Text: LUKE 1:26-38
- These verses describe the announcement (i.e. "the annunciation") of the most marvelous event that ever happened in this world – the incarnation and birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- The great preacher Harry Ironside said, "Where in all literature would you find anything more beautiful than this story? -- a story which is all the more delightful because it is true."
- Many precious truths are brought out here in this annunciation:
- the humanity of the Messiah – "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS" (Luke 1:31). There are some strange cults which deny the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is why John wrote in his first epistle, "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist." There are weird cults today such as Christian Science which deny the humanity of Jesus Christ.
- His essential greatness – "He shall be great" (Luke 1:32). The apostle Paul refers to Jesus as "the great God and our Saviour" (Titus 2:13).
- His identity as the Son of God – "and shall be called the Son of the Highest" (Luke 1:32b).
- His title to the throne of King David – "and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David" (Luke 1:32c).
- His everlasting and universal Kingdom – "And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:33).
- Finally, in the annunciation, the angel Gabriel revealed to Mary the news of the virgin birth (Luke 1:34-38).
- Today I would like to focus on four of these important doctrines.
- THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST
- THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST
- THE SONSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST
- THE KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST
I. JESUS CHRIST WAS BORN OF A VIRGIN (Luke 1:26,27)
- You will notice that the word "virgin" appears twice in Luke 1:27 and yet liberals and other unbelievers claim that the Bible does not teach the virgin birth. But we have here three very good witnesses:
- Luke was a medical doctor and he certainly knew what he was talking about, and twice in verse 27 he refers to Mary as a virgin.
- Mary herself declared that she was a virgin (vs. 34).
- In response to Mary’s question, the angel Gabriel beautifully describes the virgin birth (vs. 35).
- The great preacher from a previous generation, G. Campbell Morgan, asked this question: "If this Child is to be born of a woman, how is it to be free from, and escape the continuous, persistent contamination which characterizes all human history?"
- The Bible gives us the answer very clearly (vs. 35).
- The virgin birth is a fundamental doctrine. Please do not confuse the doctrine of the virgin birth of Christ with the unscriptural RC doctrine of the "immaculate conception." By this they mean that Mary’s mother was a virgin when she conceived, and therefore Mary entered into the world free from sin. Mary was a sinner saved by grace. She acknowledges God as her Saviour (Luke 1:47), and she went to the temple to offer a sin-offering (Luke 2:22-24; cf. Lev.12:6-8).
- Also, when we speak of the virgin birth, we are not speaking of the unscriptural notion that Mary remained a "perpetual virgin." The Bible clearly teaches that Joseph and Mary did have a normal married life after the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Matt.1:18-25; Luke 8:19-21).
- Concerning the importance of the virgin birth, the Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God (cf. Micah 5:2).
- The Bible teaches the pre-existence of the Lord Jesus Christ. He said to the Pharisees, "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58).
- When we are looking to read about the Christmas story, we invariably turn to the Gospel of Matthew or the Gospel of Luke. But we often forget to turn to the Gospel of John: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" (John 1:1,14).
- If the eternal Son of God became a man, it would have to be by a supernatural birth, otherwise He would not be God. And this is why unbelievers attack the virgin birth – they realize that to attack His birth is to attack His person, His sinless life, His deity, etc.
- An attack on the virgin birth is an attack on the deity of Christ. Without a sinless, virgin-born Saviour, there can be no salvation.
II. THE ANGEL GABRIEL REVEALED THAT MARY WAS TO BE THE MOTHER OF THE MESSIAH (Luke 1:31-33)
- Some of you may recall that when Bro. Hartman preached at our missions conference, he pointed out that while witnessing to Jews it is better to refer to Jesus as the Messiah, rather than the Christ.
- Gabriel’s annunciation ("announcement") brings out several important truths:
- The humanity of Christ – "thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son" (vs. 31). The Bible teaches both the humanity and the deity of Christ. To deny His humanity is just as heretical as to deny His deity.
