I am a sinful man
My sin is ever before me. I woke up with this passage on my heart today. I am not condemning anyone but myself here. I need to first, be honest. Man (all of us collectively) is born in sin, lives in sin, and will die in his sin if he doesn’t acknowledge that sin and turn from it. David acknowledges his sinful state and asks God to cleanse him. Notice in the Amplified Bible the notation [and repeatedly]. Once you turn to God and ask forgiveness, you will need to strive for holiness but be willing to admit your short comings. There isn’t any bargaining here, just David saying I’m wrong, you are right.
Also note the cross reference in the Amplified Bible to Romans 3.
Psalm 51:1-4 (AMP)
HAVE MERCY upon me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to the multitude of Your tender mercy and loving-kindness blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin! For I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them; my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done that which is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified in Your sentence and faultless in Your judgment.[Romans 3:4]
Romans 3:3-4 (AMP)
What if some did not believe and were without faith? Does their lack of faith and their faithlessness nullify and make ineffective and void the faithfulness of God and His fidelity [to His Word]? By no means! Let God be found true though every human being is false and a liar, as it is written, That You may be justified and shown to be upright in what You say, and prevail when You are judged [by sinful men].
Romans 3:23-24 (KJV)
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
3:23. Paul explained that “no difference” existed among human beings because all have sinned. The Greek is literally, “all sinned” (pantes hēmarton). The same two Greek words are used in 5:12 (cf. comments on that verse). Since the entire human race was plunged into sin with Adam, all (whether Jews or Gentiles) are sinners. It is impossible to say there is a “difference,” that the Jews’ privileges (2:12-21; 3:1) exclude them from God’s condemnation.
Not only did all sin, but also all fall short. This single Greek verb is in the present tense, stressing continuing action. It can be translated “keep on falling short.” The simple fact is that as a sinner not a single human being by his own efforts is able to measure up to the glory of God. God’s glory is His splendor, the outward manifestation of His attributes. God desires that humans share that splendor, that they become like Him, that is, Christlike (cf. “glory” in 5:2; 2 Cor. 3:18; Col. 1:27; 2 Thes. 2:14). Yet their sin keeps them from sharing it.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty.