No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, "I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter." Please use these sermons as the Lord leads, but nothing on this site may be used for profit without my expressed, written permission!
WHY THE VIRGIN BIRTH?
Intro: Christmas time. In our society it means different things to different people. To some people, Christmas is a time for gifts, trees, wreaths, reindeer, and Santa Claus. To some it is a reason for anger because there is so much talk about God and Jesus Christ. After all, the very word Christmas reminds us about the real reason for the season every time we say it. To some Christmas is a difficult time because of poverty, loneliness, painful memories, or for lots of other reasons.
To the child of God, Christmas is a time to celebrate the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world. It is a time to worship, to remember, to thank God for His grace, and to rejoice that there is a Redeemer. It is a time of joy, peace, and wonder as we take the time to think about all God did to redeem us unto Himself.
One of the issues that we must confront every Christmas is the very nature of Christ Himself. To be honest, we Christians claim some pretty amazing things about Him. We claim that He is the Son of God. We claim that He is the only way of salvation for all people in the whole world. We make the claims we make because they are what the Bible teaches us about Him.
One of the most amazing claims in the Bible is found in verse 4. It says, But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law. Did you notice that middle section of that verse? God sent forth His Son, made of a woman There is no mention of a man. That verse, and many others in the Bible, make the claim that Jesus was born of a virgin; that He came into this world without the involvement of a human father. The Bible claims that Jesus Christ is the product of a virgin birth.
Now, a lot of people have problems with that. After all, it is impossible, isnt it? Thats not how babies get here, is it?
Several years ago, Redbook Magazine took a poll of students in Protestant seminaries. They found that 56% of the students in Protestant seminaries studying for the ministry rejected the idea of the virgin birth. The Survey Research Center of the University of California at Berkeley polled the denominations to get their view on the virgin birth, 69% of the American Baptists believed in the virgin birth, 66% of the Lutherans believed in the virgin birth, 57% of the United Presbyterians, 39% of the Episcopalians, 34% of the Methodists, and 21% of the Congregationalists believed in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
Robert Schuller, of Crystal Cathedral fame said, I could not in print or in public deny the virgin birth of Christ, but when I have something I can't comprehend I just don't deal with it. That is the heart of liberalism! Dont deny the truth outright, but deny it by ignoring it and refusing to preach it.
Dr. John MacArthur quotes Dr. Walvoord the former president of Dallas Theological Seminary who said, The incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ is the central fact of Christianity, upon it the whole superstructure of Christian theology depends. Walvoord stresses the truth that the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ is a foundational, non-negotiable doctrine of Christianity.
To deny the virgin birth is to deny the Word of God. To deny the virgin birth is to deny the deity of Jesus Christ. To deny the virgin birth is to deny the Gospel. To deny the virgin birth is to be lost in sin and headed to Hell.
Today, I want to ask and answer the question: Why The Virgin Birth? I want to consider this important doctrine today and give you some of the clear truths found in the Word of God, that tell us why God chose to send His Son through the womb of a virgin. Notice these truths with me today.
I. THE REALITY OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH
V. 4, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman.
Every birth is a miracle. There is something mysterious and miraculous about a man and woman coming together in the physical union that results in the birth of a child. But, some births are more mysterious and miraculous than others. Consider, for instance, some of the other mysterious, miraculous births mentioned in the Bible.
Isaac to Abraham and Sarah - Genesis 21
Samson to Manoah and his wife - Judges 13
Samuel to Elkanah and Hannah - 1 Sam. 1
John the Baptist to Zacharias and Elizabeth - Luke 1
While every birth is amazing, every birth is commonplace. Every child, no matter the circumstances surrounding their birth, arrived here the same way. Every birth, even the miraculous births in the Bible, all occurred because of the same chemistry. There was a man and a woman, there was a sperm and an egg, and a child was the result.
