Thou shalt call his name JESUS: 

for he shall save his people from their sins

 

By Leon King

 

    In the New Testament book of Matthew, we read the following from chapter 1, verses 18 through 21:  "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."

 

    Here, the angel Gabriel, who stood in the very presence of Almighty God, spoke with all the authority of God who sent himthou shalt call his name JESUS - for he shall save his people from their sins.  Gabriel announced the primary reason why Jesus Christ of Nazareth was born into the world.  Jesus' purpose in coming was not to be a great teacher for the world as some suppose.  His purpose was not to be one of the great religious leaders of the world.  His life was not to provide an example for all the world to follow, but He came to "save His people from their sins."

 

    Who was Jesus?  The same angel, Gabriel, told the woman who was to be Jesus' mother that he would be the Son of God.  That declaration is found in Luke 1:30-35 

 

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

 

   So, we see that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was the Son of the Living God.  This is what he said about himself and is clearly what the Bible teaches of him.  But this was not the beginning of his life.  He was with his Father before the world was.  In fact, all things were created by him - and for him.

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.   14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. -- Gospel of John, 1:1-3,14.

 

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. -- Revelation 4:11.

 

   Jesus Christ created the worlds and all that is therein - and for his pleasure they are and were created.  Part of that creation is the human family.  Every one of us descended from the first man, Adam.  Adam was created and placed in a garden - a beautiful environment.  Adam voluntarily broke God's commandment not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  When he ate, he died that very day spiritually, then died physically after nine hundred and thirty years.  In his sin against God, he passed death and sin on all his posterity.  That means that sin was imputed to us - you and I.  Every one of us in the human family are born in sin and sin because we are born sinners.

 

   As sinners at birth, we are already under the condemnation of Almighty God.  We are said to be dead in trespasses and in sins and unless we are born again from above we shall never see nor enter into the kingdom of heaven, but shall perish ultimately by being cast into the lake of fire.  This is called the second death.

 

    The only hope for sinful man is to appease a Holy God by a sacrifice of someone both holy and innocent.  That is what the sacrifices in Scripture are all about.  The death of innocent lambs and bullocks pictured the death of Jesus Christ, who later would die, the just for the unjust.  It was not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins, but this man (Jesus) by offering himself has sanctified every one who comes to God by him.  There is no other way.  Men think God will accept them what their good deeds - or by what they give - or by what they do not do.  Men's thoughts are not God's thoughts.

 

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. -- John 14:6.

 

    Is Jesus' statement true?  We believe it is.  There is no other way to the Father.  Every one who comes to the Father must come by Jesus.  The truth of this statement excludes human merit, human prophets, good works, or religious acts.  Let us now examine the text at the heading of this article:  He shall save His people from their sins. He shall save - meaning that Jesus positively shall preserve his people.  He is in the saving business.  How does this happen?  We answer - by His death as a substitute for His own.  He saves by taking the death of the condemned sinner upon himself.  That is precisely what he did when he died on the cross. 

 

      HE SHALL SAVE.  Notice that the text says "he shall save," not that he makes saving a possibility.  When Jesus said, "It is finished," as he hung on the cross, he had taken all the sins of all His people upon himself and suffered the judgment of God for the sins.  He did it for them - something they could not except to eternally perish in the lake of fire.

 

o       We rejoice to say that Jesus did not remain on the cross nor did he remain in the borrowed tomb.  He came forth alive forevermore at the end of the third day and has now ascended back to the Heavenly Father where he sits at His right hand making intercession for His people.  He saves them to the fullest extent.

 

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. -- Hebrews 7:25.

 

     WHOM SHALL HE SAVE?  His people...And who are His people?  They are the ones who belong to him.  The expression "his people" certainly denotes that He has a people.  Though he was born a Jew, the Jews were not his people for the Jewish nation as a whole rejected Him, though a remnant of the nation was saved.

 

o       His people are the same people, which he foreknew.  Though He knows all men in the sense that he knows everything about them and everything in them, he does not know all men as his people.  To foreknow means that He knew some in an intimate, special way beforehand - even before the foundation of the world.  The names of His own were written in the Lamb's book of life from before the foundation of the world.

 

John 1:11-13  He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

Revelation 13:8  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 

Revelation 17:8  The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

 

      SAVE THEM FROM THEIR SINS.  And what is it that Jesus would do for His people?  He shall save them from their sins;  Positively save them, not probably save them.  When Jesus Christ died on the cross, he paid the sin debt in full for His people.  He died as their substitute - in their place.  God punished the sins of His people by laying their sins on His only begotton Son, Jesus Christ.  Since he died for their sins, His people are now dead to sin.  Their sins will never be mentioned against them again. One of the most wonderful benefits that God's people enjoy in the new testament is that  God will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will he remember no more.  This is positive, eternal salvation for those who hear and believe.  And those, who are His sheep, will do just that - they will hear and believe. 

 

o       The following passage makes it abundantly clear.  Some will not believe because they are not of His sheep, but His sheep hear his voice and follow him - and he gives to them eternal life and they shall never perish.  How clear this is!  The very fact that some believe and follow Him shows that they are His people - the ones whose names were written in the Lamb's book of life from before the foundation of the world.  All those who believe in Jesus Christ as the savior - as the messiah are saved from their sins.  This is the testimony of scripture. Jesus said unto the unbelieving Pharisees:

 

But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. -- John 10:26-28.

 

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. 17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. -- John 3:14-18.

 

 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. -- John 3:36

 

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. --   John 6:47

   

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. -- Mark 16:16

 

 

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