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  Virgin Birth:   S - E - N - T

 

Seed of a Woman


"But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and
give birth to a Son, and you are to call Him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David,  and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.' 'How will this be,' Mary asked the angel, 'since I am a virgin?'  The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.'  'I am the Lord’s servant,' Mary answered. 'May your word to me be fulfilled.'” (Luke 1:30-35; 38).


"This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about:  His mother Mary was
pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 1:18). 
Mary conceived "before they came together" thus revealing hers was not a natural conception.  The implication of being born from the seed of a woman is that the Messiah would not have a natural father; that is, He would be virgin born -- with the agent of Jesus' conception being the Holy Spirit.  "All this took place to fulfill what the LORD had said through the prophet: 'the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel; -- which mean, 'God with us.'" (Matthew 1:22).


"Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.'” (Matthew 1:19-21).
  Joseph's initial reaction reveals he had not had sexual relations with Mary, because when he found out she was pregnant, "he had in mind to divorce her quietly."  It was truly a virgin birth.  As such, it

was one of the many validations of Jesus' Messianic identity.  As the prophet Isaiah predicted; "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14).


Isaiah's prophecy about a virgin giving "birth to a son" indicates that Mary had not had sexual relations with anyone.  For she was not simply a virgin before the baby was conceived, but also after the baby was born.  The virgin birth is an unmistakable reminder that salvation came from God  Himself when He, "sent forth His Son born of a woman" (Galatians 4:4) to redeem those who place their trust in him.  As far back as the Book of Genesis, we see God responding to man's initial sin with the stated intent to redeem His relationship with His rebellious children.  Speaking to Satan, God pronounced, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed, He shall crush your head, and you shall bruise His heel" (Genesis 3:15).  As foretold by God, the Seed of the woman (Jesus) would ultimately fulfill this prophecy by crushing Satan's head through His bodily resurrection from the dead.   

 

                         

Equality with God


The Christian's belief in Jesus' equality with God speaks directly to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.  As revealed by Scripture, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three persons sharing one undivided being that is the eternal God.  While we cannot completely comprehend the Trinity, we can apprehend it, with the humility incumbent upon a finite mind seeking to understand  an  infinite  being.


While both cultists and skeptics will frequently try to demote Jesus to a "good man," an "elder brother," an "ascended master," -- or whatever conforms to their teachings -- the Bible tells a very different story.  As predicted in the Old Testament, the Messiah would be divine rather than human.   "For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given,  and the government will be on His shoulders.  And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

Isaiah 9:6). 

Jesus' Testimony

In conflict with the Jews, Jesus testified to His own divinity by saying, "I and the Father are One" (John 10:30).  On another occasion -- again debating His Pharisee antagonists -- Jesus pointed to His own divinity by applying Psalm 110:1 to Himself"While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 'What do you think about the Christ?  Whose Son is He?'  'The Son of David,' they replied.  He said to them, 'How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls Him "Lord?"  For he says, "The Lord said to my Lord: 'Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.'"  If then David calls Him "Lord," how can He be His son?'  No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions" (Matthew 22:41-46).

Ultimately, while on trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus enraged His accusers by taking two Old Testament references to God (Exodus 3:14 and Daniel 7:13) and applying them directly to Himself.   "Again the High Priest asked him, 'Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?'  'I AM,' said Jesus (quoting Exodus 3:14).  And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and 'coming on the clouds of Heaven'" (quoting Daniel 7:13).  There can be no doubt that the High Priest perfectly understood His claim to be God.  "The High Priest tore his clothes. 'Why do we need any more witnesses?' he asked.  'You have heard the blasphemy.  What do you think?'  They all condemned Him as worthy of death" (Mark 14:61-64).


God the Father's Testimony

During Christ's Earthly ministry, God the Father first testified to Jesus' divinity by referring to Him as "My Son" at His baptism.  The first one of the Apostles to be blessed with this knowledge was the Apostle Peter..  Speaking to Peter, Jesus asked,  "'But what about you?' He asked. 'Who do you say I am?'  Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'  Jesus replied, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in Heaven'" (Matthew 16:15-17).

The Father then revealed His Son's identity to  James and  John. "After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  There He was transfigured before them.  His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.  Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus . . . a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" (Matthew 17:2-3;5).

As Peter later recalled, "For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.  He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying 'This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.'  We ourselves heard this voice that came from Heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain." (2 Peter 1:16-18).


