Praying for Forgiveness

Date: AM
Text: Psalm 32, 51; Lord's Day 51
Psalters: 170, 331, 144, 83
  1. The guilt and shame.
    1. To know forgiveness we must intellectually have a correct understand of what Scripture says about sin.
      1. Sin is any transgression of God’s law (I John 3:4), i.e., any deviation from right, anything not to the glory of God.
      2. Sin, because it is against God, incurs “debt” (guilt), which makes the sinner justly worthy of punishment.
    2. To ask to be forgiven is to be sorry, with godly sorrow.
      1. Godly sorrow admits that I did wrong and owe an unpayable debt, sees my sin and sinfulness without excuses.
      2. Godly sorrow works repentance (II Cor. 7:10): a change of mind and of life.
  2. Sorrow and repentance seeks forgiveness from the One against whom all sin is committed.
    1. When God forgives, He does two things:
      1. He wipes out the debt or loses me from it, so it is as if they had never been committed (Psalm 51:1).
      2. And He imputes to my account the positive blessing of righteousness.
    2. The only way God can forgive is if the debt is really paid (He cannot just forget sin).
  3. The joyful experience of being forgiven.
    1. This petition is also asking for the assurance of forgiveness.
      1. God declares forgiveness and restores relationship only to those who sincerely confess and continually repent.
      2. God gives the assurance of forgiveness in our finding in ourselves the willingness to forgive all those who sin against us.
    2. Our forgiving is the on-going striving, for God’s sake, to cast from our minds all anger and desire for revenge.
    3. Our desire to forgive is evidence of our having been forgiven, of the real change God has made in us.
    4. Jesus shows the need for every child of the heavenly Father to be striving to forgive.