Friends, all too often, we hear things like "Freedom is found within," or "Fix yourself, first." The fact is within me is a dirty heart, and no matter how I clean, it's like wiping a mirror with a dirty rag, I end up spreading the dirt around even more. All too often I see on social media people justifying bad behaviors, this tells me two things: One, if we're justifying it, we must know, somewhere deep down we're wrong, and two, we're covering up from some deeper wound that we're trying to fool even ourselves about. I want you to know something, and I mean this: you can't save yourself. If you could, you'd need one self-help book, one rehabilitation visit, one counseling session, one doctor's visit. Yet it doesn't work that way, does it? I even see people going so far as to blame medicine, counseling, or whatever else when it doesn't work; broken people can't fix brokenness. There's only one way: On that cross, Jesus said "it is finished." What was finished? The work He'd set to do! Your sin, and mine! The completion of the Covenant, fulfilled in blood on that cross! Healing comes in Christ alone. Place your faith in Jesus Christ, confess your sins, repent of them, come to the cross and be baptized, then place your life in His hands, using your gifts to find other prisoners, and helping them come to Christ so they too can be free from their bondage! A clean heart and a right spirit come only from Christ. Anything else, we're just subscribing to therapy.
Psalm 51 English Standard Version (ESV)
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
51 Have mercy on me,[a] O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right[b] spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. 14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; 19 then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
a. Psalm 51:1 Or Be gracious to me
b. Psalm 51:10 Or steadfast