Salvation: He will Save His People from Their Sin

Stefan Nitzschke November 27, 2022 Matthew 1:21
Outline

3 truths that help us rejoice in Jesus’ fulfillment of saving his people

I. The Name “Jesus” Reminds Us of God’s Salvation Ministry

Matthew 1:21 - She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

A. Jesus’ ministry is Yahweh’s ministry (Mark 1:1-3)

Mark 1:1 - The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way; The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.’”

Matthew 3:3 - For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight!’”

B. Yahweh’s ministry is salvation (Isaiah 40:1-11)

Isaiah 40:1-2, 10-11 - “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed…Behold, the Lord God will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him and His recompense before Him. Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

Acts 4:8 - Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead – by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

II. Jesus Saves People from Their Sins

Matthew 1:21 - She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

Psalm 130:1-8 - Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is lovingkindness, and with Him is abundant redemption. And He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

A. Everyone is or was a sinner

Romans 3:23 - …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

B. Sin’s consequence is eternity in hell away from Jesus, but salvation is freedom to serve and live

Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

C. No one can save themselves from sin

Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

III. Jesus Creates a People in the Saving Process

Matthew 1:21 - She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

A. His people means that they belong to Messiah

John 1:12 - But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.

B. Salvation belonged first to the Jews

Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

C. Salvation extended to the Gentiles (that is us)

Matthew 3:9 - …and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, “We have Abraham for our father”; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

Matthew 8:11 - I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

Titus 2:13-14 - …looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of bour great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Good morning

*Happy belated Thanksgiving!

*Much to be thankful for (Stew Celeb recap)

It’s very appropriate that, right on the heels of a holiday that celebrates this concept, we’re beginning our final series on the annual theme of Growing in Gospel Gratitude

*hope you’ve GGG…

This year we are going to consider 5 Fulfillments of Christ’s Birth that bring Joy. The series will lay out as follows:

1. Salvation: He will save his people from their sin – Matthew 1:21 says you will call his name Jesus (Yahweh saves) because he will save his people from their sins.

2. Presence: Immanuel, which means God with us - Matthew 1:23 tells us that Jesus was not his only name. The Bible also calls him Immanuel reminding us that he is with us.

3. Rule: The King of the Jews - Matthew 2:6 reminds us that a ruler would come from Bethlehem. There is only one king of kings and Lord of Lords.

4. Deliverance: Out of Egypt I have called my son - Matthew 2:15 describes a deliverance and it remind us of the amazing protection for Messiah so that he could provide the once-for-all deliverance we need.

5. Relationship: Humble birth in Bethlehem - Matthew 2:18 and 23 remind us of his humble birth. People would ask, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” These passages remind us that the suffering servant did not come with the expected fanfare but in humility to fulfill his role.

With that in mind, please turn in your Bible to Matthew 1:18 that is on page 1 of the back section of the Bible under the chair in front of you.

I think we would all agree—these fulfillments are very significant

The one that we’ll be talking about today goes into one of Christ’s primary purposes for coming into the world—salvation

But imagine a situation where you were trying to save someone from a danger they didn’t acknowledge…

January is a cold time of year for those of us on the northern hemisphere—even for places like Florida

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know little facts like that—but it does take a rocket scientist to know what sub-freezing temperatures do to elastic O-rings that seal the joints between multi-stage booster rockets

And Roger Boisjoly (Boy-zeh-lay) just happens to be a rocket scientist…

The forecasted temperatures the morning of January 27th in 1986 were projected to be around 30 degrees Fahrenheit at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center

When the weather projections came up, Roger and a small team of fellow engineers began sounding the alarm on the implications of freezing temperatures on the elastic seals

Each warning was met with either diversion or rejection—the launch would occur on-schedule

As the morning of the launch approached, Roger became more and more desperate—pleading with those who had any level of influence and power: “stop the launch!”

To Roger’s great relief, the Space Shuttle Challenger lifted off her launch point without incident

One minute into the launch, a friend turned to him and said: “we made it! We made it!”

In Roger’s own words: “Then, a few seconds later, the shuttle blew up. And we all knew exactly what happened”

Roger (Boy-zeh-lay) had the position and perspective that allowed him to see the coming danger, and the implications of what would happen if that was ignored

Knowing the likely fate of the astronauts, he did whatever he could to warn them of what was to come

That’s what makes this passage so incredibly important

All of mankind, like the team at NASA, are pleased to continue going about with their plans, utterly unaware of the coming danger

We, too, need the intervention of someone who knows the problem AND has the power to do something about it

Bursting onto the scene is Jesus. Please follow along as I read Matthew 1:18-21.

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

This is the Word of the Lord. Let’s consider three truths that help us rejoice in Jesus’ fulfillment of saving his people.

