandments
        of God burdensome, but instead the "perfect law of

    2) by refusing to laugh at or get caught up in amusements
        or pleasures that are unrighteous.
         - cf. the big night-time TV wars going on - a lot of
             hype and a lot of money at stake
               - there's not a lot of "declaring
                   righteousness" going on.
               - there's very little on TV that's going to
                 leave you more in love with God and others.

    3) by looking for opportunities to stand for
        righteousness - we're not talking about "cleaning up
        the world" by imposing our standards on unbelievers
          - but folks around you ought to know where you
            stand on issues like:
              - the sanctity of marriage
              - the importance of treating others with
                    love and respect.
              - the sanctity of life
              - the authority of the Bible

- point is - David's response to God's forgiveness was to
    promise to joyfully tell others about God's

- another "angle" on this subject is the importance of
   clearly communicating how that righteousness is achieved.
   - you've heard us say many times that as a church, we've
      determined that we are going to do more than just pray
      for revival

        - we're going to seek to help other pastors and
          churches who desire to have a ministry which gives
          Bible answers to the problems folks face.
- instead of turning to psychology or some mystical "zap" as
    the means to righteousness
      - we want to teach what the Bible says about growth

     - cf. the illustration of "zap" theology in the
         homosexual article in the "Family Times."

- you might wonder - why is this such an important issue
   around here?
     - answer is - we're folks who realize how much God has
        forgiven us - and how fortunate we are that God has
        given us His sufficient Word to help us change and
         - and I lot of folks around here have said to the
           Lord - I want to joyfully speak of your
           righteousness-and how a believer can be
           practically growing in that righteousness

         - and if that involves housing a missionary during
           the missionary conference--so be it.
         - if that involves our pastors traveling from time
             to time--so be it.

              (mention some of the opportunities this fall)

C. Resolution #3 - Concerning praise

    - verse 15 - "open my lips, that my mouth may declare thy

    cf. Psalm 150:6

    - people who appreciate how much God has forgiven them
       will naturally want to praise him with their lips.

    - INPUT- ways this can be done?

        (emphasize the issue of corporate praise - Heb.
          10:25 -- persons who seemingly have a small amount
          of interest in corporate praise have a
          correspondingly small amount of appreciation for
          God's forgiveness."

       (if time - address the issue of praise in your family-
         -how often do you praise God as a family - is
          that a natural part of your family life?

D. Resolution #4 - Concerning sacrifice in Jerusalem

    - some folks say that this Psalm really ended at verse 17
    - but that misses a very important point

    - David rightly turns to Jerusalem, because he realizes
      that his sin has not just affected him, but all those
      who are under his rule.

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video