But when [Joseph] had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21)
Pastor Spencer – Did you ever listen extra carefully to what the angel said to Joseph? Note that he said, “. . . will SAVE HIS PEOPLE from their sins.” Here the angel was not speaking only of the fact that Joseph’s step-son would be the one and only accepted sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, and thus through Him all sins of every person would be paid for. No, he was saying much more than that. Jesus will SAVE, that is, bring to heaven, HIS PEOPLE, those who are His, that believe in His name and His salvation, which faith He gives to them through the working of the Holy Spirit through the Gospel in Word and Sacraments. Now, that’s a mouthful! Saving people from their sins means paying for those sins, but it also means doing all that is necessary to bring them to saving faith and keeping them in that faith unto eternal life. Way to go, Jesus!
(I’ll be out of town for a few days. Will be here for Sunday worship, and back at this on Monday morning. Have a blessed weekend!)