The Birth of the Messiah - Part 2

Matthew 1:18-25

Tom Pennington  •  December 13, 2020
Audio   •  PDF
  • Share:

Well, we have just read from Luke's gospel, but I invite you to take your Bibles and turn back with me to Matthew chapter 1.

This Christmas, we are studying Matthew's account of the birth of Christ which, as I noted for you, is Joseph's side of the story. Luke, Mary's side, and here in Matthew, Joseph's side. Matthew wrote his gospel, as I noted last week, to show that Jesus of Nazareth was and is Israel's promised Messiah and her rightful King. And to prove that, Matthew first had to show that Jesus was in the lineage of Israel's kings. And so, he begins with Jesus' pedigree. And that's why you have, at the very outset of this gospel, His genealogy. He proves that He descended directly from David, the one from whom God said a King would come who would reign forever. And so, He has the right to sit on David's throne.

But then, after the genealogy, Matthew immediately goes to the events surrounding Jesus' birth and those events were unique. In fact, the events surrounding His birth proved to us with remarkable insight who He truly was. Let's read again together this paragraph. Matthew chapter 1, beginning in verse 18.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with Child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had thought this over, 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 her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with Child and shall bear a Son, and they shall name His Name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us." And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His Name Jesus.

We began to study this amazing passage last week and I noted for you that here, in these few verses, Matthew highlights for us five unique characteristics of the birth of Jesus - all designed to prove that He is, in fact, the Messiah. Last week we considered the first of those and that is: His unique conception, in verses 18 to 20.

Let me just briefly remind you of what we learned there in those verses. This is the record of the birth of Jesus the Christ, the Christos, the Messiah. And it happened, he tells us, during that one-year period in the Jewish marriage called the kiddushin. It was a period when, it was like our engagement but far more formal in which they were actually committed to one another. The man was called the husband and the woman was called the wife, although they didn't live together and they were supposed to keep themselves physically and sexually pure.

But they were committed to one another in a relationship, a contract, that could only be ended by divorce. It was during that period of time that ,and it was before they came together sexually we're told here, that Mary was found to be with Child by the Holy Spirit. That is, by the miraculous creative act of the Holy Spirit. And Joseph, being a true Old Testament righteous man was faced with what to do. He could marry her but that was never done and to do so was a tacit admission that he was responsible for this Child. A second option was to publicly take her to court to bring charges against her as an adulterous in a public court of law, but he was concerned about her and chose not to take that path. And so, he opted for a third course and that was to privately divorce her before two witnesses to send her away secretly, which was allowed at the time, in this situation. That's what he decided to do but before he could carry through on it, we're told that an angel, likely Gabriel, appeared to him in a dream saying, "Joseph son of David don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife." That was the second part of the Jewish marriage. You had the first part, the kiddushin, lasted for a year, like our engagement betrothal (more serious), and then the husband would leave his home and with great fanfare pass through the streets of the village, go to his wife-to-be's home and then take her formally back to his house. There would be the wedding itself followed by the consummation of the marriage and they would be truly man and wife. And what the angel says to Joseph is: don't be afraid to do that. Go, take her, bring her back, formally marry her because the Child that's been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. The point of these verses is to stress that Jesus was conceived supernaturally by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary.

I asked you last time at the end, why? Why is the virgin birth essential? Well, make sure you don't think that the virgin birth in some way contributed to or protected the deity of Jesus. That has no aspect in the virgin birth. He was eternally the Son of God. He was at the virgin conception and birth and will be eternally. It's also not about His sinlessness. It's not guarding and protecting His sinlessness. There's a theory that some have that that was involved but Mary was a sunner so the Holy Spirit still had to act supernaturally to guard and protect Jesus from the sinfulness of Mary. So, the virgin birth wasn't about that.

