He shall save his people from their sins.
Joseph stood in stunned silence as he heard these words, “You shall call His Name Jesus for He will save His people from their sins”. The angel had delivered the message that would change everything. He wasn’t going to have to put his promised wife Mary away in shame. This child that she carried was not only holy, He was the Savior of the world. Joseph hid these words away in his heart and some sixty years later they were recorded by Matthew in his gospel. What did the angel mean? How could we be saved from our sins? Matthew was opening his gospel with a message of hope for all of us. We had all been slaves of our own sins. A Savior was born to break the power of sin that we could live a holy life. Here is how Charles Spurgeon describes it.
“No man is a true Christian if sin reigns in his mortal body. Sin will be in us-it will never be utterly expelled till the spirit enters glory; but it will never have dominion. There will be a striving for dominion-a lusting against the new law and the new spirit which God has implanted-but sin will never get the upper hand so as to be absolute monarch of our nature. Christ will be Master of the heart, and sin must be mortified. The Lion of the tribe of Judah shall prevail, and the dragon shall be cast out. Professor! is sin subdued in you? If your life is unholy your heart is unchanged, and if your heart is unchanged you are an unsaved person. If the Saviour has not sanctified you, renewed you, given you a hatred of sin and a love of holiness, he has done nothing in you of a saving character. The grace which does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves his people, not in their sins, but from them.”
This gospel promise destroys the modern day distortion of grace. The grace of God that is clearly seen in the life and death of Jesus frees us. We are freed not so we can continue a life of compromise, bending our knee to the temptations of this life. We are free from our sins. We are forgiven and changed to live a new kind of life.