American Standard Version (ASV)
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Pastor John MacArthur comments on the popular false gospel, preaching from 1 John 3:9-10:
“A no-repentance gospel, a no-holiness gospel, a no-submission gospel, a no-transformation gospel is the devil’s lie to give false security to damned people. So for the protection of the church from the false teaching agents of Satan, the New Testament is crystal clear on how you can determine whether one is a believer. And that is John’s very specific purpose in writing so there’s no mistaking the fact that true Christians are transformed people and their new life is very different than their former life…
“…True believers have a pattern of righteousness in their life. The pop gospel is void of this truth. It only wants to acknowledge an emotional moment, an event, and affirm people’s salvation on the basis of that event, that prayer, that moment rather than on life transformation…
“…Is this some kind of perfection? No. But it is a direction THE direction of the life of a true believer. John knows how important this is because Satan consistently will sow in the church tares, right? False believers to weaken and corrupt the church, leaven, the New Testament talks about, that spoils, poisons the church.
“So two things are at stake here. One, your own soul is at stake so you need to understand whether you’re a real Christian or not. Secondly, the church needs to be observant about this so that we deal with the people for their own sake and for the protection of the church. Anybody who preaches a gospel that says it’s only a change in your status and not a change in your life is preaching the devil’s message. We who know the truth are, I trust, faithful to proclaim the truth. And we have every right, don’t we, out of love to call people into question who have a pattern of sin? We’re not being loving if we don’t. So examine your own heart. Look at the hearts of those around you. You that are parents, it’s easy for you to cling to some childhood confession because you want so much your child to be saved. Don’t foolishly cling to a childhood confession against the reality of the pattern that’s obvious. And don’t kid yourself with regard to your spouse, either, or anybody else. It may be the boldest thing you do but it’s the kindest and most loving thing you do to confront those kinds of people, to point out the fact that whatever may be their claim and profession, there isn’t any evidence that there’s any new life. This we have responsibility to do before God and in the church.”