On the Incarnation Part 2

On The Incarnation I. Christ was conceived and born of a virgin in fulfillment of prophecy. MAT 1:18-23 c/w ISA 7:14; LUK 1:26-38. A. virgin: Eccl. An unmarried or chaste maiden or woman, distinguished for piety or steadfastness in religion, and regarded as having a special place among the members of the Christian church on account of these merits. 2. A woman (esp. a young woman) who is, or remains, in a state of inviolate chastity; an absolutely pure maiden or maid. 1. virginity: The condition of being or remaining in a state of chastity; abstinence from or avoidance of all sexual relations. 2. The RSV renders ISA 7:14, “...a young woman shall conceive...” and the NWT reading is “...The maiden herself will actually become pregnant.” a. Not every young woman is a virgin. DEU 22:20. (damsel: young unmarried lady) b. maiden: A girl; a young (unmarried woman). c. The RSV and NWT do not uphold the virgin conception and birth of Christ. 3. Mary did not retain virginity after Christ’s birth. LUK 1:34 c/w MAT 1:25. a. till: conj. To the time that; up to (the point) when; until. (Denoting the continuance of the action or state expressed by the principal clause up to the time expressed by the dependent clause, and usually implying that at that time such action or state ceases and a different or opposite one begins.) b. Compare “till” in GEN 19:22-24; REV 20:3, 7-8. A restraint on action lasted till an action or state ceased, after which the action occurred. c. If a woman said, “I am going to remain a virgin till I get married,” and it was to be assumed that she would remain a virgin after marriage, chances are very slim that she would ever get married. d. firstborn: That is born first, eldest. (1) This implies the first of at least two. (2) The very first usages of “firstborn” in Scripture show plurality. GEN 10:15; 19:31; 22:21. (3) Christ is not the prophesied firstborn of PSA 89:27 in the sense that He was the first in a series of biological generations, but that He is the “...firstborn from the dead...” (COL 1:18), “...the firstfruits of them that slept” (1CO 15:20), “...the first begotten of the dead...” (REV 1:5). Biologically, Christ is the “...ONLY begotten of the Father...” (JOH 1:14). (4) PSA 69:8-9 c/w JOH 2:17; 7:3-5; MAT 12:46-48; MAR 6:3; GAL 1:19 imply that Jesus had siblings. (5) JOH 19:26-27 is no proof that Jesus was Mary’s only child. Such a conclusion is only speculation. e. For Mary to have remained a virgin after the birth of Christ would have been contrary to EXO 21:10; 1CO 7:3-5. She would have been defrauding her husband. B. The plan of salvation depends on the sexual abstinence of the unmarried Jesus Christ, not the married Mary. 1. He did not take a woman as His wife. To do so would have occasioned the introduction of a new sinless human race since sin is transmitted in generation only by the man, not the woman (ROM 5:12; GEN 5:1-3). But the salvation of mankind was to be by redemption, regeneration and resurrection, not by generation. On The Incarnation 11-9-19 Page 1 2. He did not commit fornication (which is voluntary sexual intercourse between a man (in restricted use, an unmarried man) and an unmarried woman. In Scripture extended to adultery. Christ was/is in all things sinless. 2CO 5:21; HEB 4:15. II. The prophesied Destroyer of Satan was to be the seed of the woman (GEN 3:15) and hence, the necessity of the virgin conception and birth (ISA 7:14). Christ would not be of the seed of the man as other humans. A. (ISA 7:14) Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 1. A virgin would not only conceive but also bear a son. 2. If (as some say) this text is merely speaking of a virgin surrendering her virginity in marriage and thereby becoming pregnant and bearing a son, how would such be a sign? That is the normal course of godly union, conception and birth. B. Christ must be David’s seed and yet God’s Son. 2SAM 7:12-14. 1. The promise that God made to David was to be realized in the child that Mary conceived. 2. Christ was made OF Mary (GAL 4:4), which counters the notion that Mary’s womb was nothing more than an incubator. 3. Mary was a descendant of David, thus making Christ the seed of David (LUK 3:23-31). Contrast LUK 3:23 with MAT 1:16. 4. Being conceived by the Holy Ghost in the virgin made Christ the Son of God. C. Mary actually conceived a child in her womb. 1. conceive: From the Latin concipere, meaning to take altogether. Of a female: To receive (seed) in the womb; to become pregnant with (young). 2. Although God bypassed the ordinary means of generation by a union between a man and a woman, yet there was still a true biological conception. 3. God made a pure male seed which fertilized Mary’s ovum to produce a boy. 4. Comparing ISA 7:14 with MAT 1:23, it is evident that the Holy Spirit defines a conception as being with child. a. Once conception takes place, a woman is with child. b. child: The unborn or newly born human being. c. JOB 3:3 speaks of a man child at conception. d. Malicious termination of the conception is the killing of a child. D. Because God induced the conception of a woman only once, that which was born of Mary is His “...ONLY begotten Son...” (JOH 3:16). 1. Jesus is called the Son of God because He was the holy thing conceived in and born from the virgin (LUK 1:35). This is the incarnate sonship of Christ. 