Why A Savior?
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them,"Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." NKJV
The concept of a savior, a deliverer is prominent in the Old Testament Scriptures. Much of the time it is a deliverance from oppressors that is spoken of. But the idea of the New Testament Savior is more spiritual than physical.
The first century Jews were looking for a political deliverer who would free them from Roman dominion and oppression. There is little doubt that that is how Herod saw the announcement of a new king. It is significant that the Jewish leaders were not too interested in a savior. We do not find them following the Magi to Bethlehem and short trip even in those days. They were doing well for themselves and did not see the Romans as oppressors.
But for the most part the Jewish people had been oppressed for the last 600 years by various governments and rulers. So, among the common people there was a real expectation for a deliverer, one who would rescue them and re-establish the kingdom of David with all its glory and power.
And that is one of the disappointments that led to His crucifixion. They were looking for someone to deliver them and give them prosperity and power but Jesus came to deliver them from their sin.
The constant destroying sin in our lives is our greatest hindrance. That which keeps us out of God’s will is what keeps us from true happiness. That is why Jesus could say, I have come that you might have life, an abundant life, John 10:10.
As we anticipate Christmas this year, I want o look at Jesus as Savior. Why did He come as a Savior? What is it that He is to deliver us from? Why would God set out to deliver us anyhow? What should be our response to God’s efforts?
I. Why did He come as a Savior?
A. We are helpless to rescue ourselves.
1. But it was our own choosing.
2. We rebelled against God.
B. We are held captive by Satan and our sins.
1. 2 Tim 2:25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. NKJV
2. Satan uses the enticements of this world to keep us.
3. He gets us to believe that things are more important than God.
II. What is it that He is to deliver us from?
A. Not from poverty.
B. Not even from political oppression.
C. He came to deliver us from the power of sin over our lives.
1. John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! NKJV
2. Titus 2:13-14 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. NKJV
3. 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. NKJV
4. 1 Tim 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners NKJV
III. Why would God set out to deliver us anyhow?
A. He cares about us, He loves us and has purposed to rescue us.
B. We will be gems to the praise of the glory of His grace.
IV. What should be our response to God’s efforts?
A. Some respond like the Jewish leaders in Jesus’ day.
1. John 8:31-36
a. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
(1) Jesus promised that He could set them free.
(2) He told them that they were in bondage even though they did not know it.
(3) He was telling them that He had something for them far better than what they now had.
b. 33 They answered Him,"We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, 'You will be made free'?"
(1) First of all they were blind to their true condition.
(2) Satan so blinds the eyes of people that they cannot see their own bondage.
(3) They imagine themselves already as free as one could be.
c. 34 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. NKJV
(1) Real freedom is being free to do what God’s will is for our lives.
(2) No longer enslaved to sin we can have full fellowship with God, the source of true happiness.
1. As one approaches one greater than themselves they are naturally humble.
2. We should realize that God does not owe us anything.
3. We have so sinned to deserve only God’s condemnation.
4. We are humbled that God would reach down to us to save us.
1. We accept what God says about our sin.
2. We accept what God says about us.
3. We surrender to Jesus as Lord.
a. There has been a lot of debate in Christianity over what is called lordship salvation.
b. Basically it means that we cannot have Jesus as our Savior without Him being our Lord.
c. I think we can safely say that salvation is not tied up in what we do to obtain it. But on the other had I cannot conceive of anyone being saved without having Jesus as their Lord.
d. It is not so much what we do but what God does in us.
e. If you are truly born again, God has done a work of grace in your heart and the Jesus not only becomes our Savior but our Lord as well.
D. Gratefulness & praise.
1. Rev 5:8-14
Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:
"You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth."
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice:
"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"
13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:
"Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"
14 Then the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever. NKJV
Praise Him who came to be our Savior and to rescue us from our sins and give us a new life. Praise Him who loved us and gave himself a sacrifice for our sins so that we might be accepted. Praise Him who lives forever and will some day come to judge the living and the dead and will be honored by all. Praise the Lord.