Summary: God's appeal to the rational mind using the principles of philosophy.
This is a very unique passage of Scripture, for God has asked us not just to take what He has said at face value, but He has asked us to reason it out. We are encouraged to take the whole of Scripture, and particularly the Doctrine of Salvation, and to weigh that out against pure reason. We are to use the intellect that God has given us, in conjunction with the enlightening of the Holy Spirit, to decide for ourselves whether what God has established as His means for how to live this life, and what we are to do with this life; whether that is reasonable to the human mind. Basically, does it stand up against Philosophy? What is philosophy? Philosophy is defined as “the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct” . A rational investigation, using reason, God says to investigate the truth, and our knowledge of God’s Word. Most Christians would say that we are to have nothing to do with Philosophy. But God says, “Go ahead and use the principles of Philosophy, and using them in conjunction with my written Word, you will develop a Christian Philosophy.” We get with God’s Word the best Philosophy there is, and it is a philosophy because it also stands the critiques of Philosophy. God has admonished us to reason this out with Him. Does what He says make sense? So, this morning that’s what we’re going to do. Using these three verses as our basis for which to build our Christian Philosophy, our Christian Worldview, our Doctrine of Salvation, and our Doctrine of Sin.
Now, these verses of Scripture and in fact the whole Bible remain clouding until we decide what sin is. Until we understand what sin is, and how we contracted the disease, we won’t understand what God is trying to do in each of our lives. The Bible exists to expose sin, and the remedy to this awful problem. There is a sin problem . God has looked over the situation of sin, and He has diagnosed the problem, and He has concluded that “sins” are like scarlet, and they are red like crimson. They have a caused a deep stain on each and every person that has ever been born. And once something has been turned to the color of scarlet, or crimson (a blood red), there is nothing available to us in this world that can change something that is that color to pure white. Take a white shirt and soak it in blood, and it will never be pure white ever again. That is the image that God is trying to convey to the people of Israel. ‘The theme of rebellion has been progressively developed through verses 2-17 of chapter 1. The guilt of the accused has been amply established, and they are reminded of it here in vivid language: their sins are scarlet, red as crimson, the colour of blood. We have reached a point of crisis.’ God is establishing not only for Israel, but for everyone, the magnitude of sin. It is a serious problem. And until we reach that same conclusion, we won’t realize the vastness of our problem. It’s worse than a natural disaster, it’s worse than a terrorist attack, and it’s worse than any case that’s ever been treated in an emergency room. Sin is the most important problem to ever come across God’s desk.
But what exactly is sin? ‘We certainly don’t want mankind to explain the concept of sin. When this happens, we lose the idea of sin. Man calls sin an accident, God calls it an abomination. Man calls it a blunder, God calls sin a blight. Man calls sin a chance, God calls sin a choice. Man calls sin a defect, God calls sin a disease. Man calls sin an error, God calls sin enmity. Man calls sin a fascination, God calls it fatality. We must turn to God’s Word for our understanding of sin.’ See, God’s Word has a true conception of sin. We as humans have the ability to try and justify what we know as sin, but God’s Word confronts sin, exposes sin, goes to the root of sin, and explains how we got it, and how we can get rid of it. ‘We believe that sin is two-fold. Sin is first of all acts of disobedience. Sin is the deliberate placing of my will against God’s will and doing my own thing. Sin is a willful transgression of a known law of God. But sin is something else. It is a contamination of the human soul. It is the contagious disease that has corrupted man’s nature. It is inherited from Adam and is the common condition of all humankind.’ It is those things that we know God has told us not to do, but we are doing them anyway. It is those acts that you do in secret, because you know they are ultimately wrong. It is those activities that you participate in, and then try to justify them to others who tell you they are against God’s Law. It is an outright defiance to the way that God has prescribed for us to live. ‘This is what we believe about sin. It is not a pleasant topic to consider but it is necessary. It is like going to the doctor’s office. The doctor must correctly diagnose the sickness before a proper remedy can be prescribed. The same is true concerning sin. One’s solution of the problem of sin will never go beyond what we believe that extent of the problem to be. This is why a proper diagnosis is required.’ And unlike the doctor, who may not always be able to diagnosis your problem correctly, and may not always have the right cure the first time out of the gate; God has correctly diagnosed the problem, and He has provided the correct cure for this dreaded disease. I keep referring to sin as a disease, because it resembles the effects of cancer. It usually starts small, and then it spreads. It eats away at you. Satan usually tricks you in to believe that you’ll only do it once, and then you’ll be able to stop. But folks, sin will take you farther than you ever wanted to go; it will keep you longer than you ever wanted to stay; and it will cost you more than you ever wanted to pay. It’s more deadly than cancer.