I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
It demands no true, saving faith to believe the mere historical fact that once a child was born, among the millions of others whose mother’s name happened to be Mary, whose father was known as Joseph, and whose birth was recorded under the name of Jesus.
Nor does it require faith to accept the fact that peculiar circumstances surrounded the birth of this child. That his parents had just completed a long and strenuous journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in Judea. And having reached their destination found that this small city of David was already filled to capacity with other such travelers, so that they were forced to seek shelter in a stable.
It may be “news” as far as public interest is concerned, but it is not even “unbelievable” that a child should be born on such a night, in such a place, to be wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.
All this might have the makings of a “nice story” which even unbelief will accept, as long as the facts of the case are not mentioned. But when the actual facts are made known, the scientist shouts: “impossible!”, the philosopher: “inconceivable!”, the worldly-wise: “foolishness!”, the scoffer: “nonsense!” Though each has dropped in to take a look at the Babe in the manger, each in turn saunters off, leaving ample room in the stable for those who come to worship in faith.
The facts of the case belong to those things which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and never could have entered into the heart of man. They were revealed to righteous Zacharias and Elizabeth, to pious old Simeon and the aged prophetess Anna, all of whom being on sentry duty in the house of God could not be released until they received this revelation. And these “things” were also revealed to Mary by God’s special messenger Gabriel, to Joseph in a dream, to shepherds in the fields by an angel host, and to wisemen of the East by a star. To each of these God revealed these facts only after they had received faith to accept them. For the things of God can only be made known to us by the Spirit, since the mystery of godliness is great.
The facts of the case are these: Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, for He is the Son of God, come in the likeness of sinful flesh, Immanuel God with us.
We have the testimony of all of Scripture that the eternal Son of God, who is co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit, took on our flesh and blood and was born as a babe in Bethlehem. This does not mean simply that the babe Jesus was endowed with divine power and attributes. Nor does it mean that the second person of the holy Trinity laid off His divine nature or became less divine by coming into our flesh. Nor does it mean that the Son of God merely took on what appeared to be our flesh and blood. But it does mean, that the divine nature of the Son of God was united with the human nature which He received by His birth from the virgin Mary.
It is the wonder of our salvation.
The angel explains this holy mystery to Mary by saying that the Holy Ghost will come upon her, and the power of the Highest will overshadow her; therefore, that Holy Thing which will be born of her will be called the Son of God. The Son of God remains God, but takes on our human nature by being born of a virgin. He is the son of man. flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood, like unto any other child that is born of woman. He is even born in the line of God’s Covenant: the seed of the woman, Seth’s descendant, Shem’s offspring, Abraham’s wonderchild,
of the house of Jacob, of the tribe of Judah, David’s son, born of Mary. He was like us in all things, with but one exception, He had no sin. He lived among us, knew hunger and thirst, weariness and exhaustion, pain and grief, just as we do. He, too, could only lay off His earthly body by entering into our death. He dwelt among us. He suffered the accursed death of the cross, gave up the ghost and was buried, He arose and ascended to heaven, where He now reigns at God’s right hand until the day when He shall return with the clouds of the heavens.
It was necessary that He should take on our flesh to save us. Man had sinned, and by man atonement for sin had to be made, for the soul that sins must die. No sinful man could pay the ransom of perfect obedience and love to God to deliver us from our sins. Only the perfect righteous man, Jesus Christ, could do that, since He was appointed from all eternity to be our head as the second Adam. And He could do it only because He is the Son of God in our flesh. Only God could bear away the full burden of His wrath, deliver us from it, and take us into His heavenly glory.
Only true, saving faith can say: I believe in Jesus, God’s Son.
Only true, saving faith experiences the blessedness included in this confession.
God came into our flesh: God lay as a babe wrapped in poverty in a manger: God lived our life among us. died our death for us on the cross, and is gone into glory that we may dwell with Him forever.
He came to dwell among us that He might reveal Himself unto us. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son. Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom He also made the worlds.” Heb. 1:1, 2. The Word of God was in Him, for He was the Word that became flesh. He spoke with the tongue of the learned: spoke a word to the weary: a word to fit the occasion. It is the same Word that He still speaks through His Spirit in the hearts of His people. The Word which is the power of God unto our salvation.
God atoned for our sins on the cross. What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did, sending His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. Rom. 8:3.
Going through death in our flesh, God took our flesh out of the grave and brought it into the highest heavens. Jesus, in a glorified body, is now seated at the right hand of the Father. From there He blesses for us, cares for us, and gives us every good from His hand. He makes us sons of God and heirs of salvation. Now we are sons, and we do not know as yet what we shall be, but this we know, that when it does appear what we shall be, that then we shall be like God, for we are partakers of the divine nature. We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him, know Him, dwell in His house, experience His fellowship, and be His sons as the family of the living God forever.
Blessed faith in all vicissitudes of life that confesses Jesus Christ to be the Son of God.