Paul's Testimony

 

As guided by the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul could not have been more specific. "For in Christ all the fullness of Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority" (Colossians 2:9-10).   "While we wait for our blessed hope -- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. But, made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross" (Philippians 2:5-8).

John's Testimony

John was equally clear.  Quoting Jesus, he wrote, "'I am the Alpha and Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty'" (Revelation 1:8).

Hebrew's Testimony

 

And, the writer of Hebrews followed Christ's example by taking a Messianic passage from the Old Testament (Psalm 45:6) and applying it to Jesus. "But about the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom" (Hebrews1:8).

 


Natures of Jesus Christ


The virgin birth made possible the coexistence of both full deity and full humanity in one person -- the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.  His full deity was evidenced by the miraculous nature of His conception. "'How will this be,' Mary asked the angel, 'since I am a virgin?'  The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.  So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God'" (Luke 1:34-35).

His full humanity was evidenced by His natural birth from a human Mother.  "Theirs are the Patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised, Amen" (Romans 9:5).  It's

important to point out that God the Son -- the second person of the Trinity -- took on an additional human nature without divesting Himself of His Divine Nature.  By virtue of His dual nature, being 100% human and 100% divine, Jesus was able to live the perfect life that we are incapable of living. "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8).  "For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has  been  tempted  in   every  way,  just  as we are -- yet was without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). 

Being sinless, He was not subject to the curse of death, and used His perfection to be obedient to God by providing the supreme sacrifice for the sins of the world.  "For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed" (1 Corinthians 5:7)."How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" (Hebrews 9:14). " For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him" (John 3:17).

 

As Christians, we have been forgiven of our sins through the sacrifice and love of the Lord Jesus Christ.  As such, it is incumbent upon each of us to follow Christ's example of self-sacrificing humility and love for our fellow man.   "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus who, being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on across!" (Philippians 2:5-8).

 


Tempted, but Without Sin


"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory
of God" (Romans 3:23).  "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8).  All of us are aware of the wrong things that we do.  These things create a separation between ourselves and a perfect God.  But, Jesus came to offer Himself as a perfect sacrifice for our sins, so that we can live with God in Heaven for all eternity.

"For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way,  just as we are -- yet was without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).   Nothing illustrates Jesus' sinlessness better than when He was led by the Spirit of God into the desert for a period of testing.  Here, Jesus demonstrated His obedience to God by standing up to each of Satan's three temptations.


Temptation #1

The first temptation that Jesus faced came after He had fasted in the Judean wilderness for forty days.  Satan came to Him, saying,  "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread" (Matthew 4:3).Jesus answered Satan by quoting Deuteronomy 8:3.  "Jesus answered, 'It is written:  "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God"'" (Matthew 4:4).

   

Temptation #2

The second temptation saw Satan taking Jesus to the highest point of the temple.  "'If you are the Son of God, 'he said, 'throw yourself down, for it is written, "He will command His angel concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone"'" (Matthew 4:6).  Notwithstanding Satan's misquotation of Psalm 92:11-12, Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy 6:16."Jesus answered him, 'It is also written "Do not put the Lord your God to the test"'" (Matthew 4:7).


Temptation #3


For the final test, Satan asserted his strength as, "the prince of this world" (John 12:31) and "the god of this age" (2 Corinthians 4:4).  Showing Jesus the kingdoms of the world, he said, "'All this I will give you,'  he    said,    'if     you   will   bow   down   and    worship    me'" (Matthew 4:9).    Jesus  responded  by   quoting Deuteronomy 6:13 "Jesus said to him, 'Away from me Satan!  For it is written: "Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only."'  Then the devil left Him, and angels came and attended Him" (Matthew 4:10-11). 

Though Jesus was,  "tempted in every way," (Hebrews 4:15). He remained without sin.   "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth" (1 Peter 2:22).  "You know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins.  And in Him is no sin" (1 John 3:5).  "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:22).


As foreshadowed by the blood sacrifices of the Old Testament, both Jesus' sinless human nature, and His perfect divine nature made Him the complete and last sacrifice for our sins, as the perfect "lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World" (John 1:29).   "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'" (John 1:29)."For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect" (1 Peter 1:18-19).  As a simple point of fact, Jesus himself asked a question that has remained unanswered for two thousand years.  "Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?"(John 8:46).

                                                                 

 
 

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