ESV - 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
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Sometimes we can get a better or more complete understanding by using contrast. Proverbs 6:16-19 " These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:" Pro 6:17 "A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood," Pro 6:18 "An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief," Pro 6:19 "A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."
A broken spirit comes when a person realizes they can do nothing without God and finally give up trying to do things their way. A contrite heart is in response to that awakening realization and repenting (changing your mind, which is what 'repent' means), truly asking the Lord for forgiveness. God isn't angered by sin in a believer. He is saddened by it. Repenting is our way of removing things in our own minds and hearts which hinder our relationship with Him. Remember though that all your sins have been forgiven, They don't cling to you like cobwebs. Ask forgiveness confidently knowing the Lord forgives you and _move on. If you hold on to the feelings of regret and remorse over a sin you committed you are saying you don't believe in your heart that Jesus' atonement was good enough when the Bible states over and over that His work was abundantly sufficient and we are new creatures in Christ..Believe what the Bible says about you, Ephesians 4:21-24 Any time you spend dwelling on sin and trying not to sin is time taken away from your walk with Jesus as He lives His life through you. Yes, sin was the problem with humanity from the beginning and it still is a problem but _not the problem many make it out to be. Jesus took care of everyone's sin so that it isn't a millstone around our necks, keeping us from a right relationship with Him. If you do sin, repent with a contrite heart and go back to your real calling as a Christian, loving God and each other. All good works flow from those two commandments. Then you're in a place where you can follow the commandment to share the Gospel by letting Christ live through you. See Ephesians 2:10 and Titus 2:14 for how Jesus will do that. We should be doing good works instead of wallowing in remorse about a sin we've been forgiven for. Focus your attention on walking with Jesus and living the way He does and you won't have time to sin or to worry about it. Remember you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you to guide and help you do exactly that.
A contrite attitude of mind comes from a person who has come to realize their poverty of spirit, their total incapability to do anything that is pleasing to God of and by their own self will, impossible. Realizing that they are poor in spirit and needing God's Spirit indwelling them to accomplish all that He requires of them as His adopted sons/daughters, they indeed come before Him in an attitude of repentance and asking for His forgiveness. Now, God responds forgiving that son/daughter because of the sin offering sacrifice of His beloved son Jesus who by his sacrifice, his shed blood has reconciled all mankind unto his God and his Father. We should also realize that we are bought and paid for by the blood of the lord Jesus and are no longer our own. We are his slaves and as such have no right to act according to our self-will anymore. We now become as Paul says slaves of righteousness - right doing in faith obedience to the will of God and His son Jesus our lord! The amazing result of our becoming a slave of the lord Jesus is; he as our master, our slave owner is required to provide for us in every way and enable us to live according to the righteous requirements of his God and his Father and ours! He came to indwell all those whom his God and Father will call, by through the power of His Spirit which He has given to His son Jesus, to give unto those that are His. It was Jesus who poured out the promised Spirit of God at Pentecost! God has given to him not only to have life in himself, but to give us to have a measure of his spirit, which gives us to have life in ourselves, resurrection life, new age life; to be enabled to walk in faith obedience before him! So in summary, our repentance and baptism are just the beginning of our salvation walk. As regenerate persons we are to now seek to be renewed in our mind and spirit, to become more and more like the lord Jesus. Jesus was the outshining of his God and Father on this earth and still is at His side in the heavenlies! May we all strive to become the sons/daughters that our God and Father has given us every means to become. The lord Jesus has given us his all, we need to respond by giving him our all, in total commitment to him. We need to abide in his love and walk through this sin sick world as a light to all those we come in contact with. To show forth the lord Jesus God's anointed one in our lives, in all we say and do. We do so as his willing slaves seeking to do our master's will, and in doing so will have entrance into the coming new age and the Kingdom of God. May that day soon come!
CONTRITE; CONTRITION - kon'-trit, kontrish'-un (dakka', "bruise"): Only in Old Testament (Ps 34:18; Ps 51:17; Isa 57:15); nakheh, "smitten" (Isa 66:2). Contrite, "crushed," is only the superlative of "broken"; "a contrite heart" is "a heart broken to pieces." In Holy Scripture, the heart is the seat of all feeling, whether joy or sorrow. A contrite heart is one in which the natural pride and self-sufficiency have been completely humbled by the consciousness of guilt. The theological term "contrition" designates more than is found in these passages. It refers to the grief experienced as a consequence of the revelation of sin made by the preaching of the law (Jer 23:29). The Augsburg Confession (Article XII) analyzes repentance into two parts: "Contrition and faith," the one the fruit of the preaching of the law, the other of the gospel. While contrition has its degrees, and is not equal in all persons, the promise of forgiveness is not dependent upon the degree of contrition, but solely upon the merit of Christ. It is not simply a precondition of faith, but, as hatred of sin, combined with the purpose, by God's aid, to overcome it, grows with faith. H.E. Jacobs --CONTRITE; CONTRITION [ISBE] Broken BROKEN [ISBE] BROKEN - bro'-k'-n: Occurs both as past participle of the verb translated "to break" and as an adjective, the former use will be dealt with here only so far as verbs occur which are thus translated but do not present the non-participial forms. Such are: meroach = "bruised," "emasculated" (Lev 21:20); chathath = "to frustrate," hence, "to break down" either by violence or by confusion and fear (1 Sam 2:10; Jer 48:20,39); dakhah = "to collapse" (Ps 44:19; 51:8); ratsats = "to crack in pieces" "crush" (Eccl 12:6); kathath = "to bruise or violently strike," "break in pieces" (Isa 30:14); Jer 2:16 should evidently be rendered: "have grazed on the crown of thy head," instead of the King James Version "have broken," etc., for ra`ah = "to tend a flock," "pasture," "graze," but gives no hint of the meaning "to break"; `alah = "to arise," "depart" (Jer 37:11); sunthlao = "to dash together," "shatter" (Mt 21:44); exorusso = "to dig through," "to extract," "remove" (Mk 2:4). See BREAK. Frank E. Hirsch O hope of every contrite heart, O joy of all the meek, To those who fall, how kind Thou art! How good to those who seek! But what to those who find? Ah this—Nor tongue nor pen can show; The love of Jesus, what it is None but His loved ones show. Jesus, our only joy be Thou, As Thou our prize will be; Jesus, be Thou our glory now, And through eternity. Brokenhearted Joy This is foundational to everything. Being a Christian means being broken and contrite. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you get beyond this in this life. It marks the life of God’s happy children till they die. We are broken and contrite all the way home — unless sin gets the proud upper hand. Being broken and contrite is not against joy and praise and witness. It’s the flavor of Christian joy and praise and witness. I close with the words of Jonathan Edwards who said it better than I can: All gracious affections [feelings, emotions] that are a sweet [aroma] to Christ... are brokenhearted affections. A truly Christian love, either to God or men, is a humble brokenhearted love. The desires of the saints, however earnest, are humble desires: their hope is a humble hope; and their joy, even when it is unspeakable, and full of glory, is a humble brokenhearted joy.... (Edwards, Religious Affections, 339)
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