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Catechism Class LD14, Q35, The Birth of Christ and Me.


Catechism Class LD14, Q36

The Virgin Birth.  

How does it affect me?

The Virgin Birth of Christ was an historical event, it took place in Palestine, over 2000 years ago. But the implications of that birth affect every one of us today, – we BENEFIT from Christ’s birth. HOW? The practical application of the doctrine of the Virgin Birth is what we will look at in this lesson.

In Lord’s Day 14, Q36 our catechist asks the question, “What benefit do you receive from the holy conception and birth of Christ?”  The answer we must give is:  He is our Mediator, and with his innocence and perfect holiness covers, in the sight of God, my sin, in which I was conceived and born.  Because of his sinless conception and birth, we benefit from having a MEDIATOR.  So we want to find out what a mediator is, and what he does, and how he does it.  Let’s start then to learn about Jesus Our MEDIATOR.

Imagine an industrial dispute and unrest on a global, no universal scale, not just between a government and a workforce, but between the God who created us, and who sets out how we are to live in order to please him, and the whole of the human race.  That is a massive gulf between God and man, and it is a gulf that we have no hope of bridging, and it the gulf that exists.  

In the Book of Job, the author is lamenting about this great unbridgeable gap in chapter 9.  In great distress, he realises that God is beyond the reach of sinful human beings.   He complains about how swiftly life is passing him . He could, I suppose, just ignore his condition, like many do today, trying not to think of the certain day when they will be required to give account before the God whom they have so greatly offended by their sins, but he knows that is pointless, – it wont change the fact that before God he is a guilty sinner, and that makes him afraid – as well it should.  Read Job 9:25-29.    So, you might ask, why doesn’t he just do something about it?  Why not clean up his life, make a fresh start, be a better person?  That’s the difficulty.  He realises that he cant!  Read Job 9:30  As a wilful sinner, Job is unable to do anything to improve his standing before God, for, as he confesses, God is not like us.  Read Job 9:32   And now we reach the important and interesting part of Job’s lament.  He cannot find someone to arbitrate between himself and God!  He needs a mediator! Read Job  9:33  Job rightly identifies that he needs someone who could stand between man and God, someone who is one of us, and yet who could enter into God’s presence, and plead our case on our behalf.  Someone who, when he went to intercede for us, would not be consumed by the terrible wreath of God upon sinners.  Job can’t be that man, neither can you or I. That’s why judgement day is such a fearful prospect for those who would go before God without Christ.  Job concludes, in 9:34-35 Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me:  35 Then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is not so with me.  We have to leave Job in despair, with no-one to bridge the gap between man and God.

But God himself has provided a mediator! Jesus is our Daysman. 1 Timothy 2:5-6    As our mediator, he benefits us by:

  1. Establishing a Connection!  In the dispute between God and man dialogue is impossible, as Job discovered.  That’s because God simply cannot approach the sinner.  Read Habakkuk 1:13 And if a sinful man or woman was to attempt to enter the presence of God, His blinding holiness would overwhelm them, would crush them and destroy them…. So we need someone to establish a dialogue, an intercourse between God and man, someone who is equal with God, and at the same time equal with man.  That mediator is Christ, the God-Man, fully God and fully man.  So Jesus’s birth benefits us by establishing a connection between God and mankind.  Then:-
  2. Becoming our sufficient substitute.  Our catechist puts this so well when he says, “with his innocence and perfect holiness covers, in the sight of God, my sin.”  God is always JUST. READ Colossians 3:25  Sin MUST be appropriately punished or God would not be just.  READ Revelation 20:12-13   But Jesus perfectly kept the law, was perfectly holy, so that when he died on the cross, it was not for any crime that he had committed, it was to take upon himself God’s terrible wrath for the sins of the whole world. READ Romans 8:3-4. And there is enough merit in his atoning death to blot out in the sight of God, all the sins of every sinner, in every age! Paul wrote, in 2 Corinthians 5:21  He died as our substitute, and his death is SUFFICIENT – be clear on this though – although his death is sufficient to cover all our sins, it is only EFFICIENT for those who come to God through him.  His elect people.  
  3. Sustaining us in our weaknesses.  We live in this broken, sin-cursed world.  Everything around us, and even we ourselves, are wrecked by Adam’s sin and the fall of man.  We are not exempt from this.   The difference is that the Christian has Christ, our mediator.  Because he is Emmanuel, God with us, because he is a man, he knows what we go through.  He suffered as we suffer, while on this earth and now when we suffer he pleads for us, as our intercession, before the throne of God, the God-Man who knows every pain we bear and who cares, and who sustains us, giving us the hope that one day we, like him will be in a place where there will be no ore pain or sorrow or tears or parting.  READ Hebrews 12:2-3  
  4. Elevating our Fallen Status.  We are by nature the children of wrath.  The catechist emphasises the difference between our sinful birth and conception and the holy conception and birth of Jesus, when he speaks of my sin, in which I was conceived and born. Jesus has restored our standing before God.  Paul describes him as ‘the second Adam’ – he came into this world to undo what the first Adam has done. READ 1 Corinthians 15:21-23.  He takes our sin, restores us to a right relationship with God, raises us to new life, brings us into God’s family, gives us a new, ‘second paradise’ in heaven, so that everything that Adam destroyed is renewed in Christ.   

So, the question is, “What benefits do YOU get from Christ’s holy conception and birth?”  You get something you could never have otherwise, a mediator, a God-Man, One who can establish a connection between the God who is terribly offended by our sin, and helpless hopeless condemned sinners, One who as God has made sufficient atonement for our sins, and One who as man knows when we are suffering and comfort and consoles us, and One who has lifted us up out of the filth and mire of sin, and given us a new status before God.  What a Saviour!

© BobMcEvoy October 2021

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