Rock Solid Christmas Realities: The VIRGIN BIRTH
Under Siege - Creation, Bodily Resurrection, Virgin Birth
Can we continue to make a case for the virgin birth of Christ to not only be true but essential to the gospel, faith, and the church?
- For it not to be true requires a conscious rejection of the authority of Scripture and the whole essence of the apostolic teaching on salvation.
- Since the virgin birth is in sum and substance the mechanism of the gospel, rejecting either its reality or importance is to erode confidence in the gospel and will inevitably lead to spiritual defection.
The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth (1909, 12 vol. BIOLA)
- Divine inspiration and inerrancy of Scriptures
- Deity of Christ
- Miraculous stories, including 6 day creation
- Virgin Birth of Christ
- Substitutionary atonement on the cross
- Literal, bodily resurrection of Christ
- Christ’s bodily return
Since the virgin birth has come under fire, both from going beyond what the Scriptures can bear, or bare, for that matter (as in RC theology), as well as from underplaying the textual evidence (as in the case of modern critics, the Jesus Project etc.), let us consider three vital realities that the Scriptures do assert about the virgin birth…
1. The Virgin Birth reveals that it is God who takes the initiative to bring his Son to the world—the focus is on the greatness of the child and not on his mother.
- It is God who dispatches Gabriel on mission… the work of salvation is New Creation work (2 Cor. 5:17)
- While Mary is a “favoured one” (v. 28,30; not full of grace), and Joseph, a righteous man (Matt. 1:19) it is Jesus who will be great (v. 32)
- Mary is charitoo
- Ancient Jewish betrothal customs
- Jesus will be great, is Son of the Most High, the holy one, Son of God (v. 32,35)
2. It is a Virgin Birth because a birth in the “normal” way would make salvation impossible due to the hopeless sin and guilt of man—and would leave humanity hopeless in sin and guilty forever.
- Joseph was excluded because this birth is one mankind himself cannot do.
- Mary is included, not because she is less a sinner, but because as a female she is the correct side of humanity to provide the passive role in conception.
- “you will be WITH CHILD”… “the Holy Spirit will COME UPON you”… “power of the Most High will OVERSHADOW you”… “the holy one TO BE BORN will be called the SON OF GOD” (v. 31, 35)
- Jesus’ real conception is from God who places into Mary’s womb the sinless, holy one—qualified through bypassing original sin to be our sin offering. Jesus is the perfect second man.
3. The Virgin Birth confirms that Jesus was born from above, and so must all who end up belonging to Christ.
- As Jesus birth was the true work of the Spirit, so must be our new birth…
- “the Holy Spirit will come upon you”… “for nothing is impossible with God” (v. 31, 37)
- “who then can be saved?”… “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:25,26)
- “Let ages henceforth marvel that an angel brought the seed, that in ear the virgin conceived and in heart believing, she delivered.” (Jacob of Serug, Syria 451)
- “I am God’s slave…be it to me as you have said.” (v.38)
ROCK SOLID CHRISTMAS REALITIES…
- God will do what He promises and initiate His work upon anyone He chooses to grace because nothing is impossible for Him.
- Who God chooses to use for remarkable accomplishments is not predictable—it’s mostly an unexpected mystery.
- God will take us beyond willingness to even past our assumed limitations if available and willing to act on His grace.
- God won’t do great things through people who themselves need to be the great thing.
- The Virgin Birth matters. It is the only way a sinless substitute became available as the sacrifice for sinful humanity.
- Faith comes through the ear (Rom. 10:17) and the results through obeying what you hear God say. Mary heard and said YES!