Robert Morris — Amazing Savior
All right, I want you to turn to two passages of Scripture, Joshua 5 and Zachariah 3. Zachariah is the next to the last book in the Old Testament, so if you're new, and we were all new at some point to the Bible, the best way is you can go to Matthew and then go left. You'll see Malachi and then Zachariah. So, that's going left, by the way. So, we'll begin in Joshua 5, and we're ending our series on "Amazing Grace" this weekend, and I was praying and asking the Lord how He wanted me to end this series.
And a couple of weeks ago, during worship at the Southlake campus, we sang the song, "Blessed Assurance", and we got to this line that said, "I, in my Savior, am happy and blessed". And I thought to myself, that's right! That's why I'm happy, is because I have a Savior. And I'm not sure whether people understand how great our Savior is, and how much we needed saving, and how much we still need saving, and how wonderful the Savior is. When you talk about amazing grace, it's because we have an amazing Savior.
So, let me give you an illustration before we get in the Word. What if you were drowning, and you didn't know how to swim, and someone saved you? And you're now standing on the shore. You're out of the water. You're safe. You've got a blanket around you. You've been saved. You were drowning. You thought your life was ending. Would you be happy? Sure, you would! But, let me give you a little more to help us understand how happy we should be. What if this savior said, I want you to understand too, you never have to fear drowning again, because I will never leave you, I will never forsake you. I will be with you every moment of every day for the rest of your life. Would that make you happy as well?
See, the problem is that some of us learn to swim. And we begin to think, well, we probably wouldn't need the Savior now. The only problem with that is, is that you don't understand how great your sin really is. It's like the ocean, and we can drop you off in the middle of the ocean, and I don't care how well you can swim. Do you know what you need? You need a savior. See, we have a Savior. Let me say it again, because at some point in this message, you're going to catch this. We have a Savior! The reason we're happy is because we have a Savior. And if you don't know it, you need saving. Now if you're married, you could simply ask your spouse how much you need saving! But you still need saving to this day, and we have this wonderful Savior.
So, before we get to Joshua 5, let me show you just a few other Scriptures that actually tie into this season as well, about Jesus being our Savior. Luke 2:11, "For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord". Matthew 1:21, "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins". The reason He's called that is because He's a Savior, and Jesus is the Greek word for Yeshua, but it means Savior. As a matter of fact, I'll show it to you straight out of the — well, not a Greek lexicon. Jesus is a Greek transliteration for the Hebrew name Joshua, and even Joshua is the English way we would say Yeshua, the Hebrew name.
Now, I don't want to burst your bubble, but just so you know, Jesus was never called Jesus when He was on this earth. That's a Greek name. He wasn't called Jesus until about the 17th century, by the way. Man, it seems like I just left the air out of the room. I'm sorry! He was called Yeshua, right? That's His Hebrew name. He was called Yeshua. But, it's okay that His adoptive family calls Him Jesus, because they tried to say, no, his name's Yeshua. Well, I can't say Yeshua. Okay, say Jesus then. All right, Jesus. Well, Jesus means — in the Greek, it means Savior. Yeshua, in Hebrew, means God is salvation, and we say it Joshua. That's the way we would say it in English. My oldest son's name is Joshua.
There were two prominent Joshuas in the Old Testament. One was the captain of Israel who led them into the Promised Land, and that's Joshua 5. The other, in Zachariah, was the high priest, now get this, who led them back into the Promised Land after they'd been in Babylonian captivity 70 years. And God decides to name His son Yeshua, and there are two prominent ones. One leads them into the Promised Land, and one leads them back into the Promised Land after they've blown it. I hope you're seeing grace here, because you've blown it. Again, if you're married, ask your spouse if you can't remember when you blew it. And especially if you're the man, you can ask her and she can actually give you dates and times.
So, let me show you, from these two Old Testament Joshuas, what the New Testament Joshua does, alright? Here are two things. Number one, He saves us from the dominion of sin. He saves us from the dominion, the power, the authority, the rulership, of sin. Now, when I said Joshua, and there are two prominent in the Old Testament, you probably thought of the first one, Moses' successor. What you might not know is, is that his mother never called him Joshua. His mother didn't name him Joshua. All right, let me show it to you, and we'll get to Joshua 5 in a minute, by the way.
Let me show it to you. Numbers 13:16 says, "These are the names of the men who Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea, the son of Nun, Joshua". Now, it's a little easier in the Old King James. I like it how it reads even better. It says, "And Moses called Oshea", or Oshua, "the son of Nun, Jehoshua". Jehoshua. In other words, he was named Hoshua, which means salvation. Moses adds the J-E to it, which is short for Jehovah. Many Hebrew words did that, and here's what it means now. God is salvation. This is wonderful to me, because God gave the law through Moses, and yet Moses said, but that's not enough. The only way we're going to get there is that God is our salvation.
