************ Catechism Sermon on Lord's Day 11 ************


By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman


This sermon was preached on July 2, 2017


Lord's Day 11
Matthew 1:18-21
"Jesus the Savior"

Introduction
We are looking again, congregation, at what sound doctrine confesses. Remember what sound doctrine is? It is doctrine that is reliable and true and trustworthy because it is doctrine based upon the Bible. The Heidelberg Catechism and the Apostles' Creed are sound doctrine because they are based upon the truths of God's Word. I keep saying this because I know what is in the heart of man. The Bible tells us men's itching ears want to hear myths and fables and political correctness. We need sound doctrine because people no longer want to hear sound doctrine.

On this Lord's Supper Sunday what does sound doctrine confess? And, on this Lord's Supper Sunday what does saving faith believe? On this Lord's Supper Sunday we confess and believe in Jesus.

In Jesus the fullness of the God of our salvation is revealed. He is revealed as the Savior, as the Savior of His people, and as the complete Savior.

I Jesus the Savior
A Why is the Son of God called "Jesus," meaning "savior"? The name "Jesus" is the Greek form of the Hebrew name "Joshua." Both mean "Jehovah saves."

Jehovah is God's covenant name, the name He revealed to Moses out of the burning bush, the name of the God Who rescues His people from Egypt, the name of the God Who wants a relationship with His people.

When the name Jehovah is joined to the name Jesus, we see and hear that our God is the God of salvation. The name Jesus tells us that the eternal, unchangeable, covenant God is the God of our salvation. Our God saves His people. That's what God's holy angel said to Joseph: "you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins" (Mt 1:21).

B Jesus is His name. Jesus is Who He is. He is Jesus. He is Savior. Jesus saves. He is Jesus in His two natures. He is Jesus in all His work. You cannot explain Who Jesus is and what He does apart from His name.

Jesus is His name. Jesus is Who He is. He is Jesus. He is Savior. Jesus saves. He could not have any other name. Expectant parents often have a couple of different names for their baby depending on whether it is a girl or a boy. But Joseph and Mary didn't have to pick a name. The angel told them what to name the baby. And, no other name would do. No other name would fit. No other name could be considered. Because He is Jesus. Because He came to save.

There are those who see Jesus as Teacher. He came to teach us, they say. They are missing the point of Who Jesus is and what He came to do. There are also those who see Jesus as Example. He came to show us how to live, they say. They are missing the point of Who Jesus is and what He came to do. There are those who see Jesus as Friend. He came to befriend us and uplift us, they say. They, too, are missing the point of Who Jesus is and what He came to do. There are those who see Jesus as Social Revolutionary. He came to liberate enslaved people from injustice, from capitalism, from big banks, they say. They, too, are missing the point of Who Jesus is and what He came to do.

Sound doctrine confesses Jesus is His name. Sound doctrine confesses Jesus is Who He is. Sound doctrine confesses He is Jesus. Sound doctrine confesses He is Savior. Sound doctrine confesses Jesus saves. This is the only correct way to explain Who He is and what He does.

C Jesus is His name. Jesus is Who He is. He is Jesus. He is Savior. Jesus saves.

Save from what? Save from sin and evil and wickedness. To say I want to be saved is to say I want to be rid of sin. And, to be saved from sin is to be saved from God's judgment and wrath against sin.

What is the single most important question you can ask someone? The single most important question is NOT "Would like to go to heaven instead of hell?" I can't imagine anyone answering they want to go to hell. The single most important question is, "Do you want to get rid of your sin through Jesus?"

Jesus is His name. Jesus is Who He is. He is Jesus. He is Savior. Jesus saves. He is not a possible Savior. He did not come to tell us God is willing to save us. He is more than a possible Savior. He is more that a willing Savior. He is Savior. He is Jesus. In fact, He would not and He could not be Jesus unless He actually saves.

As the Lord's Supper reminds us and shows us, He saves by means of the cross, by the shedding of blood. He paid the price that we should pay. He satisfies the requirements of God's justice.

Jesus is His name. Jesus is Who He is. He is Jesus. He is Savior. Jesus saves. This is what sound doctrine proclaims. This is what saving faith believes. And what happens when I believe this? Saving faith joins me to Christ and all His blessings. Saving faith makes me one with Christ. Saving faith joins me to Jesus the Savior.

II Jesus the Savior of His People
Listen, again, to the words of God's holy angel: "you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins" (Mt 1:21). There is a definite people in the name Jesus. Who does Jesus save? Who does the Savior save? "His people." We know them as His elect. The chosen ones. The ones God has intended to save before He laid the foundations of the earth.

The Gospel that is preached in some churches today proclaims Jesus is Savior of all. According to this view, everyone ends up in heaven. According to this view, everyone is saved from their sin. Thank God very few churches actually proclaim such a false view of the Gospel.

Far more serious and far more widespread are those churches that proclaim salvation is offered to all. Jesus, they say, is able and willing to save all. The words of God's holy angel, "you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins" (Mt 1:21) is corrupted into saying "you are to give him the name Jesus because He is willing to save everyone." Under this view, those are saved who choose to believe. This is not the Gospel because Jesus is offering salvation to people who are dead in their trespasses and sins. What can dead people do? Absolutely nothing. They can't even lift a finger. Certainly the dead cannot choose to believe. So I say a Jesus Who merely offers salvation is no Savior. For there would be and can be no takers.

Jesus saves "his people." Salvation is not up to the free will of man. Sinful man does not determine for whom Jesus shed His blood. He is Jesus. He doesn't offer salvation. He gives salvation. He works salvation. He brings salvation.

Jesus is the Savior of His people. This is what sound doctrine proclaims and saving faith believes on this Lord's Supper Sunday.

III Jesus the Complete Savior of His People
"You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins" (Mt 1:21). He isn't one of many saviors. He is the only Savior.

The Catechism reminds us we can't look to saints, ourselves, or elsewhere for salvation and security. Salvation cannot be found in anyone else; it is futile to look for any salvation elsewhere. Salvation cannot be earned. Jesus is Savior. Jesus is the only Savior. Jesus is the perfect Savior. Jesus is all we need for salvation. We say with the Catechism that "those who in true faith accept this savior have in him all they need for their salvation." He is the complete Savior and He is the only Savior.

Sinful hearts have such a hard time accepting this. There always is something inside of us which makes us think we need to contribute to our salvation. We fool ourselves into thinking the money we give, the prayers we offer, the worship we attend, the way we raise our children, the good works we do, the service we offer can in someway add to the work of Jesus. Not all my prayers and sighs and tears can make me right with God. Nothing I give and nothing I do can save me. It is Jesus and Jesus alone. Because He is the perfect Savior. Because the salvation He gives is full and complete.

Jesus is the complete Savior of His people. This is what sound doctrine proclaims and saving faith believes on this Lord's Supper Sunday.

Conclusion
Ours is the privilege of celebrating the Lord's Supper today. What, really, are we celebrating? That Jesus is Savior. That Jesus is the Savior of His people. That Jesus is the complete Savior of His people.
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