Sermon #1717 Miscellaneous Sermons
Oh, How Sweet the Name!
Text: Matthew 1:21
Subject: Christ, His People, and His Salvation
Date: Sunday Morning — December 2, 2007
Tape # Z-43
Reading: Hebrews 10:1-22
“The Name of Jesus is so sweet,
I love its music to repeat;
It makes my joys full and complete,
The precious Name of Jesus.
I love the Name of him whose heart
Knows all my griefs and bears a part;
Who bids all anxious fears depart—
I love the Name of Jesus.
No word of man can ever tell
How sweet the Name I love so well;
Oh, let its praises ever swell,
Oh, praise the Name of Jesus.
‘Jesus,’ oh how sweet the Name!
‘Jesus,’ ev’ry day the same;
‘Jesus,’ let all saints proclaim
Its worthy praise for ever.”
“JESUS!” — Oh, How Sweet the Name! — That is my blessed subject today. My text is Matthew 1:21. These are the words which the angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph concerning the incarnation, person, and work of the Son of God.
(Matthew 1:21) “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Everywhere on earth men and women know the name, “Jesus.”
· Speak that name.
· Swear by that name.
· Sing about that name.
· Practice religion in that name.
· And cuss with that name.
But very few know who Jesus is, why this name was given to him, or what he did while he was here on the earth. What a pity! How many unsuspecting souls will die today with the name of Jesus on their lips, but with no knowledge of or faith in the Son of God! I want you to know him. I want you to trust him.
O Holy Spirit of God, come upon us now. Cause the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ to shine forth in our hearts from the pages of Holy Scripture. Make him known. Oh make him known to chosen sinners this hour for the glory of God.
My mind is lost in wonder and admiration when I think upon the fact of Christ’s coming into this world. Is it not astonishing to you that the Son of God would condescend to 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, that he might be despised and rejected of men, the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, — that in the fulness of time he might die the painful, shameful, ignominious death of the cross, bearing the wrath of God due to sin in the place of guilty sinners?
No wonder the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to declare, “Great is the mystery of godliness! God was manifest in the flesh!” — “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us!” Behold, a virgin conceived and brought forth a Son. His name is called Immanuel, God with us! God Almighty came down here, the infinite, holy, incomprehensible God, came down here in the nature of a man! That is simply astonishing! All I know to say is, — “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!”
Yet, my mind, indeed, my very heart and soul cries out, “Why?” Why did he come? Our text gives the answer in plain, unmistakable, one and two syllable words. Read it again. The angel said to Joseph, Mary’s espoused husband, — “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Why did they call him “Jesus”? Here is the answer. Be sure you get it.
Proposition: The incarnate God is called “Jesus” because he saves his people from their sins.
The purpose of our Savior’s incarnation, the mission upon which he was sent into this world, the work he came here to perform as Jehovah’s righteous Servant was the saving of his people. He did not come here to make salvation a possibility, but a reality. He did not come here to make his people savable, but to save them.
· This is the will of the Father he came to perform (John 6:37-40; Heb. 10:1-10).
(John 6:37-40) “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (38) For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (39) And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (40) And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
· This is the covenant engagement he came to fulfill (Isaiah 49:8).
(Isaiah 49:8) “Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.”
· This is the Father’s commandment he came to obey (John 10:15-18).
(John 10:15-18) “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (16) And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (17) Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. (18) No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”
· And that which the Christ of God undertakes to accomplish, he shall surely, without fail, accomplish (Isaiah 42:1-4).
(Isaiah 42:1-4) “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. (2) He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. (3) A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. (4) He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.”
· Verse 1 — Jehovah’s Servant
· Verse 1 — The Gentiles Salvation
· Verse 2 — Christ’s Solitariness in His Work
· Verse 3 — Christ’s Sympathy with Sinners
· Verse 4 — Christ’s Success
Divisions: There are three things set before us in this angelic prophecy. The angel of the Lord spoke of three things to Joseph, here recorded by God the Holy Spirit for us, three things about this man who is God, this one who was born at Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago and called “Jesus”.
1. His Person
2. His People
3. His Performance
Who is this one called “Jesus”? That may appear to you to be a very strange question. You have heard about Jesus all your life. You may think, “Pastor, everyone knows who Jesus is.” If you do, you are very much mistaken. The fact is, as I said before, very few people in this world know who the Lord Jesus Christ is.
