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Author:Rev. Mendel Retief
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Congregation:Free Reformed Church of Kelmscott
 Kelmscott, Western Australia
 frckelmscott.org
 
Title:The Lord Jesus is Jahve, our mighty Saviour
Text:LD 11 (View)
Occasion:Regular Sunday
Topic:Unclassified
 
Added:2013-03-05
 

Order Of Worship (Liturgy)

* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Mendel Retief, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.


The Lord Jesus is Jahve, our mighty Saviour                                                  

Ps. 145: 1 – 3

Ps. 73: 8

Ps. 130: 2, 4

Ps. 33: 5, 6

Ps. 68: 8, 12

 

Scripture reading:       Mt. 1: 18 – 25

Text:                              LD 11

 

 

Beloved congregation of our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

If you open a so called “children’s Bible” it is quite common to see images of Jesus.   You know these images: a soft looking man with golden hair.  

The Jesus who is portrayed in most children’s Bibles is a popular one.   Not only are these images popular, but also that message which suits the picture.   You have probably heard much about such a Jesus.   There are many Jesus-books on the market proclaiming a Jesus soft and mild, even an effeminate Jesus.  

 

He is then portrayed as nothing more than a mere man – a very good man, a loving man, even an excellent example for us, but just man.  

When the world celebrates Christmas there is a flood of Christmas cards portraying the child Jesus as a sweet baby in the manger – to mention one example.  The Roman Catholics are very inventive in producing such images: Jesus on the lap of Mary, Jesus displayed on the crucifix, and many other paintings and illustrations and images of the man Jesus.  

During the dark Middle Ages the Roman Catholics used such images as “books of the laity”.   The ignorant could look at these images to receive instruction.   And with these dumb images the ignorance of the ignorant were maintained.

 

However, the same ignorance prevails also in our day.   The Name, Jesus, has become cheap and common and stripped of all glory.        

But the name Jesus has not become cheaper or shallower than the false gospel that portrays Him in such a way.    The name Jesus has become cheap only to the ignorant.  

 

Brothers and sisters, when we turn away from these images and from the cheap gospel of a cheap Jesus, and open holy Scripture to inquire into the meaning of Jesus’ Name, we walk right into the treasure room of God’s power and glory and salvation.  

 

I proclaim to you God’s Word with the theme:

The Lord Jesus is Jahve, our mighty Saviour

 

We will note:

1.      The glory of His Name

2.      The glory of His salvation


In the first place we note…

The glory of Jesus’ Name

 

Joshua is a Hebrew word which means “Jahve is salvation”, or “Jahve saves”, or “Jahve is Saviour”.   And Jesus is the Greek translation of the name Joshua.    Jesus means “Jahve is salvation” or “Jahve saves”.    The Catechism states it in short when it says that Jesus means Saviour.   

 

There were also other men who had the name Jesus, just as there were men with the name Joshua.    But there is only One who is called the Lord Jesus.   There is only One who is the Saviour.

 

The same applies to the name Christ which means anointed.   There were many anointed kings, anointed prophets and anointed priests, but only one anointed would be the Christ.   Only one Christ would be the fulfilment of prophecy.   

 

In the same way there is only one Saviour, one Jesus, who is the fulfilment of the Scriptures.   

There is only one Jesus who may be called Jesus in the full sense of the word, that is: one Jesus only who is the fulfilment of the prophecies of Scripture.  

 

When other men bore this name, their name simply meant “The LORD (Jahve) is Saviour”.   But when this name was given to the Lord Jesus, it was given to Him by divine revelation and instruction: you shall call His name Jesus for it is He who shall save His people from their sins.    And so, when the name Jesus was given to our Lord it did not simply mean “The LORD is Saviour”, but it meant that this Son who is born is the LORD who saves.   He is the LORD, Jahve, who saves.  

 

When we understand this it immediately becomes clear to us that the name Jesus confirms the divinity of Christ.    It immediately becomes clear to us – at least if we know the Prophets!    For the Prophets made it abundantly clear that there is only one God and that there is no Saviour besides Him.   He alone is God, and no one else is able to save.

 

Jesus: He is the LORD, Jahve, who saves!   He is God, and besides Him there is no Saviour.

 

Already in the Old Testament it was made clear that the Christ who was to come would be the Son of David, but also the Son of God.   The coming Christ was addressed as God, with words such as:

 

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever…” – Ps. 45: 6

 

The Christ that would come would be God Himself!

 

Wonderful names were given to Him.  We read in the prophecy of Isaiah that His name shall be called: Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9: 6).  

 

These names speak of honour and glory and power.   The Christ that would come would be called Mighty God!  

