The Four Words and You
This past Sunday our brother James Harrison spoke on the topic “Four Words that will Change Your Life.” Whether one realises it or not, each one of us is in desperate need of hearing these words – of hearing these words spoken to us by Christ.
The four words are these: “Your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 7:48).
These words must be spoken to us by Christ for, as their first hearers in another such instance rightly judged, “Only God can forgive sins.” (Mark 2:7, NLT). And Christ indeed is God!
We prefer in our pride to compare our shortcomings with the comparably greater shortcomings of others, and one can always find a far worse sinner than oneself when one only searches among the fallen. But God demands we compare ourselves against His holiness. This is not an unfair standard. It is the unfortunate (for us) fact of God’s Nature that as light precludes darkness His holiness excludes all sin. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” Jesus commanded (Matt. 5:48, c.f. 1 Pet. 1:15). “…without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews warns (Heb. 12:14).
“The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them,” Paul writes young Timothy. These perhaps are those made plain when measuring one man against another. But God looks upon the heart (1 Sam. 16:7); He sees not only the visible sins of flesh and fancy, but also those sins of one’s spirit, as the verse continues, “… the sins of others trail behind them.” (1 Tim. 5:24). Whether or not we yet see our sinfulness the objective reality of it and our desperate need to hear the four words remain. Once heard, these words will indeed transform.
What must you do to hear these words? You must first come to this recognition of your unrighteousness in His sight. You must realize your helplessness to make matters right and acknowledge that His pure sacrifice in your behalf is the only plea upon which you may secure pardon. You must confess to Him this trust, turn away from all known sinful behaviour, make Him your Lord to obey and begin to grow by prayer, ongoing surrender daily, in Word and in fellowship with like believers.
Do these, and as John makes promise: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). You will know He has spoken the four words to you, and your life will begin to change.