UNTO YOU IS BORN
Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
It was taxation which God used to bring the Incarnation to occur in the very place which he had informed his prophets! Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
The Holy Spirit stamps upon this portion of scripture the word “taxed,” or “taxing” four times within its first five verses. For he, upon whose shoulders the government of the entire world should rest, would come into this human realm rendering tribute to whom tribute is due! (Isaiah 9:6; Romans 13:7). And he, who was made of a woman, was also made under the law! (Gal. 4:4). And as Sovereign Lord, he set forth human government as the minister of God to thee for good! (Romans 13:4).
Therefore in order to be an acceptable sacrifice, he had to render perfect obedience in all things. He had to be perfect in his obedience to human authority in order to redeem them that were under the law! (Gal. 4:5). Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power (“authority”), but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
The Eternal Son of God not only entered into the human realm in God’s appointed place, and in the appointed manner, but he also came exactly at God’s appointed time! Other births may be said to be “early” or “late.” But this birth was at the exact time of God’s eternal appointment! Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
But just what is the great importance of the doctrine of the Incarnation? It is a historical fact. But is that all it means to the religious realm? Is it just a festival wherein we make merchants rich off our celebration of a religious tradition based on this event? Or does it actually have a personal edification value to the hearts of true believers?
Let us first see that: 1. It assures that Jesus of Nazareth is very God! The Lord God has brought forth human beings in several ways! He brought forth Adam without the aid of a man or a woman! He brought forth Eve with the aid of a man, but without the aid of a woman. Eve had no mother! Then he brought forth Cain and Abel with both the aid of a man and a woman! But Jesus of Nazareth is THE ONLY Being ever brought forth with the aid of a woman, but without the aid of a man! And, dear friend, that took a great and glorious miracle of God Himself!
Listen to him tell the virgin of how this could be, seeing, as she said, I know not a man. (Luke 1:34). Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost 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. It was a marvelous and unique thing, accomplished by the direct hand of God!
Just as sure as God had taken the virgin soil and formed man of the dust of the earth, breathed into his nostrils the breath of God, and brought forth the first Adam; so he takes this virgin womb, fertilizes it with the Breath of the Holy Ghost and brings forth the last Adam!
But what a vast difference in those two! For the first Adam was but a presently created, living soul. Whereas the last Adam was an eternally existing, life-giving spirit! 1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
And just how did the holy Apostles understand that which they were set forth to declare to the world, concerning the Person of the Son of God? 1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
As far as the Apostle John was concerned, their preaching was to set forth to us the revealing of that eternal life, by the Holy Ghost! He had no doubts concerning just “preaching a sermon,” for the provision of additional religious information! He knew he was to manifest forth that eternal life of the God-man Himself, by the Holy Spirit!
And of this great responsibility of conveying God to the human heart, the Apostle Paul asks, And who is sufficient for these things? (2 Cor. 2:16). And in the succeeding chapter he answers that question by stating, but our sufficiency is of God; (2 Cor. 3:5).
The Eternal Son of God always has been! There never was a point when he did not exist. God has always been known as “the Father!” But he cannot be a Father without having a Son! And in the voice of the Person of “Wisdom,” (See Prov. 8:12 with 1 Corin. 1:30), we read in Proverbs 8:22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. 23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. 29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: 30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; 31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
The Eternal God reveals himself to Moses as: I AM THAT I AM! (Exod. 3:14). And the Lord Jesus clearly claims that same identity to the religious rulers of his day. John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
And to Philip, asking to be shown the Farther, this answer is clearly given: Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? (John 14:8,9).
And here are the very words of the Lord Jesus Christ that reveal in his own words an accounting of his experience of his eternality, his Incarnation, ascension and enthronement: I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. (John 16:28). Let us break that verse down by phrases.
I came forth from the Father – This reveals his eternality, for he was with God from the beginning! (John 1:1,2).
…and am come into the world: – This speaks his Incarnation!
…again, I leave the world, – That is his ascension.
… and go to the Father. – This is when the Man Head went back into the Godhood! Psalm 24:9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
What an amazing personal account from the experience of the Eternal Son of God as he became man, and then took that manhood back into the I AM for our acceptance there with him!
And now let us also see: 2. The Incarnation sets forth for us the pattern of our salvation! When we read the words, unto you is born, in our above listed text we come to see two things. First, it was an angel that was speaking, who knew that this salvation was not “unto them!” He was telling the good news that this was God’s highest glory, which was good will towards men! – Not towards angels!
Although the stability of every being would be assured by the atonement, there would be no provision for redemption for any but those humans elected in Christ from the foundation of the world! Hebrews 2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
These verses clearly instruct us that the Lamb of God did neither take upon him the likeness of angels, nor the responsibility for their redemption! For Peter tells us that when the angels sinned they were cast down to hell, to be delivered into chains of darkness and there reserved to judgment. (2 Peter 2:4).
Then secondly in this phrase, we see that the method of bringing the Eternal Son into the human realm is the same as that which brings an elect sinner into redemption – a birth! For the elect, but as yet unregenerate soul, is brought into spiritual life in the same way as the Incarnation was brought about. Reread Luke 1:35, listed above, as the angel’s instruction to the virgin as just how she would bare forth the Son of God.
And in that pattern it would first be by a birth. For this is that which the Lord instructed Nicodemus that he needed! John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. There is neither any ability to see, nor enter the kingdom of God without a spiritual birth!
And secondly, as in the pattern, it could only be done by the Person of the Holy Spirit! For just as it took the power of the Highest overshadowing Mary, so it takes the very breath of God to quicken a dead sinner into life! John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
God asked his prophet Ezekiel if the bleached out, dried bones, strewn across the valley could live. (Ezekiel 37:3). And just like a gospel preacher looking as a sinner dead in trespasses and sin must say today, so Ezekiel rightly answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. For as Jonah learned in whale school, Salvation is of the LORD. (Jonah 2:9).
But before there can be life in either the dried bones, or in a spiritually dead sinner, the Wind must blow! Ezekiel 37:9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. And so, dear reader, there must be a ministry that has power with the Holy Spirit! There must be those who beseech you in Christ’s stead! (2 Corin. 5:20).
Any and all hope of glory, for any and every soul, is nothing less than, Christ in you! (Col 1:27). And none can impregnate the soul with the seed of God, which is Christ (Gal. 3:16), except the Holy Spirit himself! So the Lord set forth, even in his own Incarnation, the picture of how the sinner must experience a birth from God in order to enter into spiritual life! For regeneration is not like a man making up his mind, nor of a person joining a religious order! It is entirely like a woman having a baby! And there must be a conception in order for life to be within that womb before there can be a birth!
Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Pastor Gene Breed; December 22, 2012