May the Lord bless you real richly tonight, as we speak on the word for a few moments.
“Come, let us reason together.” I think that’s one of the sweetest verses in the Bible, don’t you?
Now, Isaiah, this young prophet, in his days the church had all got away from God, and they were offering strange sacrifices. And God had told him, how that everything was gone.
And he was down in the temple one morning, as a young fellow, probably in his early forties. Isaiah’s prophecy, what he wrote here, he was a major prophet, one of the greatest in the Bible.
There’s sixty-six books in the Bible, and there’s sixty-six chapters in Isaiah. It’s a complete Bible in itself.
Isaiah is a prophet of grace. He was the one who really set forth, that how the Blood of Jesus, and how the coming of the Just One, and how God would cleanse His church, and so forth, by His sovereign grace.
He was down in prayer one morning, and he looked around, and he saw a cherubims, flying back and forth through the temple. They had six wings, two was over their face, two was over their feet, and flying with two, and were crying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.”
And Isaiah looked up and said, “Woe is me, for I have seen the glory of God. And I’m a man of unclean lips, and live among people with unclean lips. And woe is me.”
But an Angel went over to the altar where the sacrifices was burning, and took the tongs, and took a coal, live, hot coal, off the altar, and touched his lips, and said, “Now, you’re clean, and your sins is purged; now go prophesy.”
Do you know what his first statement of prophesy was?
“Come now, let us reason together.” Isaiah 1:18
There’s reasons to all things. Let’s just reason together. “Come, let us reason together, saith the Lord.” Wouldn’t you like to set in the counsel of the Lord and reason?
The purpose of this divine message is none other than to complement the innate reason in human beings, in order to seek right guidance for establishing an ideal society on earth that would reflect God’s will for humanity.
The divine message, in this sense, seeks appropriation and implementation by human beings through a divinely bestowed gift of reason – the “light” by means of which human ignorance can be turned into redemptive knowledge.
The verse “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 is an excellent verse for us to be considering today as although we may not be suffering as God’s people were then,
we are certainly rebels by nature and left to ourselves, we all forsake God and turn from him. Such rebellion deserves his judgement.
Nevertheless, in this verse we find a word of hope, a light at the tunnel’s end so to speak, a reason not to despair.
THINGS TO CONSIDER IN THIS VERSE
- CONSIDER THIS AS AN INVITATION TO REASON THINGS THROUGH WITH THE LORD
The first word in the text is Come which is a great Bible word and one that is full of invitation.
When you get an invitation to a wedding or a party or something like that, the word come is often the key word. It may be dressed up a bit “Mr and Mrs John request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter, etc” which is just another way of saying come or it may be a plain old “Come to my party”. What we have here then is an invitation.
We can ask three obvious questions.
- Who is sending out the invitation?
It is the LORD, the sovereign God of Israel, our Creator and our Judge, the only true God.
This means to say that it is an invitation that cannot be ignored. Like me you no doubt get all sorts of invitations through your door – places to eat, news of services available, ways of spending your money, etc. Most of these we ignore.
It doesn’t matter that we do this because the people who send them to us usually have no authority over us or any real claim on us.
If, however, a summons to court should come through my door or something of that order then I cannot ignore it. This verse in Isaiah is an invitation but because it is an invitation from God it is in some ways more like a summons than an invitation. You cannot ignore it. You must respond.
- Who does he send the invitation out to?
To his people, to all those who Isaiah was addressing. This would have included all sorts of people. In a similar way, there is a general invitation today that goes out from God to all who hear.
The word COME can helps us there. It includes Children but not just children Others too. It includes the Middle aged and the Elderly as well. Everyone, whatever their age, male or female, rich or poor, all are included. It includes you.
This invitation from God to reason together about your sins is for you and for me and for all of us.
- What are these people invited to?
The invitation says Come now, let us reason together. It is an invitation to a conference, a parley, a discussion. One version paraphrases “Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.” Others have “I, the LORD, invite you to come and talk it over”; “Come now, let’s settle this”; “Come, let’s consider your options”.. That’s the idea then – “Let’s sit down together and talk this through”.
