But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,…
These words not merely affirm, they also deny. Their silence is as exclusive, as their positive import is significant. "Born of a woman." Nothing, then, is said of another earthly parent. No human father is named as the instrument of the Divine providence. The apostle is thinking, we may say with confidence, on our Lord's birth of a virgin mother. It is true that in St. Paul's writings there is no definite and unmistakable reference to the Immaculate Conception; but we must remember(1) that there is no one occasion in St. Paul's writings on which such a reference would seem necessary; and(2) that St. Luke's Gospel, written under St. Paul's direction and illustrating his teaching, gives the fullest account of the circumstances of our Lord's Conception and Birth which we have in the New Testament. The word "woman," then, is in this passage emphatic. It pointedly implies that our Lord had only one earthly parent. Observe the import of this. It was a prime necessity that the Redeemer of mankind should be sinless. If He was to help our race out of its condition of moral degradation, He must have no part in the evil which it was His work to put away (Hebrews 7:26). But, then, human sin was not merely actual, hut original; not merely a result of each man's separate life and responsibility, but a consequence of the withdrawal of God's first gift of righteousness after Adam's transgression. It was, in fact, a twist of the hereditary human will; it was a taint upon the native affections and intelligence of the race; it was a subtle ingredient of the common character; it was an entail from the obligations of which the generations could not of themselves hope to escape. Men have constantly resented, as they resent to-day, the very idea of such an inheritance of evil; but they act, I observe, at least in social and in public matters, upon the presumption that it is true. Man is ever upon his guard against his brother man, as if he were a disguised or a possible enemy. Society protects itself by laws against human nature, by laws which would be a superfluous and insulting libel upon it if human nature were not by instinct and originally sinful. And thus for the apparition of a Sinless Being, truly sharing in our common nature, yet absolutely free from its inheritance of evil, some striking irregularity in the transmission of natural life — some flaw, if we might say so, conspicuous and intentional — was plainly suitable, in order to mark the entrance upon the scene of human life of One who shared the inheritance of flesh and blood, without sharing the tradition of sin. This was the meaning of the Lord's Birth of a virgin mother. It was because He "became sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him," that He was in this emphatic and exclusive sense "born of a woman."
Parallel VersesKJV: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,