20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21 (NASB)
Any attempt to “improve” the Gospel according to human wisdom or philosophy empties the Cross of Christ of its power. In our day, this tinkering with Gospel is called “Contextualization.” This is the process of adding to, taking away, and changing the Gospel message in an attempt to make it relate to culture….
While there is a part in all of us that sees this as a “good move,” if we compare this with what the Word of God teaches us about the Gospel and how God works through it to save His people, we will see that this process actually creates just another false gospel or non-gospel. For clarification let us look at what God’s Word teaches us is the Gospel.
If you have not done so already, read the passage I placed at the top of this post (Matthew 1:20-21). The name “Jesus” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name “Joshua,” which means, “Yahweh is salvation” or “Yahweh saves.” This name described His mission, which was given to Him by the Father. What was it? It was to save His people from their sins. This salvation is the Good News or Gospel, but what exactly does it mean to be saved from one’s sins? Carefully read the following passage which describes what it means to “be still in your sins” when the Day of God’s Wrath does come.