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. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
Mary believed God, and the Son of God was miraculously conceived in her and born from her. "Blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord." This miracle was an act from God. Mary simply submitted herself to the Word sent by God to her from the angel, and believed him. God performed the rest. A miracle took place, wrought by God, not man. There was nothing any human being could do to bring about the Savior of the world or Israel's Messiah. Just so, there is nothing man can do to bring about another birth, the new birth of the believer -the life of Christ Himself born in us. It is an act of God as we simply believe (trust in, adhere to, rely on) into Christ, the only provision for our salvation.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus… (Ephesians 2:8-10a)
The Word of God is powerful and able to fully work in us what He says He will do. It is the power of God that performs in us the new life, when we believe in Him as our Savior, making us a new creation in Christ Jesus. It is not our performance or works that saves us. What a wonderful salvation the Lord has brought about for us! Man tries in so many ways to complicate it with his own religion or works but God has shown us all through His Word, that man is unable to be righteous at all, and God alone is able to save us by fulfilling the righteousness and the penalty of the law, and becoming our salvation, imputing righteousness to us. To think to save yourself by performance or works is to degrade that salvation and nullify it (Galatians 2:19-21).
What a wonderful gift God has given to the world! It should encourage our hearts to know that just as He fulfilled His promise to come to us, and to give the gift of His Spirit to dwell in us (Romans 8:9), that He will just as surely fulfill His promise to complete our redemption by coming again to take us to be with Him, changing our bodies to be like His, so we are enabled to dwell with Him forever in unbroken fellowship. The first part of our salvation was accomplished by giving us a new birth into Christ. We are given a promise by His Spirit, a guarantee by that, that we will also see the completion of our redemption and enter into our inheritance
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
I remember when I was a young teen, seeking for the truth, seeking God's salvation, having been convicted of my sin, and knowing I was lost and on my way to hell, how joyful I was to discover that there was salvation for me! I didn't know very much about God at the time. I didn't really know a lot of doctrine or theology. I didn't even know that much about Jesus. but just as when Moses held up the bronze snake in the wilderness (Numbers 21:9, John 3:14) and all who looked upon it were healed, I looked upon Jesus one day, believed in Him and what He did for me, and asked Him to save me… and He did. I remember when the person who prayed with me that day, told me He would come into my heart and live there how joyful I was. Come into my heart? Yes! Suddenly my eyes were opened, and I understood that I was a "whosoever" and that Jesus died for me. For a couple years before that day I walked around in darkness, trying desperately to clean up my life, to be better, to quit sinning. But all my efforts were to no avail. I tried reading my Bible but didn't understand it. What I did understand from it was that I was a sinner and worthy of death. There was no escape from the law of God. I was struck by it. I cried out to God to show me if I could find His salvation.
God answers those desperate cries. Anyone who seeks to know Him in truth, God will answer that. He is so eager to save "whosoever will."
My prayer is for many this Christmas season to learn of His wonderful gift of salvation, and simply turn to Him, repent (change your mind) and believe in Him alone to save you, and trust that His Word is true, and He will perform it. Blessed are you if you believe what the Lord has spoken. Blessed indeed, with everlasting life that can never be taken from you.
Like Mary I want to sing, "And Mary said, 'My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.'"
My confidence in eternal salvation does not come from myself, my goodness, any works I've done but I have a confidence that what the Lord has spoken in His Word regarding His salvation for "whosoever will believe in Him" is true and He will perform it. It is for all!
Abraham was… "fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised."
I am also fully convinced.