Therefore God also highly exalted him, and gave to him the name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth,

Philippians 2:10

The name ‘Jesus’ is an English transliteration of a Greek name, Hee-ay-soos {Ἰησοῦς – G2424}. ‘Ἰησοῦς’ is itself a transliteration of a Hebrew name that sounds more like Yahoshua or Yeshua {יהושׁע – H3091}. It is related to the name ‘Joshua’, and is actually used in the New Testament to refer to the companion and successor of Moses (Act 7:45, Heb 4:8). Yahoshua is a compound name, combining the name Yah {יהּ – H3050} (which is a shortened form of the name Yahweh {יהוה – H3068}), with the word yasha {ישׁע – H3467}, which means “open” or “free”; figuratively, “to be safe” or “saved”. The name Yahoshua therefore means ‘Salvation of Yahweh’ or ‘Yahweh [is] salvation’:

Psa 130:[7] Israel, hope in Yahweh, for with Yahweh there is loving kindness. With him is abundant redemption. [8] He will redeem Israel from all their sins.

Isa 12:[2] Behold, God is my salvation. I will trust, and will not be afraid; for Yah, Yahweh, is my strength and song; and he has become my salvation.”

Zec 9:[9] Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you! He is righteous, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

The name ‘Jesus’ was given to the child that would be born of Mary, by an angel that appeared to Joseph in a dream:

Mat 1:[21] She shall give birth to a son. You shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.”

Jesus is the savior of his people, not because he saves them from their political enemies, but because he saves them from the just penalty of their sins, which is the unmitigated wrath of God:

The consummate act of obedience that Jesus Christ paid to the law was in suffering the ultimate penalty for the disobedience of His people that the law demanded. Thus, while upon the cross, Jesus Christ, as a perfect representative, substitute, and sacrifice for His people, became a curse for His people and suffered the unmitigated fury of God the Father, which was equivalent to suffering the very pains of hell. This was not for any guilt He had contracted Himself but for the sins of His people. Their guilt was imputed to Him, and He suffered the penalty their sins deserved. His finished work on the cross appeased God’s wrath in full toward all for whom He died and paid the ransom price in full for all for whom He died, guaranteeing the salvation of all for whom He died. [Gen 22:13; Exo 12:3-13; Lev 16:21-22; Lev 17:11; Psa 22:1-18; Psa 32:1; Isa 53:1-12; Dan 9:24-26; Zec 13:7; Mat 26:28; Mat 27:35-50; Mar 15:24-37; Luk 23:33-46; Luk 24:46; Joh 11:49-52; Joh 19:16-30; Act 17:3; Act 20:28; Rom 3:24-25; Rom 5:6-11; 1Co 1:30; 1Co 5:7; 1Co 6:20; 1Co 15:3; 2Co 5:21; Gal 1:4; Gal 2:20; Gal 3:13; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:7; Eph 2:13-17; Col 1:14,20-22; Col 2:13-14; 1Th 5:10; 1Ti 2:6; Tit 2:14; Heb 2:9-10,17; Heb 9:12-14,26-28; Heb 10:10-18; Heb 13:12; 1Pe 1:18-19; 1Pe 2:24; 1Pe 3:18; 1Jo 1:7; 1Jo 2:2; 1Jo 3:5; 1Jo 4:10; Rev 1:5; Rev 5:9]

Christian Confession of Faith, IV.C.2

This is a graphic depiction of how thoroughly God hates sin, that he would pour out the fullness of his wrath on sin, even when it is applied to the person of his beloved Son. Here are some of the verses to which this section of the Confession refers:

Isa 53:[5] But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed. [6] All we like sheep have gone astray. Everyone has turned to his own way; and Yahweh has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Dan 9:[24] Seventy weeks are decreed on your people and on your holy city, to finish disobedience, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.

Act 20:[28] Then take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit placed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased through His own blood.

Rom 3:[24] being justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, [25] whom God set forth as a propitiation through faith in His blood, for a showing forth of His righteousness through the passing by of the sins that had taken place before, in the forbearance of God,

2Co 5:[21] For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Rev 1:[5] and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood;

The word ‘propitiate’ in Romans 3:25 means “to turn aside wrath”. The work of Jesus Christ upon the cross turns aside the wrath of God against the sins of all his people.

The work of Jesus Christ “saves his people from their sins”. The work of Jesus Christ “purchased” the people of God “with his own blood”. The work of Jesus Christ “propitiates” the wrath of God against the sins of his people. The work of Jesus Christ causes his people to “become the righteousness of God”. The work of Jesus Christ washes the people of God from their sins. The work of Jesus Christ is powerful and effective to save his people “to the uttermost” (Heb 7:25). It does this for all for whom it was intended.

What does Scripture have to say about those who believe that the work of Jesus Christ was intended to save all people without exception?

  1. Those who deny the effectual work of Jesus Christ, claiming instead that the blood of Jesus Christ atoned for everyone without exception (including those in hell), deny the very heart of the gospel. They do not believe that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation; instead, these self-righteous boasters believe that it is the effort of the sinner that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. These blasphemers deny that Jesus Christ made full satisfaction for sins and that Jesus Christ accomplished and ensured salvation for all whom He represented. They trample underfoot the precious blood of Jesus Christ, treating it as something of no value. They glory and boast in themselves, for whatever one believes makes the difference between salvation and damnation is what one glories and boasts in. There is not a single one of these blasphemers who is a child of God. [Psa 25:14; Psa 74:18; Psa 94:4; Psa 139:20; Pro 30:12-13; Isa 28:14-18; Isa 42:8; Isa 48:11; Joh 16:8-14; Rom 3:27-28; Rom 4:2; Rom 10:3; Rom 16:17-18; 1Co 2:12; 2Co 10:3-6; Gal 1:8-9; 6:14; Eph 2:8-9; Phi 3:18-19; 1Ti 4:1; 2Ti 3:2-5; 2Ti 4:3-4; Heb 10:29; 1Jo 2:22-23; 4:6; 2Jo 1:9]
Christian Confession of Faith, IV.C.6

Those who believe that the work of Jesus Christ was intended to save all people without exception believe that the work of Christ was powerless to save, purchase, justify, sanctify, or wash clean, the vast majority of those for whom it was intended. This is simply blasphemous:

Isa 48:[11] For my own sake, for my own sake, will I do it; for how should my name be profaned? I will not give my glory to another.

Rom 3:[27] Where then is the boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. [28] We maintain therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.

Gal 1:[8] But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any “good news” other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed. [9] As we have said before, so I now say again: if any man preaches to you any “good news” other than that which you received, let him be cursed.

2Jo 1:[9] Whoever transgresses and doesn’t remain in the teaching of Christ, doesn’t have God. He who remains in the teaching, the same has both the Father and the Son.

The propitiating work of Jesus Christ is sufficient in and of itself to save his people. It doesn’t need any work of man added to it. Anyone who teaches that it does is a “boaster”, boasting in their own self-righteousness. They are blind leaders of the blind (Mat 15:14), and both they and their followers will fall into a ditch.

Jesus is the Savior of his people because he, and he alone, turned aside the wrath of God against the sins of all of his people. His work on the cross saves, purchases, justifies, sanctifies, and washes them clean, from their sin, and thus from their separation from God. This is how he “save[s] his people from their sins.” Hallelujah!

Redemption great and plentiful
Is ever found with him;
And he from all iniquity
Shall Israel redeem.
(Psalm 130, The Psalms with Music, RPCNA 1912)

See Also:


Justification & Imputation

IV. Christology – The Doctrine of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