“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: THOUGH YOUR SINS BE AS SCARLET, THEY SHALL BE AS WHITE AS SNOW; THOUGH THEY BE RED LIKE CRIMSON, THEY SHALL BE AS WOOL” (Isa. 1:18).
Isaiah is speaking here in the opening pages of his prophecy, in somewhat veiled language to be sure, of the comprehensiveness of the sufferings of Christ to remedy the sin issue. And though the Lord Jesus Christ is not specifically mentioned in this prophecy, He is nevertheless unmistakably identified by the language of God effectually putting away sins. Taking the whole of Scripture into consideration, Christ is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). And from this higher perspective, the message of Holy Scripture in its entirety is all about the Person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ; it is about His putting away of sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and about His readying of a people to dwell forever with the Lord in the ages to come. But in order for this divine purpose to be brought to completion, men had to be washed from the glaringly crimson redness of sin by the incomprehensibly great sufferings of Messiah, God’s Anointed One.
Here in the opening verses of Isaiah’s prophecy, the God of Heaven reasons, not only with His covenanted people Israel, but now in these last days He makes a gracious appeal to all men everywhere, to repent, and turn from their wicked ways, that they may receive the salvation that He is graciously providing in His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. “All manner of sin and blasphemy” have been more than adequately suffered for by Christ, taken away by Him, purged by Him, atoned for by Him, washed away by Him, blotted out of God’s remembrance by Him, and cast by Him into the sea of divine forgetfulness. To all who will hear, God declares through Isaiah: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow! Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool!
Taking into view the entire scope of God’s redemptive work in the Lord Jesus Christ, the salvational and moral change being effected from glaring redness to pure and spotless whiteness, as here depicted by the Prophet Isaiah, would involve the unfathomable suffering of Messiah, God’s anointed Servant. It would entail God’s foreknowing, predestinating, calling, justifying, and glorifying the recipients of His great salvation in Christ (see Rom. 8:28-30). And this would all be “according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:11).
From another perspective, the knowledge of this salvation would be experientially worked in the recipients by the divinely ordained means of tribulation working patience, patience working experience, experience working hope, hope making men to be not ashamed before the living God, and the love of God being shed abroad in mens’ hearts by the Holy Spirit (see Rom. 5:3-5). In Christ all have been washed, sanctified, and justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of God (see I Cor. 6:11). They “are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:10).
The completeness of God’s redemptive work in the Lord Jesus Christ is declared throughout the Scriptures, but particularly in the Apostolic writings is it proclaimed with abundant clarity. The following are some representative expressions of this completeness:
Paul makes this glorious summary declaration in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia. “And by Him (Jesus Christ) ALL THAT BELIEvE ARE JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS, from which” they 16 “could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39; see also vs.14-41). The promise is to ALL that believe, with no exceptions. It is to all that BELIEvE, for there is no other way for men to lay hold on God’s salvation in Christ Jesus. Such believing ones are declared to be JUSTIFIED BEFORE THE LIvING GOD FROM ALL THINGS, concerning which the Law was able only to convince of sin, and to condemn. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:3-4).
All Have Sinned, and Come Short of the Glory of God, Being Justified Freely. The same Apostle again takes up a similar refrain in his epistle to the Romans: “For ALL HAvE SINNED, AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD; BEING JUSTIFIED FREELY BY HIS GRACE THROUGH THE REDEMPTION THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His (Christ’s) blood, to declare His (God’s) righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Rom. 3:23-25). Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow!
In his first letter to the Corinthians Paul declares the comprehensiveness of God’s working in salvation from yet another perspective. “But of Him (God, the Father) are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (I Cor. 1:30-31). WISDOM—RIGHTEOUSNESS—SANCTIFICATION—REDEMPTION is to be regarded as a complete and total working of God through His beloved Son, with nothing left for men to do, except to obey the gospel, believing on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow! Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool! All Things Are of God, Who Hath Reconciled Us. “And ALL THINGS ARE OF GOD, WHO HATH RECONCILED US TO HIMSELF BY JESUS CHRIST, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit (that is to say), that GOD WAS IN CHRIST, RECONCILING THE WORLD UNTO HIMSELF, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO THEM; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. FOR HE (GOD, THE FATHER) HATH MADE HIM (JESUS CHRIST) TO BE SIN FOR US, (EvEN HIM) WHO KNEW NO SIN; THAT WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM (CHRIST)” (II Cor. 5:18-21).
“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (II Cor. 5:19). In these marvelous words is the message of the gospel expressed in concentrated form. At the cross God was reconciling the world unto Himself by the sufferings of Christ. He was not imputing our trespasses unto us, because He had imputed them unto Christ, when He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. And now, for God to impute our trespasses unto us, particularly to us who have obeyed the gospel, and are continuing steadfastly in the faith of Christ, would entail what is commonly called “double jeopardy”. All iniquity, and transgression, and sin [including ours] have already been abundantly paid for once by the Lord Jesus Christ, and for God to require an additional payment for sins from us, who are in Christ, would be antithetical to all that is revealed about His Person and government. The one all important stipulation is that this provision of complete amnesty for men is unto those who are “in Christ”, even unto those who have availed themselves of this blessed provision. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (II Cor. 5:20).
About the Contents of this Writing and Reprint Permission
This writing consists largely of a compilation of Bible lessons, converted to article format, which were given by me (Albert G. Stoner Jr.) at The Banner of Truth Fellowship of Northwest Indiana over the past few years. Except for the Scripture references, the poetic expressions, and hymns which are included herein, the material has been written by me. Regarding the hymns and poetic expressions, I have sought to select those which are in the public domain, and have included the author’s name for each one selected. Until such a time as a copyright would be applied for, reprint permission is given by me, so long as the material is not misrepresented, or used for purposes other than for the building up of the body of Christ. If the material is used, a credit line would be appreciated, but it is not required. “Freely ye have received, freely give.” —Albert G. Stoner, Jr., First Printing, March 2016
In the First Revision of The Prophecies of Christ in Isaiah I have added articles that did not appear in the First Printing, and have revised and supplemented some of the original articles. I have also created and included some charts to go with some of the articles to assist the reader in a mnemonic capacity. —Albert G. Stoner, Jr., First Revision, September 2016