Instead, the virgin birth was necessary for two reasons. I noted one of them last week. We'll see the other, Lord willing, next week. The first and primary reason for the virgin conception was this: it was the only possible means of uniting the pre-existing second person of the Trinity with a human nature. I mean, think about it. When a man and a woman come together and a child comes from that union, that is a second, that's another person, a third person, comes into that family. Well, Jesus was already eternally a Person, the Son of God. He didn't need to become another Person. He needed to add humanity and that could be accomplished by the virgin birth. The Holy Spirit supernaturally, creatively produced in the womb of Mary a full and complete humanity that Jesus, the eternal Son of God, took upon Himself - both body and soul.

This is why evangelical theologians, and scholars, and normal Christians like us have always agreed that the virgin birth or, more specifically, the virgin conception, was, in fact, literal. And it is essential to the Christian faith.

Now, let's be honest that there are many in our world who struggle with the idea of a virgin conceiving a Child. But at the same time, if you believe that there is a God - and all humans in their heart of hearts believe that, it's been made clear to them, according to Romans 1. If you believe that, it's a very small thing for God to do this.

It was a thousand years ago that Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said that when you look at the Scripture, you find five different ways that God has made a human being. First of all, he said, God makes human beings by a man and a woman. All of us were conceived that way. Secondly, God can make a man without either a man or a woman, that's Adam. Thirdly, God can make a man by using a man without a woman, that's Eve. Fourthly, he said God could miraculously enable a man and a woman past childbearing age to conceive, that's Abraham and Sarah, Zacharias and Elizabeth. And fifthly, God can make a man by using a woman without a man, that's Jesus. So, listen, it's a very small thing for God to pull off the virgin birth. Jesus' unique conception, however, is part of the proof that He is, in fact, the Messiah.

Now today, we come to a second defining characteristic of Jesus' birth that proves He is the Messiah. Because Gabriel goes on to tell Joseph that God had sent Mary's Child into the world for an astounding purpose. So, let's consider secondly: His unique mission.

Verse 21, "She will bear a Son." The angel told Joseph that Mary was going to have a baby boy. Now, for us who live in the 21st century, this isn't too astounding. I mean, you go to get your sonogram and there you're told the sex of the child. But remember, we're talking about the ancient world where they had no way to discover the sex of the child with any certainty until the day of the birth. But at three months into Mary's pregnancy, the angel told Joseph that the child was, in fact, a boy. That was consistent with Old Testament prophecy. You remember, in the very first prophecy about the Messiah who would come, Genesis 3:15, we're told that He, the Messiah - the One who would deal with sin would be a unique human male because He would, first of all, be born of the seed of a woman. That's a most unusual expression which, of course, we understand once you come to see later revelation. And, He is referred to in Genesis 3:15 as the seed of the woman and He will bruise the head of the serpent. So, we're told initially, right out of the beginning of the story, that He will be a unique human male. Throughout the Old Testament that same revelation continues. It's clear. He would be male. So, it's not a surprise, in verse 21, we read she will bear a Son.

Then Gabriel adds, "and you shall call His name Jesus." Joseph, you cannot name this Child whatever you choose which was usually the father's right. And Joseph had to name Him Jesus. Three months before this, at the annunciation to Mary that we read in Luke 1 just a few minutes ago, Gabriel had given Mary the same instructions. Luke 1:31, "Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call Him Jesus."

So, for this devout Old Testament couple, it's not surprising that that's exactly what they did. In Luke 2:21, we read, "when eight days had passed before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb."

The angel told Joseph that the naming of this Boy as Jesus was absolutely crucial. Why? Because the name Jesus reveals both the One who sent Him and why He was sent. Let's consider that together.

First of all, the name Jesus reveals the Author of the mission. Verse 21 says, "you shall call His name Jesus." As you know, Jesus is the Greek form of the Old Testament named Joshua. If you go back to the Old Testament and look at the Hebrew, the long form of this name is Yehoshua, which means, "Yahweh is salvation."

The short form is Yeshua or, "Yahweh saves." In other words, this name describes the saving action of Yahweh.

