Matthew 1:18-21

Introduction

In Matthew chapter 1, Joseph received instruction concerning the promised child growing in his bride’s womb (Matt 1:21).  The angel proclaimed that the child would be named Jesus, which means deliverer or rescuer.  “Jesus” was no ordinary name; it had a divine origin rather than a human origin because Jesus had a divine purpose.  Jesus’ name refers to the saving work of God as He delivers us from sin and its consequences.  Because all have sinned and fall short before a holy God (Rom 3:23), all of humanity is in need of deliverance from sin.  All of our problems are the result of sin, either directly or indirectly.  In order to reconcile with God sin must be identified, recognized, and addressed in a way that is acceptable to God.

Jesus’ name as deliverer addresses sin and cuts it off at its head.  Specifically, Jesus delivers us from the penalty of sin, which is physical and spiritual death (Rom 6:23).  Jesus also delivers us from the power of sin.  Scripture tells us that we were once “slaves to sin” (Rom 6:18-19) because it had a controlling influence over our lives.  However, sin loses its power when the penalty of sin is addressed through accepting Jesus Christ.  Jesus’ deliverance does not stop at removing the penalty and power of sin: His substitutionary life provides an active deliverance available to save mankind in history.  We are now able to live an abundant life through His deliverance here on earth (John 10:10)!  Lastly, Jesus delivers us from the presence of sin.  Upon sin’s final defeat in glory, there will come a time when all is made new: death, pain, and sorrow will no longer exist (Rev 21:1-4).

Confession directly correlates with Jesus’ name.  When we confess Jesus’ name, we are confessing Him as our deliverer.  Because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, God the Father has highly exalted Jesus’ name due to His obedience (Phil 2:5-9).  If God the Father exalts the name of Jesus, all of humanity will do the same (Phil 2:10).  There is power in the name of Jesus as our deliverer.  Believers are to exalt His name.  In other words, we are to make a big deal about Jesus’ name.  We must not wait until His return to exalt His name.  Rather, we must confess His name now.

Confession of Jesus’ name as Savior allows us to gain access to the Father.  This is one reason why exalting His name is so pivotal for the Christian life.  When we confess His name we get the attention of His Father, and when we deny His name we lose the attention of His Father (Matt 10:32-33).  Therefore, Jesus Christ must be highlighted in our lives and circumstances so that we can experience God’s deliverance in history.  This is why we pray in Jesus’ name.  However, His name is not used as a magical incantation.  Simply saying “in Jesus’ name” won’t work if you have not identified with His person.  Let us remember to bless His name for His abundant deliverance towards us.  Surely, without Jesus’ saving work as our deliverer we could do nothing.

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Getting Started

  1. We confess many things in our lives with great joy: we’re vocal about the sports team we root for or music we like, but we tend to become silent when it’s time to publically confess Christ — especially in the face of opposition. Why is this?

Let’s Get Personal

  1. Many of us can anticipate eternal deliverance from sin through Jesus Christ in glory, however can you recall a time when Jesus saved you from a sinful situation in history? Does your relationship with Jesus result in spiritual victory from sin?
  2. Based on this week’s sermon, is it possible to confess the name of Jesus without identifying with His life death and resurrection? Read Romans 6:1-7 as a group.  According to this Scripture, what does a life identified with Christ look like?

Take the Next Step

  1. Look for an opportunity this week to publically exalt the name of God by confessing Him. Remember that confession infers vocalization of your identification in Christ.  While someone may be able to see Christ through your action, the Gospel is a message that must be proclaimed with your voice (Rom 10:14-17).
  2. Want to go deeper? Take a look at the following passages: Rom 5:10; Mark 2:3-12; Phil 2:9-11; John 14:13-14; 16:23; 1 Tim 4:10; Luke 1:46-55

Renew Your Mind

 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21

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