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God Will Save His People from Their Sins


“A kind of moral relativism has taken over. Nothing is really wrong. If I have a good reason to do it, it’s not sin.” That is the modern attitude toward the righteousness of God.

I get the impression that the church in our day avoids at all costs the idea of sin and guilt and therefore tries to entertain lost sinners into heaven.

However, there is no escaping the fact that when God became flesh so He could be with us He did so in order to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

The angel appeared in the presence of Joseph who was engaged to be married to Mary and told him, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (v. 20).

Joseph did not ask why, but here is God’s answer to the question. The angel continues, “And she will bear a son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins” (v. 21).

The ancient Jewish rabbis had a saying concerning the names of the six persons who were named before they were born: Isaac, Moses, Solomon, Josiah, and the name of the Messiah.

“You shall call His name Jesus.” You will name Him after His Father. Not Joseph, mind you, because Joseph would be his stepfather. Jesus was “conceived in her [Mary] of the Holy Spirit” (v.20).

Jesus had no human father. The historian Matthew tells us Joseph “found” Mary to be pregnant “before they came together” (v. 18). The discovery was inevitable and it is plain that Mary had not told Joseph. The discovery shocked Joseph. Jesus had no human father because “she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit” (v. 18).

Joseph refused to make a public disgrace of Mary, “And arose from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to her first born Son; and he called His name Jesus” (vv. 24-25).

Even though the Jews did distinguish engagement from marriage, the dissolution of an engagement was considered the equivalent of divorce, and an engaged woman who’s husband-to-be had died was regarded as a widow. Consequently, any sexual relations between an engaged woman and another man were viewed as adultery, and the woman was punished accordingly.

Joseph “kept her a virgin.” That is beautiful and profound way of emphasizing that she had been and still was at the time a “virgin.” Matthew uses the imperfect tense to communicate a continuous, or linear action to say to his readers that Joseph lived in self-restraint with Mary. They had no intercourse until after Jesus was born in Bethlehem. After His birth they proceeded to have their own sons and daughters (Matt. 12:46; Mk. 3:31; Luke 8:19). After the virgin conception of Jesus normal married relations followed and other children were born.

They called His name “Jesus.” It is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua. The original full form is Jehoshua, meaning “Yahweh our salvation,” “Yahweh saves,” or “Yahweh’s salvation.” The LORD God saves; He is our salvation. Jesus is Yahweh. He was named after His Father!

Jesus, “Yahweh is our salvation.” He “will save His people from their sins.”

We have tragically “missed the mark” of the righteousness and glory of God. We are guilty. Our sins are an offense to a holy God. We have failed to hit the target morally, personally and spiritually. “We are all dead in our trespasses and sins, and there is no hope for us personally unless we repent and turn to the only one who can possibly save us (Acts 4:12). Any deviation from a true course includes falling short of the goal.

Our only hope of eternal life with God in heaven is in the saving death of the Son of God on the cross for our sins.

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey (or, believe) the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). In fact, this verse teaches us that we are already habitually the subjects of the wrath of God until we trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior.

The person who believes on Jesus “has eternal life” here and now and for eternity. It is the believer’s eternal possession even now.



Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006





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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.

Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.


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