130519 Psalm 51:10-13

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Psalm 51:10-13

Sermon Theme: O Holy Spirit, Hear Our Pentecost Prayer!
1. Thank – You for Bringing Us to Faith
2. Help Us Live for You

Have you ever felt like you were forgotten? Most likely your parents didn't leave you behind someplace (although I have heard of this happening from time to time). But have you ever felt like you were all alone? Maybe friends went out together and didn't invite you to come along with them. Maybe no one stopped to visit with you or called you on the phone for days, maybe even weeks. Maybe you didn't get even one card on your birthday. Yes, at certain times we may feel like we have been forgotten. In our worship services this weekend, we have the opportunity to talk about the One whom some have referred to as "the forgotten person of the Trinity." Listen now as I read for you from the Psalm appointed for this Pentecost Sunday. As I read this section of God's Word, note what David has to say about God the Holy Spirit. We read from Psalm 51, verses 10 – 13:

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.

Before he ascended into heaven, Jesus made his disciples a promise. He told them, "I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go I will send him to you." What would the Holy Spirit do when he came? Again, Jesus told his disciples, "When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin..." In his prayer, King David prays to his Lord, "Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me." Left on their own, sinful mankind is not able to stand in the presence of the Lord. Because of the guilt of their sin, mankind has every right to be cast away forever from the presence of the Lord into the pit of hell. But here is where God the Holy Spirit steps in for mankind. We read, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." It is clear from Genesis chapter one, that God the Holy Spirit participated in the creation of all things. Just has he used his almighty power to create all things in six days, so he uses that same power to create faith in the hearts of people. It is not some effort on the part of human beings, but by the working of God the Holy Spirit that hearts are made pure as they are washed clean through blood of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Your sinful nature and mine don't like hearing that there is nothing we are able to save ourselves. When we start to rely on ourselves for our forgiveness, we do well to return to the words of Psalm 51 which remind us that what your sins and what my sins have earned for us is to be tossed out forever from the presence of the Lord into the fires of hell. When we realize just how helpless we are on our own, then Good News of God's Word fills us with peace and comfort. The peace and comfort we enjoy is knowing that our forgiveness has been won for us by our loving Savior, Jesus Christ. We have comfort knowing that our believing in Jesus as our Savior is all by the work of God the Holy Spirit working through the powerful Word of our God in our hearts. In his explanation of the Third Article of the Apostle's Creed, Dr. Martin Luther writes about this work of God the Holy Spirit, "I believe that I cannot by my own thinking or choosing believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me by the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church he daily and fully forgives all sins to me and all believers." So, on this Pentecost Sunday, we offer our thanks to God the Holy Spirit for bringing us to faith in Jesus Christ our Savior.
For the majority of us here we came to faith in Jesus as our Savior at a time we aren't able to remember. As our parents brought us to the Baptismal font, as the Word of God was connected with the water, God the Holy Spirit entered our hearts and made our hearts his temple. But God's Word is clear that our Baptism is not an end of things but only a beginning. It is a beginning of a life lived for the praise and glory of our loving Savior-God.

Listen again to David's prayer in these verses from Psalm 51, "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Is being a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ something that brings you joy? Do you show in your life by what you say or do or even think that you are happy that Jesus Christ is your Savior? Or, at times, do you and I see our God has a mean God who won't let us have any fun? On this side of heaven, there is a battle, a struggle, taking place inside the hearts of each and every one of us. The Old Adam wants nothing to do with living for the Savior, and wants to find its joy only in the sinful things of this world. At the same, God the Holy Spirit has created a New Man in our hearts through the Word of God. The New Self wants to do only those things that bring praise and glory to our Savior. How do you and I fight this battle? If we rely on ourselves the only result will be failure and defeat. But, through his grace, God the Holy Spirit is with us. Through Jesus Christ there is forgiveness for those times the Old Adam wins out. It is God the Holy Spirit who comes to each of us through his Word, strengthens the New Man he has placed inside of our hearts, and motivates you and me to live for our Savior.

As we talk about living for our Savior, there are many things that we could talk about. Here in Psalm 51, David mentions one way we are able to live for Jesus when he writes, "Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you." This verse makes the point that God the Holy Spirit sends you and me out as his messengers. Then let me ask you, "How have you been doing as the Holy Spirit's messenger?" Have you been pointing out to others their lost condition because of their sin? Have you made use of those opportunities to tell people about their Savior Jesus? Have you shown the joy of being connected to Christ in your day-to-day life? Before we go and teach others about their sins, you and I will come and kneel before the throne of our God confessing our sins to him. You and I will join with David when he confesses earlier in Psalm 51, "For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight."

Having confessed that sin, God the Holy Spirit leads you and me to rejoice in the Good News of our forgiveness through the Savior, Jesus Christ. Again, from verses earlier in Psalm 51, "Clean me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be writer than snow...Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity." As our hearts swell with the Good News of our forgiveness, you and I can't wait to tell others about that forgiveness offered freely to us through the blood of Christ. You and I search out those who do not yet know their Savior. Pray that God the Holy Spirit would empower you to live for him. Pray that he uses you as a messenger of his Word to turn others to their one and only Savior-God.

Have you ever felt like you were forgotten? Today we have had the opportunity to spend a few moments talking about the fact that you and I are never alone. God the Holy Spirit is with us each and every day. As the one who brought us to faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior, he is also the one who comes to us through the Word of God to give us the power to live for him. In the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, I would like us to close with prayer: "O Holy Spirit, hear our Pentecost prayer! Thank – you for bringing us to faith! Help us live for you! Amen."

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.


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