Yesterday was a tough pill to swallow. If that was your first experience of these devotionals, then I'm glad that you came back today to give us another chance! Most people wouldn’t.
Most people are unwilling to admit just how deep our sin guilt goes. We would much rather believe that we are good people who occasionally do bad things. It is hard for us to come to grips with the scriptural truth that we are actually very bad people, who occasionally do good things. However, once we admit that we are born in sin, and confess that sin to God, God is ready to give us another gift of salvation. We see that gift in verse 6.
Please read Psalm 51:6.
Jesus described the religious people of His day as “whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness” (Matthew 23:27-28). How tragic is it that this description, given to religious people two thousand years ago, is still fitting of so many people today?!
We think of ourselves as good people, and we pretend to be good around others. We put on a good face, do acts of righteousness before others, and boast about our own goodness, while ignoring our evil. We downplay our evil, calling our sin “mistakes,” or “accidents,” or “one-time events.” We whitewash the outside to make everything look good, but all the while the inside is a rotting grave, filled with dead bones. People talk about having skeletons in the closet, but Jesus says the skeletons are filling our entire being!
Putting a coat of paint on a tomb does not make it any more appealing for people to live in. Before we can paint the outside, we must first clean up the inside. It is the inside which matters to God. “The Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Everyone else may see the good appearance that we put on, but the Lord looks at our heart.
When He looks at most of our hearts, He finds “that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). This is tragic! Our hearts are “desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9). Is there no one who can heal us?
Fortunately, that is where Christ comes in. “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she may be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25-27). These verses speak of the church, but they are applicable of every believer who makes up the church. Christ has cleansed us!
This cleansing is not merely on the outside. Christ has “cleansed their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:9). He has gone into the filthy tomb that was our heart, and cleared it out. All of our wickedness, evil, and unrighteousness was laid upon Christ on the cross. The tomb of our inner parts was emptied. But more than that, all of Christ’s righteousness, holiness, and purity was then credited to our account. Christ didn’t just clean out the room of our hearts; He then furnished it with heavenly furniture!
Now, the Holy Spirit, God Himself has moved inside of us Christians, and He delights in our inward being. He couldn't be happier with the Holy heart in which He resides. He spends time teaching us wisdom in our hearts—the secret parts of our heart that no one else knows about. God is there. We no longer need to be ashamed, or try to cover up who we really are. God has cleansed us. He has sanctified us. And now He is please to dwell within us. Praise God for the gift of sanctification!
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