Dec 19, 2021 |The Apostles Creed

Good News, Great Joy

12.19.21 | The Apostles Creed

Good News, Great Joy

TJ Auten

Luke 1:5-17

The life of a Christ follower is marked by faith in the seemingly impossible. Do you believe in the virgin birth of Jesus? As we approach Christmas, TJ Auten reminds us that if Jesus wasn’t conceived by the Holy Spirit, then He is not God, and the Gospel wouldn’t provide salvation. But the good news is that Jesus was born into humiliation, ultimately to die in humiliation for us so that we might have new life in Him.

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I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of the saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

 

In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest of Abijah’s division named Zechariah. His wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord. But they had no children because Elizabeth could not conceive, and both of them were well along in years.

Luke 1:5-7
 

When his division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, it happened that he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. At the hour of incense the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified and overcome with fear. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. There will be joy and delight for you, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord and will never drink wine or beer. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb. He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.”

Luke 1:8-17
 

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. Then the angel told her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.”

Luke 1:26-33
 

Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” The angel replied to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. And consider your relative Elizabeth — even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God.” “See, I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it happen to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:34-38
 

In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!”

Luke 1:39-45
 

the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Luke 2:6-7
 

Have the supernatural things in the Bible been a barrier of belief for you? What about for other people you’ve talked to?

Every year around Christmas we’re reminded of the historical events that took place with Elizabeth and Mary around the birth of Jesus.

What stands out to you about those events? In what ways can you relate to the thoughts and emotions of these women?

Why do you think the nature of Christ’s conception or the virgin birth of Jesus matter when it comes to understanding the Gospel or living a faithful Christian life?

“He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.” What do these statements tell us about the nature and character of God?

Youth