We consider the Word of God found in Matthew 1:21, and the great truth: “Jesus Saving, Not Begging”!
Most everyone is familiar with the words appearing in Matthew’s gospel, chapter one, verse twenty-one: “Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.” This is how Jesus is presented in the inspired Word of God. Usually, a different picture of Him is presented in the current popular pulpit orations. More often than not Jesus is sentimentally and emotionally pictured as a would-be savior who would save everybody. To this end, He does His best, offers all men a chance to be saved if only they will come to Him and believe in Him. Yet what can He do, to accomplish His will, if almighty men will not give Him a chance to do for them what He would? People who imagine such a Jesus do not understand the Scripture, nor do they understand that the Scripture cannot be changed, nor do they understand the way Jesus is objectively and truthfully presented in Scripture. So Jesus remains what He really is, despite all misrepresentations of Him!
- His Name Proclaims What He Is. The angel of the Lord prophesied both His birth and name, commanding, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus.” Yes, but who is this One to receive the name “Jesus”? The Bible tells us He is the Son of the Highest, the Son of God. His virgin mother called Him “God my Savior.” It had been prophesied seven hundred years before in the days of Isaiah that “they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, ‘God with Us’ “. This One, then, is God incarnate. Why is He, God in our flesh, called Jesus, that is, Savior? Because He saves. He is called Savior because He actually and really saves. He delivers His people from their sins, from spiritual death and hell. He is also called Jesus, or Savior, because we ought not to seek, neither can we find, salvation in any other. Besides, since He is Emmanuel, God With Us, it must be remembered that the name Jesus is the New Testament form of the Old Testament Joshua. There were two Joshua’s in the Old Testament, both types of Christ. One Joshua was Israel’s captain who led them into their promised land. The other Joshua was their high priest on return to their land after seventy years of exile. Jesus is our Joshua, the Captain of our salvation, and our Great High Priest. He is more than just Hoshea, as Joshua was first known. The name simply means Salvation. But Joshua means Jehovah Saves! It is not man who saves himself, but Jehovah who saves His people. So Jesus means Jehovah-Savior. Why is He called by this name? Because He is Jehovah! And in our flesh! Neither is there salvation in any other than Jehovah. Well, then, Jesus is called Jehovah-Savior because He is Jehovah Savior!
- His Actual Work is Saving. That’s the reason for His name: “for He shall save His people.” Modern ideas of Jesus are not in keeping with this at all. The most popular misconception is that Jesus provided salvation for all men. It’s much like a man who constructs a fire-escape on a downtown department store or office building. In case of fire, naturally, men are to use that fire escape. If they choose not to, then the consequences are their own fault. So Jesus has made “accepting Him” the fire-escape which is attached to this Planet Earth. If men will only use that fire-escape, if they will only “accept Jesus,” then He will save them. But if they choose not to take advantage of the fire-escape, choose rather to reject Him, then the terrible, inevitable consequences of eternal hell fire are their own fault. He can’t help that! He did the best He could. You see, as most people, today at least, imply, Jesus does not save anybody. He merely provides salvation, leaving it up to us to avail ourselves of the provision. But if we do not take the way of escape offered, we, on our own responsibility, go lost. To prevent this, so the usual “rescue-mission” thinking runs, Jesus gets busy and begs men to come to Him. All they need do is simply dive into the divine Fire-Escape and slide into the safety of Heaven. So Jesus is now offering everybody a free chance for Heaven. He is begging them to throw the ejection switch on the provided escape module which will then activate and jet them up out of spiritual death into eternal life! This is what the modem revivalists and evangelists have been saying all along. This means that Jesus’ death on the cross is no atoning satisfaction for sin, but is atonement only in the sense of a proffered medical prescription, which really cures, but you, a dying terminal cancer patient, must go to the Great Physician, or to the ecclesiastical pharmacy He suggests, and pick up the remedy ready and waiting for you. Now, strictly, this means that the atonement does not atone; it only provides for atonement. And its efficacy depends upon whether people are good enough to respond to the begging Physician’s pleas to come and accept His cure. Then the atonement is no satisfaction, and so, no atonement. But this “sawdust trail” savior, who must beg with offers and invitations to the free will of the spiritually dead sinner is not the Jesus presented in the gospel. For He actually made satisfaction for our sins. On that ground of His atonement, which “taketh away the sins of the world”, of the world of “whosoever believeth,” He accomplishes salvation. Therefore, from now to the end of the world. “He shall save.”
