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Expecting a Savior

Expecting a Savior

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By: R. W. Glenn
December 17, 2006
Selected Scriptures
By: R. W. Glenn
December 17, 2006
Selected Scriptures

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Published by: Redeemer Bible Church/Solid Food Media on Oct 06, 2010
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Expecting a Savior © 2006 by R W Glenn1
Redeemer Bible Church
Unreserved Accountability to Christ.
Undeserved Acceptance from Christ 
.
Expecting a Savior
Selected Scriptures
Introduction
As you know, next Sunday is Christmas Eve. And if you’re anything like me, youfind that Christmas tends to sneak up on you.Oh, I don’t mean (necessarily) that your lights and tree and shopping sneak upon you, but that the central reality of Christmas, the reason why we celebrate Christmasin the first place—that’s what tends to sneak up on you.We’ve been doing all our preparations for our family and our food, but wetypically do little preparation of our hearts to celebrate Christmas together as God’speople, rejoicing in the Lord that he sent his son to be the savior of the world.We even do this with our preaching schedule. Typically, each Sunday beforeChristmas is the next installment of whatever sermon series we’re in. Then, all of thesudden, Christmas Eve comes and we hear one message about the birth of Christ.Well, this year I’d like to help to remedy that for all of us. So this morning, myprayer is that the message will help to prepare us to celebrate Christmas by reflectingtogether on some of the implications of the advent.Let me begin by saying that God’s people were expecting a savior…andexpecting a savior in two senses. The first is that the condition of the world and of theirown souls demanded that they say to themselves, “Life is wrong. The world is brokenand so am I. Surely, this can’t be all there is.”So the first sense in which the people were expecting a savior is in the sense thatthey knew things had to change. Their world was sick and they were expecting, hopingagainst hope for a remedy. They hoped to be rescued from a world gone wrong andtheir own guilty conscience.The second sense in which God’s people were expecting a savior, the sense thatdominates the teaching of Scripture, is the sense of looking forward to the fulfillment ofa promise. The people of God expected a savior because the Lord promised them one.But don’t misunderstand. These two forms of expectation—the expectation ofhope for rescue from sin and the expectation of the fulfillment of God’s promise—shouldnot be construed as discrete categories, totally separate from one another. They are
 
Expecting a Savior © 2006 by R W Glenn2
intertwined in the tapestry of God’s action in history. In fact, we might even say that the
reason 
God made the promise to send a savior was that his people might be rescued,or saved from sin.
Expecting a Savior
Turn with me in your Bibles to
Matthew 1:18-23
.
18
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had beenbetrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by theHoly Spirit.
19
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting todisgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.
20
But when he 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 heris of the Holy Spirit.
21
"She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for Hewill save His people from their sins."
22
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spokenby the Lord through the prophet:
23
"BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILDAND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," whichtranslated means, "GOD WITH US."
Notice, first of all, verse 21.
21
"She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save Hispeople from their sins."
An angel of the Lord explains to Joseph in a dream that the Virgin Mary
will beara Son; and
that Joseph
shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people fromtheir sins
. There is the first element of expectation—salvation from sins.But as verses 22-23 make clear, the realization of the hope of being rescuedfrom sin is rooted in God’s promise to provide a deliverer for his people. Look at themagain with me.
22
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through theprophet:
23
"BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR ASON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means,"GOD WITH US.”
All this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through theprophet
.
All
what?
All this
, that
Mary
, while still a virgin, would conceive by
the HolySpirit
and
bear a son
to
save
the people
from their sins
 —
all this took place
infulfillment of what the Lord spoke through the prophet Isaiah—verse 23:
BEHOLD, THEVIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALLCALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL, which translated means, GOD WITH US
.So there you have the second element of this expectation—God promisedthrough his prophets that a deliverer would come through a virgin, Jesus of Nazareth, torescue his people from their sins. Clearly, then, we should not think of the expectationof hope for deliverance from sin and of the expectation of God making good on his
 
Expecting a Savior © 2006 by R W Glenn3
promise of a savior as separate categories. Instead, we should see them as they are—as gloriously intertwined threads in the tapestry of salvation history.So then, the people of God were expecting a savior; they looked forward witheager expectation to the time when, according to God’s promise, they would beliberated from the tyranny of sin.Now, understand that when I speak about the liberation from sin, I do not onlymean liberation from personal sin, as in my own sin, but also liberation from the sins ofothers, liberation from being sinned against. And in the case of God’s people, thatmeant liberation from unjust oppression by foreign powers. This is another element ofthe salvation that God promised to accomplish for his people. Turn with me in yourBibles to
Luke 1:67-79
.
67
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied,saying:
68
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplishedredemption for His people,
69
And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the houseof David His servant--
70
As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old--
71
Salvation FROM OUR ENEMIES, And FROM THE HAND OF ALL WHO HATE US;
72
To show mercy toward our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant,
73
The oathwhich He swore to Abraham our father,
74
To grant us that we, being rescued from thehand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear,
75
In holiness and righteousnessbefore Him all our days.
76
"And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;For you will go on BEFORE THE LORD TO PREPARE HIS WAYS;
77
To give to Hispeople the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins,
78
Because of thetender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
79
TO SHINEUPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH, To guide ourfeet into the way of peace."
First of all, let me point out to you what we’ve already seen in Matthew 1; namely,that the coming of God’s salvation involves the forgiveness of my sins. John theBaptist’s mission would be to give the people the knowledge of this salvation. Noticeverses 76-78a:
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For youwill go on BEFORE THE LORD TO PREPARE HIS WAYS; To give to His people theknowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tendermercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us
.You can see here that the knowledge of God’s salvation comes by theforgiveness of sin. Salvation is salvation from my sin by the Lord’s forgiveness. Andbeing rescued from my own sin is part of God’s promise.But this prophecy from John the Baptist’s father, Zacharias, speaks of more thanrescue from my own sins; it speaks very straightforwardly of rescue from being sinnedagainst. Look again at
Luke 68-75
.
68
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplishedredemption for His people,
69
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the houseof David His servant--
70
As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old--
71

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