Today we continued our study of the Book of Psalms with a focus on Psalm 32. In this psalm King David speaks of the joy (contentment) he experienced after fully confessing his sin to the Lord and receiving the forgiveness and peace promised to those who honestly confess their sins to God.
When I was contemplating Psalm 32:1-2 it occurred to me that David must have understood the concept of sanctification as well as the concept of justification. Our justification is a single event that happens once we acknowledge our sin and our need for a Savior and submit ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Being imperfect however, we yield to temptation and we sin against God after our justification. This is where David was, this is where every believer finds themselves, and it’s where we are given a choice – acknowledge our sin with a broken and contrite heart before God or try to live with it unconfessed and unrepentant. In 32:3-4 David describes how painful it is to choose the later. With justification we were saved from the penalty of our sin (past, present, and future). With sanctification we are being saved from the power of sin when we continue to come to Him for His forgiveness.
Among other things, the account in John 13 of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples exemplifies this concept of ongoing sanctification. Peter refuses to let Jesus wash his feet and the Lord tells him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with me” (John13:8). After which Peter says, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”. Now Jesus says something profound – “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean”. Once we have been justified, our names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life. However, just as the disciple’s feet would get dirty walking around on those dusty 1st century roads, our feet continue to require washing.
Please note that next Sunday, Aug. 20, we will continue our study of the Book of Psalms as Willie Hart will lead us with a focus on Psalm 141. This psalm of David illustrates the faith that David had in God’s willingness to intervene on his behalf when he was being unfairly attacked. We also see a good example of how we should maintain a balance between praises and petitions to God when we pray.