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Page 366

 

Have mercy upon me, 0 God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest.

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice.

Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, 0 God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit.

Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, 0 God, Thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of Thy righteousness.

0 Lord, open Thou my lips: and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.

For Thou desirest not sacrifice: else would I give it: Thou delightest not in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, 0 God, Thou wilt not despise.

Do good in Thy good pleasure unto Zion: build Thou the wafls of Jerusalem.

Then shalt Thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon Thine altar.

- Psalm 51

 

The scriptural marks by which I am to examine myself to determine my present spiritual state and relationship with God's covenant are as follows:



    A. Inward-working graces - Do I know something in my heart's experience of:

    1. Misery (or repentance)?

    2. Deliverance (or faith)?

    3. Thankfulness (or obedience)?



    B. Outward-working graces - Do I know something in my life's experience of the fruits of:

    1. Love toward God?

    2. Love towards others?



When you examine your own heart and life, do you experientially know something of these graces? If so, then your desire is to grow spiritually, to grow in the experience and exercise of these inward and outward working graces. If not, then you are yet missing that which is most necessary in your life - personal conversion to God and a saving, eternal, unbreakable covenant relationship with Him. Then prayerfully seek God through the use of the means of grace that He has given you in your outward relationship with Him. Plead with Him and do not let Him go until He has confirmed the saving truths of His Word in the experience and fruits of your life. He is a wonderfully gracious God! He delights to save needy and lost sinners.



In contrast with the previously described belief (of not viewing any baptized child or adult as regenerated or included in a saving relationship to the Covenant of Grace until the inward-working graces of the Holy Spirit are experienced and the outward-working fruits are evidenced), three other views have developed within the Reformed circles. These differing views are as follows:


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