Devotional Readings

April 22: What do You Really Believe?

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).

As he was nearing death, Thomas D. Talmage, the great evangelist, was asked by his son, "What do you really believe now, Father?"

Quickly the answer came: "Well, Son, when I started to preach at twenty-five years of age, I held to one hundred doctrines; at thirty-five, I had fifty; at fifty, only twenty-five; later on, there were but ten; and now as I am facing eternity, I hold only this one: I am a great sinner, but Jesus Christ is a great Saviour."

The word "Jesus" means "Saviour." It is our Lord's personal name and was given to Him at birth by angelic command. The word "Christ" means "the Anointed," or "Messiah" (John 1:41). It was at His baptism in the Jordan River that Jesus was anointed by the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:38) and publicly proclaimed by the voice of God to be His Son (Matthew 3:16, 17). By His resurrection and ascension He was finally proved to be Christ in the full sense of the word. "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). His name reveals three things about His salvation:

First, He and He alone can save. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Second, He will save only "his people," the saved of all nations. (Compare 1 Peter 2:9; Titus 2:14; Acts 15:14.)

Third, His name shows the breadth and depth of His salvation. He saves not only from the consequences of sin but from the sin itself, showing that He is the source not only of justification but also of sanctification. His name is really the contents table of the whole Bible. Are we among His people? Is He our Saviour now?

MEDITATION PRAYER: "Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people" (Psalm 3:8).

from The Promises of God
H.M.S. Richards | Review & Herald (2004)
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