By Earl Robertson
Matthew records this statement, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). What good news for sin-laden people!
The Jews had the Law of Moses for fifteen hundred yeas, but that law could not take away sin (Rom. 8:3). That law was not given to take away sin, and it never so functioned (Heb. 8:7ff). The Old Testament vas dedicated by the blood of animals and the New Testament of Christ was dedicated by the Blood of Jesus (Heb. 9). Paul was a Jew (Acts 22:3) and lived as a Jew tinder the law. As Paul grew and was taught the law (“know the Lord, know the Lord”-Heb. 8:11), he found it did not give life, but rather death (Rom. 7:10, 24). The illustration of his own wretchedness also emphasizes the way out of sin — “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 7:25).
Jesus saves from sin! He does not save from accidents, local or national upheavals and catastrophes touching humanity. He died “for the redemption of the transgressions” of mankind (Heb. 9:15).God demanded death for sin, but the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin (He b. 10:4). Since God demanded the shedding of Blood for remission of sins (Heb. 9:22), He “gave His only Son” to die (John 3:16). Jesus was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief’-our sorrows and our griefs (Isa. 53:3,4). When He was “wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities; God saw the travail of His soul, and was satisfied (Isa. 53:5, 11).
Jesus does not save people against their will. It is on the basis of “whosoever will” (Rev. 22:17). This is not what the creeds of men teach. Some human creeds teach “irresistible grace.” Some teach that God through Christ saves some men against their own wishes! Yet, in the words of Jesus the Savior, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). The invitation to “come” expresses action on the part of the sinner; it means the sinner, being away from the Savior and life itself, can come to the Savior. Salvation is offered only in Christ (2 Tim. 2:10).
Truth Magazine XXII: 12, p. 197
March 23, 1978