But first and foremost, don't miss the main point, this name identifies the Author of the mission, it identifies His identity. He is Yahweh, Yahweh saves. Now most of you already know this, if you've been in our church any time at all, but for the sake of those of you who are newer, let me just mention this: Yahweh is God's personal name. It is the most frequently used name for God in the Old Testament. It occurs over 6,000 times. It's formed from the Hebrew verb of "being" like our English verb "is." Back in Exodus 3:14, God uses the first-person form of the verb "being" when He tells Moses His name. You remember? Moses asks what is the name I'm to give of You and God uses the first-person form of the verb and He says tell them, "I AM." Yahweh is the third-person form of the verb. So, when God says His name, He says, "I AM." When we say God's name, we say Yahweh, which means, "He is." In our Bible whenever the we see Yahweh, it's usually translated LORD in all capitals. That's God's personal name, Yahweh.

Now, everywhere, the Old Testament declares that there is only one true God and Yahweh is His name. You remember in the great Shema we're told, in Deuteronomy 6, this is who God is. But even before that, in Deuteronomy 4:39 we read, " know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that Yahweh, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other."

Deuteronomy 32:39, "See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can save anyone from My hand."

Isaiah 45:5, "I am Yahweh, and there is no one else; besides me, there is no God."

You understand, the gods of the nations are idols, they don't exist. There is only one true and living God, and Yahweh is His name. The God revealed on the pages of scripture.

Now, the name Yahweh teaches us several things about God - and I'll just mention them in passing – but, the name of God teaches us that God is self-existent. That is, He alone is responsible for the existence of all things, including His own. He depends on nothing, no one. It also tells us that God is eternal. He always was and He always will be. And His name tells us that He is immutable, unchanging because He always will be what He always has been. He is the eternal "I AM." He is simply who He is yesterday, today, and forever. That is the Author of the mission. He is the Author of the Mission.

But Jesus' name tells us more about Him. It tells us about, not only His identity, but also His character. He saves. He saves. In both Hebrew and Greek, Joshua and Jesus both mean, "Yahweh saves" or, "Yahweh is salvation." The point, folks, is that the true and living God Yahweh is, by nature, a saving, rescuing God. In fact, He is the only Savior. In Isaiah 43 11. He says, "I, only I, am Yahweh, And there is no savior besides Me."

Isaiah 45:21-22, "Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none except Me."

And then He adds this universal invitation. I love this. This is our God. He is by nature a saving God and to the entire world He says, "Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other."

So, God is by nature a Savior and because of His saving character, He authored an eternal plan of salvation, an eternal plan of redemption. And Gabriel told Joseph in our text that God sent the Child in Mary's womb to accomplish that salvation.

That's why, on the day that Jesus was born, you remember, the angel told the shepherds in Luke 2:11, "today in the city of David there has been born for you…." What? "A Savior who is Christ the Lord" - a Rescuer who is Messiah, God Himself. So, Jesus' name reveals the Author of the mission. The One who sent it, Yahweh saves.

Secondly, it also reveals the Executor of the mission. You see, Jesus' name not only reveals the one who sent Him but it reveals that Jesus Himself as the One who will execute, or accomplish, the mission.

And He will do so, first of all, because of his qualification as God. Notice verse 21, "you shall call His name Jesus for He will save." That is truly astounding. I mean, think about it. From 1,400 years before the birth of Christ, the time of Joshua, there were many Jewish boys who were named Yeshua in commemoration of the salvation that God accomplished in The Exodu -, how He brought His people out with a strong hand and freed them from the slavery of Egypt and redeemed them to Himself. Many Jewish boys were named this in commemoration of God's past salvation. But this child was to be named Jesus for a different reason, notice, because, "He will save."

The Greek text especially emphasizes this. Literally, the original says this: He Himself (speaking of Child, speaking of Jesus) He Himself will save. Or, we could even translate it this way: He, and not another, will save. Folks, think about that staggering declaration. The angel says to Joseph: this Boy that you're going to adopt, I want you to name Him Jesus which means "Yahweh saves" because this Boy Himself will save. This Child has divine rights and authority and prerogatives. He will do what only God can do. You see the point of this is that Jesus is the only one qualified to be a Savior because He is "Yahweh who saves."

