Holding to Truth

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What’s the Real Meaning of the Birth of Jesus?

What's the Real Meaning of the Birth of Jesus?

What does the birth of Jesus Christ mean to you? It’s a precious truth worth considering.

In fact, receiving a deeper appreciation for Christ’s birth can revolutionize your Christian life.

To deepen our appreciation, I’ll use a familiar hymn, “Hark the herald angels sing” by  Charles Wesley to illuminate the meaning of the birth of Jesus. Then I’ll consider how to apply it to our Christian life.

 

The profound significance of the birth of Jesus Christ

What's the real meaning of the birth of Jesus Christ?

Many of us are familiar with Charles Wesley’s famous hymn, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing…”   Look closely at the lyrics, especially those in stanza two. His poetry displays his enlightened understanding of the  real meaning of the birth of Jesus. This stanza says:

Christ, by highest heav’n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord:
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail th’ incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus our Immanuel.

First, Wesley said that the birth of Jesus was “the everlasting Lord…come, Offspring of a virgin’s womb”—Isa. 7:14.

This stanza is is a reference to a prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 which says,

“Behold the virgin will conceive and will bear a son, and she will call his name Immanuel.”

How awesome that the “son” born of the virgin Mary was the everlasting Lord! His birth was the infinite God becoming a finite man!

Part of footnote 1 on this verse, in the Recovery Version, says,

“…He was a child of a dual nature, the divine nature and the human nature issuing in Immanuel, i.e., God with us, for the salvation of God’s people…”

Second, Wesley pointed out that the birth of Jesus resulted in “the Godhead veiled in flesh”—John 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9.

Colossians 2:9 supports his  point by saying,

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

Footnote 3 on this verse says,

“This points to the physical body that Christ put on in His humanity, indicating that all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ as the One who has a human body…”

Third, Wesley boldly stated that the issue of Christ’s birth was “the incarnate Deity!”

We need such a clear view to see that the Christ in whom we believe is the eternal God incarnated to be a genuine man—the “incarnate Deity.”

Jesus’ birth was the conception of the Holy Spirit in a human virgin to bring forth our Savior who is both the complete God and a genuine, perfect man.

Matthew 1:18 and 20 say,

“Now the origin of Jesus Christ was in this way: His mother, Mary, after she had been engaged to Joseph, before they came together, was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit.”… But while he pondered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife, for that which has been begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit.”

Part of footnote 2 on Luke 1:35 in the Recovery Version explains these verses by saying,

“…Matt. 1:18 and 20 tell us that Mary “was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit,” and that “that which has been begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit.” This indicates that the divine essence out of the Holy Spirit had been begotten in Mary’s womb before she delivered the child Jesus. Such a conception of the Holy Spirit in the human virgin, accomplished with the divine and human essences, constituted a mingling of the divine nature with the human nature, which produced a God-man, One who is both the complete God and the perfect man, possessing the divine nature and the human nature distinctly, without a third nature being produced. This is the most wonderful and most excellent person of Jesus, who is Jehovah the Savior.”

Fourth, Wesley proclaimed,  “Jesus our Immanuel”—Matt. 1:21, 23!

The angel continued in Matthew 1:21 saying,

“And she will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”

Then verses 22-23 present the birth of Jesus as the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 mentioned earlier in this post.  Matthew referred to it  by saying,

“Now all this has happened so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel” (which is translated, God with us).”

Jesus was, is, and will eternally be our “Emmanuel”—not only in His birth, but also now, much more, in His resurrection. He is now “God with us,”  as the resurrected One, the  life-giving Spirit,  with our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22). He is with us in this way from the moment we believe into Him unto eternity.

Be impressed that the deeper meaning of the birth of Jesus is the mingling of God with man.

The meaning of the birth of Jesus Christ was the mingling of God with man. In this mingling there was both divinity and humanity mingled together, without a third nature being produced.

The birth of Jesus was the Triune God (God who is three-one—the Father, Son and Spirit) mingling Himself with the tripartite man (man who is of three parts—spirit, soul and body).

This mingling of God with man is for us to experience and enjoy!

This  is also what it means to be a real Christian. Not only was Jesus the mingling of God with man. Every true believer in Christ is a further mingling of God with man–divinity with humanity.

That’s what it means to be born again or regenerated.  It is the beginning of such a mingling. It’s to experience a divine birth in which God is mingled with you!

The best way for us to enter into the real meaning of the birth of Jesus Christ is to invite Him to mingle Himself with us. When we call on Him—“Lord Jesus, our Emmanuel!”—we not only get saved from perdition, we get mingled with the One who is the Incarnate Deity.”

May we be enlightened to consider the birth of Jesus as more than an event to commemorate but as God’s giving His Son, the most wonderful Person, for us to receive and be mingled with.

To be thoroughly mingled with the Lord Jesus is the real remembrance God is seeking. Take a moment to pray,

“Lord Jesus, praise you as the real Emmanuel—God with us! Thank you for willingly laying aside Your divine glory to be born as a lowly man. Thank you for becoming the pattern of God being mingled with man. Lord mingle Yourself with me. Make me such a person, who is also the mingling of divinity with humanity. Thank you for showing me the real meaning of Your birth.”

If you’ve enjoyed the deeper meaning of birth of Jesus—the mingling of God and man, I hope you’ll take a moment to leave a brief comment–then share this good news with others.

References and Further reading:

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

5 Replies

  1. Stacey

    Beautiful truth! May every Christian allow the Holy Spirit to plant this truth deep into their hearts. May the Lord intensify our fellowshipping with Him. God bless!

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you enjoyed the post. May the mysterious reality of the divine birth enlighten us all! May we see that God does not only want the One God-man, Jesus as the unique mingling of God and man. Rather, God desires millions of us to become the reproduction of His Son who through our regeneration, or being born again, also experience this mingling of divinity with our humanity to be Christ’s many brothers (Rom. 8:29).

  2. Joe Aghimien

    This is beautiful indeed. Many thanks for this explanation that every born again child of God needs to walk with.

    1. Tom Smith

      Thanks for the encouraging comment. May our appreciation for the wonderful Person of Christ cause us to live in constant, lovong fellowship with Him.

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