The Christ worshipped in most churches is nothing but the idolatrous figment of man’s depraved imagination. Our Lord himself warned us of these days (Matt. 24:23-24).
(Matthew 24:23-24) “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. (24) For 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.”
That warning makes this question very important — Who is this Jesus? Who is the Christ of the Bible? Will the real Jesus please stand up? Open this Book and he will!
I know this — I must know, worship and trust this Jesus, who is the Christ of God, if I would know God, and be saved and accepted of him (John 17:3).
(John 17:3) “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
But, if I trust a false Christ, no matter how sincere and devoted I am to it, I am a lost soul, under the wrath of God, deluded by Satan and the religion of antichrist. If you care for your soul, give me your attention. I want to show you from the Scriptures who this Jesus is of whom it is written, — “He shall save his people from their sins.”
The Eternal Son — This Jesus who is he Christ is God the eternal Son, the second person of the holy trinity. When the Bible speaks of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, it is declaring that he is himself God the eternal Son, one with and in every way equal with the Father and the Spirit (1 John 5:7).
(1 John 5:7) “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
We who believe are the sons of God by adoption. He is the Son of God by nature. To say that he is the Son of God is to declare that this man who is called “Jesus” is himself “over all God, blessed forever.” That is not the language of a theological creed, but the very words of Holy Scripture (Romans 9:5). He is not just a god, a great creature of God, or someone like God. Jesus Christ is himself God. — “God was manifest in the flesh.”
(John 1:1-3) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
· All the attributes of divinity belong to him.
· He is the Creator, Sustainer Ruler and Disposer of all things.
· He is the Revelation of God.
(John 1:18) “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”
· He is the very embodiment of God.
(Colossians 2:9-10) “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”
Those who speak otherwise speak blasphemy. If Jesus Christ is not God, he is not a good man, but an imposter, a charlatan, a fake, and a liar. If he is anything less than the almighty, infinite, eternal God, then we have no Savior, and we are yet in our sins. None but God could satisfy the wrath and justice of God to make atonement for our sins. That man who was born at Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago, who died upon the cross, who rose again the third day, and now sits upon the throne of glory is himself God. The child born of Mary’s virgin womb is the Son of God given to save his people from their sins.
(Isaiah 9:6) “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
The Everlasting Substitute — This Jesus, who is God in human flesh, is the sinner’s Substitute. He is the Daysman, the Representative, the Surety, the Mediator, the Substitute, by whose obedience unto death chosen sinners are reconciled unto God, without whom we could never be accepted of God.
The key to understanding this Book is understanding the gospel doctrine of substitution. When I say that Christ is he sinner’s Substitute, when this Book asserts that he is the only Mediator between God and men, the meaning is — (5 Statements).
1. Christ stood before God in the covenant of grace as our Substitute before the world began.
· As the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).
· As the Mediator in whom we were chosen, accepted and blessed (Ephesians 1:3-6).
· As the Surety trusted by God to save us, upon whose pledge we were saved from everlasting (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:9).
2. The Lord Jesus lived in obedience to God as our Substitute in this world to fulfill all righteousness for us (Romans 5:19).
(Romans 5:12-21) “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (13) (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (15) But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. (16) And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. (17) For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
3. Jesus Christ died in the place of his people, under the wrath of God, as our Substitute, upon the cursed tree (Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
4. The Christ of God, Jesus, that man who is God, intercedes as our Advocate in heaven, as our great High Priest, as our Substitute before the throne f grace (1 John 2:1-2),.
5. And this same Jesus will stand before the bar of God’s strict, inflexible justice as our Substitute in the Day of Judgment, as that One by whose merit justice demands our everlasting salvation.
Illustration: Rowland Hill’s Dream
Be sure you understand this glorious, gospel doctrine of substitution. If Jesus Christ is indeed God (And he is!), then all that he undertook to do as our Substitute must be effectually and completely accomplished by him. Those whom he undertook to save must and shall be saved. — “He shall save his people from their sins!” — “He shall not fail!
Many who claim to believe that Jesus Christ is God, and would fight you if you said they do not, in reality deny his deity just as certainly as those who say he was not really virgin born. By denying the infallible efficacy of his substitutionary work, by asserting that he tries to redeem and save multitudes who are in fact lost in hell, they deny his very Godhead. The Christ they worship is no Savior at all, for he lacks the essential character of God.
