Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,  born of the Virgin Mary

The most important part of Christ’s nature is the fact that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born from a woman. Even more important is the teaching that He was born from a virgin. The reason behind this is to teach that Christ is mediator between God and man.

In order for Christ to be God and Man, He needs to have the nature of God and the nature of man without confusion of both natures. This simply means that there are not chunks of God mixed with chunks of man. Nor is the Spirit of Christ God and the rest of Him human. Christianity teaches that Christ is inseparably man and God united together as one person in Christ.

The necessity of Christ coming from a virgin

There are several places in Scripture that teach that Christ was born from a virgin. Christians don’t use astrology, nor do we arbitrarily come up with strange teachings. The belief that Christ is born from a virgin is directly taught in the Bible and has purpose.

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.
(Isa 7:14 NAS)
“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.”
(Mat 1:23 NAS)
and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus
(Mat 1:25 NAS)
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. “And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 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.
(Luk 1:30-35 NAS)

We believe that God became man in order to be with us, not only to experience the same trouble we go through physically, but to die for our sins in our place as a perfect substitute in our behalf. We believe Christ is also God so that He can truly teach us what God has to say, He can directly represent us in God’s presence, and He can have the ability in and of Himself to have power over death. This is possible through Christ being born of God and not merely of a human. If Mary was not a virgin, there could be a legal challenge to the claim that Christ’s Father is God. In other words, we know Christ’s Father is God because Mary had no physical relationship with a man.

The birth of Christ

Christ was born just like every other natural birth. He did not mystically appear, nor was He a roaming apparition. The Bible says,

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, (Gal 4:4 NAS)And when eight days were completed before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. (Luk 2:21 NAS)

The Bible teaches that Christ was born with two distinct natures, the nature of man and the nature of God. The Westminster Confession of Faith states this perfectly.

Being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.

The Lord Jesus, in his human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified, and anointed with the Holy Spirit, above measure, having in him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, to the end that, being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth, he might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a mediator, and surety. Which office he took not unto himself, but was thereunto called by his Father, who put all power and judgment into his hand, and gave him commandment to execute the same.
Westminster Confession of Faith VIII. Of Christ the Mediator

Christ’s human nature, the substance of the woman

Christ’s human nature was created from the substance a human (Mary) so as to have all the essential requirements that any ordinary human has. That is to say, He has a brain, organs, soul, body, feelings, and everything else that goes with being human. There is no temptation, feeling of hunger, physical pain, or affliction, that Christ could not feel or experience in His humanity.

concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, (Rom 1:3 NAS)
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; (1Jo 4:2 NAS)

The Westminster Shorter Catechism states this well.

Q. 22. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
A. Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.
Westminster Shorter Catechism Question #22

Because He was fully man, He could experience what it means to be human physically. The Christian believes in a God that cares about humanity to the point of personally willingly experiencing the pain, suffering, and struggle that we go through in our lives, even till death.

Q. 48. How did Christ humble himself in his life?
A. Christ humbled himself in his life, by subjecting himself to the law, which he perfectly fulfilled; and by conflicting with the indignities of the world, temptations of Satan, and infirmities in his flesh, whether common to the nature of man, or particularly accompanying that his low condition.
Westminster Larger Catechism Question # 48

Christ’s Divine nature, the conception by the Holy Spirit

That which conceived Christ in the womb, is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God and is the power of God that brings forth God’s Son. We can say that Christ was conceived by Holy Spirit and begotten of the Father.

“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.
(Luk 1:35 NAS)
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 her is of the Holy Spirit. (Mat 1:20 NAS)
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(Joh 1:14 NAS)

It is also important to note that the gospels of Matthew and Luke do not mention God the Father in the conception of Christ. The “Most High” is used in Luke; however, the term “Father” is not used. One will argue, and rightly so, that the “Most High” is the Father; however, the Holy Spirit authored the conception. The “Most High” can equally be proven to be the Holy Spirit as well.

This is a critical truth of the Christian faith that the Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit knows the depths of God, which is impossible unless the Holy Spirit were God. The Bible states that Christ intercedes for us and also the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
(1Co 2:10 NAS)
And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
(Rom 8:26-27 NAS)
who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us
(Rom 8:34 NAS)

Therefore, the Spirit of God is fully united with the Son of God, who comes from God the Father. This is the essence of the trinity and the essence of the nature of Christ as God.


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