The Bible teaches that there was something different about the birth of Jesus. God said that He would send His Son made of a woman. The implication of that statement is that Jesus Christ came into this world without the aid of a human male. Jesus did not have a human father. That fact alone makes HIs birth unique. That fact alone makes His birth special. That fact alone tells us that there is something unusual about the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
His birth is the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. When Adam and Eve sinned against God in the Garden of Eden, God pronounced judgment upon them. This judgment fell upon Adam, Eve and all their descendants, Rom. 5:12. As God pronounces His sentence on the human race, and upon Satan, He makes a startling prophecy. Gen. 3:15 says, And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
That prophecy says that the seed of the woman will destroy the serpent and its seed. What makes this prophecy so amazing is that the female does not carry the seed. The female carries the egg, but the male provides the seed. This prophecy tells us that when the Redeemer comes, He will be human, but He will not be born through standard means. This is the first hint in the Bible that the birth of the Redeemer will be different.
During the time of Isaiah a prophecy is given that sheds even more light on this miracle. Isaiah 7:14 says, Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
When this prophecy was given, the southern kingdom of Judah was under threat of invasion by the Assyrians. The Assyrians had already captured the northern kingdom of Israel and were preparing to attack Judah. God sends Isaiah to King Ahaz with the promise that the Assyrians will not be successful. God tells Ahaz to choose a sign, so that God can prove His words. Ahaz refuses and God Himself gives the sign in verse 14. This sign was designed to give comfort to Ahaz, but it also reached far beyond the time of Ahaz and had its actual fulfillment in the virgin birth of the coming Messiah, the Redeemer promised back in Genesis 3:15.
When Isaiah speaks of a virgin, he uses the Hebrew word almah. This word appears nine times in the Old Testament. Eight of those times the word can only apply to a virgin, or one who has always abstained from sexual intimacy. Besides, Isaiah the birth of this virgin born child would be for a sign. Many women, even young women, have had and continue to have babies. A woman having a baby would not be a sign, but a virgin giving birth to a child would be a miraculous, supernatural sign.
The phrase a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son literally means the pregnant virgin shall bear a son. When this virgin becomes pregnant with this miracle baby, she will remain a virgin. In other words, she was sexually pure when she conceived, and she remained sexually pure until the child was born.
When we move into the New Testament, we find an angel coming to a man named Joseph, who is betrothed to a women named Mary. This betrothal period, or engagement if you will, was like a marriage contact. It was a proving period. It lasted about a year and it protected both spouses. If some problem arose, there would be time to work it out before the marriage was actually consummated.
During this time, the betrothed couple had very little contact, and there was certainly no physical intimacy. Yet, during this crucial period Joseph discovers that his wife to be is expecting a child. He knows that he is not the father. He also knows her reputation. He also knows what she claims concerning the origin of the pregnancy. She says that she was visited by an angel and that she is going to give birth to the Son of God, Luke 1:26-38.
Like most men, Joseph is aware of how babies are born, and he is concerned and confused by Marys version of events. In fact, he is thinking about quietly divorcing her and ending their marriage, because he believes that she has broken their contract, Matt. 1:18-19. While he meditates on these events, he is visited by an angel in a dream. The angel tells him that Marys story is indeed true, and that this child will be the fulfillment of Isaiahs prophecy, Matt. 1:21-23. When the angel references the prophecy of Isaiah, he calls Mary a virgin. That is the Greek word parthanos. It always means virgin. It always refers to a woman who has never had sexual intercourse with a man.
When Joseph hears this, he immediately goes to Mary and takes her as his wife. A woman in that day who was pregnant out of wedlock was the object or shame, ridicule and scorn. Joseph knew that God was the Father of this child, so he willingly entered into Marys shame and stood with her against the ridicule and accusations of the world, Matt. 1:24.
The whole point is this: when Mary conceived the Lord Jesus in her womb, she was a virgin. She remained a virgin until after the Lord Jesus was born, Matt. 1:25.
So, there you have it, the Bible is clear, the Redeemer would come into this world through the womb of a virgin. The virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ is a reality. As incredible as it may seem to us, it is entirely true.
I. The Reality Of The Virgin Birth
II. THE RESULTS OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH
V. 4, made under the Law.
The baby Mary gave birth to was no ordinary child. He was ordinary in the sense that He was a baby. He was ordinary in the sense that He cried, He slept, He hungered, and He did all the things all other babies do.