The Effectual Savior — This Jesus, the Christ of the Bible, who is himself the Mighty God, is the Savior of his people.
· Christ alone is our Savior.
· Christ is our able, competent Savior (Hebrews 7:25).
· Christ is our complete Savior (1 Corinthians 1:30).
· Christ is our effectual Savior. — “It is finished!”
The Enthroned Sovereign — This Jesus, this man who is God, in order that he might save his people, now reigns upon the throne of universal monarchy, to give eternal life to all who were given to him in covenant grace to save (John 17:2).
(John 17:2) “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”
· Yonder he sits upon his glorious throne by virtue of his eternal Godhead.
· And there he sits as the reward for his obedience as our Substitute (Acts 5:31; Romans 14:9; Philippians 2:1-11).
(Acts 5:31) “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”
(Romans 14:9) “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.”
(Philippians 2:1-11) “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, (2) Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. (3) Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (4) Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. (5) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Do you know this Christ? Do you understand who this Jesus is? Do you see why he is called “Jesus”?
· He is the Son of God.
· He is the sinner’s Substitute.
· He is the Savior of his people.
· He is the sovereign Monarch of the universe.
Look at my text again. The primary emphasis is upon his person; but it also speaks of his people. Who are his people? Who are these people specifically designated “his people,” whom he came into this world specifically to save?
This much is certainly clear in the text — His people were his people long before he came here to save them. The text reads, “He shall save his people from their sins.” It does not read, “He shall save those who shall be his people.” Whoever his people are, they were his people before he saved them, and they were his people before he came to save them. They were his people from eternity (Psalm 110:3; John 6:39; 10:16).
Almost everyone presumes that Christ came here to save everybody. Lost preachers everywhere love to please their lost hearers and tell them exactly what they are hired to tell them…
· “God loves you.”
· “Jesus died for you.”
· “The Lord wants to save you.”
· “But the decision is yours.”
But that is not what this text says. Is it? That is not the doctrine of the Bible.
If Christ came to save everyone in the world, if he died for everyone…
· Where is the love of God?
· Where is the justice of God?
· Where is the immutability of God?
· Where is the divinity of Christ?
What does the Word of God say? This Book is our standard. If a man does not speak according to the words of this Book, it is because there is no light in him. You heard me right. I am declaring that those preachers who say that Christ came to save those who are lost at last in hell as well as those who are saved do not have one ray of spiritual light, knowledge, or understanding in them. To teach such doctrine is to deny the very deity of Christ. — He is not and cannot be God, he is not and cannot be our Savor, if…
· He fails to do what he came to do.
· The people whom he loves now can become the objects of his wrath later.
· His blood does not fully satisfy the justice of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ did not come to save all people everywhere. He came to save his people everywhere, his distinct, peculiar, chosen people. — Who are his people?
· They are his seed (Psalm 22:30; Isaiah 53:10-12).
· They are his sheep (John 10:11, 15, 26).
· They are his chosen bride (Ephesians 5:25-27).
· They are his elect (Ephesians 1:3-6).
· They are all who trust him (1 Thessalonians 1:4).
Who are his people? They are those people whom God the Father chose in Christ before the world began, — whom he loved with an everlasting love, — whom he predestinated unto the adoption of sons from eternity by Jesus Christ to himself, to the praise of the glory of his grace, according to the good pleasure of his own will (Romans 8:28-31).
Our text reveals our Savior’s person, identifies his people, and shows us his purpose.
(Matthew 1:21) “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
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 this One whose name is Jesus, 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).
REDEMPTION — 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.
· Voluntarily (Hebrews 10:5-14)
· Vicariously (Isaiah 53:4-6, 8)
· Victoriously (Hebrews 1:13; 9:12)
REGENERATION — The Lord Jesus Christ saves his chosen, redeemed people from the reigning power and dominion of their sins by the almighty, irresistible grace and power of his Holy Spirit in the new birth (John 5:25; 6:63; Psalms 65:4; Ephesians 2:1-5).
Illustrations: Ezekiel’s Infant (Ezekiel 16)
The Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37)
Lazarus (John 11)
RESURRECTION — 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.
Now, see if you can answer this question — 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).
(1 John 5:1) “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”
(1 John 5:9-13) “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. (10) He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. (11) And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (12) He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (13) These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
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