Posted on Oct 13, 2019 by Mike LeDuke
Sin has colored our lives.
That’s not simply to say that sin infiltrates into our every day thinking — it does indeed, but this idea of sin coloring our lives is more of a figurative description that Scripture gives to how sin makes us look:
“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).
Can you see the picture? It is as though sin has infected us — so that when God looks at us, we’re covered with crimson-colored sin. Scripturally, this red color represents sin.
Nevertheless, God offers an alternative: we don’t have to be colored this way. Our lives can change. In the book of Revelation, the apostle John saw a great multitude, all clothed in white robes:
“Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’” (Revelation 7:13-14).
Do you see the change? And what caused the change? It was the blood of the Lamb.
This is forgiveness. Spiritually, before we have come to know Christ, all of us have sin-stained garments — regardless of if we sin once a day, or hundreds of times a day. The wages of sin is death, and so sin has declared itself our master.
And yet, when we associate ourselves with Christ, his blood can cleanse us from that sin. And the beginning of that cleansing, as noted in the last post, is baptism. In baptism, we take off that sin-stained garment and put on Christ:
“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).
This is where forgiveness starts. And what does forgiveness really mean?
It means that our sin-stained garment is gone. It means that we aren’t sinners anymore. Certainly, we still sin, but Scripture doesn’t refer to believers as sinners anymore. Instead, consider Scripture’s terminology:
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1).
Over and over, Paul refers to the believers as saints — a word that refers to someone who is holy! No longer were they filled with sin, but instead, they were people who had been separated to God because through baptism and confession, they had been forgiven! The blood of the Lamb cleansed their sin-stained garments. They had put on Christ.
And so, now, when God looks at them, something amazing happens: He sees Christ. And so the apostle repeatedly uses the analogy of the church symbolizing the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 4:12). And if God sees Christ, just think about what else that means: when He looks at us after forgiveness, God sees someone who is sinless.
He doesn’t see someone who has been mauled by sin and overtaken by it. But He sees someone who has been liberated from sin’s clutches, and even though they still fall prey to sin, someone who looks like Jesus.
And that’s why forgiveness is so amazing.
— Jason Hensley