 

But when the Christ came, none of these names were given to Him as His first name.    When He came into the world great care was taken that He should receive one specific name:

“…you shall call His name JESUS, for He shall save His people from their sins” (Mt. 1:21).

 

That is the name, above all other names, given to the Christ.    Yes, He is the Christ, the anointed of God, but His name is Jesus.  

Why then is this name so profound and important?   Because: He Himself is the LORD, Jahve, who saves His people from their sins.  That is His identification; that is who He is.

 

Among all His glorious Names, this one was chosen.   And not by chance!   With divine jealousy God took care of it.   There should be one Name above all other names that identify the Christ: He is Jahve who came to save His people from their sins.    He is Jahve, the only one who is able to save.   Yes, when the name Jesus was given to the Christ it meant that Jahve Himself has come down to save His people!

 

When we search the Scriptures carefully we discover that this Name does not suddenly appear in the New Testament as a total surprise.   It is not as if He received certain names in the Old Testament, and a total different name in the New Testament.   Instead, the wonder of this Name Jesus can only be appreciated fully when we discover its roots in die Old Testament.

 

The LORD spoke through the prophet Isaiah, and said:

 

            “I, I am the LORD, and besides Me there is no saviour” – Isaiah 43: 11.

 

There is no Saviour besides Jahve.  

 

There is no Jesus except Jahve!   Jesus Himself is the LORD, Jahve, who saves; and besides Him there is no saviour.

 

This statement – that the LORD, Jahve, is the only one able to save – is a theme that runs throughout the book of Isaiah.   There is no Saviour besides Jahve.   He is God and He alone is able to save.  

 

After stating that He is the LORD and that there is no Saviour besides Him, He concludes:

 

            “‘…therefore you are My witnesses’, says the LORD, ‘that I am God’” – Isaiah 43: 12

 

He says that He is God, and that He has proven Himself to be God, because there was no other god that could declare their salvation and save them.   

 

And again we read:

 

“…there is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Saviour; there is none besides Me” – Isaiah 45: 21

 

Or when we turn to the prophecy of Hosea we read:

 

            “…you shall know no God but Me; for there is no saviour besides Me” – Hos. 13: 4

 

He says that Israel may not look towards other gods to save them; He alone is God and therefore He alone is able to save.   He is God and there is no Saviour besides Him.   The implication is that it would be idolatry to seek any saviour besides God.

 

 

The first commandment, “You shall have no other gods besides Me”, applies also to our salvation.    We may not look for a multitude of saviours.   We are allowed to seek only one Saviour, for there is only One: the true and living God!

 

Right from the start the LORD, Jahve, revealed Himself as the Saviour of His people.  

 

 

“…our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name” – Isaiah 63: 16

 

Dear congregation, when we listen carefully to the language of the prophets then we read the angel’s announcement to Joseph with new understanding:

 

“…she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He shall save His people from their sins” – Mt. 1: 21.

 

The word “He” is emphasised in the Greek text.   It is He who shall save His people.  He is the promised Saviour.    And the very language of the Prophets is evident when He is called the Saviour of “His people”.   “His people” refers to the children of Israel.   He is the Saviour of His covenant people.   The Saviour of Jacob has come.  

 

These words are pregnant.  The expectation of the whole Old Testament is contained in this simple but majestic announcement.    It breathes the language of prophecy.   Listen again:

 

“…thus says Jahve, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine…I am Jahve your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour…” – Isaiah 43: 1 – 3. 

 

“…I, Jahve, am your Saviour, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob” – Isaiah 49: 26

 

Brothers and sisters, we could continue to quote a great multitude of these prophecies that say the same.    The Prophets continued to point out that the LORD Himself, Jahve, is the mighty Saviour of Jacob, the Redeemer of His people.    

 

And then the angel tells Joseph: The Son that will be born – it is He!   Jahve has come to save His people!   Therefore you shall call His name Jesus.  

There is no way in which we can understand that announcement apart from the prophecies.  

Jesus is the One of whom the Prophets spoke, the Mighty One of Jacob, the Redeemer of Israel.      

 

When we read the Prophets we realise that the name “Jahve saves” speaks of the divine power and might that belongs to God alone.   The name Jesus speaks of the unique power of God unto salvation.  

God saves His people with a mighty arm; He redeems them by the power of His right hand.  

 

            “The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save…” – Zeph. 3: 17.

 

The name Jesus belongs to the LORD our God, the Mighty One, who alone is able to save.

 

Scripture does not know of many Saviours, nor does it know any weak saviour; it only speaks of one mighty Saviour.   

 

Scripture does not know anything of a weak Jesus; it only knows the Jesus who is an invincible Warrior, clothed with divine might and power.   

