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The Apostles’ Creed (Part 9)

I received a call a few days ago from a desperate lady whose 15 year old brother seems to be demon possessed. She is beside herself and in need of urgent assistance as the brother is a danger to himself and most likely to others. He is extremely aggressive, speaks to the “one” possessing him in foreign languages and smashes things to the point of injuring his hand rather seriously on glass the day she called. I spoke to two colleagues seeking help. The one has dealt with “African spirits” and the other one, although Indian, has not been involved in exorcisms but knows someone who could possibly assist. Years back, another colleague told me of how intricate and dangerous it is to deal with things like this, especially when you have no experience. Danger knocks at the door all the time until the possessing spirit is subdued and cast out of the person.

When we consider the role of the Holy Spirit we must never equate His workings as on par with demonic spirits. The very concept of Holy explains the Person and Work of God the Holy Spirit. Remember we are dealing with the Virgin Birth and the Incarnation. We have seen that God is totally holy and man is desperately wicked … depraved. God requires man to pay the penalty for his sin but he cannot because there is no righteous, holy offering a sinner can give to God to settle the sin debt. However, God promised a Messiah. Let’s re-read the following passage:

Mt 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

The section of the Creed we are dealing with is … “Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.” We have seen the prophecy and the purpose of Messiah … but why did God need to come to this earth?

1) Mary, the virgin. We have examined her extensively but we need to add a few things.

(1) Mary was regarded highly by God. Yes she was from the Blood Line of king David, as was Joseph … but we read:

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

Apart from being pure sexually, she was morally outstanding. She enjoyed a relationship with God as His child. She was the perfect vessel.

(2) Mary was a sinner. The Church of Rome’s doctrinal position on Mary is nowhere to be found in the Bible. Her mother’s pregnancy was not as they say, an “immaculate conception” … that is, the seed of original sin was not transferred to her and that she was sinless. The reason we may say their teaching is anti-Scriptural is because Mary herself sings in Luke 1, acknowledging her sinful state and in need of a Savior.

Lk 1:46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

If God was her Savior, she was a sinner!

(3) Mary was and is not the Mother of God. The Church of Rome says … “Since Mary is Jesus’ mother, it must be concluded that she is also the Mother of God: If Mary is the mother of Jesus, and if Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God.” (catholic.com). Sadly this is outright heresy because Mary was the mother of the human man called Jesus, she was not the mother of the Divine Jesus. We have already considered the pregnancy without a human father. The Holy Spirit caused the virgin to become pregnant in some miraculous way … and the one born was Godman … but Mary was not and is not the Mother of God! She is mother of the human aspect of Jesus. We ought to be extremely careful we don’t get caught up in false doctrines that cannot be proven by Scripture.

(4) Mary is not an object of veneration. The Church of Rome places Mary above Jesus in that prayers are prayed to her, she seeks “her son’s favor” and he provides the answers. Their concept of Mary is idolatrous and cultic. Nowhere in the Bible does it say she has the position they give to her. In her song she declared people will call her blessed and rightfully so because God used her as His vehicle for the Incarnation … but she also admits she is God’s servant:

Lk 1:48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed.

2) God the Holy Spirit’s involvement reveals a supernatural birth … the foundation to a supernatural religion. Because the pregnancy was a divine miracle, there was no transfer of the “Original Sinful Nature” of Adam to Jesus. This means that Jesus was sinless from conception (unlike the race); He grew up never committing sin (unlike the race) and He lived and served God His Father on earth without ever committing sin in any form or shape. He was holy, godly, righteous … with any blemish or tarnish from Adam’s sin. No one from Adam’s race could claim this because all descending from our first parent are smeared with the inherit sinful nature. This is the reason man cannot pay the sin price. This is why man is doomed because morally he is unable to rectify his disastrous situation before a Holy God. This was the reason God became Incarnate of the Virgin Mary so that as a sinless being (Godman), only He could settle the sin price required for Adam’s sin to set the captives free.

Our Father in Heaven, only You could put together a Rescue Plan such as the Gospel. We have tried to work and buy our way into Your heaven unsuccessfully. Yet through faith in Jesus we are set free. Amen.

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