There are so many places in the New Testament where I could go to prove that. Let me just choose my favorite, it's John chapter 8. You remember, Jesus is talking to the Jewish people, particularly the Jewish leaders who were opposed to Him, and He is sharing the truth about Himself and that He is the Messiah and that even Abraham looked forward to Messiah's day. And He was rejoicing in that reality. And the Jewish leaders turned that against Him and say: you're not yet fifty years old and are you claiming you've seen Abraham? And what does Jesus say? Before Abraham was, notice, He doesn't say, "I was" which would say that somehow He existed before or He's very old. No, He doesn't say that. He says before Abraham was, "I Am." And it takes on His lips not the third-person form the name of God that we're supposed to say, "He is." Jesus says, "I Am." Jesus is more than qualified to carry out the mission because He is "Yahweh who saves."

Secondly, Jesus' name reveals that He is the One who will accomplish the mission because of His passion for His people - not only His qualification as God but His passion for His people. Notice verse 21, "He will save His people." This Child possesses as His own a unique group of people. They're His people. Now, as this gospel unfolds we learn that "His people" isn't a reference to all the Jews. Clearly, many of them don't even end up believing in Him. Nor is it just the Jews because we discover it's broader than that. You remember in Matthew 16:18, Jesus begins to talk about a future assembly of those who are His. He says, "I will build My church," - My assembly - there's going to be an assembly of people who are Mine and I'm going to build them and, as Matthew's gospel unfolds, Jesus makes it clear who these people are and they're a most unlikely group. I wish I had time to walk you through the gospel and show you this but let me just touch on a couple of high points.

You first, begin to suspect this is an unusual group when in chapter 1, verse 5, you meet Rahab - a Canaanite and a former prostitute. She's one of His people. In verse 5, you meet Ruth - a Moabitess and a former idolater, who very likely as an idolator in Moab sacrificed her children in the fire.

Jesus, in chapter 8 verse 11, speaks of the faith of a Roman Centurion and He says this, "many will come from east and west," in the context meaning non-Jews, "and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven." He says: listen, there are going to be people outside of Israel, like this Roman Centurion. And, of course, you go all the way to the end of Matthew's gospel and what happens in what we call the Great Commission and Deuteronomy 28? There we're told that Jesus' people are going to be in all the nations of the world and throughout human history. These are His people.

In his gospel, John, I think, makes even clearer who Jesus' people are. There are several passages in my notes, but in the interest of time, I'm just going to have you turn to John 17. I love this. This is, remember, Jesus' High Priestly Prayer on the night before His crucifixion and in verse 1 of John 17, "Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said 'Father the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You." Now, watch verse 2: "even as You gave Him authority over all flesh," now notice how His people are described, "that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life." "That to all who You've given Him." Now, you might be tempted to think that that's just talking about the eleven, the eleven disciples, because in the first part of this prayer He's talking about them, but it's not. It's much more than that because, notice down in verse 20, Jesus begins to pray not on behalf of the disciples, but "for those who will believe in Me through their word." Folks, that's us. That's all true believers down through the history of the church. And, notice how Jesus describes us as His people in verse 24, "Father. I desire that they also, whom you have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for you have loved Me before the foundation of the world." Listen, Jesus has a people who belong to Him. Where did they come from? The Father gave them to the Son in eternity past as an eternal expression of His love. And Jesus came to earth on a mission sent from the Father to save the very ones the Father had given Him, His people.

If you are a Christian, if you are one who has repented of your sins and put your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord or if you are willing to do so, you are one of His people and He came into the world for you. You're one of the ones the Father gave to His Son in eternity past and He came into the world on a mission for you. He's the Executor of the mission because of His qualification as God because of His passion for His people.

And thirdly, because of His mission of salvation. His name reveals His mission to save.

