The True Story of Christmas – God with Us :: by Sean Gooding

Matthew 1:18-25

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’

Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.”

In my previous article, “God Keeps His Promises” I showed how Jesus has the legal and biblical right to sit in the throne of David. I showed how God was diligent in making sure that He kept His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob about one of their lineage being the King of Israel.

This should be a source of comfort for us; God keeps His promises and goes to great lengths to protect His reputation and integrity.

Now we will look at this text again.We have just celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada, and I can’t think of a greater reason to be thankful than for the birth of our Savior Jesus the Christ. Often this text is associated with the Christmas story and rightly so, but it is an appropriate text for all occasions.

There is no thanksgiving without the birth of Jesus, there is no Easter without the birth of Jesus, there is no forgiveness without the birth of Jesus and there is no hope without the birth of Jesus. And so today we will explore the wonders of this account with goal of solidifying in your hearts the wonderful gift we have from God.

Pregnant without ever being sexually involved with a man, verse 18.

This is the most important fact about the birth of Jesus.Without this we are doomed and the myths that we have been sold as truth have damned us to hell forever. To understand why Jesus had to be born via a woman being impregnated by the Spirit of God we must first understand the sin nature of man.

The subject of the “depravity of man” is not preached about much in a lot of churches. This is a touchy subject that defies the “I’m okay, you’re okay” philosophies that have been either forced upon the Lord’s churches or in many cases adopted by ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing” who have traded sound doctrine for a counterfeit gospel that is not the true gospel at all.

Many people in church do not comprehend why the virgin birth was so important to all men.

Yes, Jesus had to be born without the assistance of Joseph because his bloodline had been cut off from the throne of Israel. But this was to satisfy the promise to a few men; the virgin birth was really to satisfy a promise that God had made to all men in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:15:

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

This promise made to all men needed to be fulfilled.What was the promise? The promise was that God would send the “Seed” of a woman to kill Lucifer and his power, death. The “Seed” of the woman talks about a virgin birth since the seed of a child is actually in the man; his sperm is the seed of life to a baby.

So the “Seed” of the woman, Jesus, would crush the head of the serpent, it, the serpent, represented Lucifer. In the process of crushing the head of the serpent, the ‘Seed’ would get a temporary bruise on His heel. Jesus suffered death for 3 days and nights and resurrected, in the process Lucifer and his power were killed forever.

Sin is the reason that Jesus had to born of a virgin without the aid of a man. His nature would not be corrupted by being born in sin. What do I mean you ask? Do any of your have children? Did you have to teach them how to lie? How to steal? How to rebel? How to be sneaky? How to disobey?

Did you have to provide an example of how to throw a temper tantrum?The answer is no!The sin nature is in bred it is passed on from the father to the child.Moms have a sin nature as well but they get it from their dads. So anyone with a human father has a sin nature.Anyone with a sin nature will not satisfy God’s requirement for being sinless and CANNOT be the Savior.

In today’s world we have watered down what is sin and call a lot of stuff a mistake. Jesus did not have to come and die for our mistakes. When I misspell a word that is a mistake, not a sin. There is no law of God that says “Thou shalt not misspell words.” However, when I lie, steal, disrespect my parents, murder or bow to idols I have committed sin.

There are specific laws of God that forbid these actions.They can be found in Exodus 20:1-17 and just using these 10 basic foundations of Holy Living we can easily see that we break or have broken most if not all of these laws at one point in our lives. Thus we are sinners; we break these laws because we have a SIN nature, we are born rebellious to rules and authority. In particular we are rebellious to God.

Since it is our NATURE, our very being that is corrupted by sin, we do not have to actually sin to go to hell. We have a spiritual disposition to be sinful and God cannot accept that defect in us. We need to be BORN AGAIN, so Jesus came to fix that. He could not allow that spiritual defect to infect Jesus either so Jesus was born via a woman and with the Seed of God. Thus He has the body of a human and the nature of God. He is 100 percent God and 100 percent man.

Jesus, He will save His people from their sins, verse 22.

What’s in a name? Today names do not have the same significance that they once did. Jewish people often did not name their children for a period of time to observe the child and then name them according to their character. Jacob of the Old Testament was a trickster and his name reflected that. Joseph and Joshua were “Christ types” of the Old Testament, the root word for their names come for same root as Jesus.

God chose not to record any of their sins.Jesus’ name told everyone who He was and what He was here to do. He was here for the sole purpose of delivering us from our sins. How is one delivered from one’s sins? Hebrews 9:22 tells us:

“And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

Simply put, the only way that God’s wrath is appeased over sin is by the death of something or someone.That is what the shedding of blood means; death. In Romans 6: 23 we are told that the “wages of sin is death.”

The just payment for our sins is death. We all understand the word “wages,” We receive wages every week or two weeks based on what you have earned by working. Well in God’s economy, we have earned death after all of our “work.”

In the Old Testament God’s wrath was appeased by the regular killing, called sacrificing, of animals. Millions of animals died in man’s stead.But this kind of death could only satisfy God for so long since the animals were not the sinners, they did not deserve death, we did. Eventually we had to “man up” as they say and take responsibility for our own sins. So God sent His Son Jesus as a Man to “man up” for us:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

You and I do not have to be sacrificed for our sins as we deserve, Jesus did that for us. That is how He SAVED us from our sins. We are called to put our faith, our trust and our dependence on/in the death that Jesus died for us and in that trust God will save us from death and remove the legal charges of sins that were on our eternal record.

Immanuel, God with us, verse 23.

This is the result of what Jesus has done for us; when we put our trust in the death of Jesus for our sins. He has broken down the barrier between man and God; the barrier of sin. NOW God can be with us. He can live in us, be our friend, communicate with us and live with us. He can reveal His plans to us and we, mere men and women, frail flesh and blood can have an intimate and eternal relationship with God.

This is why we can talk about Jesus at Thanksgiving; He is our source of life and peace. He is the very center and power of all we have with God and in Him we have the power to be called the children of God.

“Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1 John 3:1).

Are you a child of God?

Have you put your faith, trust and dependence in the death of Jesus for your sin debt to God?

If not, you are wasting the greatest gift ever given by the Lord—His Son, for your sins. Be saved today, call on Jesus and He will save you.

Sean Gooding
Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
Mississauga, ON Canada