The Work of the Spirit in the Conception of Christ

As we continue to look at the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus, today we start with the conception of Christ and how the Spirit was involved in that event.


 

Jesus Christ Conceived by the Holy Spirit

The very beginning of Jesus’ incarnate existence was a work of the Holy Spirit as described in the conception narrative (Matt 1:18, 20; Luke 1:35).[1] “The one great generating act of the Holy Spirit occurred when He brought the humanity of Christ into being…. The Spirit caused the humanity of Christ to originate and that is His act of generation.”[2] Luke’s narratives of the births of John the Baptist and Jesus contain many references to the Spirit’s work (Luke 1:15, 35, 41, 67, 80; 2:25–26). Luke details the inspired Spirit filled statements of Elizabeth, Zechariah, and Simeon (Luke 1:41-42, 67; 2:25-28). Both, Luke and Matthew, emphasize the Spirit’s role in the virgin conception of Jesus (Matt 1:20; Luke 1:35). Jesus is proclaimed to be the fulfillment of the Davidic messianic hope (Matt 3:17; Luke 1:31–33; John 1:34; see also Mark 8:27–30; Matt 16:13–16; Luke 9:18–21), and will be the agent of Israel’s promised deliverance and restoration (Mark 1:15; Matt 1:21; Luke 1:67–79; 2:30–32).[3]


[1] Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 3rd ed, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013), 793.

[2] Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 6 (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1993), 33.

[3] C. Zoccali, “Spiritual Gifts”, in The Lexham Bible Dictionary, ed. J.D. Barry et al., (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014), under sec., “Gospel Accounts,” Logos Bible Software.

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