"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11). What glorious words these were, heralded by "the angel of the Lord" to those Judean shepherds some two thousand years ago! There are many today who can quote this verse about Christ's birth, yet how few there are who really know what it means. Do you really know the purpose for the Lord Jesus Christ coming into this world? Well, the text tells us in no uncertain terms just why Jesus was born -- He came as "a Saviour."
WHY WE NEED A SAVIOUR
Most people are totally unaware that they need Christ to save them. "Saved from what?,” many in the world boastfully ask. It is a good question, and needs answering clearly. We need to be saved because by nature, by choice, and by practice we are sinners in the sight of a holy God. Scripture repeatedly affirms this:
"They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one" (Psalm 14:3). "Truly every man at his best state is altogether vanity" (Psalm 39:5). "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; and in sin my mother conceived me" (Psalm 51:5). "For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin" (Ecclesiastes 7:20). "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9).
These inspired verses plainly declare man's total depravity (corruption) before the Most High God. Even though you may think you are essentially good, it is not so. "There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who seeks after God. There is none who does good, no, not one" (Romans 3:10-12). We must believe God's verdict against the entire human race, confessing that we are by nature nothing but "wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores" (Isaiah 1:6), and that we deserve only "wrath" and "the righteous judgment of God" (Romans 2:5). Eternal destruction awaits all the impenitent (Matthew 5:22; 25:41,46). And for this reason Christ Jesus came, for "Jesus" means "Saviour," for the work of Christ actually does "save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21), thus all of God's elect are saved from God's holy wrath (Romans 5:9).
HOW THE SAVIOUR SAVES US
You are not here being informed what you must do to save yourself. No such God-dishonoring advice will be given here! "Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9), both in its origin and completion, in its conception and accomplishment. Men do not do their part to help Jesus save them. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only Saviour of sinners! We do not in any sense add to His substitutionary work (2 Corinthians 5:21). If He does not save you, you will be eternally lost! But the blood of Christ shed at Calvary actually redeems every single one of those given to Him in covenant by His Father. "I have finished the work which you have given me to do," prayed our great Redeemer (John 17:4). And we are "redeemed" to God "with the precious blood of Christ" (I Peter 1:18-20; 3:18).
Yes, God the Father elected a people (Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13), God the Son redeemed that same number (John 10:14-16; 17:2, 9-10, 19-20), and God the Holy Spirit invincibly and effectually calls each one of them (and no more) to experientially partake of this salvation, by His quickening and regenerating power (John 3:3-8; 6:37, 44, 63, 65; Titus 3:5). We willingly and gladly repent of our sins and believe on Christ after regeneration, for then we have a nature capable of performing these spiritual acts, which the natural man does not have. Repentance and faith are both gifts or graces of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:31; 11:18; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:13). "And how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God" (I Thessalonians 1:9).
Man is fallen and sinful, but God is free and sovereign. No fallen creature can save himself or help save himself. "Salvation belongs unto the Lord. Your blessing is upon your people" (Psalm 3:8). Man does not earn salvation, but is simply the recipient of it, by sovereign love, sovereign mercy, and sovereign grace. "So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy" (Romans 9:16). That spells sovereignty! God is absolutely sovereign in salvation.
WHAT A SAVIOUR IS KING JESUS
The Lord of life and glory came to this earth as a Babe to Bethlehem's manger. He lived a perfect and sinless life, magnified and honored God's holy law in every detail, then died a substitutionary death for His sheep (Isaiah 53:6), was buried, rose again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), ascended back to heaven, and now intercedes for His own (Hebrews 7:25). At an appointed day and hour (known only to God, Matthew 24:36), "this same Jesus" (Acts 1:11) will return to this earth "with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:30), for He is even now "King of kings, and Lord of lords" (I Timothy 1:17; 6:15; 19:16).
Truly, the Bible only knows of one Saviour, the One announced to the shepherds long ago (Luke 2:11). Notice that this "Saviour" is "Christ the Lord." The Saviourhood of Christ is never to be separated from His Lordship. He saves because He has power to save (Isaiah 63:1), and because He is God (Titus 3:4, "God our Saviour," and 3:6, "Jesus Christ our Saviour"). No less than twenty-four times does the New Testament denominate Christ as "Saviour." If He saves, and He alone, then certainly He is to have all the praise! "Worthy is the Lamb" (Revelation 5:9-14), not "worthy is the will of man," or "worthy is the creature." Many sing, "Jesus Saves," but really don't believe it!
We were lost, but Christ finds us (Luke 15:3-7). We were dead, but King Jesus gives us life (John 5:21, Ephesians 2:1,5). We were blind, but the Lord gives us sight and light (2 Corinthians 4:4-6). "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). Christ came not "to seek to save" or to save those who "seek" Him, but to actually "seek and save" His people, "lost" in Adam's fall. Oh poor sinners, trust Him, look to Him, and to Him only, for "None but Jesus, none but Jesus, can do helpless sinners good."
"Man of sorrows," what a name! For the Son of God who came! Ruined sinners to reclaim! Hallelujah! What a Saviour!