The Essential Ministry of the Holy Spirit
Text: Matthew 1:18 -25
With great faith and conviction, Matthew introduced his readers to the Person and Ministry of the Holy Spirit. He was most careful to mention the essential part that the Spirit of God played in the miraculous conception and birth of Jesus.
“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.”
The significance of the involvement of the Holy Spirit in the birth of Jesus must not be missed. Let us consider the following thoughts:
1. The Divine Ministry of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit was mentioned as the One directly involved in the creation of a human body for the Son of God. This special act of the Holy Spirit highlights His Divine Power. The power to create is most certainly something that belongs to one who is Divine. Nothing could be more important than to create for Jesus a fully human body, and yet one that is free from any taint of sin!
2. Special Preservation of Jesus from the Taint of the Original Sin
Jesus could not have been from a union of Joseph and Mary. If he had come into the world as the result of a natural union between two human beings, he would have inherited the problem of the original sin and guilt that all human beings have!
The ministry of the Holy Spirit in causing Jesus to be born of a Virgin thus ensured that Jesus would be born a normal human child, but without Original Sin! The Spirit of God would oversee the entire process, from conception to delivery, ensuring that Jesus would not be tainted by the influence and power of sin.
Mary’s Original Sin problem would not be passed down to Jesus! This too was the work of the Holy Spirit!
Matthew was careful to note that the angel of the Lord expressed the same sentiments to Joseph.
“…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.”
The birth of Jesus had to be special – miraculous! He was going to be the Second Adam! He too would be specially created. He too would be created without sin, as the first Adam was. The only way in which this could be done would be through the divine ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of Mary.
THE DECRETIVE WORD CONCERNING THE BIRTH OF JESUS
As Matthew penned the opening chapter of his long Gospel, he could not escape the sense of Divine Destiny at work. All these events that were happening were not accidental! The word “coincidental” would also be an ill-fitting word.
The Birth of Jesus was by the decree of God, no less! Did not the psalmist write about this great event?
“Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.
I will declare the decree:
The Lord has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.’ ”
The Lord had made a solemn decree and His Word was inviolable! Jesus was that Son and that King the psalmist wrote in poetic meter!
THE PROPHETIC WORD THAT REAFFIRMED GOD’S PROMISE
Matthew recalled a familiar prophetic word Isaiah wrote, several hundred years earlier.
“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.'”
Isaiah had spoken these words to unbelieving King Ahaz! Unbelief, gross sinfulness, and widespread idolatry had weakened the ancient nation of Israel and brought it to its knees.
What little hope the nation had in the future would lie with the Messiah that God would give to His people. This especially Anointed One of God would be unique in every sense of the word. One of the marks of His Messiahship would be that He would be born of a virgin!
Was Jesus the Messiah? Then He would have to be born of a virgin! Who had ever heard of such a birth? There was only One who was virgin born, and Matthew wrote in jubilation the Name of Jesus. He would save His people from their sins. He would be the Redeemer-King!
How else would people be sure that Jesus would be The Messiah? His life and ministry would be so distinctive that people would call Him “Immanuel”. His life would be so powerful and dynamic that nobody could mistake His true Identity! He would be none other than the Divine God walking on earth!