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“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
The purpose of the triune God in all things is the salvation of his people; and the purpose of our Lord Jesus Christ in coming into this world was the salvation of his people. Whoever his people are, wherever they may be found, they shall be saved from their sins by Christ, the sovereign Savior. That fact cannot be disputed. He knows who they are. He knows where they are. And he knows how to save them. But how does he save his people from their sins? Here are three distinct, distinguishing acts of sovereign grace by which the Lord Jesus Christ saves his people from their sins, three acts of grace by which the Son of God cuts his sheep out of the goats and makes them to differ (1 Corinthians 4:7).
The Lord Jesus has saved all his people from the penalty of their sins by the particular, effectual redemption of our souls from the curse of God’s holy law by blood atonement (Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21). This is “how” that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. — He died voluntarily, laying down his life for us (Hebrews 10:5-14). He died vicariously, in our place, as our Substitute (Isaiah 53:4-6, 8). And he died victoriously, having accomplished his purpose (Hebrews 1:13; 9:12).
The Lord Jesus Christ saves chosen, redeemed sinners from the reigning power and dominion of their sins by the almighty, irresistible grace and power of God the Holy Spirit in the new birth (John 5:25; 6:63; Psalm 65:4; Ephesians 2:1-5). He comes to his own, as they lay dead and polluted in their own blood, in “the time of love,” spreads over them the skirt of his righteousness, and says to the dead, “Live!” And they live by the power of his grace (Ezekiel 16:6-8). He comes by his mighty Spirit and breathes upon the dead, causing life to enter into them (Ezekiel 37:1-14). He comes to sinners, who, like Lazarus, have been dead so long that they are corrupt beyond recognition as the sons of that man created in the image of God, calls them by name and says, “Come forth;” and those who are dead come forth (John 11:43).
Soon, the Lord Jesus Christ, this very same Jesus, will come again in power and great glory to save all his people from the presence and all the evil consequences of their sins in the resurrection of the just (John 5:25; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). There shall be a resurrection of the just and of the unjust. The wicked shall be raised to suffer all the consequences of their sins forever in hell. But the righteous shall be raised to be saved from all the evil consequences of their sins forever.
Do I have any just, reasonable, biblical grounds for believing that I am one of his people? Indeed, I do. I believe him (1 John 5:1, 9-13). My God-given faith in Christ is the evidence of the fact that he has saved this sinner from his sins; and it is the substance of his salvation (Hebrews 11:1).