2. God never said, “This is my beloved Son...” (MAT 3:17; 17:5) to anything other than the Incarnate Son of God. E. Being begotten of God, the man Christ Jesus bears the image of God. COL 1:15. 1. By means of the virgin’s conception, God bypassed the transmission of the fallen Adamic image. Mary did not need to be sinless to produce the sinless Christ. 2. HEB 1:3 says Christ is “...the express image [stamped figure, exact copy] of his person...” a. God stamped His very likeness into the flesh of Christ. b. Written into the genetic code of the body of Jesus Christ is the likeness of God. When men later saw Christ they saw the Father. JOH 14:9. F. Mary had uniquely in her womb by divine generation what is realized in spiritual generation by the elect: “...Christ in you, the hope of glory” (COL 1:27). On The Incarnation 11-9-19 Page 2 1. No man could have done that for Mary, nor could she have done it for herself. 2. So also is the spiritual generation that makes sinners alive. JOH 6:63; 1:12-13. 3. The forming of Christ in man is by the will and work of God. III. Scripture also prophesied that the Son of God would be God Himself. MAT 1:23; ISA 9:6-7; MIC 5:2. A. He must be God to be the Savior. ISA 43:11; MAT 1:21; LUK 2:11. B. Thus, to claim to be the Son of God was to claim equality with God. JOH 5:17-18 c/w PHIL 2:5-6. C. Not believing Him to be the Christ, the Son of God, the Jews accused Him of blasphemy for making this claim. MAR 14:61-64. D. God the Word, the second Person of the Trinity (1JO 5:7), came into union with the human nature begotten in the womb of the virgin, thus becoming the Son of God the Father. JOH 1:1-3, 14. 1. He is fully God and fully man, yet ONE Person, not two. a. Christ never referred to Himself as two Persons. b. He always spoke of Himself in the singular. JOH 3:13; 6:38. c. He is uniquely the God-Man and therefore as that one Person be our Mediator. 1TI 2:5. 2. Although God indwells us, there is no fusion of His Person with ours as was the case with Christ. 3. Therefore, it is perfectly proper to fall before the Man, Christ Jesus and worship Him as God. JOH 20:28-29; PHIL 2:10-11. E. Indeed, God was manifest in the flesh. 1TI 3:16. F. In Christ dwells “...all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (COL 2:9). G. Hence, the body of Jesus is the body of God. JOH 6:33, 51. H. The blood shed on the cross was the blood of God and the sacrifice of the cross was the sacrifice of God. ACT 20:28; 1JO 3:16. I. The apostles saw and touched God Himself. 1JO 1:1-2. J. Mary bore in her womb and suckled on her breast the very God of creation and the Savior of mankind. IV. Mary’s outburst of praise (called the Magnificat) indicates that she understood the impact her son would have upon the world. LUK 1:46-55. A. Compare this with Zacharias’ prophecy at the birth of John the Baptist. LUK 1:67-79. B. What Mary described, God had been doing in history and would continue to do, bringing the conflict of the ages to ultimate victory in the seed of the woman. GEN 3:15. 1. Christ will dethrone His enemies, avenge His people, and exalt His people. 2. All of history revolves around God’s purpose to save and glorify His elect in His Son. C. Through Christ, God’s wrath, power and justice will act against His enemies on behalf of His people. 1. Yet His people are by nature His enemies deserving the same just and powerful wrath of God. EPH 2:3. 2. Because this wrath was hurled upon Christ on the cross, God is reconciled to His people and wields His attributes FOR them, rather than against them. COL 1:20-22; ROM 8:31. 3. Indeed, through Christ the Savior there is “...on earth peace, good will toward men” (LUK 2:14 c/w EPH 1:5-6). On The Incarnation 11-9-19 Page 3 4. Thus, the day of God’s vengeance upon the wicked becomes the year of His redeemed. ISA63:4. D. This great salvation that Mary described was in her womb, came from her matrix, was suckled on her breasts, and nurtured by her. Consider how this must have impacted her! LUK 2:19. V. Consider how blessed Mary was to be the mother of the Lord (LUK 1:43 c/w LUK 2:11). A. Yet we never read of Jesus calling her mother. B. Jesus addressed her as woman. JOH 2:4; 19:26. C. However, Christ calls them mother who hear and keep the word of God! LUK 8:19-21. D. Mary is indeed blessed. Yet they are RATHER blessed that hear and keep the word of God! LUK 11:27-28. VI. Mary had God within her when she carried the Christ child in her womb. We also have God within us. A. The church of Christ has God within it. 1CO 3:16-17; EPH 2:22. B. Each child of God has God within Him. ROM 8:9-11; 1CO 6:19-20. C. This realization should profoundly influence our conduct. If it was incumbent upon Mary to properly care for the Christ within her womb, it is at least as incumbent upon us to properly care for the God within us as a church and as individuals. D. Like the apostles during Christ’s ministry, we do not fully comprehend and appreciate the One in whose presence we dwell. VII. As we thus meditate upon Christ revealed to us in the Scriptures, we become more like Him. 2CO 3:18. A. God through grace glorifies man. LUK 1:52; 2TH 1:11-12. B. By contrast, Satan through sin debases man so that he acts like the brute beasts. 2PE 2:12, 22; DAN 7:1-8. C. As we focus upon Christ as revealed in His word, the Spirit makes us more like Him. We become more holy, more meek, more compassionate, more just, and more reasonable. On The Incarnation 11-9-19 Page 4
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