Virgin Birth and Incarnation of Christ Jesus

We read in Luke 1:35: "And the angel of the Lord said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that Holy Thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God." Let us notice the two great statements given about His incarnation. "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee." From the Gospel of Matthew we learn the full meaning of this statement. "That which is begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit." Therefore His human nature was produced in the virgin by the creative action of the Holy Spirit. Because His human nature was thus produced, it was a nature without sin; not only did He not sin, but He could not sin. He was sinless, absolutely holy, because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

The second statement is: "And the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee." This is not a repetition of the same truth as contained in the first statement. If this too would mean the Holy Spirit, we would have to conclude that the Holy Spirit is the Father of Him who became incarnate. We read at once after this second statement, "Therefore that Holy Thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God." The power of the Highest does not mean the power of the Holy Spirit. It is none other than the Son of God Himself. The eternal Son of God, He who is God, overshadowed her and this overshadowing meant the union of Himself with the human nature created by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary.

He is called "that Holy Thing [or One]." He is something entirely new, a Being which cannot be classified. And then we read again, "That Holy One shall be called the Son of God." It does not say "shall be the Son of God;" such He ever was. Incarnation did not make Him Son of God. He shall be called Son of God; God manifested in the flesh.

Much time could be spent in adding to these remarks, or in reviewing the different attempts which have been made to explain the great mystery. We might also enumerate all the evil teachings and theories which are the results of attempted explanations. But all this would be but waste of time. No human mind can fathom the depths of the incarnation, nor fully grasp the wonderful personality of the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Far better it is to abide by these simple declarations of the Word of God, than to enter into speculations, which can never solve this great mystery.

A certain American statesman was once asked, "Can you comprehend how Jesus Christ could be both God and Man?" The great thinker replied, "No, sir; I cannot. And I would be ashamed to acknowledge Him as my Saviour if I could, for then He would not be greater than myself."

This is very true indeed. With joyful and grateful hearts we believe the great revelation given to us in God’s holy Word, that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son and that the Son of God left Heaven’s Glory and came to this earth. He emptied Himself and appeared in the form of the creature. This, however, does not mean what an evil theory, by the name of "Kenosis," teaches, that He emptied Himself of His Godhead. He emptied Himself of His outward Glory. The child which rested on the bosom of Mary is the One, who ever was in the bosom of the Father. Listen once more to the language of the xxii Psalm. "I was cast upon thee from the womb; Thou art my God from my mother’s belly. Thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts." What mere human child could have ever said this truthfully? Nor is this the language of a poet. The child born in Bethlehem alone could speak thus.

Arno C Gaebelein
The Work of Christ Past, Present and Future 1913
Posted: 19 Dec 2017