Number 21


"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Tim. 1:15). "The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world" (1 John 4:14). These statements are true; they are from the inspired Word of God. However, the question is now whether this joint effort of the Father and the Son has fulfilled its purpose and become effective in my life, in your life. Can we honestly say in the language of Scripture, "God my Saviour"?

There are no words that are more precious that can come from the lips of an individual than these words spoken in truth. They were spoken by Mary the mother of our Lord when she said in her beautiful magnificat: "My soul cloth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour" (Luke 1:46,47). If one can in truth say, "God my Saviour", he can rest assured that he has the ultimate Saviour. There can be none that is better, none more perfect, none that can give better assurance of salvation. If God is our Saviour then we are saved, and we can assert this as a fact that is founded upon the solid rock of God's Word. One can only feel sorry for those unstable souls who glory in His power as the Creator, but doubt His ability as a Saviour.

The words "God our Saviour" can well be said to be the most precious and most important in the Bible. The unsettled state of so many professing Christians is the result of never having fully entered into the meaning of these words. The lack of settled peace and conf idence, so common among God's people, is the outcome of not appreciating and not believing the truth declared in them. We need to know Who the Saviour is and what the Saviour is before we can fully trust Him.

To fully appreciate the meaning of the words "God our Saviour", we must approach them through the Old Testament. The prophet Isaiah is the one who most fully develops this theme. It was through him that Jehovah declared:

* Ye are My witness, saith the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I am the LORD (Jehovah); and beside Me there is no Saviour. Isa. 43 :10, 11.

In response to this declaration that there is no God but Jehovah and no Saviour but Jehovah, let all who read these lines say, "It is truth" (Isa. 43:9). Let us remember that one becomes a believer by believing the truth that is at hand, even if it is the first truth that one has heard. There is no profit in disputing, in doubting, in arguing. There is no value in demanding that all truth be in hand before any is believed. God has spoken, and here we have a truth before us to be believed. There is no Saviour but Jehovah, the God who is seen throughout the Old Testament. This great truth is repeated in the words of Jehovah in Isa. 45:21,22:

* Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD (Jehovah)? and there is no God else beside Me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside Me. Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

In these words we see God presenting Himself as the Saviour, the one and only Saviour, calling upon men to look to Him and be saved, even those living in the most remote places, which is what the idiomatic phrase "all the ends of the earth" really means. Thus this call is to all mankind, and if mankind as a whole does not respond, then let the individual look to Him and He will not be sent away empty handed.

If the majority rejects and if the minority is slow to believe, then let us break with both of them and believe as individuals in the Saviour, in the salvation He provides, and in the declared way of obtaining both the Saviour and salvation. Let us not follow a multitude to do evil (Ex. 23:2). For while this great offering of Jehovah Himself as the Saviour was primarily to Israel and then to all mankind, it was also to the individual as will be seen in the passage that follows this offer:

* Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to Him shall men come; and all that are incensed against Him shall be ashamed. Isa. 45 :24.

In the italicised word one in the above passage we have an attempt of the translators to express the singular in number which is what it is in the Hebrew text. But they did not follow through when they supplied the word men in the following clause. This is also singular and should read "shall one come".

The great truth that Jehovah was the only God and the only Saviour was well known in Israel at that point of time when the New Testament begins. While there is evidence that they neglected most of the Old Testament, having made it void through their traditions, this was not so concerning the prophecy of Isaiah. This was the one scroll that would be found in the synagogue if they could afford only one portion.

When the Messiah was born in Bethlehem it was the specific instructions of the angel of the Lord that His parents should "call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21). The name "Jesus" is the Greek form of the Hebrew name "Jehoshua" which means "Jehovah the Saviour". From this His supposed father Joseph must have known that He was an unusual person, for this name was not given to Him to proclaim the fact that Jehovah saves, as in the case of others who bore it, but to emphasise the fact that One who bore it was Himself to do the saving. This is seen in the reason declared for giving it to Him. "For He shall save His people from their sins".

This is in harmony with the message proclaimed by the angels to the shepherds:

* For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11.

