I Believe in Jesus Christ; His Birth Matthew 1:18-25

Text: Matthew 1:18-25                                                   5/18/08 p.m.

Thesis: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary


Intro: Allow me to let another Paul introduce the sermon tonight. This is from Paul Karleen in The Handbook to Bible Study.

Perhaps the dominant lesson for us that is taught in the concept of Messiah is that God’s grace overcomes man’s depravity. Throughout the whole Old Testament there is the emphasis that God will reverse the effects of the fall through a redeemer who is prophet, priest, and king.

This is grace and the theme of the Old Testament. [But], when we think of [the] Jewish understanding then and now, we are reminded of the nation’s spiritual hardening. They wanted a king-messiah for national hopes, but did not want a sin-bearer.

The outlook is the same today: we don’t think we need a redeemer. As with the hardness in the heart of any individual, God can overcome this through His grace. And this is pictured especially in the figure of the Messiah.[1]

I believe in Jesus Messiah, his only begotten Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.

Tonight I want us to look at three titles from Matthew 1:18-25 surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ.

These three titles are crucial because they introduce the atoning work of Jesus Christ. If you miss these you will likely miss the gospel.

The Second person of the Trinity, God the Son, as revealed at his birth is the Christ, He is Jesus, and He is Emmanuel.


Read Matthew 1:18-25

I) The way Jesus came is a signal that a drastically different thing is happening

a)      Through the birth of Jesus God did something even God’s people did not expect

i)        Matthew shows us that even Joseph, a righteous man, had to be convinced by direct revelation from God that this was God’s doing and not funny business.

ii)      Read verses 19&20

iii)    When Mary began to have the pregnancy pooch Joseph didn’t go to her and quote Isaiah 7:14,

iv)    “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.”

v)      Joseph was a just man and being a man who wanted to uphold God’s righteous standard he was going to divorce Mary who had obviously broken her pledge to be faithful only to Joseph.

vi)    The Jewish betrothal made the man and woman husband and wife though they did not live together and were not allowed to consummate the marriage.

vii)  The man or woman could not bale out because they wanted to. The only way betrothal or consummated marriage could be broken was for adultery.

viii)            So Mary’s pregnant, it obviously wasn’t Joseph’s, and Joseph’s compassion let him to the decision to divorce her quietly.

ix)    As He was thinking about divorcing her God sent an angel to change Joseph’s direction.

x)      It was not Mary’s unfaithfulness that caused this pregnancy it was the Holy Spirit who caused this conception.

xi)    God in Scripture goes to great lengths to avoid any connotations that Mary and the Holy Spirit engaged in any physical act.

xii)  The God who is sovereign over all things is sovereign over the womb. He doesn’t need anything from Mary. He doesn’t need anything from Joseph.

xiii)            Holy God through the power of the Spirit causes the eternally begotten Son to take on flesh inside of Mary.

xiv)            There is nothing sinful about the person of the Son. There is nothing sinful about the conception of the Son. There is nothing sinful about the life of the Son.

xv)  He has to be born this way, as a supernatural work of God the Father. He must be the perfect One without sin so that He can stand in the place of the imperfect ones who are full of sin.

xvi)            The sinless Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary has come to do a great work.

xvii)          It is in the titles of Matthew 1:18-25 that we understand the great work of the King.

II) That Jesus is Messiah means we are not right with God

a)      Verse 18 introduces the birth narrative with these words, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place this way.”

i)        It is often thought that Jesus’ last name is Christ. My name is Paul Duncan and my last name Duncan.

ii)      Jesus’ name is Jesus Christ so His last name must be Christ. But Christ is not his name Christ is his title.

iii)    Christ means literally, ‘the anointed one.” In the Hebrew it’s the word Masiah also meaning “the anointed one.”

iv)    In the Old Testament messiah was a person specifically sent by God to act on behalf of God and man. The anointed one brings change. He delivers God’s people.

v)      God’s people were not ruling in God’s place under God’s loving authority. Things had gone wrong and deliverance was needed.

vi)    Let’s look at one passage to get this image in our heads. Turn to Isaiah 59:11-60:2.

vii)  The people rightly began looking for God’s anointed one who would do what God promised.

viii)            Though the literal title “Messiah” is found in the Old Testament only in Daniel 9:25-26 the “anointed one” is found throughout.

ix)    Also there is the connection between the great day of the Lord when God will secure deliverance for His people and a central commanding figure in that battle.

x)      This figure is given the title “son of man” and that title was Christ’s favorite title when referring to himself and the work God had sent Him to do.

xi)    It’s easy then to understand why the Jews were looking for a military Messiah who would bring prosperity to God’s people on the day of the Lord.

xii)  The bible clearly paints that picture but national and political freedoms are not the greatest problems the Messiah must address.

xiii)            The greatest problem that Messiah must address is the problem between man and God.

xiv)            So when you think of Jesus as Messiah I want you to think of Jesus as God’s anointed deliverer.

xv)  God’s anointed One sent to make God’s people everything God intended them to be.

xvi)            The title Messiah means things are not right but God will make it right through Jesus the Christ.

