Three For Three
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Matthew 1:21, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Sometimes you don’t have to dig deep in God’s word to find the truth concerning salvation, you just have to believe it! People often times have the excuse, “I just don’t understand the bible” or, “it is to complicated for me”. I find when talking to people that the bible is really not complicated to them at all; they just don’t believe what the bible says! “Let God be true, but every man a liar”.
I will confess that there are difficult passages in the bible to rightly divide. And often it takes light to gain more light. To gain a greater understanding in God’s word we have to study and give ourselves to prayer and meditation, asking God to reveal His wondrous truths to us. When you were of age to start school did you start in 10th grade? Of course not: You weren’t ready. You first started in Kindergarten and year-by-year you advanced in your knowledge and continued to move up in grades. We first have to take baby steps in God’s word to grow in knowledge. You start first on Milk before you can ever eat meat. It our diligent studies we are able to study the word of God “precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line: here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:13).
But there are passages in the bible that don’t require a great deal of knowledge to understand; we just have to take them at face value. The text that is before us is such a one. Don’t try to read between the lines; don’t try to assume within yourself that the angel of the Lord is saying something subliminal or that there is another meaning all together. Lets look at what he says and take him at his word!
In this text (Matthew 1:21) we have the words of the angel of the Lord to Joseph. Mary and Joseph were espoused to each other; they were engaged, not married as of yet. And for this reason Mary was still a virgin. But she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. When Joseph had learned of this he, “being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily”. It was then that the angel of the Lord told Joseph, “fear not to take Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost”.
Now there were three things that the angel of the Lord told Joseph: three very important things!
“And she shall bring forth a son…” Is there any question in your mind as to what this means? Do you believe it when you read it? Did she bring forth a son? Yes, she did bring forth a son! We read in Luke 2:7, “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn”. This was not when Christ came into being, for He has always been. It was Christ with His Father and the Holy Ghost that said, “Let us make man in our image”. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. The Word is speaking of Christ. Further reading will reveal this in John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” There is no doubt that Christ is and has always been. But he was born into this world robed in flesh “and was made in the likeness of man”. Isaiah 9:6 states, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given”. Most people will not argue with you on this very plain fact that Christ was born into this world by the Virgin Mary. And what a wonderful truth it is!
“…and thou shalt call his name JESUS…” This was the second statement that was made to Joseph. God had already chosen a name for Christ. Is there any question that Mary and Joseph called him Jesus? Luke 2:21 states, “ And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb”. What a fitting name for the Lord of Glory, for Jesus means Saviour! It describes who he is and his work. A farmer farms, and a teacher teaches, and my friends, and Saviour saves! His name is found over 900 times in the New Testament. This second statement is also a very plain fact and no one who believes in the New Testament would dare argue this fact.
“…for he shall save his people from their sins”. Now we come to the third statement. You have taken the first two statements at face value. Will you now take this one for what it says? The “for” in this statement declares why he is named Jesus, it declares his person and work. But notice more closely the words following it, “he SHALL save HIS people from their sins”. The word “shall” is defined as something that is inevitable. The word “his” is defined to indicate the one or ones belonging to him. Now we know that the text is saying, will we believe it?
This text does not say, “he will make a way for all mankind whereby they can obtain salvation from their sins if they choose”. No, listen again. It says, HE SHALL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS! Did he do it? The answer is an unequivocal YES! And when was this work done? Paul said, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief”. If Christ came into the world to do the work, then we would have to say that the work was finished while he was in the world. If not, then Christ failed and Paul is a liar!
Christ’s cry on the cross declared the work was accomplished when he said, “It is finished”. Paul exclaimed in Hebrews 10:11-13, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified”. Christ being “sat down” implies that he is resting from his work. And if he is resting from his work, he is finished. And those he died for have been perfected forever!
Did Christ die for everyone? Yes, everyone that the Father had given him. And he will not lose a one! Christ said in John 6:37-39, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day”. But did Christ die for all the family of Adam? No. He died for the “sheep” not for the “goats”. Are you a sheep or goat? If you have a love for God, if you are convicted of your sins when you do wrong, if you look forward to the day when you will be housed in Heaven with God, then I have some good news for you. You are one of his already! He died for you and the work is complete. He saved you on Calvary’s cross. And it was never because of anything you said or did, but it was all according to his mercy, grace, and purpose. 2Timothy 1:9 states, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began”.
You believe the first two statements. Will you believe the third? Will you take it at face value for what it says? In doing so you will find a comfort and consolation in God’s word knowing that you are one of his and that nothing can separate you from what he has done, “for he shall save his people from their sins”. Thank God for his precious and comforting truth!