Monday, January 9, 2023

The Holy Spirit, Part 3: The Role of the Holy Spirit In the Birth of Christ

Welcome!  If you’re visiting this website for the first time, we’ve been going through a topical study all about the Holy Spirit.



In the last article, we looked at the Holy Spirit’s work in regeneration – being “born again”:

·     The re-birthing of a person’s spirit who comes to believe, receive and trust Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior.


·     We discovered that regeneration is an act of God, not human beings:

o  Human beings are passive in it.  

o  In fact, we are all dead in our trespasses and sins and cannot help ourselves.

o  Dead people can do nothing!


·     We found out that all three members of the Godhead are involved:

o  The Father is the source of all good things – being born again is a good thing!

o  The Son is the vehicle:  It’s through Jesus that people can be saved and know God.  Jesus was very clear, “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Me.”

o  The Holy Spirit is the agent of regeneration:  “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to his mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior


This current article will look at the “Holy Spirit In the Birth of Christ.” 


The Virgin Birth of Jesus

First, let’s consider the doctrine of the virgin birth:

·     It was miraculous.

·     It was supernatural.

·     It defies human reason.

·     It defies the normal course of nature.

·     It’s humanly impossible!

·     This doctrine has been attacked for centuries, and still is today.  There are those who deny the truth of the Scriptures, even some who claim to be Christians.

·     We may not be able to answer all the questions, but there are certain truths that come directly from the Word of God.

·     We always want to start there, and not with man’s theories or conjectures.


According to Scripture, who was the agent or cause of Jesus’ conception?  You will find the answer to that question in Matthew 1:18-21:

·     Matt. 1:18-21, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows.  When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 and Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly.  20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in heris of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bear a son; and you shall call his name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.’  22 Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, 23 ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’” 


·      Let’s take a look at this passage in some detail:

o  “Betrothed” means that Mary was pledged, engaged, or promised, to Joseph.  

o  He finds out that she’s pregnant and he knows it’s not his child.  

o  Because he’s a righteous man, he doesn’t want to disgrace her, so he decides to “put her away secretly”:

§ What does that say about Joseph?

v His fiancé is pregnant!  

v It’s not his child.

v He’s doesn’t just fly off the handle and leave her.

v He doesn’t want to disgrace her.

v Do you see his incredible love for her?


o  The angel says, “Don’t be afraid to take her for your wife.”  Why not?? 

o  That which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”  

o  Not only that, but, you’re to name him “Jesus,” which is the Greek translation for the Hebrew name, Joshua, or Jeshua, which means, “the Lord is salvation.”

o  Joseph, He’s going to save His people from their sins!”

o  Not only that, but He’s going to fulfill prophecy found in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord, Himself, will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son and she will call his name Immanuel.”

o  This prophecy was written 700 years before the birth of Christ!

o  Not only will His name be Jeshua, “the Lord is salvation,” but He is also to be known as “Immanuel,” that is, God with us:

§ God in the flesh –the Incarnation.  

§ God coming to live among men.

§ Jesus’ Divinity and His Deity are clearly stated here.

§ He is the God-man.


o  And all of this is true because the Holy Spirit of God was the agent through whom Jesus was conceived in Mary, not a sinful human male.


  • Luke 1:35, “And the angel answered and said to her,The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the Holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.’”

o  The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”

§ Mary, that’s the reason the Holy Offspring shall be called the “Son of God.”  Because the conception will be brought about by the Holy Spirit of God.


o  The Holy Spirit is God.  Remember?

§ He’s a person. 

§ He’s real.

§ He’s part of the Trinity – the Triune God.

§ He’s of the same essence and attributes of God.

§ He possesses the same power.


o  This conception has been brought about, not by a human male, but by the power of Almighty God – God the Holy Spirit.


  • Jesus had no human father, biologically speaking. 


  • This miraculous conception and virgin birth of Jesus Christ was necessary because of His Deity and pre-existence. 


  • Mary was the human mother of Jesus, literally. 


  • Here are some proof texts from the Old Testament.  God is pronouncing judgment in the Garden of Eden:

o  Prophesied in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel”:

§ This is judgment on the devil in the Garden of Eden.

§ Notice, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed.”

v her seed.” The word “seed” is singular. 

v This is a prophecy of Christ! 


§ Notice, “He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”

§  A wound to the head of Satan will be lethal:

v This will happen at the end of the age.

v Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire forever.


o  Isaiah. 7:14, “. . . a virgin will be with child and bear a son”:

§ She will give birth, literally, not figuratively.


o  In the New Testament, in Luke 1:41-43, we read, “And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 And she cried out with a loud voice, and said, ‘Blessed among women are you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’”


o  Luke tells us in Luke 2:6-7, “And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her first-born son.”


o  This is affirmed in Acts 1:14, “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”


o  Why am I so concerned with proving this from the text?

§ There are some today who deny the virgin birth of Christ.

§ There are some who deny His human nature.

§ There are some who deny His Divine nature.

§ We always need to look at God’s Word for proof and clarification.


 Jesus:  Both God and Man

Christ is the God-Man: 

  • Was Jesus human?  YES!

o  He was born of a human mother.


  • Was Jesus God?  YES!

o  The “I Am” of John 8:58-59 is proof, “Before Abraham was, I Am.”

o  There are also many other passages that speak of this truth.


  • How can this be? 

o  Did Deity become humanity?

o  Can there be one sinless human?


