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penalty. Only God Himself could meet this   and as further evidence, Joseph knew it, as
        requirement, so He became incarnate in   verses 18-19 make clear. Matthew also re-
        the person of His Son to accomplish this   cords the birth of Christ as the fulfillment
        for us. “The Father has sent his Son as the   of Isaiah 7:14: “The virgin will conceive,
        world’s Savior” (1Jn 4:14), and “the blood   have a son, and name him Immanuel.”
        of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin”
        (1Jn 1:7). Notice, then, these two things:   What everyone in the presence of Ahaz
        the Father did not become incarnate, but   understood that day is debatable. But
        only the Son; and the Scriptures never say   the Holy Spirit’s interpretation and word
        that God died, yet the man who is God   choice in Matthew 1:23 leave no doubt –
        died. God is spirit and cannot die. So, it   the virgin birth of Christ was a necessary
        was necessary that He become a man, in   fulfillment of prophecy.
        real flesh and blood, in order to die for us   An Implication of the Incarnation
        (Col 1:19-22).
        The Means of the Incarnation:           When the Son of God took on human
        The Virgin Birth                      flesh, He didn’t arrive as a genderless be-
                                              ing but as a male. He had a Y chromosome.
          The humanity of Christ began at His   He had facial hair. His primary company
        conception in the womb of Mary, who
        was initially and understandably incredu-  was a group of males. That isn’t asserting
        lous at the possibility of her giving birth   that males are superior to females – they
        because she had not “known” a man. So   are equal, both having been created in
        the angel Gabriel explained: “The Holy   the image of God – but it reveals that the
        Spirit will come upon you, and the power   incarnation embraces the divine order of
        of the Most High will overshadow you.   gendered sexuality established in Genesis
        Therefore, the holy one to be born will be   1. In no way does this diminish the value
        called the Son of God” (Luk 1:35). Obvi-  of the female gender, for God’s Son was
        ously, the Scriptures do not shy away from   “born of a woman” (Gal 4:4). But the in-
        the supernatural. When God would bring
        His eternal Son into the world, it is fitting   carnation shows that the distinctiveness
        that He would highlight the uniqueness   of genders in the original creation was
        of the person by a unique sign. The reason   good – and the resurrection shows us that
        that defenders of the faith in the early   it will abide. “The incarnation, once ac-
        centuries of the Church included the vir-  complished, is a lasting state for our Lord.
        gin birth in their credal statements (e.g.,   It began at his birth and continues (albeit
        Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, Chalce-  in a resurrection body now) forever.”  It
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        donian Creed) is that they knew it was no   is the same male body in which Christ
        trivial addendum to the gospel message.
        Matthew carefully safeguards the truth in   suffered that He also rose, and His resur-
        chapter one of his Gospel. After a lengthy   rection is the pattern for ours. The Lord
        list of men who fathered their children, he   Jesus is forever a man. Clearly human
        changes the formula at verse 16: “Jacob   bodies are significant, for the Son of God
        fathered Joseph the husband of Mary, who   possesses one.
        gave birth to Jesus who is called the Mes-  ⁴ Charles Ryrie, Basic Theology (Wheaton, IL:
        siah.” Jesus was not fathered by Joseph,   Victor Books, 1986), 242.

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