So, his name was Jehoshua. And then you think, well, how did he be called Joshua? Well, if you say it fast a few times, you'll figure it out. Jehoshua, Jehoshua, Jehoshua, Jehoshua, Joshua, Joshua. And maybe his mother actually did call him that, and that's how he got it, because she just started saying, Joshua, get in here! I don't know. But, He's Moses' successor, and what did Moses give us? The law. John 1:17 says, "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ". And just Jesus Christ here would be Yeshua Hamashiach — Yeshua, the Messiah.
By the way, this word, but, is not in the original language here. Just so you know, because it's such a contrast, almost like the law is bad. But, it's not there. Basically, it's two statements in Greek. The law came through Moses, period. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. So, the law's not bad. Why? Because the law leads us to God is salvation. That's what the law does. Paul tells us that over and over. The law is not bad, it leads us to God is salvation. It leads us to Yeshua, you see. But, here's what we need to understand. Romans - oh, no, let me show you one other verse before I show you that one. Isaiah 43:11 says, "I, even I, am the Lord, and besides me, there is no Savior".
Salvation doesn't come from being perfect. It comes from believing in the perfect one. Now, here's how we're not under sin, under the dominion of sin. Romans 6:14, "Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace". Now, let me interpret that to what we're saying. He's saying you're not under Moses, you're under Yeshua. You're not under the law, but you're under grace. Now, so let me show you, in Joshua 5. Here's something really amazing to me. The earthly Joshua met the heavenly Joshua. Joshua met Yeshua.
Watch this, Joshua 5:13. "And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man", capital M, by the way, because it's referring to Jesus. "A Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him". Now, if this had been me, it would have said, and Robert went the other way. "Joshua went to Him and he said to Him", now, this is a great question, "Are you for us or for our adversaries? So, He said, "No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come". And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped, and said to Him, "What does my Lord say to His servant"? Then the Commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua, "Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy". And Joshua did so".
By the way, what makes it holy is God's there. That's what made the land, the ground where the burning bush was holy, because God's there. That's what makes our services holy, because the presence of God is here. Okay, but I love Jesus' answer, and somehow we just read over it, because we miss the first word. Joshua said, are you for us, or are you for them? And Jesus said, no. No.
I remember a while back I got a telephone call at home, and we're on that No Call List, but every now and then, you know, a telemarketer gets through. And this person was very excited, and shared with me that I'd won a free cruise. And, but in order to upgrade my room, it was going to be $300 per person for the free cruise. And then the person said this. Would you like to put that on MasterCard or Visa? Do you know what my answer was? No. That's what happens here. Are you for us or for them? Here's what He said, no.
Let me say it another way. He said, Joshua, I didn't come to take sides, I came to take over. And I'm not here to get on your side. I'm here to get you on the winning side, which is my side. And Joshua takes his shoes off. Now, a lot of people don't realize what this means. In Jewish culture, it meant you give your rights up. When you take your shoes off, you give your rights up. If you remember, Boaz wants to marry Ruth. He goes to the near kinsman, who has the right to marry her and to buy the land back. He's got the right. That's called the right of redemption. And, Ruth 4:8, it says, "Therefore the close relative", or near kinsman, the Old King James says, "said to Boaz, "Buy it for yourself", so he took off his sandal". See, in other words, he gave up his right. I know I have the right, I know I'm next in line, but I'm going to give up my right.
Okay, listen. This is so important for us to understand. The way sin does not have dominion over you is you take your shoes off to the Commander of the Lord's army. That's the way. You submit to Him as the king of your life, and He's grace. The problem is that many of us put our shoes back on, and start believing we can do it on our own. We know we need a Savior when someone shares the Gospel with us for that first, or second, or third time, and we finally comprehend it. We say, man, I need a Savior. But, 10, 20 years later, 30, after we've grown, and we've taken classes, and now we actually teach the classes, we might not think we need a Savior as much. Okay, so He saves us from the dominion of sin.
Here's number two. He saves us from the guilt of sin. He saves us from the guilt of sin. Okay now, Zachariah 3, if you're there. Zachariah 3:1, it says, "Then he showed me Joshua, the high priest, standing before the Angel of the Lord". Now, most of you have been here for a while, and you're familiar with biblical language. When it refers to the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament, it's referring to Jesus. The Angel of the Lord visited Abraham and Sarah, and said, at this time next year, I will return to you and you will have a child. Jesus. And we know that through — you can study that yourself and see it. The Angel of the Lord. Joshua, the high priest, is standing before — Joshua, the high priest. "And Satan, standing at his right hand to oppose him".