Jesus does not beg men to let Him save them. He does not beg them to save themselves. It is often presented this way. Christ’s salvation is a kind of government-supplied “immunization shots” program made available to the general public. But His name is not Jesus because He has brought about the possibility of salvation, but has effected the actuality of salvation. That is no salvation which is not an actuality. The possibility of escape is not actual escape. A mere proposed deliverance is a dream. Jesus did not say, “I have a dream!” He said, “I, that speak in righteousness, am mighty to save!” (Isaiah 63: l). Then, further, everyone knows that Jesus does not save all. But everyone ought to know that Scripture teaches that He saves His people. “He shall save His people.” This means He does not try to save them. Yet He is said to be throwing out the life-line to men floundering on the verge of the Niagara Falls. This “city-mission” theology claims you may grip the life-line, then He will pull you to safety. Or you may stupidly or confusedly refuse it and drown in your own folly. But no; “He shall save His people.” But what if His people are as the Bible says they are, dead in sins. And not just drowning, but drowned? What if they say, “I don’t want to be saved! Who needs it?” They may say that. That’s to be expected of those spiritually dead to God. But it’s still true, that for His people, He shall save them. He shall not beg them to let Him do it. He shall do it. He shall not plead with men to give Him a chance to save them, and so make it possible for Him to live up to His name, Jesus. No, never! But He is Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins.
His people need saving. They are not just dying men. They are dead. To save them, He must more than “rescue the perishing, care for the dying;” He must be what He claimed to be, the Resurrection and the Life, and raise the dead. We are spiritually mute, deaf, blind and dead. We are alive to sin, but dead to righteousness. We are wise to do evil, but to do good we have no knowledge. We are not free to accept or reject Jesus. We are free only to do evil, to reject Him. As for His people dead in trespasses and sins, God, who raises the dead must resurrect them. He must create them anew, making them new creatures in Christ Jesus, being born again of His Spirit. In that way He shall save His people. On the cross Jesus died, and by His blood did more than to provide a crimson reservoir available to all men, if only they will come to it and wash. No, but by His blood He blotted out all the sin of all His people. When you look to the Cross, you see not a reservoir, nor a fire escape, which after all do nothing. But you see the sins of His people blotted out. You see His sheep bought with a price. They are not their own, but belong to their faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, because He saves His people!
3. His Proof of The Proposition. “Jesus is Saving, Not begging,” lies in the words that He shall save them “from their sins.” When Jesus saves people, He saves them from their sins. Then their sins are blotted out and they are escaped from their sins and the punishment due them. But today there are so many converts made in “evangelistic crusades” who are now saved, so they profess to be, who still continue in their old sins, as though they were saved in their sins. But that’s not the way Jesus saves men; not in their sins, but from their sins. As a result, they make a complete break with sin. They do not go on in a life of sin. They begin to live in a new and holy life. That’s the way it is with the salvation of the Jesus of the Gospel. His word is not the futile, frustrated word of man. His Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone that believeth. From their sins He shall save His people! Are you one of them? Amen
(Prayer) God our Heavenly Father, cause Thy glorious Word to be heard in the effectual calling of the Gospel. So that Jesus the only Savior may be exalted and honored. May His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. Fulfill Thine own Word and give to them eternal life so that they shall never perish. For His name’s sake. Amen