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The Word on the Week

Release from Prison

So the prison system doesn’t work! At least not for sex offenders. It simply removes them from circulation for a time then returns them as marked men under surveillance by the authorities. The early release, for good conduct i.e. not breaking the prison rules, of Larry Murphy created media frenzy as reporters tried to trace his movements. Needless to say this had a knock-on effect in society which was enhanced by graphic details of his original conviction and the innuendo that he may have been accountable for other women who disappeared without trace. The fact of his refusing all forms of remedial treatment over the last 10 years does not augur well for the future neither does his absence of remorse. In a country awash with pornography and sexually explicit clothing we can look forward to many more Larry Murphy’s in the future. What has the Bible to say on these things? It advocates the Gospel of grace as the only remedy for sinners. Therapy and self improvement courses may keep people occupied but only the word of God can change people’s hearts. The Bible does not have a scale to grade sins but it has a remedy which wipes the slate clean from all sin. The remedy is there for all who turn away from their futile ways so that the word of God may be planted in their lives. Listen to St Peter as he writes commending the work of Jesus to believers reminding them of what they once were. “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were ransomed from the futile ways handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.” (1Peter chapter 1 verses 14 to 25.) That’s the only remedy for Larry Murphy, for you and for me that will last for time and eternity.