Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Importance of the Virgin Birth

The Patriarch Moses - “The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:14,15)

The Prophet Isaiah - “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 Historian Luke 1:26-31 - “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed1 to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "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 call his name Jesus.” (Luke 1:26-31)

The Apostle’s Creed - I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried…

The Westminster Shorter Catechism 1:22 - Question - How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
Answer - Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.

B.B. Warfield - “I can only say that I have myself no doubt whatever of the fact of the supernatural birth of Jesus, as that fact is recorded in the opening chapters of the gospels of Matthew and Luke.” (Biblical and Theological Studies, The Supernatural Birth of Jesus, p. 157)

J. Gresham Machen - “In the first place, it may be held that the Church came to believe in the virgin birth for the simple reason that the virgin birth was a fact; the reason why the creed came to say that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the virgin Mary is that He was actually so conceived and so born.” (The Virgin Birth of Christ, p. 1)

James Montgomery Boice - “The doctrine of the virgin birth is not neglected today because it has been disproved. Quite the opposite is the case. It is disregarded out of simple unbelief.” (The Christ of Christmas, p. 28)

This time of year reminders of the supernatural are all around us. With angelic visitations, men who go mute, and old women and virgins who conceive, the Christmas story is full of the miraculous. Christianity is supernatural religion and there are no two ways around it. Throughout redemptive history God has intervened in the course of history in supernatural ways. When the Children of Israel were released from the bondage of Egypt there was an intensification of the miraculous, because deliverance had come. And surrounding the birth of Jesus there was an intensification of the miraculous, because the Deliverer has come.

Believing in the supernatural, miraculous virgin birth is not popular these days. Hyper-rationalism, anti-supernaturalism, and anti-Christian philosophies carry the day. In this age of enlightenment the doctrine of the virgin birth is relegated to archaic ignorance and superstition. Unless we can see, hear, smell, taste, or touch it, it cannot possibly be true. For the Christian, to believe in Jesus is to gladly acknowledge and embrace the virgin birth. The Christian faith is not the Christian faith without it. In theoffspring of the virgin’s womb God did the impossible. In the virgin birth God and man intersected. In a supreme act of divine condescension God humbled Himself to take on human flesh in the womb of a virgin and in the form of a helpless baby. The virgin birth was as necessary to secure our salvation as the crucifixion and resurrection, because in the virgin birth there is a ‘…uniting of full deity and full humanity.’ (Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 530) The Christian rejoices with the angels in the virgin birth because this is good news of great joy (Luke 2:10). In the sweeping magnificence of God’s redemptive work in Christ the offspring of the virgin’s womb will save to the uttermost all those who trust in Him. Rejoice, hope has come!

Rejoicing with you in the virgin birth,


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