South Yorkshire's most senior police officer was told to step down this week because it is claimed that he showed unacceptable insensitivity to the Hillsborough disaster victims. Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in South Yorkshire, had previously suspended Chief Constable David Crompton and on Thursday asked him to resign after he delivered a controversial statement following the Hillsborough inquest alluding to "other contributory factors" which contributed to causes of the deaths in the disaster.
There was a great debate on Radio Four this morning on the 'Today' program on the effect of these three words. Three words which hold the key to the future career of a senior police officer. One of the points that was made on the program was that it was only three words so what was the big deal! Three words are not much in the general scheme of things! However it really depends on what the three words are! Some words are pleasant, some are inflammatory! Some words have a calming effect and some make the situation worse. But words always have an effect for good or ill. This is why as a Christian I put great emphasis on the word of God , the Bible. I believe them to be inspired, free from error and a result totally trustworthy.
I would like to talk to you very briefly about a series of three words that could have quite an impact on your life!
I love you - these words change everything and are packed full of emotion. They affect relationships. They are the verbal confirmation of feelings that lie deep in our hearts. The expression of our feelings in words, and in actions, is essential. The scriptures (the Bible) are full of expressions of God's love. God is holy and finds our sin unacceptable but in love he gave His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. Here are a couple of sample verses:
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 5:8 - But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:9-10 - In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Rest in peace - this would be the desire for those we love who have passed on, the honest question is how can we be sure that we will rest in peace on the other side of death. The writer of the book of Acts, in the Bible, records one of the key truths of the gospel in 'Acts 10:36 'The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:). It is possible to 'rest in peace' in life. I have peace with God because Jesus is my Lord and Saviour. He has dealt with my sin and I rest with confidence in Him.
I am sorry - these are probably among the the hardest words most of us have to say from time to time. Their absence can destroy a relationship and their presence will cement and reinforce honesty and trustworthiness. May I be so bold as to ask you if you have ever said these words to God. If you want to have a clear conscience, if you want to be guilt free, if you want to be in heaven these are words that you will need to say to God. The scripture states in 1 John 1:9 'If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness'.
It is finished - to any regular reader of the Bible these words will have real significance. They were spoken by the Lord Jesus at the end of his suffering on the cross. They are also the fulfilment of a prediction at the end of Psalm 22 which is translated in English 'that he has done this'; these words are the same words in Hebrew as 'it is finished'. The question is - what was finished? Jesus' life on earth, his suffering, his humiliation, his rejection! All of these things are true but the great significance is that the work of salvation had been completed.
No longer could people claim that sin was a barrier between them and God.
Never again can the case of sin be levelled against the person who has confessed their sins (to God) and accepted Christ as their Substitute and Saviour.
The death of Christ is the final and complete payment that God accepts for sin, the scripture says in Hebrews 10:12 'But this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;' - indicating that His work was complete. His death is effective because He was sinless. His death alone made a full payment for sin that was acceptable to God the Father. Isaiah 53:11 predicted that the Son of God would be satisfied with his sacrifice. First Corinthians 15 states that 'Christ died for our sins'. The death of Christ on the cross completed the work that God had given His Son, Jesus, to do. As a result He, Jesus, is described as the Redeemer, the Saviour and the Reconciler. These descriptive words express some of the fullness of what the Lord Jesus was expressing when he cried 'it is finished'.
At one stage in her life Queen Victoria was not sure if she could be guaranteed a place in heaven. After a country preacher wrote to her she replied in these terms: To John Townsend: I have carefully and prayerfully read the portions of Scripture referred to. I believe in the finished work of Christ for me, and trust by God's grace to meet you in that home of which he said, "I go to prepare a place for you." (Signed) Victoria Guelph
Do you believe in the finished work of Christ?
For more information please contact me through www.seekthetruth.org.uk