 

We should not confuse His humble birth and His deep humiliation with weakness, for His very office is one that requires nothing less than the almighty power of the Lord Himself.

 

Yes, the Saviour is the Mighty One of Jacob.  

 

How majestic is His Name!   This name Jesus is a name that confirms the deity of Christ.   He is Jahve, the Saviour of His people.  He came to perform a task which only God is able to perform.   He is God, and besides Him there is no Saviour.

 

 

It is when we see this divine glory of Jesus that the wonder of His humanity becomes wonderful indeed.     It is this mighty Saviour who has become one with us.   There is a Man seated on the throne of God, representing us!    Jahve, the Mighty One of Jacob, has taken on our human nature in order to be our Mediator and Saviour.  

 

His humanity gives us no reason to think less of Him, but rather gives us more reason to marvel.    For He is God manifested in the flesh (1 Tim. 3: 16).

 

 It is not His human nature that causes us to trust in Him and worship Him, but it gives us great comfort when we know that this mighty Saviour, who is no other than God Himself, has become completely one with us.  

 

It is only in the context of His divinity that we rightly appreciate His humanity.   And in this context His human nature takes nothing away from His glory, but adds to our thanksgiving.     

 

 

Now, when we turn to the New Testament, we see – just as in the Old Testament – that God is called our Saviour.   Paul writes to Timothy and says:

 

            “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Saviour and the “       Lord Jesus Christ, our hope...” – 1 Tim. 1: 1.

 

He speaks of God the Father as our Saviour.    And again he speaks of “God our Saviour” in Tit. 3: 4, and also in other places.   But there is a special sense in which Jesus alone is our Saviour, for the Father did not die on the cross or gave Himself as a ransom for us, nor did the Spirit; only the Son.   

 

Within the trinity of God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – there is also a distribution of tasks.   All three Persons of the Godhead always act together, but each One according to His distinction.   All three Persons of the Godhead were active at creation, and yet it is the Father who is called the Creator.   Likewise all three Persons of the Godhead are active in our sanctification, and yet it is specifically the Holy Spirit who is called our Sanctifier.    In the same way all three Persons of the Trinity saves us, but it is especially the Son who is called our Saviour – not only according to the high frequency with which this title is attached to our Lord Jesus, but also according to the nature of His office. 

 

Within the Trinity it is only the Son who took on Him the curse and bore the wrath of God on the cross to save His people from their sins.   He alone is our Mediator and High Priest.   Therefore, not the Father and not the Spirit, but the Son only, is called Jesus.   There is a special sense in which only the Son can be called the Saviour of His people.  

 

We saw that only Jahve can save, and although the name Jahve also applies to the Father, it refers especially to the Son when Jahve is called the Saviour of His people.   And it is for this reason that the name Jesus is not given to the Father or to the Spirit, but to the Son only.   He is Jahve who came to save His people from their sins.   Through Him the prophecies are fulfilled that spoke of the Mighty One of Jacob, their Redeemer and Saviour, besides whom no saviour is to be found.

 

But, the name Jesus does not apply only to His sacrificial work on earth once on the cross.   His Name does not refer to one act only.   He is even now our living Saviour in heaven who continues to act according to His Name.   When He ascended into heaven His name was not changed.   The fullness of His salvation is yet to be revealed.    We are still “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ” – Tit. 2: 13 (ESV).

 

It will take an eternity to enjoy the riches laid up in His Name.   The glory of the Name Jesus is yet to be revealed in its fullness on the day of His coming.   

 

 

Now that we have seen the glory of Jesus’ Name, it seems to be in contrast to the lowly task which He came to perform as the suffering Servant of the Lord, humiliated and despised, even dying the cursed death of the cross.   

 

How does this glorious Name, Jesus, match with His humiliation?   It is this seeming contradiction that makes the gospel a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks.   However, in the wisdom of God, our Lord Jesus was a mighty warrior in His affliction, and victorious in His death.   And for all eternity the Name of Jesus will be honoured above every other name – not in spite of the humiliation and the shame that He suffered for us, but exactly because He has done so.

 

Even the humiliation that He suffered adds to the glory of His Name: Jesus, our Saviour.

 

Brothers and sisters, seeing the glory of the name Jesus, we are fully convinced that this mighty Saviour is not only able to save us, but that He shall save us completely.   We note that in the second place…

The glory of His salvation

 

“…you shall call His name JESUS for He shall save His people from their sins” (Mt. 1:21).

