- for the Child who has been conceived (gennáō) in her is of the Holy Spirit. - Matthew 1:20
The Holy Spirit’s role in the generating of Christ’s humanity is explained in Luke 1:35 — “The Holy Spirit will come upon (epérchomai) you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow (episkiázō) you.” The verb will come upon (epérchomai epí) describes the Holy Spirit resting upon and operating within a person. The verb overshadow (episkiázō) refers to the exercising of divine power within Mary’s womb. In a similar fashion to the Holy Spirit hovering over the deep on the first day of creation, so He rested upon Mary and created the humanity of Christ.
Regarding this work, Lewis Sperry Chafer stated, “He brought the humanity of Christ into being. It is too often assumed that Mary the mother of Christ contributed His humanity and that the Holy Spirit contributed His deity; but a moment’s reflection would disclose that the deity of Christ was His own from all eternity and therefore was not originated at the time of His birth. He became incarnate when His eternal Person took on the human form.… The Spirit caused the humanity of Christ to originate and that is His act of generation.”(1) While Christ was born of a woman, His humanity was generated by the Holy Spirit.
- Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, 8 vols. (Dallas: Dallas Seminary, 1948), 6:33.