DOES THE VIRGIN BIRTH REALLY MATTER?
Many today consider the virgin birth of Jesus an unimportant doctrine. It is perhaps the most attacked and disbelieved doctrine about Him, even by professing Christians. Yet it is a very important truth. In order for Jesus to be Savior of the world, He had to be a man to represent us, God because no one who was only man could pay for the sins of the whole world, and sinless because if He was guilty of sin, He wouldn’t be able to pay for our sin. The virgin birth is necessary for all of these to be true. Jesus was born of Mary and thus human to take our place, conceived by the Holy Spirit so He was God and could pay the price for all our sin, and born of a virgin so that He did not inherit man’s sin nature and He would be sinless.
If the virgin birth is not true, this means Mary was pregnant before marriage and should have been stoned, and Jesus was wrong about His parentage when He said God was His Father. He would have been the illegitimate child of a sinful union of a Jewish peasant girl and an unknown man. He wouldn’t have been God and man, nor could He have been our sinless Savior. There would be no salvation, no eternal life with God, no Trinity and no future for us. Denying the virgin birth is a denial of Jesus as God the Messiah. Without the virgin birth, Christianity collapses and becomes just another collection of ancient sayings by a long-dead teacher. How can we prove the virgin birth really happened?
PROOF FROM REASON Satan knew of this prophecy, so he inspired other religions to counterfeit it. The prophecy is first recorded in the Bible in Isaiah 7:14, but was part of God’s plan from the beginning. God impregnating woman later became a part of Roman and Greek mythology. Satan only counterfeits important truths about God. His purpose is to take away from God’s glory and make it seem like what God has planned is nothing new or special. We know the mythical stories of Rome and Greece are not true. Many lump the story of Jesus being virgin born with them in order to discredit it.
However, since it was a part of pagan religion, the Jews would have nothing to do with it, for the idea of Jesus being virgin born would be especially disgusting to the Jews he was trying to convince. It is not anything someone then would say if he wanted others to believe Jesus was God and the Messiah. If they did make it up, would they have been willing to give up their lives defending what they knew was a lie?
Also, the virgin birth was widely accepted in the earliest years of the church. Mary and her other children were still alive. People could ask them to find out the truth. If it wasn’t true, they would have denied it, and that would have spread everywhere. But nothing like that ever happened.
For God, the virgin birth is no problem at all. As creator and sustainer of all things He could easily create a fetus in a woman without a male seed to show that He was the Father and this was His son. If God can’t do something like that, then He really isn’t God!
PROOF FROM HISTORY The virgin birth of Jesus was believed and accepted by all from the very beginning. It was included in the Apostles’ Creed, written in the late AD 300’s. It says He was “conceived by the Holy Spirit” and “born of the Virgin Mary.” Clearly it is something important to the early church.
PROOF FROM THE BIBLE The virgin birth of the Messiah was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14. The word “virgin” can mean “young woman” as well, but the Jews took it to mean virgin as we would define it today. When Jewish scholars translated the Septuagint, they used the Greek work that can only mean virgin, not the word for a young woman. Clearly the Jews saw this prophecy as applying to a virgin. Also, Genesis 3:15 purposely leaves out any mention of union with a man when reference is made to the Messiah coming from the “seed of the woman.”
Matthew, a well-educated former Roman tax collector, and Luke, a professional doctor, are the two who record the story of the virgin birth (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:26-37). The best educated disciple would be very sure this was true before he wrote such a thing. And a doctor, Luke, definitely would want to be sure of this medical fact. Paul, in Philippians 2:6-8, points out that Jesus was God who took on human nature and was made in human likeness. He was still man, but not to the extent of being guilty of Adam’s sin (Romans 5:12-21).
So, we see reason, history and the Bible all verify the truth of the virgin birth. It may not seem like it really matters, but it is of the utmost importance to our faith. Do you believe it? (July 24, 2023 Doylestown, PA)
Isaiah 7:14 “’The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him ‘Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).”
Matthew 1:18, 22 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. … 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” —which means, “God with us.”
Do you believe in the virgin birth?
Why is it important?
What, to you, is the most convincing proof of the virgin birth?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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