  • Questions Abound:

o  Did the humanity of Jesus come from Mary alone?

o  Why was the condemnation of sin upon the human race non-operative in Jesus’ case?

§ Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” [but not Jesus!].

§  1 Cor. 15:22, “For as in Adam all die” [because of their sin] -- but not Jesus! 

§  He didn’t die because of His sin.  He died because of oursin!


o  Does the sin nature come from the male parent only?  That’s always a fun subject to talk about, especially for the women.

o  Lots of questions, let’s see if we can find some answers from God’s Word.


 Humanity of Christ:  Was Jesus Human?

  • He was conceived.  Matt. 1:20 = human.


  • He was born, Matt. 2:1 = human.


  • He was brought forth, Luke 2:7 = human.


  • Made of a woman, Gal. 4:4 = human:

o  Mary was his biological mother.


  • However, He was distinct – He was unique:

o  Born of a virgin—not possible, humanly speaking.

o  He was human, yet . . .

o  He was sinless.  Heb. 4:15, “15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”


 The Sinlessness of Christ:

  • How could a human woman, Mary, become the mother of a holy and absolutely sinless child?


  • Roman Catholicism believes in the “Immaculate conception” of Mary:

o  That is, they believer that Mary was also sinless from birth.


  • But there’s a big problem with that belief:

o  She was born of twohuman parents:

§ Were they also sinless?

§ They would have to have been in order for her to be sinless.

§ Which means her grandparents would have to had to be sinless, and so on through her entire lineage.

§ You can see the problem here.

§ More importantly, the Scriptures do not make mention of Mary having been sinless.


  • Others believe that His humanity was “sanctified,” set apart, before being “joined” to Deity:

o  Here’s the problem:  There’s a difference between “sanctified” and “holy.”

o  Every born again believer is “sanctified,” set apart, but we’re not “holy” in the sinless sense of the word.

o  Looking at the Scriptures we see:

§  2 Cor. 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, [why] that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”


 Was Adam’s Sin Imputed To Christ?

  • To “impute” means to set to one’s account.


  • Sin was imputed to our account because of Adam’s sin of disobedience.  Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”


  • Imputation, here, relates to our judgment before a Holy God:

o  It’s our standing before God withoutChrist.

o  We’re all judged “guilty” because Adam’s sin was imputed, or set to our account and because we sin on our own.


  • This is important:  Imputation of sin to Christ, on our behalf, onlycomes at the cross:

o  All of the sins of mankind are imputed on Him, set to His account, at Calvary.

o  But He paid the price for all that sin.

o  Something we could never do.

o  Imputation of our sin to Christ becomes a reality when God places onHim – not inHim – the iniquity of us all.


  • It was absolutely essential to Jesus’ redemptive purpose that He to be, not only willing to save, “Not my will, Father, but Thy will be done,” but able to save as well:

o  He was the spotless, sinless Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world.

So, Was He Human Just Like Us?

  • Scripture is clear:  He was like us in all things except sin:

o  He ate.

o  He slept.

o  He wept.

o  He got angry – righteously.

o  He had compassion.


  • Let’s go back to Heb. 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  16 Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.”


  • Jesus was human, but without sin:

o  The immaterial was joined to the material:

§ God was joined to human flesh.


o  Theologians talk about the “hypostatic union,” that is, the second person, the pre-incarnate Christ, came and took to Himself a human body and He remains forever, both, Deity and true humanity, united forever in one person.

o  These two natures of Christ are inseparable.

o  And He remains forever the God-man.

o  Why is this so important? 

§  Both natures are necessary for the redemption of man.

§  As a man, Christ, the sinless man, could represent all humanity and die as man had to die.

§  As God, the death of Christ could have infinite value, so much so that His death would provide redemption for the sins of the entire world.

§  Do you see the importance?

§  Remember, God cannot be joined to sin, so Jesus, the God-man, was Deity joined to humanity, but sinless humanity.


  • Was Jesus tempted just like us?  Yes!!

o  Heb. 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all thingsas we are, yet without sin.”

o  He was tempted in all things, yet without sin.

o  His human nature was able to be tempted.

o  But the person of Christ, with both natures, human and Divine, was faultless, sinless, spotless, immaculate.


  • His human nature lacked the Omni’s of God, but his Divine nature lacked nothing.


  • And there was nothing lacking in His human nature, except sin, or He could not have been our “Kinsman Redeemer.”


 All of these remarkable characteristics about Jesus, our Savior, relate to His human conception in Mary, but by the Holy Spirit of God:

  • Now, do you see why it’s so important for us to study the role of the Holy Spirit in the birth of Christ?


  • Had the Spirit of Almighty God not been the agent of Christ’s conception, He could never have been the Savior of the world and you and I would remain lost, forever, in our sin.


  • Isn’t it amazing how God had this all worked out from eternity past?


  • Isn’t it amazing how God gives us just a glimpse of His plan in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you[Satan]and the woman[Mary],and between your seed and her Seed[Jesus]; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise Him on the heel.”


  • God was never caught off-guard.


  • He was not confused as to how He would redeem humanity.


  • God truly is the author and finisher of our salvation, by His grace, through our faith in Jesus, the God-man. 



I close this article with the reminder from Scripture that it was the Holy Spirit who played such a crucial role in the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.


For that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a son; and you shall call his name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).  AMEN!!!



By His Grace,

Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.