- The purpose for which Christ came into the world – "and shalt call his name JESUS" (vs. 31b). Our Lord’s name is significant – it means "Saviour" (cf. Matt.1:21).
- His essential greatness – "He shall be great" (vs. 32a). The prophet Isaiah said, "and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isa.9:6).
- His deity – "and shall be called the Son of the Highest" (vs. 32; cf. vs. 35). To declare Christ the Son of God is to declare His deity. God is an eternal Spirit, and for an eternal Spirit to have a Son, that Son would also have to be an eternal Spirit (cf. John 1:1,14).
- His title to the throne of King David (vss. 32b,33). This also confirms that Jesus is the Messiah because the Old Testament clearly teaches that the Messiah would come from the house and lineage of King David. You may recall also that our Lord said, "How say they that Christ is David’s son?" (Luke 20:41). The answer to our Lord’s question is that Christ is both man (son of David) and God (Son of God).
III. JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAVIOUR OF ALL MEN AND WOMEN, INCLUDING MARY
- When I was a boy the priests and nuns taught us to pray to Mary a little prayer called the "Hail Mary," supposedly based upon the annunciation. Roman Catholics are taught to say: "Hail, Mary, full of grace…" But you will notice that the angel says, "Hail, thou that art highly favored…" (vs. 28).
- "Highly favored" does not mean "full of grace." Only God is full of grace (cf. Jn.1:14). "Highly favored" means "graciously accepted" or "much graced" (Scofield margin), in the sense of "endued with grace" or "much privileged."
- Mary had "found favor with God" (vs. 30). She was the grateful recipient of God’s grace, not a source of grace.
- You will notice that the angel Gabriel did not worship Mary, nor did he suggest that any one else should worship her or pray to her.
- The problem with Mariolatry (which is idolatry) is that Roman Catholics have made a goddess out of her (some even elevate her above the Lord Jesus Christ). We should recognize that Mary was a godly woman to be chosen as the mother of our Lord but to worship her and to exalt her and to pray to her is unscriptural.
- Mary was "blessed "among women" (vss. 28, 42) – not above women.
- Mary was the mother of our Lord in His incarnation, not in His deity (vs. 43). She is never called "the mother of God." The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is eternal God (Micah 5:2). It is impossible for God to have a mother or father, otherwise that mother of father would also have to be eternal God.
- To call Mary the mother of God is just as foolish as calling John the Baptist the cousin of God, or Joseph the stepfather of God or James and Jude the brothers of God, and so on.
- In Mary’s beautiful Magnificat (means "magnify" – vs. 46), she refers to God as her Saviour (vs. 47), indicating that she needed a Saviour just like any other man or woman (cf. Rom.3:23).
- Later on, we read that she and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the temple and Mary offered up a sin-offering (Luke 2:22-24).
- Mary declared that "from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed" (vs. 48). She would not be the one who conferred blessings but one who would be blessed.
- Do you want to be blessed? Put the Lord first in your life. He was first in Mary’s life and "from henceforth all generations" call her blessed.
- Mary’s cousin Elisabeth put God first and she "was filled with the Holy Ghost" (Luke 1:41).
- Elisabeth’s son, John the Baptist, put God first in his life and of him Jesus said: "For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist" (Luke 7:28).
- What about you? Are you saved? Is Jesus Christ your Lord?
I read something recently that you might find interesting:
- Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3. Yet the influence of Christ’s ministry infinitely transcends the impact of these great philosophers.
- Jesus painted no pictures; yet, some of the finest paintings of Raphael, Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Rembrandt received their inspiration from Him.
- Jesus wrote no poetry; but Shakespeare, Dante, Milton, and scores of the world’s greatest poets were inspired by Him.
- Jesus composed no music; still Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection of melody in the hymns, symphonies, and oratories they composed in His praise.
- Has Jesus Christ made an impact in your life? Have you repented of your sin and asked Him to save you?
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