5a. Give the two names given to Mary's son and what each name means. Give verses.
Matthew 1:21, Jesus (which means "the Lord saves"), and Matthew 1:23, Immanuel (which means "God with us")
5b. What difference has each of these names made to your life?
He has saved me from SO much! I've been saved from emptiness and meaninglessness, saved from the wrath of God, saved from the dark prison of shame and guilt and condemnation that kept me in solitary confinement, isolated and alone. My Savior has changed my very nature and identity, from "dead (wo)man walking" to "alive in Christ!"
And Immanuel....His Presence is everything to me and has given me the strength I've needed to face the darkest of nights and the fiercest of storms with a peace that defies explanation. My heart echoes the heart of Moses in Exodus 33:15, "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here." How thankful I am to live on this side of the finished work of Jesus! His very Spirit indwells me, and nothing and no one has the power to separate us!
6a. What do you learn about the word "saved" from each of the following verses?
John 3:17, "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." This verse tells me that salvation is God's heartbeat. God's very heart beats with the rhythm of salvation. The purpose for Jesus arriving on earth in flesh was and is salvation. It's why He came; it's the POINT of the Incarnation. I'm also struck by the object of that verb "saved." The object is the world. No exceptions. No exclusions. God desires that "the world" (all who live in it) would be saved. I have never met a person whom God does not love and desire to adopt into His own family.
John 8:24, He has saved me from the terrible fate of "dying in my sins."
John 10:14-16, I have been saved from wandering. I now have a Good Shepherd and a place to belong in His flock.
Acts 4:12, There is only ONE who can save; His Name is Jesus (and He saves to the uttermost).
Romans 10:9, There is an internal and an external component of salvation. external=>confession, internal=>belief in your heart
Ephesians 2:5,8, Salvation is God's work, to His credit alone, not ours. "It is by grace you have been saved...."
6b. What positive and/or negative thoughts does the word "saved" bring to you? Why?
To those who feel satisfied and strong and believe they are self-made successes, with hearts full of pride, salvation is an affront, an insult. "Who me? Need a Savior? I need nothing!"
But to me, it is a priceless treasure. I know myself to be a sinner. I know brokenness and mess and need. I know I cannot do it on my own. My only hope is in the salvation of my Lord! How very grateful I am for the saving grace of my Redeemer, King Jesus!