When Gabriel appeared to Mary to disclose her part in the birth of the Messiah, she believed the angel but was perplexed as to how this could occur. After all, she was a virgin, betrothed but not yet married. She understood that the conception would be imminent and breaking the commandment was out of the question. Gabriel's answer has deep theological implications for our new birth. The life-giving Spirit of God that hovered over the waters of creation and brought forth life, overshadowed Mary and created sinless humanity of Jesus in her womb. In like manner, the Holy Spirit produces life in those who are spiritually dead. Both the virginal conception of Jesus and the new birth of God's people are miraculous acts of God.

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