Study 3 GOD’S AMAZING OFFER TO SINNERS
GREAT STATEMENTS OF THE GOSPEL
by Francis Dixon
(Key verse: Isaiah 1:18)
The prophet Isaiah has been called the evangelical prophet. He lived and wrote some 700 years before Christ’s coming and declared the message of God’s love for sinners over about forty years. Our key verse is a gem, and God is speaking here to us; He is taking the initiative in offering to be the Saviour of all who will put their trust in Him. We see how very much the Lord loves us and how much He longs for our salvation. Let us consider the following:-
1. THE GRACIOUSNESS OF GOD’S INVITATION
It is summed up in the one word “Come”. There are 642 personal invitations in the Bible to ”come”, and it is God who gives the invitation every time - but why is it so gracious? Because of the character of the people to whom it is addressed; and to find a description of the people whom God invites we have only to read Isaiah 1:2-6, verses which declare the utter depravity of man. This brief portion of scripture is so important that we give it in full. Study it carefully, because we discover the kind of people we are by nature:-
“Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the Lord has spoken: ‘I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand. Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Why should you be beaten any more? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness - only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil…'”
What a terrible picture we have, but how it magnifies the grace of God when we realise that although we are so sinful and rebellious the Lord loves us, longs for us, and actually invites us to come to Him and receive His great salvation! Just meditate on this before you proceed with this study: you are so very sinful, and yet the Lord loves you and longs for you, and wants you to love and serve Him. What a gracious God He is!
2. THE FRIENDLINESS OF GOD’S ATTITUDE
Although we are such sinful people He actually invites us to come and sit, as it were, at His conference table and to present our reasons for not accepting His gracious invitation. Could anything be more friendly than that? Against this background He says to us, ‘You come and give me your reasons for not coming to me.’ What an amazing thing it is that we have any reason at all for not responding to God’s invitation! - but we do have reasons and excuses:- (1) There is the person who says, ’I am too bad to come!’ - but this is not a valid reason in the light of Isaiah 55:7. Compare 1 John 1:7. (2) There is the person who says, ’I’ve got too many problems to come!’ - but surely this is the very reason why we need to come - look up Matthew 11:28. (3) There is the person who says, ’There’s plenty of time!’ - but this is not true - look up and compare Proverbs 27:1; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 3:7. (4) There is the person who says, ‘Well, I’m doing my best. What more can I do?’ - but our best will never make us acceptable before God (Romans 3:20; Ephesians 2:8-10). (5) There is the person who says, ’But I’ve turned over a new leaf. I’ve reformed and everything will be different now!’ - take note of Ecclesiastes 3:15.
3. THE ATTRACTIVENESS OF GOD’S OFFER
What is it that God offers to those who will respond to His invitation to come? It is summed up in the words, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” God is offering full and free forgiveness for their sins and a complete transformation of life. The reference to ‘scarlet’ and ‘crimson’ indicate glaring sins. Incidentally, ’scarlet’ is what is known as a fast colour, “double-dyed”, dipped twice to make it fast, and this is exactly how our sins appear in God’s sight. What is offered?
- 1. Forgiveness for the worst sinner. No-one is too bad to come to Him. All are invited, including the greatest sinner on earth - look up Luke 7:47.
- 2. This means He invites the best to come to Him, and although by nature all are bad, sinful and lost, it is true that some have lived a protected life and have been prevented from falling into the worst possible sins of the flesh. These also may come to the Lord, and find joy in His great salvation - look up Romans 10:13.
- 3. He invites all to come because all need to come - look up Isaiah 45:22.
Thank God, we may come as we are, but although this is true, we cannot stay as we are. When we come the work of transformation takes place – “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” How is all this possible? It is only possible through the blood-shedding of the Lord Jesus Christ, through His work on Calvary 2000 years ago - look up and compare Isaiah 53:5-6; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 1:7.
Here, then, is God’s amazing offer to sinners. Have you accepted His offer? Have you come to Him and received His pardon and His cleansing, and are you rejoicing in the fullness of His grace and of His love each day?