Narrowing in on verse 21, we see that…

I. The name “Jesus” reminds us of God’s salvation ministry

Matthew 1:21 – “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

This was back when names typically meant something

It’s fun to look at your own given name to see what it means

And I can tell you—mine gets a bit more obscure the deeper you go…

*Stefan—crown?

*Juel—delight? Christmas? A shiny rock?

*Nitzschke—(crickets)

Yet Jesus wasn’t given his father’s name, as was customary in those times

His parents were told what He should be called: Yeshua, meaning “Yahweh saves” (Yahweh being the Hebrew Name for God)

And it’s always an interesting thing when you meet someone who shares your name (*Livvy Tivvy setup: went by Stephen but named “Stefan”—he’d given up on the whole thing)

Jesus wasn’t the only person in the Bible to bear the name “Yeshua”—who else had the same name (as we pronounce it in English)?

How many people in this room are named “Joshua”?

Your name has a very clear-cut meaning and a wonderfully storied history

*faithful spy (compelling the Israelites: Yahweh saves!)

*Moses’ right-hand-man (reminder to Moses: Yahweh saves)

*Successor to Moses (reminder to Israelites: Yahweh saves)

*Campaigning Leader (showing nations: Yahweh saves)

But then what happened?

Yeshua died and stayed in the grave: the people forgot that Yahweh saves (*Judges)

But what the people needed—what you and I need—is not just a reminder that Yahweh saves: we need a Savior who’s not under the curse of sin and death to redeem us from our own sin and death

Jesus’s name was a prophecy of His mission before He was born – Yahweh will save

His name was a present reminder of His mission while he was on this earth – Yahweh is saving

And His name now a victory cry for those who cling to Him – Yahweh has fully and finally saved!

The history of all of this is important—in part, because…

A. Jesus’ ministry is Yahweh’s ministry (Mark 1:1-3)

Mark’s recounting of the early portion of the gospel narrative cues us in on some further details…

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way; 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight.’”

If you were to open Isaiah and Malachi to the portions Mark is referencing in this passage, who were they talking about back in the time it was written?

In reference to the “You” “Your” “the Lord” and “His” that we see in the passage—it’s pretty obvious that they’re referring to Yahweh—the One True God

Yet Matthew quite obviously applies these references to JESUS

John the Baptizer was commissioned to make way for the coming of the Lord, and His name is Jesus!

Matthew, himself, emphasizes this point a couple of chapters later…

Matthew 3:3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight!’”

In our passage for this morning, we’re entering into a story that’s been unfolding for many generations

Only in Matthew 1, God’s saving mission was not only getting a name—He was getting a body like ours that would enable Him to carry out his saving work

And praise the Lord that…

B. Yahweh’s ministry is salvation (Isaiah 40:1-11)

Roger (boy-zeh-lay) knew there was a serious problem and that something needed to be done about it

Fortunately for him, he had the knowledge necessary to identify the catastrophic error and pinpoint a precise solution

Unfortunately, he didn’t have the power and sway necessary to do anything about it

He couldn’t save the mission—and more significantly—he couldn’t save the lives of those on the shuttle

Partly because the people he was talking to didn’t think “salvation” was necessary

*Mack truck illustration

Yahweh’s ministry is salvation, and He’s been doing it for a long time…

Isaiah 40:1-2, 10-11 “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed … Behold, the Lord God will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him and His recompense before Him. Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

Isaiah is speaking about a time that was to come in this passage, but the people he was speaking to had known about God’s saving work long before then

God’s been saving His people since salvation was necessary

1. God gave Adam and Eve coverings and promised One who would crush the enemy they had just befriended

2. Noah and his family were saved from the utter annihilation all the rest of humanity was subjected to

3. Abraham and Sarah are saved out of paganism and saved from various dangers

4. Yahweh delivers his people from starvation by sending Joseph to Egypt.

5. When they’re caught up in slavery centuries later, He delivers them from Egypt.

6. He provides Moses and Joshua to save them from enemies within (the law) and without (the nations)

7. Yahweh sends judge after judge to save his people from destruction.

8. He sent prophets to call them to repentance that they experience his blessings.

AND

10. Yahweh rescued them from Babylon.

The Bible is a big book with a lot of stuff in it (I mentioned I wasn’t a rocket scientist)

As you read it, one dominant them jumps from the pages: starting at Genesis 3:15 and continuing to Revelation 22: Our God SAVES

The name Yeshua, or Jesus, should be a reminder of this work our God loves to do

And I like the way Pastor Rob Green phrases it: “Jesus is Yahweh, doing Yahweh’s ministry”

My name is Stefan, but my parents could have named me Simon or Garfunkel and it wouldn’t have made much of a difference

Jesus, on the other hand, needed to be named Jesus

Peter—the one who formerly denied His name—later explains why it must be embraced

Acts 4:8 – Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. “He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

His very name reminds us of His ministry: Yahweh loves to save.

