• Matt Beaney

#501 (13/12/21) CONCEIVED OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Updated: Dec 13, 2021


This week’s devotions are based upon Jem’s message from Matthew 1:18-25.


‘This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 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. (Matthew 1:18-20)

In Luke, we read,

‘And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35 ESV)

i) JESUS WAS MAN AND GOD

The ‘incarnation’ (‘in flesh’) is one of the greatest truths and mysteries. Jesus’ was conceived as the supernatural power of the Spirit fertilised one of Mary’s eggs (Not the sort of words one would sing in a carol!).


The doctrine of the virgin birth means that Jesus was both fully human and fully God. His human body was created of Mary, but He was also the eternal God at the same time.


ii) JESUS WAS MAN WITHOUT ADAM’S SIN

Every person inherits Adam’s sin. However, Jesus was sinless and without inherited sin, because the power of the Holy Spirit was involved in a way that is too much for me to explain! Without the work of the Spirit, Jesus would have been a sinner and unable to be our perfect, flawless Lamb of God. However, as we read in Luke ‘the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.’ Jesus was Holy (without sin) and was the Son of God (eternal God) because of the Holy Spirit’s involvement.


Jesus is one person with two natures (Often referred to as the Hypostatic Union). He is man and God. Each of these natures retains their attributes. Jesus is not a mixture of man and God. He is God perfectly and Man perfectly in one person!


iii) GRACE AND TRUTH

John speaks of the events of Christmas and the incarnation in these terms,

‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.’ (John 1:14)

The truths of the virgin birth and incarnation - Jesus union of manhood and God - leads to our lives being flooded with ‘grace and truth’. Grace has come to us in Jesus because as a man, Jesus lived a perfect life in our stead; by grace, we now have Jesus’ righteousness imputed to us. Grace has come to us because as a sinless man, He died for our sin as our perfect substitute and sacrifice. By grace, we have Jesus’ death for sin credited to us and so we will never face death!

Jesus has given us truth. In Jesus, the truth of God’s nature floods our vision like never before. He is holy and He is love!


May this mystery captive our hearts as it did John Wesley,

“He left His Father’s throne above, So free, so infinite His grace; Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race: Tis mercy all, immense and free; For, O my God, it found out me.” (And can it be).

OVER TO YOU - PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s more important that you engage with the text yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of today’s text.

‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.’ (John 1:14)

I find it helpful to use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).


1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU!


On Sunday, we continued with our Christmas themed messages. We looked at the message of God to Joseph.

'This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 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.” All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.' (Matthew 1: 18 - 25 )

We can all become cynical to the news, adverts, governmental statements... for all sorts of reasons. However, it's so important that we don't become cynical toward God's good news and His word.


Joseph and Mary both receive incredible news from God. Mary is told that she is to give birth to the Son of God. Joseph is told that Mary's child is God's child and he is to marry her against his initial suspicions and his cultural way of doing things. Joseph listened and obeyed this news that came from God. We read that 'he woke up, and did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.'


Like Joseph, we are to listen to God in His word. We are to wake up. We are to obey, even if it is costly.


Discussion questions

1. What are the various things that God says about Jesus in this text?

2. Have you had the experience of God telling you to do difficult things in your life? (How did He speak and what was the outcome?)

3. Were you struck by or did God speak to you about anything from Sunday's message?

4. SIV - God wants to share His good news through us. How would you like prayer in this regard? Is there anyone for whom you'd like to pray in particular?









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