Look at verse 21, "call His name Jesus for (because) He will save His people from their sins." Now, the Greek preposition "from" here combined with the form of the verb has the idea that He will save His people "away from." He will separate them from their sins.

Now, take a look at that word "save." In scripture - the word save and the word salvation - those words are used to describe rescue or deliverance from a large variety of dangers and ills. It's used, for example, in Matthew's gospel of rescuing someone from physical danger, of rescuing them from disease, and even of rescuing them from death. And so, the word can describe temporal rescue. In the Old Testament, God often sent a human savior or rescuer to rescue His people from their physical circumstances. This was, unfortunately, the mistaken mindset of the first century Jewish people. They expected Messiah, but they expected Messiah to save His people from what? Their tyranny - the tyranny of Rome - either by the wise use of law, or by executive order, or, if necessary, by war. But somehow, Messiah would deliver them from the tyranny, would save them from the tyranny of Rome.

That same mistaken idea about the nature of Jesus' rescue that continues today. There are many today -maybe some here this morning - who are only attracted to Jesus because of what they want Him to do. They want Him to save them from all kinds of earthly trouble. That's really the appeal of the prosperity gospel - God's going to save you from a life that's filled with trouble. He's going to give you your best life now. He's going to give you a wonderful marriage and He's going to give you money, and wealth, and prosperity, and power. And all those things come with Jesus. Who wouldn't want Jesus?

But the angel tells Joseph that Messiah's message has nothing to do with those things. His mission, rather, is a spiritual rescue. Verse 21, "call His name Jesus for He will save His people from their sins."

The angel intended Joseph, and us, to understand that this spiritual rescue was the heart of Jesus' mission on earth. And Jesus Himself, during His ministry, identified it that way. You remember in Luke 19:10 after the salvation of Zacchaeus, Jesus says this, "the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." How did He accomplish salvation? Well, later in Matthew's gospel we learn. Matthew 20:28, Jesus says that He, "came to give His life as a ransom," to God in the place of many. That's how He would save us from our sins.

Notice, Gabriel says that Jesus the Messiah will save His people from their sins, plural -every single one of them. You know, we think so lightly of sin. I think, if we're honest with ourselves, we tend to think that if we could get rid of a couple of sins in our past and if we could get rid of some troubling pattern of sin in our lives today, we would essentially be pretty good people. Do you realize that every single sin you have ever committed - every single sin - carries with it enough weight to condemn you eternally? If in your entire life, you had only done one thing that was contrary to God's law, if you'd only rebelled once against His will, you would deserve eternal death. You say: can you prove that? Well, let's think about Adam in the garden. What was Adam's sin that condemned himself and the entire human race to death - spiritual and eternal - apart from the saving work of Jesus Christ? He ate a piece of fruit that God told him not to eat.

So, understand. Every single sin you've ever committed would condemn you forever, if it were not for Christ. That's why we need Jesus as a Savior - because it wasn't just one sin. Its not just one sin on my record and it's not just one on yours. It's constant.

That's why in Acts chapter 4, you remember, the apostles' message is this, speaking of Jesus, "there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." Listen, your only hope of rescue from your sins is Jesus. You don't have any other hope.

Now, when we're told that Jesus saves His people. What does that mean? I wish I had time to unpack all of this for you in detail. Let me just give you a summary outline. You can go back online and chase these down and think about them a little more later. But, here's what it means when it says Jesus saves His people from their sins.

First of all, it means that in His life, Jesus perfectly kept God's law for His people. Romans 5:19, "through one man's disobedience," Adam, "the many," all of us who were in Adam were constituted as "sinners." Even so, "through the obedience of the One," Jesus Christ, "the many," that is, all who are in Christ, "will be made righteous." We get His righteousness as ours in justification. He kept God's law in our place and saved us in that sense.

Secondly, in His death, Jesus fully paid the legal debt for the sin and guilt of His people. Matthew 20:28 says that He came to give His life as a ransom to God in the place of many. Matthew 26:28, "this is My blood of the Covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." I love 1 Peter 2:24, He Himself bore our sins, plural, in His own body on the tree. You understand that God took every single sin you've ever committed, if you're in Christ, and He imputed those - He credited them - to Jesus and on the cross, He treated Jesus as if He'd lived your life. That's your only hope of being right with God - if Jesus gets what you deserve. And He did that.

