February 20, 2018

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Ps. 51:7). Snow is likened by David as a clean contrast to the depravity of the sin he asked God to forgive him for. David, a man after God’s own heart, yet in a moment of weakness he became guilty of murder, adultery, lying, stealing, and trying to hide his sin. Psalm 51 is a beautiful prayer of confession of a man humbled by the devastating affects of moral depravity, and it is a demonstration of a God who is approachable by even the worst of sinners. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25).

As a pastor, I have heard the stories of more people than I can remember who have been broken by the foolishness of their sin. They went outside of the marriage bed, they got drunk, they nearly committed murder, they are addicted to drugs, they tried suicide, they hate their parents, they had children out of wedlock, they neglected and endangered their children, they had an abortion, they blame God, they stole property, they, they, they etc. etc. etc.

“For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). This is the only antidote King David could appeal to, and it is the only counsel I can give to the wayward soul. I know it works for it is the only soap that could wash away my sin. It is the only reason I can share it with others.  “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (worthless worship) received by tradition from your fathers (faulty practice of religion) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19).

After one of the Bible studies in jail, a guy came up to me and said to me. “Father I need you to forgive me for I have sinned.” Wow! Now this would be some kind of power to have, would it not? The power to absolve somebody of their moral corruption. I had to let him know the bad news – I could not give to him his request because I was not qualified. But I was able to give him some good news because I could introduce him to Somebody who could and would save and forgive him if he would go to Jesus and to Jesus alone for His soul. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6).

So many I know seek to make themselves good enough to be acceptable for God. Their religion, their faith, their works, are like Cain offering up a sacrifice from a heart of pride and sinful hands. The smoke of this sacrifice will be blown right back into their faces as unacceptable before a thrice Holy God. What they are trying to accomplish is an impossible task. If only they could give up their own efforts and simply come to the cross of Jesus and see for themselves the work of God on their behalf!

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood even the forgiveness of sins:” (Colossians 1:12-14).

Whiter than snow, only because of Christ,

Pastor John Schofield