This announcement must have created a dilemma for all who heard it since it announced a Saviour which is Christ the Lord, but it is apparent it did not. The shepherds who first heard it said at once,"Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known to us" (Luke 2:15). They faced no predicament of two Saviours for these humble men had light and faith which few have today. They knew that Jehovah of old had declared that He alone was the Saviour and that there is no Saviour but Him. Yet they faced no problem in receiving this babe born in Bethlehem as the Saviour, something they could not have done if the one named Jesus was not Jehovah. However, this was the very truth announced by the angel, that this one born in Bethlehem was "Messiah Jehovah", which is what the Greek Christos Kurios actually means.

The people of Israel never had to face the dilemma of two Saviours, one the Jehovah of the Old Testament who declared that He was the only Saviour, and Jesus Christ of the New Testament who is presented by the angels as the Saviour and in turn presented Himself as such. Thus the faithful believed, just as we need to believe, that this One born in Bethlehem was in reality the Jehovah of the Old Testament. If not, then there are two who claim to be the Saviour and one of them must be branded as an impostor. In fact Jesus should be rejected as such if He is not Jehovah. See Issue No. 2 for a fuller treatment of this important truth.

As we trace out further the theme of "God our Saviour" through the New Testament we come to the testimony of the Apostle Paul who sets forth beyond all question that the God who is our Saviour is the Lord Jesus Christ. In his epistle to Titus he speaks of "the commandment of God our Saviour" (Titus 1:3) and in the same sentence speaks of "the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour" (Titus 1 :4). Can it be that he is presenting two Saviours here? Certainly not. He would not be guilty of such a thought. God our Saviour and the Lord Jesus Christ are one and the same. Any conception of God that does not recognise this is false and contrary to divine revelation.

It is quite evident that the Spirit of God desired to emphasise this truth since it is brought out again in the next chapter of this epistle. In Titus 2:10 he speaks of "God our Saviour" and in the same sentence speaks of "the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (2:13). And as if to establish the truth by three witnesses, in Titus 3:4 he speaks of "the kindness and love of God our Savior" and in the same sentence speaks of "Jesus Christ our Saviour". Truly our God is our Saviour.

There is solid encouragement for every child of God in the realisation of this great truth. The joy of salvation comes from knowing the One who is our Saviour. Think what it means to be able to say that the Great Creator became our Saviour. And if the Creator is not God, then who is God?

In Isaiah 44:24 the great Jehovah declares that He alone is the Creator, that He did it Himself, and no agents were involved. This truth is repeated in Isa. 45:12. Thus it is clear that the One called Jehovah (LORD) in Isaiah is the One called Elohim in Genesis 1:1, where we read, "In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heaven and the earth". Continuing in the Word we come to John 1:1 where one called the Word (Logos) is set before us, and we are told that "the Word (Logos) was God". And as a further means of identification we are told that, "All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made" (John 1:3). Therefore, whether it is Elohim who is presented as the Creator in Genesis 1:1, or Jehovah who is declared to be the only Creator in Isaiah 45:12 or the Logos who is presented as the Creator in John 1:3, it is the same One. Then when we come to John 1:14 we are told that the Word (Logos) was made flesh and became a man upon this earth beheld by others. This is our Lord Christ Jesus, and this is our Saviour. This is the One who fills the pages of God's book.

"Look unto Me and be ye saved, for I am God and there is none else" (Isa. 45:22) is the divine invitation. It was Jehovah who issued this bid, and by it He proclaimed that He alone is the Saviour and that He wants men to be saved. "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me", is the declaration of the Lord Jesus. All who ever came to Jesus Christ came to God the Father, and no one has ever come to the Father save by the Son of God. "I and My Father are one", is His word concerning this. "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same has not the Father; but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also" (1 John 2:23).

I have already said that a man becomes a believer by believing the truth that is at hand. Let every reader of these lines go over the preceding paragraph once again and then ask himself if this is his belief. If so, he may have the right to say, "God my Saviour".


Issue no. 021