Friday, December 9, 2011

Virgin Birth? Really?

Science tells us that it takes both male and female reproductive materials to conceive a baby. Then why do Christians believe in a “virgin birth” when it comes to Jesus? Is it possible to be a Christian and not believe in the Virgin Birth? I would say the answer is no. Why? Scripture foretold this miraculous event. Isaiah tells us, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). The angel Gabriel told Mary in Luke 1:30-35, “'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever and His Kingdom will have no end. And Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be since I am a virgin?' And the angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.’” You must believe the entirety of Scripture. Believing in the Virgin Birth is essential to believing that Jesus was God and man and that He was the Savior. The Virgin Birth doctrine was never meant to stand alone as a random truth. The story of Jesus’ birth is like a seamless garment woven by the Holy Spirit. Take out the miracle of His birth and you rip it to shreds.

Doubting whether a virgin can give birth could lead to doubting whether a man could come back to life. If you doubt the Virgin Birth then it could lead to doubting the Resurrection. Doubting either means doubting Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit. Those who deny the virgin birth reject the authority of Scripture. They also deny the supernatural birth of the Savior and undermine the Gospel’s foundation. If one claims to deny the Virgin Birth then they discard the very deity of Christ. That person is either Scripturally ignorant or theologically incompetent.

Jesus was truly and fully human, being born from Mary. He was also truly and fully divine, being conceived of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not originate at His human birth but is eternal and sinless with God (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14-17). Jesus’ birth was caused by the working of the Holy Spirit inside Mary. The Spirit and Mary were both involved. Mary could not impregnate herself. God performed the miracle of the Incarnate Christ through Mary. We don’t worship Mary because of all of this but Jesus who came to be our Savior and King.

Christians must see that denying the Virgin Birth is denying Jesus as the Christ. The baby conceived by the Holy Spirit, born in a manger, grew up and died for our sins. This is why He was named Jesus, “for He will save the people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The Virgin Birth is essential to the person and work of Jesus and on it the Gospel hinges.

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