Thirdly, in His death, Jesus fully satisfied the just wrath of God against the sins of His people. In Romans 3:25, we read, "God publicly displayed Jesus as a propitiation." I love that word. Don't be scared of that word. It's a rich word. God publicly displayed Jesus where? On the cross as a propitiation, as a satisfaction of God's just wrath against your sin. And because Jesus satisfied that wrath, you will never have to endure it. Romans 5:9, "we will be saved from the wrath of God," that's coming, "through Jesus."

Number four: in His death and resurrection, Jesus ended the enslaving power of sin for His people. Romans 6:6 - when you trusted in Christ, at that moment, you were connected to Jesus Christ and you, the old person that you were, died with Him and you were raised to new life. "Our old self was crucified with Him in order that our body of sin might be done away with," that is, might be rendered powerless, "so that we would no longer be slaves to sin." Listen, as Christians, we still sin, but Jesus saved you from the enslaving power of sin. You don't have to be bound by it. You can live a pattern of obedience to Him.

Number 5: at our death, or at His return, Jesus will deliver His people eternally and, I love this, from the capacity to sin. In 1 John 3:2, "Beloved now, we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him." You understand? The day is coming when you won't even be able to sin? Just like Jesus, you will be impeccable. You will have His moral character. You won't be like Adam in the garden where someday you might slip and fall, you'll be like Jesus Christ who cannot sin. What a Savior! He came to save His people from their sins and that's what He did.

If you have repented of your sins and you have put your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, then those five statements describe how Jesus has already rescued you, how He is rescuing you, and how He will permanently rescue in the future from the penalty of sin in the past, from the power of sin today, and from the presence of sin in the future - and even the possibility. And that, folks, is what you should be meditating on and celebrating at Christmas time.

May we commit to each other. Enjoy all of your traditions. We enjoy them in my household but don't let the main thing get lost. This is what we celebrate. And, if you're here this morning and you've never repented, you've never acknowledged Jesus to be your Lord and Master, then understand that none of these things is true of you. The exact opposite of these things is true of you. However, Jesus graciously offers you this invitation. I love Matthew 11:28 and following where Jesus says, "come to Me." That's Jesus invitation to you today if you're not His. "Come to Me all you who are who are weary and burdened down." With what? With your sin, with the reality you can never earn your way into God's favor. You can never find God. You can never be His. Jesus said, if that's you, if you're sinning and you want to be free, "come to Me and I will give your soul rest." I will save you from yourself and from your sin. Jesus came to the world on a unique mission from the Father. Call His name Jesus for He Himself will save His people, that is, those whom the Father had given Him in eternity and who have come to believe in Him in time, He will save them from their sins. Folks, Christmas is a celebration of that mission. Let's pray together.

Father, thank You. Thank You for the Savior. Thank you that you are, by nature, the Savior. Lord, we acknowledge You to be the One true and living God. The gods of the nations are Idols - the invention of men and demons. But You alone made the heavens and You alone can rescue us from our sin and You do so through Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Lord, those of us who have already come to repent and believe in Him, I pray this season You would help us to cut through all of the stuff that can be so distracting in our culture and truly celebrate the mission on which He came. And Father, I pray for those who are here this morning, or maybe watching by live streaming or in overflow, who are not in Christ, or maybe they came thinking they were and realize they're deceived - they deceive themselves. They claim to know Christ, but they never follow Him. They never obey Him. Lord, strip away their false profession and help them to see the invitation of Jesus today, "Come to Me," and may they respond. Father, for those who know they're not in Christ helping to see their sin is not a little thing. It's not a trifle. That one sin, if they've only committed one, who would be enough to condemn them forever. Lord, made they accept Your Savior, even today. We pray, in Jesus' name. Amen.