Sermon #0007 Luke Sermons
Title: “HOW SHALL THIS BE?”
Text: Luke 1:34-38
Subject: The Incarnation Of Christ
Date: Sunday Evening - June 13, 1999
Tape # V-32b
Readings: Office: Ron Wood Auditorium: James Jordan
The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced God’s grace and mercy to her. He told her that she had been chosen of God to be that virgin through whom the Messiah would come into the world, by whom the Seed of woman would come, through whom God the Father would send his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to save his people from their sins. Let’s pick up the story in Luke 1:34…
Proposition: Here the Holy Spirit has recorded for our learning all that is needful for our souls, edification regarding the mystery of the incarnation of our blessed Savior.
Let me call your attention to six things in these verses.
I. THE WONDER OF FAITH
Earlier in this chapter (vv. 18-20), we that when Zechariah asked, “Whereby shall I know this?”, his question was an expression of unbelief. Yet, when Mary asked virtually the same thing, her question was an expression of faith (v. 45). Zechariah asked what he did because he looked upon the promise of God as a thing impossible. Mary asked what she did because she looked upon the promise of God as astonishing.
Mary’s words are an expression of admiration. She knew that…
· the Son of God was coming into the world in human flesh,
· that Messiah must come into the world as a woman’s seed, untainted by Adam’s transgression,
· that God was going to send his Son into the world through the womb of a virgin;
· and now she knew that she was that virgin!
These words expressed her desire to know how the Lord would do this great, wondrous thing. She did not question the fact that God would do as he said. She simply desired to know how he would do it. She did not doubt that the Lord would do what he said, she simply desired to know how he would do it.
She could not imagine how such an amazing work could be accomplished, since she was indeed a virgin, -- “Seeing I know not a man.”
Faith is often expressed in words of amazement and astonishment. –
· David – Who am I? What is my house?
· Mephibosheth – Why would you look on such a dead dog as I am?
· Why would the Lord love me? Why would he choose me? Why would Christ die for me? How can God use me?
II. THE MYSTERY OF THE INCARNATION
Look at verse 35. In response to Mary’s question, Gabriel explains the mystery of the incarnation with absolute reverence, using the simplest words possible to declare the most profound mystery in the universe.
We ought always to follow this angelic example of utter reverence regarding the things of God. Vain questions, carnal debate, idle speculations about holy things are utterly out of place. Divine things are divine. They are to be treated as divine. Here is the great mystery of godliness. “GOD WAS MANIFEST IN THE FLESH!”
· “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
· When God sent his Son into this world, a body as prepared for him called, “that holy thing,” in which our redemption could be accomplished (Heb. 10:5).
· He took part of our flesh and blood (Heb. 2:14).
· When he came into this world, he took hold of the seed of Abraham (Heb. 2:15), to save his covenant people.
· This great Savior was made of a woman.”
· Our great Savior is himself God (Col. 2:9).
What more should be said? What more can be said. To go beyond these simple statements of divine Revelation would be to foolishly rush in where angels fear to tread and darken counsel by words without knowledge.
III. THE WORK OF THE TRIUNE GOD
Look at verse 35 again.
The salvation of our souls is the work of the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
· Chosen By God The Father.
· Redeemed By God The Son.
· Sanctified By God The Spirit.
Yet, we must not fail to notice the unique work of God the Spirit, with regard to the Lord Jesus Christ. As God the Father always points to and glorifies Christ, so God the Spirit always points us to and glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ.
· Did God the Son come into this world in human flesh? It was God the Spirit who prepared a body for him in the womb of a virgin.
· Did the Lord Jesus die to make atonement for our sins? It is written that he “through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God” (Heb. 9:14).
· Did the crucified Christ rise from the dead for our justification? It is written, “He was justified in the Spirit” (1 Tim. 3:16). Our Redeemer was “quickened by the Spirit” (1 Pet. 3:18).
· Does the Prince of Peace give comfort to his people? It is by the Holy Spirit who is our Comforter.
· Does Christ our Prophet teach us? It is by the Spirit of Truth.
In all things, especially in the affair of our salvation, the Triune God is one.
IV. THE CONDESCENSION OF GRACE
Our God is so gracious, so good, so merciful that he condescends to help our weaknesses. Grace anticipates our weakness and inability. Look at verse 36.
Though Mary believed God’s promise, though she asked for no sign, the Lord condescended to encourage her faith, by telling her of another miraculous birth by which God would fulfil his prophetic Word.
V. THE OMNIPOTENCE OF OUR GOD
Here is the pillar of our confidence, the strength of our faith, and the solace of our souls in all things!
Our peace in this world, our confidence regarding the purposes, promises, and grace of our God stand and fall with our firm persuasion of our heavenly Father’s absolute omnipotence.
With our God, nothing is impossible! He who called the universe into being by the mere exercise of his will, he who created all things out of nothing by the hiding of his power, he who upholds all things by the word of his power can perform all his purposes, all his promises, and all that we need, at all times!
That which is impossible with us is a piece of cake for our God. Nothing is too hard for the Lord! “With God all things are possible” (Mk. 10:27).
I cannot express the message of verse 37 any better than J.C. Ryle did in his Expository Thoughts. Ryle wrote…
· “There is no sin too black and bad to be pardoned. The blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin.
· There is no heart too hard and wicked to be changed. The heart of stone can be made a heart of flesh.
· There is no work too hard for a believer to do. We may do all things through Christ strengthening us.
· There is no trial too hard to be borne. The grace of God is sufficient for us.
· There is no promise too great to be fulfilled. Christ’s words shall never pass away, and what he has promised he is able to perform.
· There is no difficulty too great for a believer to overcome. When God is for us, who shall be against us? The mountains shall become as a plain.
· Faith never rests so calmly and peacefully as when it lays its head on the pillow of God’s omnipotence.”
Our great and glorious God is the omnipotent God, the God of omnipotent ability to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.
The Lord is King! Who then shall dare
Resist His will, distrust His care,
Or murmur at His wise decrees,
Or doubt His royal promises?
‘Til God all-wise can make mistakes,
His pow’r abate, His love forsake,
His children must not cease to sing –
The Lord Omnipotent is King!
If indeed we believe God, if indeed our God is omnipotent, surrendering ourselves to him in all things should be in our minds the simplest, most reasonable thing in this world. Oh, may God give us grace to follow Mary’s example in this matter. In verse 38, she shows us by humble example…
VI. THE SURRENDER OF FAITH.
The great privilege granted to Mary, like all truly great privileges, involved (at least for the present) great and costly difficulty. Though it would ultimately be her everlasting honor, for the present, Mary knew her honorable name and reputation, her marriage to a good and honorable man, and her respect from family and friend alike would very possibly be in jeopardy. These things presented no small trial to her faith. But, believing God, for the honor of God, to do the will of God, Mary was willing to risk everything.
· She raised no objections.
· She asked no questions.
· She asked no favors.
· She simply bowed to the will of God, with ready and willing heart.
May God be pleased to give me such grace, that I am willing to go anywhere, endure anything, and do anything, whatever the cost, in obedience to his will, for the glory of Christ. Faith is most noble when it yields blind obedience to the will of God.
My God, my Savior, my Redeemer, my Lord, this is my heart’s desire this hour – Behold your servant. Be it unto me according to your word.