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Some thoughts on Matthew 1:21. Updated

Matthew 1:21 (WBS)  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Let's for the moment say that who He is is irrefutable, this Jesus.
"for he shall save his people from their sins."

Shall is future tense, but when this was spoken his acts of salvation had not yet come. And yet, the word shall also implies a future salvation even yet.

To save is to: Preserve from; rescue; deliver from the power of; prevent; to spare; to hinder from occurrence; to use opportunely, so as not to lose; to reserve from a general admission or account.
Save in Greek is sozo.

The KJV translated sozo as whole 5x's. Could we put in the word whole and have it mean the same thing? for he shall make whole his people from their sins. It does not really work grammatically and yet there is some reality in this reading. If they can use the word healed as representative of salvation, then to make whole would also apply. The real question is, made whole from what? The obvious answer, in my mind, would be life without the Father, but I know there are plenty of  people who do not see their lives as needing rescue.
One of the things I see in scripture is that refusal of the atoning sacrifice is a separation from the Holy one, this concept goes back to the days of Moses and the sacrifices, which would make oneself acceptable to God, because it was a covering for the sins of the one offering the sacrifice. Christ offered himself in our behalf, knowing full well that we could not.

We are saved from: our sins; saved from separation; saved from the grasp of the enemy(so to speak); preserved for God; healed; made well; made whole. All for God's purpose.

Do we fulfill that purpose? Many do (Corey Tenboom comes to mind), but as we look through human eyes, most would say no. To ask what God's purpose is in our lives takes a little more time. The short answer, if you are asking, is to allow Him to have his way in your life.

Even though Christ paid the price for our sozo, our wholeness from sin, we still have not obtained an entrance into the kingdom as I see it. Jesus said no one comes to the Father but through him. The effortless path, that many want to walk, may have well been through his blood alone and that has been accomplished, but there is definitely an acceptance of that price and the life that is promised to you that must take place.

The Jehovah's Witness came to the door this morning and passed out some literature. "Who is Jesus". It all seemed good up to the point that Jesus was made king (and we recognize that from scripture); Their interpretation of his kingship: we are all saved and made welcome into the kingdom merely because Jesus was. What is lacking in this is our acceptance or perhaps a stronger word, trust.

Now maybe I am making more of acceptance than I should, for I may not fully understand what it is to accept. (By the  way, their literature said nothing of their claims that Jesus was an archangel and not the son of God.)

Vine's NT words says this about accepting Christ, and I will only give a few examples:
 [ A-1,Verb,G1209, dechomai ]
 signifies to accept," by a deliberate and ready reception of what is offered (cp. No. 4), e.g., 1Thess 2:13, RV, "accepted;" 2Cor 8:17; 2Cor 11:4. See RECEIVE, TAKE.

 [ A-2,Verb,G588, apodechomai ]
 consisting of apo, "from," intensive, and No. 1, expresses dechomai more strongly, signifying "to receive heartily, to welcome," Luke 8:40 (RV, "welcomed," AV, "gladly received"); Acts 2:41; Acts 18:27; Acts 24:3; Acts 28:30. See RECEIVE, WELCOME.

 [ A-3,Verb,G4327, prosdechomai ]
 pros, "to," and No. 1, "to accept favorably, or receive to oneself," is used of things future, in the sense of expecting; with the meaning of "accepting," it is used negatively in Heb 11:35, "not accepting their deliverance;" of receiving, e.g., Luke 15:2; Rom 16:2; Phil 2:29. See ALLOW, LOOK (for), RECEIVE, TAKE, WAIT.

In none of these definitions is it a casual thing; much like a casual look at the trees on the side on the road, as you make a road trip. This is a deliberate acceptance and understanding. I know that many make claim to Jesus, merely for the fire insurance that he offers them; and there in is my problem. My humanity and religious upbringing tell me that fire insurance is unacceptable. Although I deem myself pious, my actions when I am not around you can be completely different, therefore, if I am not living my rants, then I am nothing more than a hypocrite, and quite possibly only carrying around my own form of fire insurance.

I thought that I had received Jesus into my life.
Perhaps the truth is that I am not so convinced that I have really received Christ. For to receive Him would be to embrace and hold that which was given for me.

How do I justify Christ in me, and the worldly things I play with?

How do I justify the judgments that I make against others, who hold to worldly things when the Father has so freely forgiven me, and told me not to judge?

Matthew 7:22 (WBS)  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out demons? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

This verse always troubles me, for, in many cases, you cannot tell that they are not on the right track, doing the Lord's work. The people in this passage sound like they were on the right track. Jesus went on to say, "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them,..." So then there is the secret, laying there in the open. Whoever hears and does, will be wise and one built upon a rock. We can hear from the pages of the book as well as our spirit, but then putting these commands into practice is another. The doing part demands that I not be selfish, and  yet virtually every aspect of the world's wisdom tells me that taking care of my self is the key to success.

The other aspect of this verse that I wanted to talk about was "their sins."
At that moment there were only two kinds of people in the world Jesus and everyone else. Just take some time to read and you will find, exclusive of Jesus, three kinds of people in the world; the Jews, the nations, and the church. Although The church did not occur until after Christ was risen from the dead. The Jews had rejected him, but in spite of harsh rebuttals against them, God has never rejected them; he did though, take his life blood to the nations. Out of the nations comes the Church, those of us who have put our trust in Him. That leaves the nations, and includes any who do not put their trust in Christ as the sacrificial lamb.
In spite of their right to first refusal, Israel still had to make a choice. We see in scripture that even as Jesus walked the earth, several did believe in him. The book of Acts demonstrates that the first followers into the Church of Christ were Jews.

Sin is a Greek word hamartia. This can be any offense. The word hamartia is a noun, and literally means missing the mark. The difficulty in life is hitting the mark. Having shot competitive archery for a time, I can tell you that hitting anything other than the mark or bulls-eye is common and much easier. To strike the bulls-eye requires focus, and practice. Does that mean that it is impossible to stay within the mark, NO, it merely means it is more difficult than it sounds, for there are few that put that kind of time into this Christian life to be proficient at it. One of my Pastors would tell people, in counseling, "just stop it." Wouldn't that be great if stopping the sin in your life was just that easy. He later had a problem himself, and merely "stopping it" was a problem for him too.

Perhaps this not sinning is more of a continual effort on our part. Practice requires a continual trying, working toward a goal, in order to better yourself, and that is only accomplished through doing; Which is exactly what Jesus said.

So then, the Angel could well have said: .., and you shall call his name Jesus: for he shall make his people whole, who have continued to miss the mark, no matter how hard they tried, and because you cannot make it on your own, salvation has been, and will be given and life with Him is offered. A life with Christ if you will trust that his work, on your behalf, is yours.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                


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