“Ready To Forgive” ( Psalm 86: 5, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“For You, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive, rich in faithful love to all who call on You,” sings David. David knows God’s forgiving nature firsthand, having committed both adultery and murder. What if, after having asked for and accepted God’s forgiveness, David had continued to feel and express the guilt associated with those horrendous actions? What if, every night before sleep, David had reminded himself and God of these evil deeds, throwing them — so to speak — in God’s face?

 

When you ask for God’s forgiveness, accept it completely. Know that God forgives in totality. There’s no corner room where He stores your sins. “‘Come, let us discuss this’, says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool.'” (Isaiah 1:18)

 

God says, “It is I who sweep away your transgressions for My own sake and remember your sins no more.” (Isaiah 43:25)

 

Therefore, forget your sins. Do not insult God’s grace.

“Let Us Argue It Out” ( Isaiah 1: 18, NEB ) by Carley Evans


God Himself says, “Come now, let us argue it out.” He knows that we will continue to have difficulty accepting that salvation is a free gift of God to those who believe. He knows that some of us will argue with Him and with each other that there must be something else to it. We must do something! No one gives away such a gift, especially not the Someone who hates sin so very much.

 

But God says, “Let’s settle this matter!” He argues quite eloquently, “Though your sins are scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they are dyed crimson, they may yet be like wool.”

 

And yes, He does say, “Obey with a will.” And He does warn, “Refuse and rebel” and you won’t “eat the best that earth yields.” (Isaiah 1: 18-19) There are consequences to disobedience! Every true Christian knows this! Our Lord says, “Once again, I will act against you to refine away your base metal as with potash and purge all your impurities.” (Isaiah 1: 25)

 

God calls us to “walk in the Light of the Lord.” (Isaiah 2: 5) God warns again, “Mankind shall be brought low, all men shall be humbled; and how can they raise themselves?… Man’s proud eyes shall be humbled, the loftiness of man brought low, and the Lord alone shall be exalted on that day.” (Isaiah 2: 9, 10-11)

 

On that day, who will be exalted? Not mankind for all his efforts to be good, do right, abandon evil. No, the only one who will be exalted on that day will be the Lord Jesus Christ, who died to save mankind. Amen. To God be the glory.

“What Shall We Say Then?” (1 John 1: 9, HCSB) by Carley Evans


In confession resides purification. Jesus promises to purify us from all unrighteousness as we confess our sins to His Father and to one another.

“If we say, ‘We have no sin,’ we deceive ourselves.” (1 John 1: 8) On the other hand, if we recognize our sin, and confess it as existing, as undesirable, as unworthy of our relationship with Christ; then God the Father is willing and able to forgive us.

Jesus presents us as His clean brothers and sisters to His Father — we are washed in the blood of Christ so that “though [our] sins are like scarlet, they are as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they are like wool.” (Isaiah 1: 18)

Jesus says this is reasonable; that we are able to discuss this truth — “if [we] are willing and obedient, [we] eat the good things of the land.” (Isaiah 1: 19) Our obedience consists of believing on Christ, of recognizing our core unworthiness, of placing our entire trust in His sacrificial grace and in His righteousness.

Paul rhetorically asks, “What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace might multiply? Absolutely not!” (Romans 6: 1 – 2) We are not to sin, but “if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father — Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.” (1 John 2: 1 – 2)

“True Religion” (Isaiah 1: 16 – 17, ESV) by Carley Evans


“Your hands are full of blood,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 1: 15) He does not look; He does not listen. He says, “My soul hates” your solemn assembly, vain offerings, Sabbaths, convocations, and appointed feasts. (Isaiah 1: 13, 14) He finds each to be “a burden.” He is “weary of bearing them.” (Isaiah 1: 14)

Can you imagine God not listening, not looking at your “solemn assembly” in which you sing songs, preach sermons, baptize new believers, have altar calls, light candles, share pot lucks, pray prayers?

Can you see His back as He turns from you and your “vain offerings?”

God commands, “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before My eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good.”

Can you make yourself clean? Can you learn to do good? Can you cease to do evil?

God offers a solution, “Come now, let us reason together; though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword.” (Isaiah 1: 18 – 20)

“Seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” (Isaiah 1: 17)

True religion, “that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1: 27)