“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21 ESV)
Isn’t it interesting that people want to be saved from everything else but their sins? Yet, this is the very reason for which Jesus Christ came. He came “to save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). But no, people want to be saved from financial difficulties, marital difficulties, anxieties regarding the future, etc, but NOT from sin. Some who profess to be Christians might religiously say that they want to be saved from the consequences of sin. They would love to keep their sins as long as they don’t have to face the consequences of their sins – as long as they can be guaranteed a “FREE PASS” to heaven, they would be quite happy to keep their sins. But Matthew is telling us in the passage quoted above that Jesus came into the world for the specific purpose of saving His people from their sins. He is the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). “He appeared to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin” (1 John 5:3).
So why is it that people want to be saved from everything else except their sins? There may be various reasons which contribute to that mindset. However, I think that the biggest of them all is the fact that people (including some professing Christians), do not understand the very definition and depth of sin in the human heart. They do not understand that sin is the greatest problem of the human heart. Sin is the number one problem in the world. Sin is the reason for all the mess in which we find ourselves today. Despite the great number of scientific, political and economic successes and achievements, we still find the daily news bulletins depressing; parents still fear for their children’s safety; the world has not become a better place; man is not happier. What’s the problem? The answer lies in this three letter word: SIN. As D. A. Carson has written in his book, A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers,
If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior.
That’s it! Sin. This is the problem of every human being in the world. Every man and every woman in the world is a sinner. There are some who dispute that, but it’s true and sin runs very deep in the human heart as I will try and show from the Word of God in the coming few days. My prayer is that as we meditate on the biblical teaching concerning sin, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, may come to appreciate Him and His saving work in much deeper way. But more than that, it is my prayer that those who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord will be given the grace to repent of their sins and believe upon Him for their salvation.