There are some people and they drift through life without ever really thinking at all.
They never stop and consider what they do and how it affects others or where their way of life is leading them. They’re too busy with other things. Is that you? Are you making that mistake? Don’t!
There are others who do think about their lives and about many other things too. Sometimes they will discuss with others what they are thinking. Indeed some like to interact. What they will not do, however, is what this verse urges us all to – they will not reason together with God.
They will not come to him and reflect on their ways before his face. It is summed up well in Psalm 110:4 In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God – a sort of motto for the age in which we live.
Again is that you? You’re a thinking person, yes, but you are an independent thinker – a person who is seeking to shut God out. Don’t do that.
Get to thinking about yourself with God because without God you are nothing. Do it together. It’s a fearful thing to be in the presence of Almighty God I know but that is what is needed.
HOW DO YOU REASON WITH GOD
You reason with GOD with your Bible open, in a spirit of prayer and humility. It’s really what we are doing now – reasoning together with God, discussing things openly before him; listening to what God says and carefully reflecting on it. Let’s do it then.
- UNDERSTAND HOW DEEPLY STAINED WITH SIN YOU ARE BY NATURE
There are two things that we really need to take in here.
The rest of the verse reads “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. “
This is poetry and Hebrew poetry often uses repetition or parallelism.
Let’s look first at Your sins are like scarlet and its parallel they are red as crimson.
The thing about the colour red or scarlet or crimson here is, firstly, that it is pretty obvious.
When people want to advertise their product they often do it with white clothing marked by very visible and attractive colours which are very obvious.
There is no hiding sin in the end. It is a glaring thing. We talk about being caught red handed which is the same as being found with blood on one’s hands.
The terms, as here, speak of guilt, obvious undeniable guilt. That was the position of the people then and it is our position now. Our sins are like scarlet … they are red as crimson.
Our sins cling to us and cannot easily be washed away.
There is such a stain that nothing will remove it. It is as if there is a beautiful white carpet and someone has thrown a tin of red paint all over it. It is obvious, lasting and nothing is going to remove it. That is our position before God by nature and we must see it.
Some of us this morning are quite sensitive about sin. It’s like the way some people with a fair complexion blush easily when they are embarrassed.
Others sometimes feel quite pure and innocent but we only have to be exposed to God’s law to see that we are full of sin.
We do not love others as we should and we do not love God.
He is not first in our lives. We will not speak of him as we should and we will not give him the time we should.
There is a rebellious streak in us that raises its ugly head at times. Sometimes we are malicious, sometimes lustful, sometimes grasping, sometimes dishonest, sometimes greedy.
Sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the likes.
I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5)
- HEAR THIS PROMISE OF PARDON AND PURITY FOR SINNERS LIKE YOU
The thrust of the verse is very positive, however, Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD.
Though your sins are like scarlet, … though they are red as crimson – they shall be as white as snow; … they shall be like wool.
Yes, the stain of sin is obvious and deep seated. We are guilty. We are not innocent.
It seems as though there is no remedy. Yet here God speaks very plainly a word of hope “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Snow turns to slush and is not a pleasant sight but when the snow comes down it is white, pure white – no sign of red in it.
Wool on the backs of sheep can be various colours but tends to be most often more of an off white these days but there is certainly no hint of red in it unless it’s been put there.
“Now look” says God “by nature you are stained, you are marked, you are guilty but I can remove the stain, I can purify and cleanse you again.”
He doesn’t go into how here but we know from elsewhere that it is through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ that this cleansing work can be done.
By coming and dying as he has done Jesus Christ has provided a way so that though our sins are indeed like scarlet … though they are red as crimson, they can nevertheless be as white as snow … like wool straight from a sheep’s back. All we need to do is to put our trust in Jesus Christ and all will be well, our sins will be washed away.
Are you washed? Are you washed in the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb? Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Without that there is no hope.
If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. ISAIAH 1: 19-20
The Day of Judgement is fast approaching when God will “thoroughly purge away all dross and remove all … impurities. “ISAIAH 1: 19-25
He is going to set up the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City. He will redeem Zion with justice, those who are sorry for their sins with righteousness But rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who forsake the LORD will perish.
