Psalm 51[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.(A)

Have mercy(B) on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;(C)
according to your great compassion(D)
    blot out(E) my transgressions.(F)
Wash away(G) all my iniquity
    and cleanse(H) me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.(I)
Against you, you only, have I sinned(J)
    and done what is evil in your sight;(K)
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.(L)
Surely I was sinful(M) at birth,(N)
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom(O) in that secret place.(P)

Cleanse(Q) me with hyssop,(R) and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.(S)
Let me hear joy and gladness;(T)
    let the bones(U) you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins(V)
    and blot out(W) all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart,(X) O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.(Y)
11 Do not cast me(Z) from your presence(AA)
    or take your Holy Spirit(AB) from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation(AC)
    and grant me a willing spirit,(AD) to sustain me.(AE)

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,(AF)
    so that sinners(AG) will turn back to you.(AH)
14 Deliver me(AI) from the guilt of bloodshed,(AJ) O God,
    you who are God my Savior,(AK)
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.(AL)
15 Open my lips, Lord,(AM)
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice,(AN) or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice,(AO) O God, is[b] a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart(AP)
    you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,(AQ)
    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.(AR)
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,(AS)
    in burnt offerings(AT) offered whole;
    then bulls(AU) will be offered on your altar.

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Footnotes

  1. Psalm 51:1 In Hebrew texts 51:1-19 is numbered 51:3-21.
  2. Psalm 51:17 Or The sacrifices of God are

Released From the Law, Bound to Christ

Do you not know, brothers and sisters(A)—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him.(B) So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.(C) But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law(D) through the body of Christ,(E) that you might belong to another,(F) to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For when we were in the realm of the flesh,[a](G) the sinful passions aroused by the law(H) were at work in us,(I) so that we bore fruit for death.(J) But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law(K) so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.(L)

The Law and Sin

What shall we say, then?(M) Is the law sinful? Certainly not!(N) Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law.(O) For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”[b](P) But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment,(Q) produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.(R) Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life(S) actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment,(T) deceived me,(U) and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.(V)

13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good(W) to bring about my death,(X) so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual,(Y) sold(Z) as a slave to sin.(AA) 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.(AB) 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.(AC) 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.(AD) 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c](AE) For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.(AF) 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.(AG)

21 So I find this law at work:(AH) Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being(AI) I delight in God’s law;(AJ) 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war(AK) against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin(AL) at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?(AM) 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!(AN)

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law,(AO) but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.(AP)

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Footnotes

  1. Romans 7:5 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.
  2. Romans 7:7 Exodus 20:17; Deut. 5:21
  3. Romans 7:18 Or my flesh
  4. Romans 7:25 Or in the flesh

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