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September 25 Today’s Reading: Matthew 1-4
“Call His Name JESUS”
These were the words of the angel of the Lord to Joseph concerning the incarnation, birth, and work of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. — “Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” It seems to me that anyone who reads or hears that the Son of God assumed human flesh and came into the world as a man would want to know why He did so.
Why did the Son of God come into this world?
The angel of the Lord tells us plainly that God the Son came into this world for a specific purpose, to do a specific thing, on a specific mission. — “Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” The Lord of glory, the Son of God, assumed our nature and came into the world to save His people from their sins. This is the Father’s will, which He came to perform (Hebrews 10:5-14; John 6:39). This is the stipulation of the covenant, which He came to fulfil (Hebrews 13:20; Isaiah 49:8). This is the commandment of God, which He came to obey (John 10:16-18).
My mind is lost in wonder and admiration when I think of the fact of Christ’s coming into this world. Is it not astonishing to you that the Son of God would become the Son of Man, — That He who created all things would become the woman’s Seed, — That He who is Lord of all would take upon Himself the form of a servant to be despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, — And that His purpose in doing so was that in the fulness of time He might die the painful, shameful, ignominious death of the cross in the place of guilty sinners? These things utterly astonish me! I say with Paul, “Great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh!”
Who is this Jesus?
That may seem to be a strange question. You have heard about Jesus all your life. Perhaps you think, “Everyone knows who Jesus Christ is.” You are mistaken. The fact is, very few people in this world know who the Lord Jesus Christ is. The Christ that is worshipped in the average church is nothing but an idolatrous figment of man’s imagination. Our Lord Himself warned us of these days, saying, “There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Matthew 24:24).” So when men come to you and say, “Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not” (Matthew 24:23).
That makes this question very important. — Who is this Jesus? Who is the Christ of the Bible? We must know, trust, and worship this Christ, if we would know God and be accepted of him (John 17:3). If we trust a false Christ, no matter how sincere we are, we are lost and under the delusion of Satan. If you care for your soul, you will search the Scriptures, asking God the Holy Spirit to show you who this Jesus is, of whom it is written, “He shall save His people from their sins.” This man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, is God the Son, the second Person of the Holy Trinity.
Salvation is in Him alone, completely and only in Him. In fact, He is God’s Salvation (Luke 2:30). You cannot be saved without Him; and you cannot be saved if you try to mix your own works, feelings, emotions, or experiences with faith in Him. The Lord Jesus Christ is able to save you from the guilt of sin, the power of sin, and all the consequences of sin (Hebrews 7:25). He is the all-sufficient Savior.
He is the only one who has power in Himself to forgive sin (Matthew 9:6). He is exalted “to give repentance and remission of sins” (Luke 24:47; Acts 5:31). By the sacrifice of Himself, according to the will of God, the Lord Jesus Christ put away all the sins of His people, obtained eternal redemption for them, and established the only grounds upon which God can be both just and the Justifier of all who believe (Hebrews 1:3; 9:12, 26; 10:1-14; Romans 3:24-26).
Christ is the Way.
There is no other possible way of salvation. God’s own beloved Son would never have been crucified to redeem and save us if salvation could have been obtained in any other way. Indeed, the apostle Paul reasons that if we could have been saved in some other way, “then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:21). Infinite wisdom found a way to save us. Infinite grace provided the great sacrifice. Infinite love brought the Son of God to lay down His life for His people. Why? Because there was no other way for God to both satisfy His justice in the punishment of sin and forgive His people of all their sins. Christ alone must be our Savior. — “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
The only way sinners, like you and me, can obtain God’s salvation is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you believe on Christ, you may be confident that your sins are forgiven by His blood and that God has made you perfectly righteous in Him, because God appointed this way of salvation; and He has promised to save all who trust His dear Son (Romans 10:9-13). Indeed, if you now trust the Son of God, it is because you are already born of God and you have everlasting life (John 3:36). You could not and would not believe, if He had not given you life.