What a fire will be kindled on that day. How will you escape unless you turn to him now? Put your faith in Christ then. Trust in him and know all your sins removed.
WHY YOU MUST SIN NO MORE
The practice of sin is not to be the normal lifestyle of believers. When we sin it has an effect upon us as well upon others.
For one thing, it robs us of our ability to understand spiritual truth. The Bible says that it is the Holy Spirit that helps us understand the will of God.
The Christian is completely dependent upon the Holy Spirit if he or she expects to learn anything of permanent spiritual value.
1.SIN Quenches Holy Spirit’s Ministry
Sin quenches the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Do not quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
Quench means to throw a wet blanket over. Sin is not acknowledging the will of God through preaching (1 Thessalonians 5:20), not being thankful in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18), not praying spontaneously (1 Thessalonians 5:17), not rejoicing in whatever circumstances we find ourselves (1 Thessalonians 5:16), and not abstaining from evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
All these small things quench the Holy Spirit’s teaching ministry in our lives and takes away our sharpness to understand spiritual truth.
2.Bible Study Becomes Unfruitful
Through sin, Bible study becomes a non-rewarding experience and accomplish nothing.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a person observing their natural face in a mirror; for they observes them self, go away, and immediately forgets what kind of person they were (James 1:22-24).
We are supposed to let God’s word act like a mirror to point out areas in our personal life that need changing. Instead we make excuses or forget to apply Bible teaching to our everyday situations and decisions.
3. SIN Robs Us Of Joy
The Bible says that God wants our joy to be full:
These things we write to you that your joy may be full (1 John 1:4).
Joy is a deep satisfaction that stems from the knowing the channel is open between us and the Lord. We are in the place that He approves. It is an inner happiness not dependent upon outside circumstances. Sin will rob us of that joy.
4. SIN Takes Away Excitement
Another problem with sin is that it takes away the excitement of the Christian life.
Sin causes us to lose the joy of our salvation. We do not feel too saved right then.
The Christian then looks to worldly pleasures to fill that void. It is like an anesthetic to deaden the pain of an empty heart.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with your generous Spirit (Psalm 51:12).
- SIN Robs Us Of Our Peace
Sin also robs us of peace. The believer is to be characterized by an inner calm and contentment. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard you hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful Colossians 3:15).
Sin causes anguish of the heart – which is complete loss of peace:
- SIN Hinders Our Fellowship With God
Fellowship can be defined as consciousness that everything is right between God and us at any moment. The same things that make God happy make us happy. Likewise the things that make God sad make us sad.
Sin robs us of fellowship with God.
That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ . . . If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (1 John 1:3,6).
SIN Causes Feeling Of Separation
Sin can cause a feeling of separation between ourselves and the Lord.
If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we live a lie and do not practice the truth (1 John 1:6)
Live a lie means trying to live the Christian life in the energy of the flesh. Do not the truth refers to those who are ignorant or willfully disobedient of God’s commandments?
The believer experiences a lost or alone feeling until they get things right with God.
8. Loss Of Confidence In Prayer
Sin also robs us of confidence in our prayer life.
Notice that the final promise is qualified. The Christian must be obedient – they must keep God’s commandments to have their prayers answered. Thus the Holy Spirit controls only those who ask to be under His control. The things the believer prays for are what the Holy Spirit directs them in the will of God.
And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight (1 John 3:19-22).
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26,27).
- Unanswered Prayers Until Confession
Sin can cause our prayers to be unanswered.
When believers sin, God does not answer their prayers with a, Yes. God wants to first hear a prayer of confession.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear (Psalm 66:18).
10. Become Fearful
Sin will cause us to be fearful of what is uncovered when Christ judges our works.
Looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).
And now little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (John 2:28).
Kill your sin before it kills you.
To kill your sin, remember your obligation, not to the flesh, but to the Lord. Roman (8:12).
That is why we must reason together in terms of our SIN and SALVATION.