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::Devotional:: ‘A Miraculous Birth’

December 1, 2009

December is here and the Christmas season is in full effect!  Maybe I should say the commercialism is in full effect to be more accurate.  I won’t spend my time or yours talking about the commercialism of Christmas because I’d rather use that time to talk about the miracles of Christmas.  What better miracle to start with than the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ right?  Are we talking about the Immaculate Conception or the Virgin Birth though?  Is there a difference?  Absolutely – and a big one at that

I remember a conversation with someone a few years ago where they were talking about sharing their faith with another person in regards to the miraculous birth of Jesus and all the wonder that surrounded that event.  However, as they were sharing the story with me they referred to the event as the Immaculate Conception.  In fact, I confirmed that they referred to the event in the same way when they were sharing the story with the other person.  No big deal though right?  Well, it is kind of a big deal and here’s why.

The Immaculate Conception is not a reference about the miraculous birth of Jesus but rather the sinless nature of Mary.  In a nutshell, it is a doctrine of Roman Catholicism which teaches that Mary was different from other humans in that she had been spared from the original sin that was inherited down through all mankind as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve.  She had no sin nature and therefore was in fact sinless.  This doctrine is a result of man’s attempt to rationalize the miraculous.  It’s how things make sense.  Unfortunately, it is simply not true.

Mary was a special person, but only because out of God’s grace He chose her to carry Jesus in her womb and was to become his mother.

The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored!  The Lord is with you.”  Luke 1:28

That is the only verse I see where the reasoning behind Mary being chosen for this amazing honor is given.  She was chosen because she was favored.  The word favored there means “to make graceful”.  As best as I can describe this, it means that Mary was going to be the object of an amazing outpouring of God’s grace.  That in fact she would be full of grace.   Why?  Because God is God and He chose her, plain and simple.  Undoubtedly God knew exactly what he was doing.  Mary was indeed special, but not sinless.

Although the Immaculate Conception sounds right, it is not the doctrine of the Virgin Birth which the Bible teaches.  Mary, a virgin, was the object of God’s grace in that He chose her as a vessel to bring Jesus, the God-man, into this world.  It was by every stretch of the imagination a miracle and miracles can’t be rationalized, they just are.  Jesus would need the perfection of his holiness coupled with the likeness of the human race to be the propitiation, the perfect and final atoning sacrifice, for all mankind.

[Jesus]…Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human  likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!  Philippians 2:6-8

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

If you’d like to read more about this subject, check out gotquestions.org

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