Psalm 51 is David's prayer of repentance after being convicted of the sin of adultery and murder. It seems unthinkable that a genuine Christian would be capable of committing these serious sins, and yet it is. A huge reminder that we always need to be vigilant about every part of our lives, to be on guard to all temptations, to remain humble and not think that we are above anyone else or incapable of certain sins. David's remorse is clearly genuine and he reconciled his relationship with God. However, he still had to bear tremendous consequences for his sin. The fact that David committed major sins and was still able to be reconciled to God should not be seen as a license to sin. Far from it! It is a reminder of how serious the consequences to sin can be, and that it is never worth the cost.
Our Acts passage reminds us that salvation is not an easy thing. Indeed, few take the narrow road and enter the small gate of salvation, and we are not promised an easy path once we do so. Paul speaks passionately to the elders of the church because of this fact.
It is a hard thing for a church to be saved, and harder still to be saved in the next generation and the generation after that. Only men who know how hard it is for believers to be saved themselves and who are steeled to face the hard work of that salvation, are fit to be entrusted with the salvation of the church! The cultivation of our young men for the future leadership of the church, to be better, holier, wiser, tougher men than their fathers, is the first and most important step a church takes to ensure its long term spiritual life and Christian usefulness.
So take away two lessons: one for yourself personally -- it is hard thing to be saved, so you must not take your salvation for granted, but apply yourself diligently to it always -- and one for the church -- that she must have a leadership committed to Paul's view of the vulnerability of the church and capable of protecting it by their own fidelity and zeal for the house of God and the name of Christ.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Psalms 54-56; Acts 21:1-17