Emmanuel or God with Us 1 Tim. 3:16 and Matt. 1:18-25 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In this lesson we are going to look at the Christmas passage and teach two very important doctrines from the word of God. The two doctrines are the Deity of Jesus Christ, which is God being manifest in the flesh, and the virgin birth. These two doctrines are essential for salvation and are shown to us in the Christmas passage as well as other places in the word of God.
In 1 Timothy 3:16 we see that the mystery of Godliness is that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh. This is called a mystery not because it was something that we could never know, but that it was revealed to Paul and it is also very hard to understand. This is also shown to us by the name Emmanuel as we will see in this lesson.
The virgin birth:
In the passage from Matthew we see that God is very careful to show us that Mary was a virgin. This is shown in the following verses:
Verse 18 “before they came together”
Verse 20 “that which is conceived hi here is of the Holy Ghost”
Verse 23 “a virgin shall be with child”
Verse 25 “knew her not until she had brought forth her firstborn son”
This fact was also prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 as we see quoted in Matthew 1:23. There is another prophesy of the virgin birth found in Genesis 3:15. Here the woman is said to have a seed and that seed will have enmity with the seed of the serpent. The reproduction the seed is from the man there as a direct result of man’s sin we see the need for a special birth. Satan knows this and has counterfeited it by putting virgins or mothers and sons to worship in other religions.
The virgin birth is essential to our salvation because if Jesus was not conceived by the Holy Ghost he would have been born in the image of Adam. When Adam was created he was created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-28). What is the image of God? It is Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4 ; Hebrews 1:3) This is why Adam is called the son of God in Luke 3:38.
When Adam sinned this image changed. His children were born in his image not the image of God (Genesis 5:5). This is why it is so important the Jesus did not have an earthly father. If he had had an earthly father then the sin nature of Adam would have been passed on to him (Romans 5:12-14). Without the virgin birth our salvation would not be possible.
Jesus is God manifest in the flesh:
The reason that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh is because of the virgin birth. Note the references above to Jesus being conceived by the Holy Ghost. The fact that he was God manifest in the flesh is seen in the name Emmanuel which being interpreted is God with us.
What about the name Jesus. Jesus means savior, which is why verse 21 says that he will save his people from their sins. What is interesting is that Jesus is a form of Joshua which means Jehovah saves. Note in Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8 that the name of Joshua has been replaced with Jesus in a King James Bible. This is because what Joshua does in the book of Joshua is a type of the second coming of Jesus Christ. Most modern bibles disregard the change.
It is also important to note that even in prophesies of the Old Testament that God was careful to word things in the King James Bible so that the fact of Jesus being with God before creation would be kept safe. Note in Isaiah 9:6 that the verse says a child is born and a son is given. Jesus as a child was born but Jesus as God was given.
The fact that Jesus was God manifest in the flesh is also seen in the visitors which he had after his birth. The shepherds were the first visitors to see the baby Jesus. Have you ever wondered why God allowed shepherds to be the first to see him? Well in Psalm 23:1 it says the Lord is my shepherd. But in Isaiah 53:6-7 we see that Jesus as the Lamb of God was dumb before the shearers. Jesus Christ is both the lamb and a shepherd.
Even in the visit of the wise men up to a couple of years later they were allowed to worship him which denotes God manifest in the flesh. In the gifts they gave him we also see God manifest in the flesh. The gold represents deity or God. The myrrh was used in anointing the dead which represents man. As a man Jesus died for our sins. Frankincense was used in the priesthood which denotes Jesus as our high priest. The fact that Jesus was God yet became man and died for our sins and was risen again is what makes him the faithful high priest which intercedes on our behalf today (Hebrews 2:14-18).
It is a must that Jesus was God in the flesh which is accomplished by the virgin birth. This is the only way in which he can save his people from there sins!