Q22: How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
A: Christ, the Son of God, became man by taking to himself a true body (Heb. 2:14), and a reasonable soul (Matt. 26:38),
being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her (Lk. 1:31), yet without sin
- I. The Virgin Mary, mother of Christ as man.
- II. What Christ’s becoming a man means.
- III. Christ was true man. Being the eternal Son of God, He became man, by taking to Himself a true body and a reasonable soul.
- IV. What we are to understand by Christ being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
- V. Why Christ was born of a virgin.
- VI. Application.
I. The Virgin Mary, mother of Christ as man.
A. She was of the seed of Abraham, and so was Christ, in whom all the nations were to be blessed (Ga.
B. She was of the tribe of Judah (Lk. 3:33), and of that tribe Christ by her did spring (Heb. 7:14).
C. She was of the family of David (Lk. 3:31).
D. She was a woman of a low estate (cf. Isa. 11:1; 53:2).
E. She did not remain a virgin (Matt. 1:25; cf. Jn. 7:3; 1 Cor. 7:3-5).
II. What Christ’s becoming a man means.
A. That He had a real existence before His incarnation (Jn. 1:1, 18; 6:33, 62; 16:28).
B. That He actually took upon Himself our nature (Jn. 1:14)
1. Though Christ had two natures He was not two persons; such was the error of Nestorius. [See
Appendix D: II, D]
2. Though the Word became flesh it was without any confusion of the natures; such was the error of
Eutyches. [See Appendix D: II, E]
C. That He voluntarily became man (Ps. 40:6-8; Lk. 12:50).
III. Christ was true man. Being the eternal Son of God, He became man, by taking to Himself a true body and a reasonable soul.
A. Christ had a body.
1. He had the same nature which is common to all men, sin only excepted (Heb. 4:15).
a. Mary was “overshadowed” (Lk. 1:35), i.e., her sinfulness was not transmitted.
2. He is called in Scripture “man,” and “the Son of man,” “the seed of the woman,” “the seed of Abraham,” and “the Son of David.”
3. He is said to partake of our flesh and blood (Heb. 2:14; cf. Lk. 24:39),
4. He was hungry, thirsty, weary, faint, etc.
B. Christ the man had a soul.
1. He increased in wisdom (Lk. 2:52).
2. He committed His “spirit” to the Father on the cross (Lk. 23:46).
3. He, as man, did not know the time of His Second Coming (Mk. 13:32).
C. Scripture teaches that Christ has two distinct natures (Jn. 1:1, 14; Rom. 1:1-5; 9:5; 1 Tim. 3:16; Phil.
IV. What we are to understand by Christ being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
A. The creation of the human nature of Christ in the womb is expressed to be the effect of supernatural power (Lk. 1:35).
1. The Holy Spirit prepared the matter of Christ’s body from the substance of the virgin (Ga. 4:4; Heb. 10:5).
2. As for Christ’s soul, it was made from nothing by divine power (Zech. 12:1).
B. The human nature of Christ was sanctified by the Holy Spirit (Lk. 1:35).
C. The personal union of the manhood with the Godhead.
1. Though mysterious, it is no more so than the union of soul and body in man.
a. The soul is united to the body without there being any mixture; neither is there any transfer of
properties from one to another.
(1). If mixed, man ceases to be man and God ceases to be God.
2. Not a mere indwelling of the divine nature (e.g., as the Spirit indwells the believer).
a. Christ is one person as the union of soul and body constitute one man.
b. Man’s soul cannot be wounded or burnt, but when the body is injured the man suffers; so it can be said that God purchased the church with His blood (Acts 20:28).
(1). What is said about one part can be said about the whole (e.g., one is “sick” [body] or
V. Why Christ was born of a virgin.
A. It was prophesied and foretold long before His incarnation (Isa. 7:14; cf. Matt. 1:18).
A. Use, of knowledge.
1. Behold the wonderful love of: God the Father, who was content to degrade His own Son, in order to save sinners; God the Son, who condescended to be born of a woman that He might die in the stead of Sinners.
B. Use, of testing.
1. Those who deny the incarnation of the Son of God are heretics (1 Jn. 4:2-3). Do we love them enough to tell them that they shall perish if they repent not and look upon the God-man as Savior?
C. Use, of exhortation: sinners and saints.
1. Sinners. Be encouraged to come to Christ, for He that united the human nature to His divine person, can also unite you to Himself, so as you shall never be separated from Him.
2. Saints. Christ is sensibly touched with all the infirmities that attend our frail nature, and has pity and compassion upon His people under all their pressures and burdens. Come boldly to Him for grace to help in time of need.