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Faithful Words

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Faithful Words

By Dr. Kenneth Faught

 

A covering for our sins   “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 like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18). These words of Isaiah are among the most familiar of his prophecy. He addresses both our sins and God’s cleansing. Sins are described as scarlet or crimson, most likely depicting the garments of the wicked Babylonian empire. Forgiveness and cleansing are depicted as being white like the snow or wool – references to holiness and purity. Can it really be that our past and present sins could be so thoroughly cleansed that we are “snow white” in God’s eyes? We have seen our share of snow in recent weeks. Some of us are weary of “too much of a good thing” and are ready to move on into spring or summer!. There are lessons in the snow. Its glistening white can help fill even a dreary winter day with light. The most interesting thing is that when snow comes it covers everything alike. A modest house or a mansion – both are covered. A dirt road or an interstate – both are covered. A Cadillac or a Chevy in your driveway – both are covered. Snow doesn’t discriminate. Neither does God’s grace. Forgiveness is available – ready to fall – on all who will “reason” with their condition. God invited us to confess and find cleansing. The prophet continues, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat of the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword”. The Bible is filled with offers of forgiveness and cleansing. It’s what God wants. It’s what we are offered. It’s available to everyone. Jesus taught us to pray using the words, “forgive us our trespasses” (Matthew 5:12). The Apostle Paul wrote that “in him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). The Apostle John states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). The question is never whether God is willing and able to forgive. The question is whether we are willing to confess and trust. No wonder the Gospel comes as good news! (Dr. Faught is Pastor of The LaFollette United Methodist Church.)