The Deputy Administrator of NASA’s question to Roger was “saved from what?”

My question to you as you tackle me onto the sidewalk is “saved from what?”

The sinner’s question to a child named Yeshua is … “saved from what?”…

II. Jesus saves people from their sins

Looking back to our passage…

Matthew 1:21 – “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Roger (boy-zeh-lay) offered salvation from a malfunctioned mission, wrecked rocket, and senseless loss of life

Unfortunately, the team at NASA either didn’t see the imminent danger or they found the odds to be stacked in their own favor

When you tackled me, you were trying to save me from a Mack truck turning me into hamburger meat

My issue is that I either didn’t see the Mack truck or there was nothing I could do about it

What type of salvation did Jesus offer?

A brief look at the different people Jesus interacts with in any of the four gospels will produce all sorts of results

“He came to provide a big lunch to a hungry people!”

“He came to give nice talks about how to be a good person!”

“He came to overthrow the tyrannical Roman regime!”

“He came to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, cast out demons, raise the dead…”

Who wouldn’t be on board with that kind of Jesus?

“Feed me, tell me nice things, put me in charge of my life, and make me comfortable”

…this is starting to sound like a familiar “gospel” in our day-and-age…

The true followers of Yahweh have always know what lies at the root of their issues—they’ve always know where salvation needs to be applied

We see that from one of the Psalms of Ascent—a song that would be sung while the people of God would make their way up to Jerusalem

Here’s one such Psalm in its entirety:

Psalm 130:1 – Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

True followers of Yahweh—the God who loves to save—knew then where salvation was necessary

And we know today that we face the same dire circumstances, because…

A. Everyone is or was a sinner

Talking a short walk on the Roman Road, we begin with the understanding that…

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Functionally, each one of us sins (1 John 1)

Positionally, those who have given themselves over to Christ in faith are no longer identified by their sin, but by their Savior

It’s important to note, however, that each one of us was positionally born as a sinner

Romans 6 and Ephesians 2 talk about how dire that circumstance is: dead in our transgressions and sin, enslaved to every command it would voice

But then… YESHUA … Yahweh Saves

Another reason that hearing the name of Jesus reminds us of the wonderful salvation He’s accomplished on the cross

But it’s also a start reminder of the consequences in either direction…

B. Sin’s consequence is eternity in hell away from Jesus, but salvation is freedom to serve and live

NASA’s executive team would not have made the decision to continue if they fully understood the implications of continuing the Challenger mission

For the sinner, it’s likewise difficult to comprehend the state we’re born into and the implications of eternal damnation

Many have tried to capture this deep darkness over the years, in an attempt to do what Roger (boy-zeh-lay) sought to express towards his employers: “this is what will happen if we don’t embrace salvation”

Jeremias Drexel, also known as Drexelius, was a Jesuit writer in the 16th and 17th century—his description of eternal damnation is worth reading in its entirety…

Again, my intention, as well as Dexelius’ intention, is not to instill fear for fear’s sake, but to say the quiet part out loud: eternity is in store for every human being, and those apart from Christ face unimaginable darkness…

“Suppose there is a mountain composed of minute grains of sand, as large as the whole world, or in mass and size even greater, and that only a single grain be taken from this mountain by an angel each year. How many thousands of years, and again thousands upon thousands; how many hundred thousands, nay how many thousand millions of years will have passed before the mountain would appear to diminish and decrease? . . . Let us suppose that finally the last gain of this immense mountain has actually been counted; yet eternity exceeds it by an incomparable length (and nothing is more certain), because there is no comparison, no proportion between the finite and the infinite. Eternity admits of no confines, no boundaries; therefore the damned will burn during this long, this incomprehensible term of years in perpetual flames, until a mountain of so great size . . . be transferred to another place. But the measure and limit of their torments will be so far from being ended at that time, that it can then be said: “Now eternity is just beginning; nothing has been subtracted from it, it is still entire. After a thousand years, after a hundred thousand years, there is not yet an end nor middle nor beginning of eternity, but its measure is always.” – Drexel, Jeremias, Considerations on Eternity, 70-71.

Friends, there really is a hell, and it is to be utterly shunned

Fortunately, there’s a hinge of history—a fixed point so significant that it’s determined how we count time itself…

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

As the calendar winds down, we say goodbye to 2022 as we gear up for 2023

But what are we counting up FROM?

