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Necessity of the Incarnation

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This season of the year draws out those newspapers and magazine articles that attack, question and lament the issue of the virgin birth...
One writer for the New York Times put the lament plainly: “The faith in the Virgin Birth reflects the way American Christianity is becoming less intellectual and more mystical over time.”
Does belief in the virgin birth make Christians “less intellectual?”
Can a true Christian deny the virgin birth?
Is this doctrine an essential component of the Gospel revealed to us in Scripture?
The Statler Brothers wrote a Christmas song entitled “Who Do You Think?” it starts this way...
There are people who are whispering And the rumors are running wild There's a woman who's not married But she's gonna have a child
Her name is Mary, she's a virgin From down in Nazareth, now listen close She's gonna marry a man named Joseph But the baby's father is The Holy Ghost
And who do you think could believe such a thing Could believe that the story is true And who do you think could believe such a thing Well, here's hopin' to Heaven you do
Try and notice the power and significance of our passage today as we read
Luke 1:26–38 NASB95
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. “And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
This passage holds a powerful truth and doctrine for believers! This CANNOT be simply dismissed in our hearts and minds as a sweet portion of the Christmas story! Church… this is foundational to our faith!
shares insight on this as the angel visits Joseph the one Mary is betrothed
Matthew 1:20–23 NASB95
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. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
The prophet being spoken of is Isaiah, God used him to share that this “virgin birth” would be a sign to them even… look for it!
Isaiah 7:14 NASB95
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
The Incarnation: that act of grace whereby Christ took our human nature into union with his Divine Person, became man.
Easton, M. G. (1893). In Easton’s Bible dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.
As we consider this today I want to look at:
Easton, M. G. (1893). In Easton’s Bible dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.
The Importance of the Virgin Birth
A Correct Response to the Virgin Birth
The Distinctive Work of the Virgin Birth

The Importance of the Virgin Birth

Mary is a virgin… παρθένος parthenos: virgin; maiden

a female person beyond puberty but not yet married and a virgin

The Hebrew was “almah” young woman (would conceive in her womb)
A virgin would conceive without relations with a man!
Mary was betrothed to Joseph (line of David) … Pledged to be married at a certain designated time. Only divorce could break this pledge.
The scriptures state that Joseph did not have relations with her until after Jesus was born… Mary was NOT a perpetual virgin, she had other sons and daughters after Jesus!
Consider this… “IF” Mary was not a virgin, and Joseph was not the father who was?
There is no answer sufficient enough that leaves the gospel intact if it is not the Holy Spirit
The virgin birth is the only solution to allow for Jesus Christ being God and Man
Philippians 2:5–8 NASB95
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Mary herself knew she was a virgin… she believes what is said but wonders how this process will take place since she has had no relations with a man!
Verse 32… Son of the Most High!
This is significant when it comes to our sin and Christ able to die in our place...
Sin is passed down through Adam, we are all born sinners
1 Corinthians 15:21–22 NASB95
For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
in order for Christ to do the work of Salvation He could NOT be a son of Adam, He had to be the Son of God!
Romans 5:18–19 NASB95
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
1 Corinthians 15:21–22 NASB95
For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:
That is why God made the promise as He did in the seed of the woman… God’s Holy Spirit would conceive in her womb!
Genesis 3:15 NASB95
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
The Virgin Birth:
If he was fully man the offspring of a woman
He was fully God a Holy child (not because of Mary, but because He was conceived of the Holy Spirit
No sin nature, yet fully man so He could take on Himself the wrath of God for man’s sin
Rightful heir to the throne of David (forever as God)

A Correct Response to the Virgin Birth

Praise, Glory and Honor to God… (make sure your praise and glory is rightly directed)
Mary is a saint… in fact the scriptures state that all who have placed their faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ are saints!
No question this woman was blessed… what a privileged!
She needed a savior too! Look at her words…
Luke 1:46–55 NASB95
And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. “For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. “For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. And His mercy is upon generation after generation Toward those who fear Him. “He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble. He has filled the hungry with good things; And sent away the rich empty-handed. “He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy, As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his descendants forever.”
Notice through the whole song of praise… GOD IS DOING THE WORK!
He had to, we were incapable of doing it. We needed a savior and God was working
In a young virgin girl
In a town so small Luke has to describe where it is
With a step dad that was simply known as a carpenter
Nazareth, Bethlehem, Mary, Joseph, a baby?
Why work this way???
Why so humble as the Son of the Most High? Creator? King? God?
One of the things I love about Mary’s song “The Magnificat” Magnify
A great deal of this song is quoted scripture from the old testament!
Amazing, when she wanted to magnify God for sending His Messiah, the only words that could remotely do it justice… were the words of God!

The Distinctive Work of the Virgin Birth

In Chapter one of Luke’s writing to Theophilus there are two births that we see… Both are amazing! Both men, but One is distinct...
John is the Prophet of the Most High (vs 76)
Jesus is the Son of the Most High (vs 32)
John was conceived in Elizabeth’s old age (vs 24)
Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit with a virgin (vs 35)
John would give people knowledge of salvation (vs 77)
Jesus would bring salvation
In closing I want to end with the words the angel said to Mary in
Luke 1:37 NASB95
“For nothing will be impossible with God.”
A son in old age… A virgin birth… Working powerful ways in humble settings… Saving a sinner like you and me…
“who do you think could believe such a thing Well, here's hopin' to Heaven you do”
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