Larry King, the retired CNN talk show host, was once asked who he would most want to interview if he could choose anyone from all of history. He said, “Jesus Christ.” The questioner said, “And what would you like to ask Him?” King replied, “I would like to ask Him if He was indeed virgin-born. The answer to that question would define history for me.” (RZIM)
The world laughs at the virgin birth. Many think of it as some kind of weird, medieval superstition held by Christians. Sadly, fewer and fewer people, including professing Christians believe in the virgin birth…they doubt it or deny it, trying to explain it away as incidental, or not important. There are even some pastor’s who say they may not deny the virgin birth…they just can’t teach it.
When you think about it…IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE in the virgin birth, you have some PROBLEMS that you are going to have to resolve:
- It would mean Mary is a liar…her character is questionable…and there would eventually be proof…and why would God or Mary for that reason cover up the truth for so long?
- It would mean her son Jesus must have had a human father, maybe it was Joseph or maybe not…
- If Jesus had not been born of a virgin, that would mean he too would have had the same human propensity to sin that you and I have
- It would also mean that the Word of God is flawed, because it plainly teaches it prophesied about centuries before! “Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son…Isaiah 7:14
In other words…if there is no virgin birth…no deity. No deity…no sinless life. No sinless life…no sacrificial death. No sacrificial death…no salvation. No salvation…you and I are not going to heaven…we are on our way to hell. Jesus came to earth that we might go to heaven; born of a virgin that we might be born again! If you remove the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, there is nothing else in the Bible that is trustworthy and you destroy the foundation of Christianity. It is not incidental. It is fundamental to your faith!
1. Accept the Fact….THE VIRGIN BIRTH IS A MYSTERY!
Do not be afraid of “mystery” in the Bible. In your faith, biblical worldview…mystery is a part of faith. Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things revealed belong to us”
In Luke 1:26ff the angel announced to Mary that she is going to be with child. Now, Mary is a virgin…so Gabriel says, “Mary, you’re going to have a baby.” She asked a very pertinent question v.34 “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” Huge! In other words, “How is this going to happen? This is a mystery to me. I don’t get it.” We too would ask the same question.
Gabriel responds to her question Luke 1:35ff “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
How did Mary respond? v.38 “Let it be to me according to your word.” She accepted the word and surrendered to it. Now did Mary “get it” completely? Probably not…but the virgin birth does not depend upon on our understanding in order for it to be true! You don’t have to understand it to validate it. There are a lot of things that we don’t understand…it doesn’t make them not true or impossible.
But some will say, “It’s biologically impossible!” But remember… “With God nothing will be impossible.” Here’s the thing…God, the Creator/Sustainer of all things is not bound by the very laws He Himself made. He is the Master and the Lord of that universe. That means…God can do anything He pleases! Why? Because He is God.
So if I believe in Genesis 1…the God who creates something out of nothing I should also be able to believe that He can make something impossible happen! Therefore I have no difficulty with the virgin birth if I believe in creation. It may be a mystery to you and me…but it is not a mystery to God. I think it was still a mystery for Mary Luke 1:38.
- 1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh….”
That’s what the virgin birth is all about. “…God revealed in the flesh…”
Don’t worry if you can’t explain the virgin birth…Great is the mystery of godliness. We say with Mary: “How can this be”. And we can say with the angel: “With God all things are possible.” If you have difficulty believing the virgin birth…your God is too small. Your god is in a box and he is not the God of the Bible!
2. Accept the Fact…THE VIRGIN BIRTH IS A NECESSITY…
Why is the Virgin Birth necessary? First some background…God created Adam and Eve, placed them in the Garden…instructed them they could eat of any tree except one. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The devil tempted them and so they ate…lost their sinlessness, sin entered the world through them. And death entered too…the “wages of sin is death.” The Bible then calls every person “sons/daughters of Adam”.
Now please follow this…IF Jesus was born of a woman and a man…he too would be a “son of Adam” …just like you and I. Born of a man born of a woman and that would make him a sinner with the same propensity to sin…just like his mother and father. And if we are all honest with ourselves this morning we would recognize that we too are sinners…we are sinners by CHOICE, by PRACTICE, by NATURE…
So, to restore what was lost…God’s plan of salvation involved a perfect sacrifice to pay for the sins of all mankind…not through some animal or some super human. The sacrifice must be perfect, sinless and acceptable. So. He, the Creator, chose to take the punishment for His creation…upon Himself. So He sent His Son the Lord Jesus to earth to be that perfect, holy and acceptable sacrifice. In the Bible, Jesus is referred to as the “second Adam” He would make right what the first Adam got wrong. See Romans 5:12-21 This perfect sacrifice must pay the penalty for sin! “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.” The price for sin must be paid. And because God is Spirit…He had to become like us, a Man, to pay that price. If Jesus had been born naturally like you and I He would have been a son of Adam, guilty of sin Himself…and as a result He could not have been a perfect substitute.
That is why Jesus came…BORN OF A VIRGIN. So…if there is no virgin birth there is no salvation. Jesus would not be sinless had He been born of a man and woman. In order for sin to be paid for…a perfect/sinless sacrifice had to be made. Perfect blood! Jesus was the perfect God-Man!
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” that we might be saved. Therefore, God’s answer is a sinless man, a perfect man, the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, someone who was both truly human and fully sinless.
That’s why if…no virgin birth…there is no hope of heaven. Jesus came born of a virgin, in order to be sinless. so He could do be our substitute! He died in our place to atone for our sin. So that we might be born again and go to heaven. No sinless sacrifice, no atonement; no atonement, no new birth; no new birth, no hope of heaven. He became the Son of man so that we might become the sons and daughters of God. That’s what it’s all about. That is why we have the virgin birth.
- The fact is that Jesus, is the Son of God born of a woman..God in human flesh. He is the God-Man…fully God fully Man. He is the only One qualified to pay for our sin. This is the GOOD NEWS of Christmas!
Who is this baby born of a virgin? He is God in human flesh. “…the brightness of God’s glory, the express image of His person and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He Himself had purged our sins…sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…”Hebrews 1:3
Why the virgin birth? He came to earth that we might go to heaven. The whole purpose is wrapped up in the substitutionary death. You see, Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one, to his own way; and the Lord has las on Him [on Jesus] the iniquity of us all.” You are a sinner. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death.” We are destined/doomed to eternity without Christ if something is not done about your sin? God will never overlook sin. So “...the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” All of our sins are laid on the sinless, virgin born Jesus…who had no taint of sin, no blame…the sinless Jesus carried all of our sin to the cross, and in agony and blood He died upon that cross to pay for our sin. Because our sin is on Jesus, thank God, His righteousness is on us. That’s good news. And the Bible says it simply,
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”