Respectively, we’re counting up from Matthew chapter 1—the hinge of human history

Eternal death was in store for all mankind due to the wages of sin, BUT…

Yahweh loves to save…

If you find yourself on the first part of the equation, where there hasn’t been a fixed point of time in your life where you’ve acknowledged your need for salvation, Drexelius’s description is your eternal destiny, as sure as Roger (boy-zeh-lay)’s warning was Challenger’s reality

But there’s a hinge in history… (*gospel + free gift + trade eternities (“when we’ve been there…”))

Christian friend—my fellow brothers and sisters on the latter half of the equation—have you noticed something?

Christmas season—the time we celebrate this hinge of history—it doesn’t slow down

In fact, it seems to really accelerate!

*financial needs

*C4E

*Livvy Tivvy

*Winter Break Ministries

*Christmas Eve services

*NYES

Why go to all the trouble?

Because we still believe that Yahweh saves

And if providing a child with Christmas presents an opportunity to share the gospel, bring on the Paw Patrol!

And if yelling for help in the middle of a parking lot with my two older boys while dressed like disciples and sitting on a fake boat gives someone an opportunity to hear about Jesus, then sign me up (my wife already did … again)

We’re very busy because we want the years we have on this earth – this handful of pebbles that represents the inexhaustible mountain of eternity – we want those years to be lived in such a way that some else’s eternity turns on the hinge of Christ—amen?

So with our fistful of pebbles, let’s use them well to teach others about this God who loves to save, because not only is eternity at stake, but…

C. No one can save themselves from sin

I mentioned Ephesians 2 earlier—the passage that proceeds our state apart from Christ is a beautiful one…

Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

An offense against an eternal God demands and eternal punishment

Thus, everlasting hell makes logical sense when considering our own treasonous offenses against such a holy God

But when you work the logic backwards, it produces only one result:

If an offense against an eternal God demands an eternal punishment, then it would take eternal God Himself, who has never committed any offense, to absorb the debt we owe

Brothers and sisters—there’s only one who meets that criteria: Yeshua

And the REALLY good news is this:

IF Jesus really is guiltless (and He is), and IF He really did bear the wrath of God on the cross (and He did), that means He MUST have done it for us and not for Himself

In other words, salvation from our sins and the punishment that was due us is TOTALLY ACCOMPLISHED in Jesus

But Jesus doesn’t just save us and leave us…

III. Jesus creates a people in the saving process

Looking to our remaining element in the passage…

Matthew 1:21 – “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Through Jesus, we’re plugged into the narrative of God’s salvific plan that He’s been working since Genesis 3

We become a part of those He’d saved through faith before His death on the Cross

And we join the collection of those added to the bride of Christ before us, among us, and after us

We see that…

A. His people means that they belong to Messiah

When any sinner embraces the salvation offered by Jesus, he goes from enemy to friend; from damned to glory; from spiritually orphaned to adopted…

John 1:12 – But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name

But I hope you appreciate the generous nature of Yahweh’s salvific plan

Jesus made it clear to the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7 that…

B. Salvation belonged first to the Jews

Paul also makes this case in the epistles:

Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

God’s not done with the nation of Israel—the word of God and history itself makes that apparent

It’s alleged that when Frederick the Great (18th century king of Prussia) asked a trusted advisor to provide the strongest bit of evidence regarding God’s existence, the advisor was credited as saying, “The Jews, sir; the Jews…”

God has inexplicably preserved them through the ebb and flow of kingdoms (among which Prussia is not numbered, mind you)

So praise be to God that…

C. Salvation extended to the Gentiles (that is us)

Which is a point John the Baptizer makes later in Matthew…

Matthew 3:9 – and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

Or Jesus would make the point even further on…

Matthew 8:11 “I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven

Paul would emphasize this point in…

Titus 2:13-14 – looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Jesus came to save—but not from the Romans

Not from discomfort

Not even from death

Jesus came to save us from our sin—and taking a cursory glimpse at what those wages would have been, that’s the kind of Savior I want

That’s the kind of Savior I need

That’s the kind of Savior God sent

This Christmas, as we celebrate the hinge of humanity, let’s not forget what His name means: Yahweh saves

And let’s rejoice that He is still in the saving business today, while we use our fistful of pebbles to impact eternity, by His grace…

*PRAY*

Authors

Stefan Nitzschke

Roles

Pastor of College Ministries - Faith Church

Bio

B.S. - Management Information Systems, Iowa State University
M.Div. - Faith Bible Seminary

Stefan has been serving on the pastoral team at Faith Church since 2016. He and his wife have a passion for discipleship and evangelism. They are the blessed parents of four carefree boys and one sweet girl. Stefan is certified as a biblical counselor through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) and is a board member of Faith’s Community Development Corporation.