In this sermon, our founding pastor, W. Graham Smith, talks about the nature of sin and the atonement in, “A Study in Scarlet.” Here are some excerpts:


“…How appropriate, then, is the color scarlet to describe sin! Sin is pleasing, attractive, and glamorous, subtly alluring. That is why the world sins and goes on sinning. We hear the voice of conscience which warns us that the thing is wrong, but we are as fascinated by it as the moth which flutters spellbound round the flame until it is destroyed…”

“How then are we to awaken the conscience to the drugged death in the heart of this subtly attractive but poisonous flower? Dr. George Matheson, the famous Scottish preacher, once said — “No man can see his sin by looking at it; he can only see it by looking away from it.” It is only in the vision of purity that we see our own impurity. A newly-washed handkerchief may look perfectly white until you place it on top of newly—fallen snow…”

The Gospel

“When we read the Gospels, we are introduced to the One Who can deliver us from sin because He died for sin. “God made Him (the Lord Jesus Christ) Who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21)…”

“…I cannot fathom, by any theory of atonement, all that happened when my Savior died on Calvary; but I do know that it was through those deep waters and that dark night that He passed through, that my sins have been forgiven; and for that I want to praise Him at this very moment and for all eternity. Don’t you?…”


A Study In Scarlet. Graham has a lot more to say about this topic. If you would like to learn more, please download and read the attached transcript of the sermon, as the above excerpts do not even scratch the surface. If you would like to do a word search on the transcript, download the file, and then open the file with your web browser after downloading and use your browser’s find feature.

February 26, 1989

Isaiah 1:18

Rev. W. Graham Smith

Download Transcript (PDF)