The angel announced to Joseph that the baby Mary would give birth to would be called Jesus (meaning the Lord saves), “for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). That was the purpose of the Lord coming into the world – that’s the reason for Christmas.
We all know that we have sinned, but not everyone knows that we need to be saved from our sins. Maybe you think sin is nothing to worry about, no big deal. You could not be more wrong. We are going to look at three things the Bible says sin does to us, and it will show us how much we need to be saved from our sins, and I hope will make us thankful that there is one who is able to save us from our sins.
Sin condemns us
Sin isn’t just a slip or a flaw. It’s a crime. When we sin we break God’s law, and that means we are condemned. We have a guilty past, a criminal record, and there is a judge who is all-knowing and absolutely righteous. He isn’t going to overlook our crimes. Because sin is an infinite offence to God, the penalty is one we can never fully pay, meaning that we will be under the sentence eternally. Little wonder the Bible says, “we must be saved” (Acts 4:12), and little wonder the angel said that the announcement of a Saviour was “good tidings of great joy” (Luke 2:10).
There is nothing we can do to save ourselves from sin’s condemnation, but there was something the Lord Jesus did – He went to the cross, and bore the condemnation due to sin (Romans 8:3). He paid the penalty in full, and proved it by rising from the dead. If you will repent and accept God’s offer of a substitute you will be saved from sin’s condemnation (Romans 8:1).
Sin contaminates us
Sin leaves its defiling blemish upon our soul so that Isaiah the prophet says, “we are all like an unclean thing” (Isaiah 64:6). When the Bible speaks about that beautiful heavenly city, it says, “there shall by no means enter into it anything that defiles” (Revelation 21:27). The qualification for entering heaven is not to be “cleaner” than other people, but to be “clean”, and none of us is. But although we are not clean, we can be cleansed. The Lord is able to save us from the contamination of sin. He says, “I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses” (Ezekiel 36:29).
You maybe feel the filth of sin in your own life. Because of the life you have lived and the things you have done your mind is defiled and your heart soiled. There is a wonderful verse in the Bible which says, “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Every single stain sin has left upon your soul can be washed away. Mark 1:40-42 tells us about a man who had leprosy, and he came to the feet of Jesus saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Those last three words maybe express the longing of your heart – “make me clean.” The Lord Jesus said to that man, “I am willing; be cleansed”, and immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. This is a picture of the cleansing from sin you will have if you kneel before the Lord as he did, and say, “Make me clean.”
Sin controls us
Sin has a power over us, so that we cannot live the life God wants us to live or enjoy the blessings God intended us to enjoy. As you think of the Christian life, you just can’t imagine ever being able to live a life like that and you are convinced you could never be happy – it’s just not your thing. But that is the same for everyone. No one is “naturally” able to live a Christian life. But when we come to Christ for forgiveness, He sets us free from the dominion of sin and gives us a new life, and this enables us to live and love the Christian life. It’s one of the things that proves the reality of the gospel message. Jesus said, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
Sin is an awful problem – you really do need to be saved from it. But Christ is a wonderful Saviour – He is able to save you from your sins.