Summary: God’s marvelous eternal plan of salvation can be clearly seen in the fact that Jesus is Savior.

1. God’s plan for a pure redeemer (18)

2. God’s plan for a public redeemer (19-20)

3. God’s plan for a perfect redeemer (21)

MATTHEW 1:18-21

I’ve got an old Massey Ferguson tractor at home. I have a nice place all cleaned out for it in the barn. But it’s not in the barn. It’s sitting out in the weather, right outside the barn. The reason it’s sitting there is because, earlier this year, I started it, put it into gear and backed it out of the barn. There were only a couple of problems. As it was backing out, I realized I had no control of the steering. I could crank and crank on the steering wheel and it wouldn’t turn. So, as it was backing out, the front wheels began to drift toward the side of the barn. Simple solution, right? I’d just stop until I could get the wheels turned. Not so simple. I stepped on the clutch. Nothing happened. I couldn’t get the clutch to engage. Well, luckily, the front of the tractor just skidded along the side of the barn and out into the field before I got the thing killed. And there it has sat. I started it once just to watch the field mice run out. But other than that, it hasn’t moved. Now, as you’ve probably guessed, I’m not a mechanic. And I don’t have the tools, time, nor patience to be one. But even someone as mechanically inept as I can figure out what the problem is. I have a hydraulic problem in the steering and my clutch is out. It’s not rocket science figuring out what the problem is. All you have to do is open your eyes and you can see it. The problem is what to do about it. I can identify the problem, but I am utterly incapable of doing anything about it. I’m pretty good at a lot of things. I’m a pretty good carpenter—but a circular saw won’t do anything for it. I know telephone cable and communication systems like the back of my hand—but the tractor’s problem isn’t circuitry. I can teach—but for some reason that old tractor just doesn’t want to learn. So, there the tractor sits. In our society today, it’s easy to see what’s wrong with it. It’s easy to look around and see what’s broken. The problem is, knowing how to fix it. As I was preparing, I came across something that really sets the stage for our text this morning. I don’t know who wrote it, but it’s called Our Greatest Need.

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator;

If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist;

If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist;

If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer;

But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a redeemer.

See, all too often, we try to fix the world’s problems with the wrong tool. There’s nothing wrong with information, technology, money, and pleasure when used the right way. They’re just the wrong tools to fix the problem. We’re trying to fix the tractor with a circular saw. Just like me with that tractor, we don’t have the capability to fix the problem. We can throw information and technology at it. We can throw money at it. And we can try to cover it up with pleasure. But the problem won’t go away. God knew that our problem wouldn’t go away. Ever since the Garden of Eden, man has tried all kinds of ways to fix his problems on his own. But we can’t. It’s impossible. We don’t have the capability. That’s why He sent us a redeemer. A redeemer to save us from our problem which is sin. I want each of us here this morning to recognize Jesus Christ as our Savior, the redeemer God planned from the beginning. In order to do that, we’re going to look at three characteristics of Jesus as our redeemer. His first characteristic is that He is our pure redeemer.


Jesus is our pure redeemer. One of the most attacked doctrines of the church today is the doctrine of the virgin birth. It’s hard to understand. Scientifically, it doesn’t make sense. Biologically, it seems impossible. So, why do we even worry about it? If it seems so silly to other people, why do we even need to bring it up? Well first, because it’s in the Bible. And second, because there must be a reason it’s in the Bible. Satan doesn’t spend his time attacking things that don’t matter to him. So, since he spends so much time trying to discredit the virgin birth, it must be pretty important. So, why is the virgin birth so important? First, let’s talk about what it is. It is exactly as the Bible says it is. Mary got pregnant before she and Joseph had marital relations. She conceived of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit did not impregnate her. He miraculously created life in her apart from the seed of a man. That’s what happened. No more, no less. Whether science or biology can explain it or not, that’s what happened. But once again, we’re left with the question, Why is it important? Why does it matter one way or the other? Why did Jesus have to be born of a virgin? To answer that question, we have to go back to the Garden of Eden. To the beginning of sin. The Bible says that sin entered the world through one man—Adam. Romans 5:12 says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” We know that Eve was the first to eat of the forbidden fruit. She was held accountable, but Adam, as her head, was held responsible. As a result, death entered the picture. 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” So now, thanks to Adam, we are double sinners. We are sinners by action. Every human being that has ever lived commits sin. We are also sinners by birth. Our sinful nature has been passed down generation by generation since Adam. The Bible calls it the “flesh”. So, even if it was possible to live life without committing a single sin, we would still be condemned because of our inherited sinful nature. The nature that has been passed from father to son and father to son and father to son since Adam was kicked out of the Garden of Eden. That sin nature was passed all the way through that list of begats that we talked about last week. All the way till it got to Joseph the carpenter. Then it stopped. It stopped because that’s where the male bloodline stopped. See, the Bible says the sin nature comes from Adam. “For as in Adam all die.” The sin nature is passed through the seed of the male. It could have been conceivable for Jesus to live His life without committing any sin. But there was no way He could have escaped that sin nature if He would have had an earthly father like the rest of us. But He didn’t.

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Eugene Smith

commented on Nov 30, 2007

Good outline. Enjoyed your story about the tractor

Lee Floyd

commented on Dec 12, 2013

I believe the poem referred to in opening - is called "God Sent us a Savior" by Clarice Reid Hart. At least its very close to what is quoted here.

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