Summary: We cannot experience the real Joy of the Lord until we have first brought forth the birth of that which the Holy Ghost has conceived within us through obeying call of God.
First Comes the Birth and Then the Joy
By Pastor Jim May
Luke 1:31-35, "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
What a wonderful story is the birth of our Savior. It won’t be long, just a few more months, until the whole church world becomes focused on that great event. God brought forth His only begotten Son, in a lowly manger of a village called Bethlehem. The Father in Heaven smiled down upon human flesh, and through His great mercy gave us Jesus Christ. He chose Mary, a little Jewish peasant girl, someone who was reverent enough to hear His voice and to obey His messenger, and a young lady whose heart was set upon being a servant to God.
I know that some faiths even teach that Mary was conceived by the Holy Ghost and lived a sinless life. They claim that Mary was born of an immaculate conception just like Jesus was. There is no place in the Bible where this is stated and I believe that it is a lie concocted by man and conceived of the devil that is designed to draw worship and trust away from the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that Mary is a saint, but no more of a saint than any one of you who have put your trust in Jesus for salvation.
I have no doubt that if Mary could come back and say anything to this world, it would not be in the form of some apparition at Medjugorje or some miraculous healing ritual. She would cry out, “don’t worship me; worship Jesus, the Son of God.” When you pray to me I won’t hear, I can’t answer, I can’t intercede for you and you are guilty of making me into an idol.
Now I don’t want to stay on that subject because that’s not the focus of this message this morning.
As I read these scriptures, something in them leaped out at me and I believe that God has revealed something to me that He wants me to pass on to you. I want to draw an analogy from this passage for you.
In a very real sense, Mary represents all of us this morning who are a part of the Bride of Christ. While Mary brought forth a living, breathing human baby, just like every other woman who ever bore a child, we all know that the child that was born of her was much more than just another baby. Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost.
I want you to understand that that same Holy Ghost is here this morning; right here in this very church. He is next to you on either side, in front of you, leading you and guiding you; in back of you as your rear guard of protection and also to keep prodding you onward to serve the Lord. He is under you, upholding your walk with the Lord, and He is over you, overshadowing you just as He did Mary so long ago. And, if you have been saved and born again, He is also living within you as a part of your very being.
For how can we be born again except by the Holy Spirit? The very process of being born again means that we receive a new nature, a new heart and a new life. The old things are passed away and we are made a new creature in Christ. Isn’t that what the scripture says?
2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
If you have been baptized in the Holy Ghost, that is the ultimate place of glory for us dwell in. Before the baptism in the Holy Ghost we had to prove that we loved the Lord and trusted in Him. Before the baptism you were born again, for that baptism cannot come until we are born again and washed in the blood of the Lamb. Before baptism we had that same measure of faith that God has given to everyone of his children.