Now that He has died, risen, and ascended to the Father’s right hand, just how does Jesus “save His people from their sins”? He has completed the work of redemption and made it possible for us to be reconciled with God. But how do people now come into the blessings Jesus has obtained for His followers? The answer is as simple as it is startling: Through Christians! Even though believers in Christ are both finite and fallen, beset with all sorts of faults and failings, yet Christ uses them to “save” others. From Matthew’s Gospel, we can discern the ways in which Jesus works through His people to bring others to himself:
Performing good works
“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (5:16). Believers in Christ should be distinguished by purity of life and passionate love for God and their neighbor (5:3-48; 6:19-34; 22:37-39), expressed by obedience to their Lord’s commands (7:21, 24; 28:20)
In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (6:9-10).
Preaching the Good News
“As you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (10:7). “This Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (24:14).
Practical help for people in need
“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons” (10:8). One last point: The order of these activities is important. Purity of life and persistent prayer must come first.