III) That the Son’s name is Jesus means we have a sin problem

a)      In Matthew 1:21 the angel tells Joseph, “[Mary] will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

i)        Jesus’ name means literally “God saves”. It’s not that the name Jesus has some salvation connotations connected with it. The name Jesus means salvation.

ii)      Now what did Jesus come to save us from? Did Jesus come to save Israel from the offspring of Ishmael and restore Israel’s national rule over the land?

iii)    Did Jesus come to save us from an unfulfilled life? Did Jesus come to save us from a bad marriage, cancer, or poverty?

iv)    Did Jesus come to show us how to love each other, take care of each other, and be all around nice to each other?

v)      Jesus the Messiah came to save his people from their sins.

vi)    Jesus came to save Paul Duncan because at the core of who I am you find a guy who hates God and left to myself I will choose sin and hell over God and righteousness every time.

vii)  I don’t need to see an example of what it means to love and serve. I need an atoning sacrifice for my sins.

viii)            I don’t need a boost I need to be re-born.

ix)    For the gospel to be glorious we must be clear about sin. Sin is not a mistake we make because we don’t have enough information. Sin is the product of a heart that is cold and dead toward God.

x)      I sin because my heart is in total opposition to God and set completely on myself.

xi)    God is not central to who I am and what I want. God’s will and God’s way do not cross my mind on any given day.

xii)  After Noah gets off the Ark God promises to never again flood the world or strike down every living creature.

xiii)            Why did God make this promise? Is it because after the flood there is no more sin problem?

xiv)            Let’s hear the answer straight from God’s mouth. “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth (Gen 9:21).

xv)  The flood and starting again through Noah did not change the fact that the intention of my heart is evil from my youth.

xvi)            From birth we want what God doesn’t want. We don’t want what God wants. And we deserve God’s eternal and excruciating punishment for it.

xvii)          We have sinned against Almighty God!

xviii)        That truth makes Jesus’ name glorious. “Mary will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

xix)            Jesus will take care of my God-hatred. Jesus will take care of your God-hatred.

xx)  Jesus will take care of our sin by dying on the cross. It is there on the cross that all of God’s just anger is poured out onto Jesus.

xxi)            Every ounce of punishment that we deserve for every evil intention from birth was poured into the cup of God’s wrath and Jesus drank it all.

xxii)          And this is exactly what Jesus came to do. Jesus came to step onto the chopping block for me and for you.

xxiii)        Often the reason we do not know Jesus as glorious in our lives is because we do not embrace the reason Jesus came in the first place.

xxiv)        The gospel becomes something we agree to and Jesus becomes something we accept like we’re doing poor little Jesus a favor by accepting Him.

xxv)          The gospel and the church are things we add to OUR lives like piano lessons, the Lion’s club, and putting out fertilizer every spring.

xxvi)        If we think about it, have the time, and if there’s nothing else better then count us in.

xxvii)      Jesus didn’t come so that we could accept Him. Jesus came to make us acceptable to God.

xxviii)    Jesus came to save us from our sin and the eternal hell we deserve.

xxix)        1 Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.”

IV) That the Son’s name is Emmanuel means we need God to bring us to God

a)      We can do nothing to deserve or secure our own salvation

i)        Read Matthew 1:23

ii)      This is what makes the gospel so amazing and powerful. The issue is we have royally ticked God off by doing our own thing and simply ignoring him.

iii)    The creature tells the Creator to take a hike and the problem is we can do nothing to make that right.

iv)    We can’t pay Him off. We can’t appease his anger. There is no volcano into which we can throw the prettiest lady in the land or our first born so that God is appeased.

v)      God is angry and only God can deal with that anger.

vi)    Atoning for our sin, getting back to the God we need, is out of our hands.

vii)  Jesus comes to earth, He is Emmanuel God with us, so that He can live as the perfect man, die as the perfect sacrifice, and rise again to bring new life to death-deserving sinners like you and me.

viii)            Only the righteous God-man Jesus Christ could be a sacrifice sufficient for my crime.

ix)    If Jesus does not come as man then he cannot represent men.

x)      If Jesus is not God then he is not a sufficient sacrifice.

xi)    God must deal with the problem of our sin. He must be our Messiah-deliverer. God must come to us and deal with the sin that separates us from Him.

xii)  And this is exactly what Jesus did.

xiii)            Have you ever realized that your sin marks you out before God for death and eternal punishment?

xiv)            My sin marks me out before God for death and eternal punishment. If my sin is not put away and if I am not changed I will rightly rot in hell it doesn’t matter how many years I pastor a church.

xv)  Do you realize there will be preachers, deacons, Sunday School teachers, and church members in hell because they went to church, told people about Jesus, served sacrificially, and never believed the gospel?

xvi)            The gospel says that the sweetest old lady and the meanest young man all deserve hell because they are God-haters at heart.

xvii)          And the gospel says that the Messiah Jesus has come to take the full penalty for our sin and restore us to God.

xviii)        We could never get to God but Jesus takes us there.

xix)            We could never deserve Jesus but God sent Him.

xx)  We could never make ourselves right but Jesus makes us righteous.

xxi)            Christ has come and he has dealt with our sins.

xxii)          Trust him, rejoice in him, live for him.  He is every thing we need.

xxiii)        I believe in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary so that I would be saved.

[1]Karleen, P. S. (1987). The handbook to Bible study : With a guide to the Scofield study system.


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