Notice Satan is always there to accuse the brethren. "And the Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan"! That's good news right there. "The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not", referring now to Joshua, "a brand plucked from the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments". Please see the wonderful picture of salvation here. It's so clear. "And was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "Take away the filthy garments from him". Take away, notice — not just take off, but take them away. "And to him He said, "See" — he's explaining what He's just done. "I have removed your inequity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes". And Isaiah 61:10 tells us those robes are robes of righteousness, right standing with God. I'll remove your inequity, and I'll clothe you with my righteousness.
If you look on down at Verse 9, "I will remove the inequity of that land in one day". And Psalm 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far is He removed our transgressions from us". Okay. This is grace. This is what our high priest does! He removes our filthy rags. Even our righteousness is as filthy rags. He removes our sin, our inequity. "I have removed your inequity". He says it right there. "I have removed your inequity". He removes our inequity, as far as the east is from the west. And He clothes us with His righteousness. This is exemplary of what Jesus does for us. It's salvation.
Now, I was reading through, probably 10 or 12 years ago. I was battling through, still. The church was growing. I was battling through a lot of guilt and shame, because of my past. And I was reading through Romans in another version, in a modern version, like a dynamic translation, not an exact equivalency translation, a dynamic equivalency, which is kind of like New Living Translation, and The Message, and things like that. And so, I'm reading through this, and it says, in that version, "He has declared us not guilty".
He has declared us not guilty. And without realizing it, I kind of went like this, huh, and just kind of went on. And the Lord said to me, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. What is that, huh, like that? And so, I said to the Lord, I said, well, Lord, I know that you've declared me not righteous — I mean, I'm not guilty. I know you've declared me not guilty, and I appreciate that. Thank you for that. And I know you've declared me not guilty, but you and I know the truth. That's what I said. But I mean, you and I know I really am guilty. But you've declared me not guilty, and I appreciate that, but I know I really am guilty.
And it was as if I had angered Him, that I had insulted Him, and He very forcefully in my spirit, not out loud, in my spirit, He said to me, I am not unjust. I mean, it was strong. And He said, and I am not a liar. And I said, well, Lord, I didn't call you a liar. He said, yes, you did. You just said that I said something that's not true. You said I had declared you not guilty, but you really are guilty. And He said, you need to understand something. I couldn't do that. I couldn't say you are not guilty unless you are not guilty. I mean, it was so strong in my spirit!
So, I said, well, Lord, I don't understand this then, because I know I am guilty. How would you declare me not guilty? He said, you still don't get it, do you? He said, I removed your sin. I removed your sin. I took your sin off of you. And He said, here's the reason that I declared you not guilty, is because I took your sin, all of it, off of you, and I put it on my Son, and I declared Him guilty, and He died in your place. And when I look at you, I don't see sin, because I have removed it. And so, I can legally and justly declare you not guilty. You're not guilty. So we have to understand, that's what grace is! Our amazing Savior took our inequity.
One of my favorite Scriptures may not be a favorite for you, but it's Hebrews 7:25. It says, "Therefore He is also able", now watch this, "to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them". He is able to save to the uttermost. This word, uttermost, in the Greek means unlimited duration of time, forever and always. Unlimited duration of time. He's a Savior, but He's able to save you completely. Now, I want you to think for a moment about these two Joshuas. One leads the people into the Promised Land. The other leads the people back into the Promised Land after they've fallen. I just want you to know that your Savior is able to lead you back, even when you mess up. That's how good He is.
Isn't Jesus a great Savior, an amazing Savior? He not only can lead us into the Promised Land, He can lead us back into the Promised Land. You know, I have a friend of mine that I went to college with, and he became a pastor, and then fell away from the Lord, lost his family, lost his ministry, lost everything. And just a few years ago we reconnected, and he's come back to the Lord now, and God is doing such a great work in his life, and the reason why is because of amazing grace, an amazing Savior. And I just want to speak to you just for a moment. Do you need to come to Jesus, or do you need to come back to Jesus? And maybe you need to come back to Jesus from being away for years, or maybe you need to come back to Jesus from just being away for a few days, but I want you to know, He's there. He will welcome you home. His grace covers our sins. God is an amazing God. Jesus is an amazing Savior. So, I want to encourage you. Come to Jesus, come back to Jesus, right now. Hey, thank you so much for joining me for this series, "Amazing Grace".