From Scarlet to White

Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.  Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16-17).

This is a call to repentance.  It is addressed to the rulers of Sodom and the people of Gomorrah (Isaiah 1:10).  God’s people in Judah and Jerusalem (Isaiah 1:1) had become corrupt (Isaiah 1:21-23; 10:1-2).  Their worship was no longer pleasing to the LORD (Isaiah 1:11-15). 

“‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool’” (Isaiah 1:18).

There are many cleaning products on the market.  The names are familiar (e.g., Amway L.O.C., Clorox, OxiClean, Shout, Tide, Woolite etc.).  Even the best of these products is unable to remove every stain.

However, God can remove the stain (guilt) of sin.  He promised this to them on the condition of repentance.  The red stain of sin would be removed, if they would repent. 

They had a role to play in this.  They were instructed, “wash yourselves, make yourselves clean, put away evil…” (Isaiah 1:16-17).

Likewise, we have a role to play in our cleansing.  (1) This is true at baptism (Acts 22:16).  (2) This is true after baptism (1 John 1:7, 9).

Furthermore, God had a role to play in this cleaning.  It is not states in so many words in our text, but God alone makes this cleansing possible.  None could be cleansed without the mercy and grace of God being offered.

Likewise, it is for us.  The blood of Christ is the cleansing power (cf. Revelation 1:5; 7:13-14).  He is willing and able to forgive sins. 

Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow… Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool… \ Hear the voice that entreats you, O return unto God!… He is of great compassion, and of wonderous love \ He’ll forgive your transgressions, and remember them no more… ‘Look unto Me ye people’ saith the Lord your God…” (Song: Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet by Fanny J. Crosby). 

About Bryan Hodge

I am a minister and missionary to numerous countries around the world.
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