August 15, 2016
Isaiah 1:18; Acts 26:18; II Corinthians 5:8; II Peter 3:18
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
It is an unusual title in the form of an equation: Black = White……Gold……Green! But it is Biblical! And it is based on four verses I have selected – Isaiah 1:18, Acts 26:18, II Corinthians 5:8 and II Peter 3:18.
There is a little gospel tract especially for children called “The Wordless Book.” Indeed, there are no words in it, just solid color pages. One version (from which I took my inspiration for this blog) has the colors in this order – black, red, white, gold, and green. Black stands for sin, red for the blood of Christ, white for His cleansing, gold for the glory of God (heaven), and green for growing in the Lord.
As said above, it is Biblical! The title is taken first of all from…
• Isaiah 1:18 – “‘Come now, and 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 be as wool.’ ” But we need another verse to show the blackness of sin, for here it is described as scarlet, or red like crimson. But the title represents sin as black – and so does The Wordless Book. That verse we need is…
• Acts 26:18 – …where Paul is relating how the Lord told him he was being sent to unbelievers, “…to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”
I searched the New King James Scriptures (as well as other versions) for verses that described the blackness of sin. There are a lot of allusions to it, and Acts 26:18 is one of the strongest! But there are no verses I could find that tell us sin is black! Acts 26:18 ties together two ideas: darkness and sin! Forgiveness of sins, first of all is shown to be turning from darkness to light. Second, turning from sin is turning from the power of Satan to God. I found multiple other Scriptures that identify sin with darkness! (See Psalm 82:4, 5; 107:10-14; Proverbs 2:10-15; 4:19; Isaiah 5:20; Jeremiah 23:10-12; Matthew 6:23; Luke 1:76-79; John 3:19-21; Romans 1:21; 13:12; Ephesians 4:18, 19; 6:12; Colossians 1:13, 14; I John 1:5-10; 2:11; Jude 1:11-16).
But back to the first three parts of the equation that is the title for this blog that are covered in these first two Scriptures: The blackness of sin, when covered by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, makes us white as snow…as [pure and washed] wool, according to Isaiah 1:18. I John 1:7 describes it this way: “…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” It is in a sense a two–part cleansing:
✞ The initial cleansing – According to I Peter 2:24, Christ already “…bore our sins in His own body on the tree [the cross]….” When we receive Him by faith, trusting Him as our own Savior, we are washed clean by the blood of the Lamb of God! (See Revelation 7:14). He removes our sins from us “…as far as the east is from the west…” (Psalm 103:12), and He gives us His own righteousness to wear! (See Isaiah 61:10; II Corinthians 5:21). We are “…accepted in the Beloved…” (Ephesians 1:6) by God the Father – as much as He would accept His own perfect Son, Jesus!.
✞ The continual cleansing – John 1:7, quoted above, has a marvelous construction in the Greek. The word cleanses actually means a continuing activity. He keeps on cleansing us from all sin! I am constantly under the blood bath of Jesus Christ! This keeps me accepted in the Beloved ! If I could possibly take myself out from under the blood of the Lamb of God (which I can’t – see John 6:37; 10:27-30), I would immediately be a stench to the nostrils of God! For I would then be standing in my own righteousness instead of Christ’s! And my “…righteousnesses are like filthy rags…” before the Father! (Isaiah 64:6). My righteousnesses, by the way, are the very best I can do!
• Next comes the gold! Jesus plainly told us in John 5:24:
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him
who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but
has passed [already] from death into life.
And so Paul can boldly say our third featured Scripture – II Corinthians 5:8: “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” The moment we close our eyes in death here on earth, we will be escorted by the angels into the Lord’s presence! (See Luke 16:22). And what amazing golden riches await us! (See I John 14:2; Corinthians 2:9; Revelation 21:18-21).
• Finally comes the green, which stands for growth! Peter encourages us in the last verse of his second epistle, II Peter 3:18: “…grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Until we see Him face to face (see I Corinthians 13:12) we should be growing up in Him (see Ephesians 4:15), becoming more and more like Him! (See Romans 8:29; II Corinthians 3:18).
Live out this equation in your life! It truly leads to glory!