Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Stain of Sin

Chuckle: "Some churches are now serving coffee after the sermon. Perhaps this to get people thoroughly awake before they drive home!"
Quote: "Sin is believing the lie that you are self-created, self-dependent, and self-sustained." --Augustine
"Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool" (Isaiah 1:18 NIV).
God has a way of communicating with us that leaves no doubt about His meaning. In the New Testament, Jesus often spoke in parables (common story to communicate a deep spiritual lesson) using familiar references easily understood by his audience. These parables are sometimes called, "earthly stories with heavenly meanings." Here in Isaiah, God, through the prophet, used metaphors, which had clear meaning in the culture of that day, to describe the sins of his people.
Crimson was the color of a deep-red permanent dye which was a stain almost impossible to remove from cloth. The stain of sin seems equally permanent, but God can remove sin's toughest stain from our lives as he promised to do for the Israelites. Earlier in this chapter, God had chastised his people for having blood on their hands because of the misery and injustice they brought upon less fortunate people. The bloodstains on the hands of murderers are probably the reference here. "Your hands are full of blood" (vs. 15).
But we don't have to go through life permanently soiled by our sins, regardless of their severity. We are assured in God's Word that if we are willing and obedient, Jesus Christ will forgive and remove our most indelible stains. "Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin" (Psalm 51:1-2 NLT).
When we pray for forgiveness as did the psalmist, God has promised to "forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9 NIV). God wants to forgive and cleanse us. That's why he allowed his beloved Son to die -- so he could offer us a complete pardon for our sins. When we come to Christ, he forgives all our past sins and we don't need to keep on confessing them again and again. They're gone forever!! We never again need to fear God's rejection because of our sins. However, we must remember that true confession and repentance involves a commitment not to continue to sin.
Do you fully appreciate what it means to have your sins forgiven and the stain of those sins removed by the Creator of the Universe through faith in his one and only Son? We all are wise if we take the time to just dwell on this truth and wallow around in God's love.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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