 

The mighty Saviour sent by the Father came to save.   Note that He did not come to make salvation possible for His people, but that He came to save His people.   He did not come to make it merely possible for His people to be saved, nor did He come to provide simply the opportunity of salvation to His people.   It is not as if He came to make salvation available so that we may choose whether we want it or not.    No, He shall save His people from their sins.   He came with the purpose to save, and nothing will stop Him in executing and applying His salvation.   

 

There is no uncertainty with regard to the outcome.  

 

This is confirmed by Jesus Himself when He said:

 

“…this is the will of the Father who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day” – John 6: 39

 

Not one of His sheep shall be lost.   He came with the purpose to save every one whom the Father has given to Him; and thus it shall be.   His Name is Jesus, not because He makes salvation possible, but because He saves His people.

 

And He saves us from our sins.

 

Note that He saves us from our sins.   He does not give salvation in sin, not even does He give salvation in spite of sins; He saves us from our sins.   He breaks the ties of sin by which we were bound; He sets us free from sin.    He removes our sins.

He frees us first of all from the guilt of sin.    “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” – Ps. 103: 12.   

But He also frees us from the power of sin.   We are no longer slaves of sin – Rom. 6: 6.   Sin shall not have dominion over us – Rom. 6: 14.  

And finally we shall also be completely delivered from the defilement of indwelling sin when we shall be perfectly holy and without blemish in the glory of God’s presence.   Our Saviour won’t rest before our salvation is complete.

 

God’s people do not want salvation in sin.   We long for salvation from our sins; salvation that removes our sins and all its consequences.   That is the deliverance with which our mighty Saviour sets us free.

 

Furthermore we have to note that Jesus came to save His people from their sins.   It is easy for us to speak of sin in the abstract and to condemn sin in general, while overlooking our own personal sins.   

 

There is no such thing as abstract sin.   Sin finds its expression in our own heart and mind.   And our sinful heart and mind expresses itself in ugly thoughts, vile words, and hateful actions.   Jesus does not save us from abstract sins; He saves us from our sins.    He cleanses me from my filthiness.   He saves you from your shameful sins.   

He is a personal Saviour to each one of us.    That is what makes the name Jesus so precious to every contrite and broken-hearted sinner.   He has taken the weight of my sins on Him.   And the frightful punishment for my sins was on Him.   His blood washes off the stench and filth of my sins, and makes me clean. 

 

He also saves us from the consequences of sin, from the pit of destruction and from everlasting despair. 

 

Brothers and sisters, His salvation also contains more than deliverance from sin and its consequences.   He does not only save us from sin and death, but He also saves us unto life.

 

Jesus came in order that we may have life, and that we may have it in abundance – John 10: 10.   His salvation includes restoration.   He restores our relationship with God, and He restores our relationship with our neighbour.  He makes us alive unto God.   He gives us a new life in communion with God in the presence of His glory.   He gives us life eternal.   His salvation is complete, including all the spiritual and heavenly blessings of God.

 

Yes, our Lord Jesus saves us completely.  

 

He is even now living and acting as our Saviour in heaven.   Listen how the book of Hebrews describes Him:

 

“…He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.   Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” – Hebr. 7: 24, 25.

 

He is able to save us to the uttermost because He is our living Saviour who continues to act as our Saviour.   Yes, He sacrificed Himself only once, but He lives forever in order to save us to the uttermost.

 

Our mighty Saviour is a living Saviour.   He saves, and no one can stop Him.   He saves to the uttermost, and no one can add anything to His salvation.   Neither can we add anything to it.   To seek any part of our salvation or wellbeing in ourselves, or in saints, or anywhere else, is idolatry.   For He alone is God, and besides Him there is no Saviour.   

 

Brothers and sisters, the Jesus of the Scriptures is clothed with all power in heaven and on earth.   He is the Judge of all the earth, who will come to judge the living and the dead.   He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.   This Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last (Rev. 1: 11).   Before this Jesus the angels in heaven fall down in worship (Rev. 5: 13).    We no longer know our Lord Jesus in His state of humiliation.   His suffering is not continuing.   His humiliation is not ongoing.   He is no longer in the manger.   He is no longer sitting on Mary’s lap.   He is no longer hanging on a cross.  

Don’t seek Him on a crucifix.   Don’t seek Him in a painting.   Read the Scriptures and see His glory.    Believe in the LORD, Jahve, the Mighty One of Jacob.   He saves, and He alone.

 

Lift up your heart to Him who is in heaven seated at the right hand of God, Jesus our Saviour.   He saves us from all our sins.   He saves us unto life eternal.   He saves us completely.   Yes, Jesus, our mighty Saviour, saves to the uttermost those who come to God through Him.  

Amen.




* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Mendel Retief, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.
(c) Copyright, Rev. Mendel Retief

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