The Christ of Christmas pt.4

25 December 2022 AM – Isaiah 7:14 – Christmas22 – Scott Childs
Introduction: This month, we have been looking at the Christ of Christmas. We noted that He is the second Person of the Trinity. We next examined many verses proving that He is God. Last week, we looked in detail at His humanity, the fact that He was the God/Man. This morning we are going to conclude this series by looking at Christ’s virgin birth.
Transition: I want us to look at Christ’s virgin birth briefly from God’s perspective, and then spend the bulk of our time looking at it from man’s perspective.
  1. The Virgin Birth from God’s Perspective
a.         God originated the plan.
1)         God knew in eternity past.
2)         God alludes to it in Genesis 3:15.
b.         God carefully planned and timed the events.
1)         It was in the fullness of His perfect time.
2)         It is interesting to ponder the related events.
  1. The Virgin Birth from Man’s Perspective
a.         The prediction of the virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14)
1)         Seven hundred years before Christ’s birth, Isaiah made this prediction. (Isaiah 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.
2)         From that time, faithful Jews anticipated the birth of the Messiah.
b.         The conception to a virgin (Luke 1:26-37)
1)         God sent his angel Gabriel to speak with a young virgin  named Mary, literally Maria.
2)         She lived in Nazareth, near Galilee. She was engaged to be married to one Joseph, a carpenter. Edersheim, a Jewish historian, wrote. “From that moment Mary was the betrothed wife of Joseph; their relationship as sacred, as if they had already been wedded. Any breach of it would be treated as adultery… Yet months might intervene between the betrothal and marriage.” The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah
3)         Read Luke 1:26-33.
4)         Picture in your mind how she may have initially responded. Scripture says that Gabriel came in unto her. The term is used of entering a house. It can be applied to entering one’s presence or even one’s thoughts. Wherever she was, to have an unknown man suddenly appear in her presence was frightening and alarming (Lu 1:30).
5)         Gabriel’s words, though thrilling on the one hand, were astonishing and perhaps even fearful on the other hand. Thus, we read her response, Luke 1:34.
6)         Gabriel then explained, Luke 1:35-37. The Holy Spirit would come upon her and the power of the most High would overshadow her, and the holy One gendered in her would be the Son of God. The virgin’s conception was a miracle from heaven.
7)         As she faced the shame and disgrace of conceiving a child outside of marriage, Luke 1:37 was a promise that she must have clung to for comfort.
8)         Scripture does not tell us when she told Joseph her secret. Perhaps she waited until after her three-month visit with Cousin Elizabeth. No doubt, that confession was the most difficult of her life. She knew that Joseph could legally end their engagement and even require her execution. Immorality during engagement was the only legitimate justification for divorce (Mat 19:5-9).
c.          The affirmation about the virgin birth (Matthew 1:18-24)
1)         When Joseph heard that his beloved Maria was pregnant, he was greatly trouble (Mat 1:18-19).
2)         God then sent His angel to Joseph to explain (Mat 1:20-23). As impossible as it seemed, Maria had conceived through a divine act. She was telling the truth. Her child was God in human flesh. She was still a virgin!
3)         That revelation to Joseph turned his life around more radically than Mary’s confession.
a)         Shattered and heartbroken, He had been pondering a quiet divorce. Life would never be as he had dreamed without Mary as his wife.
b)         The angel’s words spun him around and urged him to wait no longer to marry Maria (Mat 1:24).
c)         He willingly shared the unjust shame. They likely had a quiet private wedding and commenced life as a young couple.
d.         The protection of the virgin birth (Matthew 1:25)
1)         By God’s grace, Joseph protected Mary’s virginity. (Matthew 1:25) “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
2)         Joseph kept Mary a virgin until Jesus was born. They did not physically consummate their marriage until after Christ’s birth.
3)         To dispel the false teaching that Mary remained a virgin for the rest of her life, both Matthew and Mark record that Jesus had four half-brothers and at least two sisters. (Mark 6:3) “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.” (cf., Mat 13:55-56).
e.         The virgin birth (Luke 2)
1)         Luke records the details about Christ’s birth to that young virgin, Maria, that God wants us to know.
2)         God orchestrated the timing of the census that required Joseph to travel to Bethlehem. Though the several-day journey from Nazareth down to Bethlehem was inconvenient and no doubt uncomfortable for Mary, she accompanied him. It was there in the city of David that she gave birth. (Luke 2:7) “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
3)         We note here that the Holy Spirit inspired Luke to reinforce Mary’s virginity by including that Jesus was her “firstborn son”.
4)         God sent an angel to announce Christ’s birth to some lowly shepherds in the nearby hills (Luke 2:8-14).
5)         On that grand night, God sent His entire angelic host to worship the Christ child. (Hebrews 1:6) “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
f.           The necessity of Christ’s virgin birth
1)         Christ’s virgin birth was necessary for the credibility of the Bible. If Jesus was not really born of a virgin, then what other stories in the Bible are not reality?
2)         Christ’s virgin birth was necessary for Him to be the God/Man. If Joseph was His father, then He could not be God. If He had no human father or mother, then He could not die as a human.
3)         Christ’s virgin birth was necessary for Him to be sinless. By His divine conception, He did not inherit a sinful human nature.
4)         Christ’s virgin birth was necessary for Him to be the spotless Lamb of God to atone for our sin.
5)         Christ’s virgin birth was necessary for Him to raise to life again to give us eternal life.
6)         Thus, if Christ was not virgin born, then we have no hope of forgiveness and eternal life. We are doomed! However, praise God, Jesus was born of a virgin and all that God has revealed about his conception and birth is true. We CAN be forgiven and receive eternal life through Christ’s payment on our behalf.
Conclusion: Christ’s virgin birth begs you to answer two questions. 1) Have you humbly admitted your need for Christ’s forgiveness and eternal life, and personally asked Him to apply His payment to your account? Though Christ came to die for every sinner, He can only apply that payment to individuals who repent of their sin and personally trust Him. 2) If you have received Christ’s cleansing, have you taken time this Christmas to thank Him for coming to this earth to pay for your sins? If not, do it right now.
Song: Have You Any Room for Jesus? 241