Friday, December 24, 2010
Thou shalt call His name Jesus...
A few years after I became a Christian, my great-aunt in New York shipped me some of her late husband's Bible study reference books. I had never met my late great-uncle, as he had passed away before I was even born.
The first to arrive and my still favorite books were a four volume set of every New Testament scripture based sermon preached by C.H. Spurgeon, published and printed decades before my time.
I opened it up and just started from the very beginning and will never forget that first time reading the words he preached more than a hundred years earlier.
As the four volumes have his sermons listed not chronologically, but rather in order of the New Testament verses he used, the first one was titled simply, "Jesus" and was based upon the first chapter of the book of Matthew's announcement of the pending birth of our Savior and the name He was to be given.
The following are a couple selected passages from that sermon:
Delivered on Lord’s-Day morning, September 15th, 1878, by C.H. Spurgeon, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, England.
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.” - Matthew 1:21.
“Savior” is the meaning of the name of Jesus, but it has a fuller sense hidden within, for in its Hebrew form it means “the salvation of the Lord,” or “the Lord of salvation,” or “the Savior.”
Do you want saving, brethren? Has the Holy Ghost taught you that you need salvation? Let your hearts be encouraged. This is the character of all His people; He never had a chosen one who could do without washing in the Savior’s blood.
If you are righteous in yourself, you are not one of His people. If you were never sick in soul, you are none of the folk that the Great Physician has come to heal. If you were never guilty of sin, you are none of those whom He has come to deliver from sin.
Jesus comes on no needless errand, and undertakes no unnecessary work. If you feel yourselves to need saving then cast yourselves upon Him, for such as you are those He came to save.
Notice, yet again, the very gracious but startling fact of our Lord’s connection with His people lies in the direction of their sins. This is amazing condescension. He is called Savior in connection with His people, but it is in reference to their sins, because it is from their sins that they need to be saved. If they had never sinned they would never have required a Savior, and there would have been no name of Jesus known on earth.
The first link between my soul and Christ is, not my goodness, but my badness; not my merit, but my misery; not my standing, but my falling; not my riches, but my need. He comes to visit His people, yet not to admire their beauties, but to remove their deformities; not to reward their virtues, but to forgive their sins.
I pray you rejoice in this dear, this precious, this blessed name, for Jesus has come to save you, even you. Go to Him as sinners, call Him “Jesus,” and cry, “O Lord Jesus, be Jesus to me, for I need your salvation.” Doubt not that He will fulfill His own name and exhibit His power in you. Only confess to Him your sin, and He will save you from it. Only believe in Him, and He will be your salvation.