Summary: Forgiveness of Sin
“The Crimson Tide”
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
I. The Call from the Sovereign – “Come now…”
What we are called from and called to:
I. Called from labor to rest (Matt. 11:28)
II. Called from death to life (1 John 3:14)
III. Called from bondage to liberty (Gal 5:13)
IV. Called out of darkness into light (1 Pet. 2:9)
V. Called from bondage to peace (1 Cor. 7:15)
VI. Called to the fellowship of His Son (1 Cor. 1:9)
Pulpit Helps, August, 1992, p. 11.
a. It is a condescending call
This seems to be contradictory. Why would the Creator call His creation to come? How is it possible that the God of the universe would invite us to come to Him yet that is the case! What makes this scene seem doubly wrong is the fact that man the creature has greatly sinned against this creator God! God invites mankind to come and “reason together” with Him. We should not be surprised for He is always “seeking” a relationship with us. Jesus Came to “…seek and to save that which was lost,” and in Luke 15 we have that wonderful trilogy of parables we see a seeking after a lost sheep; a lost coin; and a lost son! No passage in the Bible illustrates this condescension better than;
Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, (emptied himself) and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
b. It is a critical call
Notice also that there is both opportunity and urgency in this call.
Genesis 6:3 “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”
Isaiah 55:6 “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:”
Ecclesiastes 12:1 “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;”
Act 17:27 “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:”
c. It is a compassionate call
Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Luke 13:34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!”
Mark 10:21 “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”
II. The Cause for the Summons – “…your sins…”
a. The sinfulness of sin
Paul Lee Tan writes about a horrible Roman practice:
"The Romans sometimes compelled a captive to be joined face-to-face with a dead body, and to bear it about until the horrible effluvia [vapors] destroyed the life of the living victim. Virgil describes this cruel punishment: 'The living and the dead at his command were coupled face to face, and hand to hand; Till choked with stench, in loathed embraces tied, The lingering wretches pined away and died.' Without Christ, we are shackled to a dead corpse--our sinfulness.
b. The separation of sin
Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
Kurt Warner’s testimony: “Before accepting Jesus as my Lord I lived my life for only me. I never asked God what he wanted for my life. I was living only for what I wanted. When I was 25 years old I realized I was nothing without Jesus and that I was separated from Him because of sin. I asked Jesus to come into my life and show me His way. He did! Jesus became first in my life and a great change took place.”
c. The stain of sin – “indelible”
Have you ever gotten a stain on a garment that resisted every effort to remove it no matter what you tried?