Born to Save and Why Words Matter

Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas – a series of daily posts about, you guessed it – Christmas. If you’re just finding us, you may like to start at day 12 and make your way through from there. Thanks for dropping by!

7th Day of Christmas – Born to Save

On the 8th Day of Christmas we saw how unfathomable the humility of Jesus was. At this half-way point, you might be asking the obvious question Why? Why would Jesus humble Himself the way He did? Thankfully, Scripture does not leave us without an answer.

“She will bear a Son and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

As an elementary school teacher, one of the subjects I teach is language. Our language curriculum has a strong focus on grammar and teaching it has helped me to realize the great importance of our choice of words when communicating. Every word in each sentence is significant and carries meaning.

In our casual, loose culture, it is so easy to gloss over common words that we speak and read hundreds of times each day – words like ‘will’ and ‘his‘, but the Word of God is extremely precise and intentional in its word usage.

There is a future certainty associated with the verb will. But in reality, the certainty is dependent upon the subject isn’t it? We often loosely say we will do something. Tomorrow I will take you to the park. It is a certainty spoken and it is accepted by the hearer only in as much as the hearer acknowledges our reliability to follow through on our promises. If tomorrow comes and someone is sick, or there is something better or more important to do, or the commitment was forgotten, then the trip to the park doesn’t happen after all. Promise broken.

Thankfully, God is not like us. He is neither sick, busy, nor forgetful. What He has said, that He will do. (Isaiah 48:11b)

He will save. God promised a Savior and deliverer beginning in Genesis 3:15. He made many more promises throughout the Old Testament to His people and His prophets. The birth of the babe in a manger which we celebrate at Christmas is the fulfillment of many of those promises of God, and the beginning of the fulfillment of many more.

He will save. Jesus is a Savior who will save his people from their sins. Guaranteed. And saving we desperately need, “For all have sinned….” (Romans 3:23) and “...the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23). God’s testimony of all humanity is that we have disobeyed His law (sinned), and the penalty we have earned for that is death – eternal spiritual separation from His presence in a place Jesus called the ‘Lake of Fire‘.

The next question that comes to mind then is Who? Who does He save? Everyone?

He will save his people from their sins. The little word ‘his‘, an insignificant pronoun, provides a restraint on the action verb save. It puts a limit, a boundary on this promise of God. Who will he certainly save? His people.

Not people.

Not all people.

His people.

Who then, are his people?

‘He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:11-12

Those who believe in His name, He saves from their sins. These are His people. Those who believe Jesus is who He says He is; who see their sin for what it is and that they need rescuing from it’s grip and it’s punishment, yet cannot rescue themselves; those who call upon Him as the only One who can really save them; they are His people and He will save them from their sins.

That is, after all, why He came.

Are you sin-sick and in need of a physician? That’s a good place to be.

“And Jesus answered them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'” Luke 5:31

12. Jesus is our hope.

11. He is not just a babe in a manger – He holds our heart beat and life in His hands as Almighty God.

10. Jesus existed in eternity past before He was born a babe in a manger. He is the Eternal Son of God.

9. The Eternal God Almighty humbled Himself, clothed Himself in human flesh, was born as a babe, and dwelt among us.

8. In becoming a man and walking amongst humanity, Jesus, without giving up His divine nature, willingly set aside His heavenly privileges for a time and humbled Himself unto death – to serve you and me, in a way that only He could.

7. Jesus was born to save His people from their sins.

It matters that we know this.

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