I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done this evil in Your sight – that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge (Psalm 51:3-4).
Dogs bark, mice eat cheese, and fish swim. Each follows its nature. A person also follows his nature. Human nature, ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, has been to rebel against God. The human heart does naturally what it loves: it sins!
Only after God creates a new heart within a person, does he truly understand the nature of his own sin. Only then can he despise that sin and to turn to God. It is only through the new birth that anyone comprehends the holiness of God and the vileness of man’s sinful nature.
When the prophet Nathan pointed out David’s sin to him, David did what a person after God’s own heart does: he repented. Repentance isn’t knowing you’ve done something hurtful and saying “sorry”. Repentance happens when the Holy Spirit reveals the sinfulness of your heart and changes your mind about your sin.
Psalm 51 reveals David’s heart. His repentance doesn’t mean that he became sinless; only Jesus was sinless. Repentance means that David hated the sin he’d committed against God.
As we read and study God’s Word, He speaks to our heart and reveals where we are out of tune with Him. Faithful Bible study creates a heart sensitive to a life of continual repentance.