He was extraordinary in the sense that His Father was God, Luke 1:32, 35; Matt. 1:23. This baby, the fulfillment of all the ancient prophecies, was more than He appeared to be to all who saw Him. This baby was and is the Son of God.
The phrase made under the Law, carries the idea of being subject to the Law. It simply means that this Son of God was a man like every other man. He was to be obedient to the will of God, and He was to live His life under the Law of God. It just means that He was a man!
But, this child was more than just an ordinary baby. He was more than an ordinary man. He was more than an ordinary Jew who was subject to the Law of Almighty God. This baby, this child, this man, was and it God in human flesh.
When Jesus Christ was born into the world, God took upon Himself the form of a man. God literally became flesh.
That is the testimony of the Apostle John.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, John 1:1.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth, John 1:14.
That is also the testimony of the Apostle Paul.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, Phil. 2:5-8.
The result of the virgin birth is that God became a man. He was born like a man. He lived like a man. He died like a man. In the Gospels, Jesus Christ exhibits all the signs of being human.
He had a human parentage – Luke 1:31; Gal. 4:4.
He had a human body, soul, and spirit.
1. Body – For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial, Matt. 26:12.
2. Soul – Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me, Matt. 26:38.
3. Spirit – And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost, Luke 23:46.
He looked like a man.
1. To the Samaritan woman – John 4:9
2. To the Jews – John 8:57
3. To Mary Magdalene – John 20:15
He possessed flesh and blood – Heb. 2:14
He grew – Luke 2:52
He asked questions – Luke 2:46
He increased in wisdom – Luke 2:52
He prayed – Mark 1:35
He was tempted – Matt. 4:1; Heb. 4:15
He hungered – Matt. 21:18
He thirsted – John 19:28
He was weary – John 4:6
He slept – Matt. 8:24
He loved – Mark 10:21
He had compassion – Matt. 9:36
He was angered and grieved – Mark 3:5
He wept – John 11:35; Luke 19:41
He experienced joy – Luke 10:21
He was troubled – John 11:33; Mark 14:33-34
He sweat drops as of blood – Luke 22:44
He suffered – 1 Pet. 4:1
He bled – John 19:34
He died – Matt. 27:50
He was buried – Matt. 27:59-60
Yet, while He was and is a man, He was and is also God.
He is omnipresent – Matt, 18:20; Matt. 28:20
He is omnipotent – Matt. 28:18; Heb. 1:3
1. Over disease – Matt. 4:23
2. Over Satan – Heb. 2:14
3. Over demons – Matt. 8:16
4. Over men – John 17:2
5. Over nature – Matt. 8:26-27
6. Over sin – 1 John 3:5
7. Over traditions – Matt. 15:2-3
8. Over the Sabbath – Matt. 12:8
9. Over the temple – Matt. 12:6
10. Over death itself
a. Physical death – Luke 7:14-15; Luke 8:54-56; John 11:43. Ill. John 11:25-26
b. Spiritual death – John 5:24
He is omniscient – John 16:30
1. He knew the fickleness of the crowds – John 2:23-25
2. He knew the wickedness of the scribes and Pharisees – Matt. 9:3-4
3. He knew the problem of his disciples – Luke 9:46-47
4. He knew the whereabouts of Nathanael – John 1:48
5. He knew the history of the Samaritan woman – John 4:29
6. He knew the true nature of Judas – John 6:70; John 13:11
He received worship – Matt. 4:10
1. From the angels – Heb. 1:6
2. From the Wise Men – Matt. 2:11
3. From a leper – Matt. 8:2
4. From a Jewish ruler – Matt. 9:18
5. From a heartbroken mother – Matt. 15:25
6. From the mother of James and John – Matt. 20:20
7. From the maniac of Gadara – Mark 5:6
8. From the man born blind – John 9:38
9. From Thomas – John 20:28
10. From the women at the empty tomb – Matt. 28:9
11. From his disciples – Matt. 14:33
He forgives sin – Mark 2:5
He possesses all authority – Matt. 7:29
He is the source of life itself – John 5:26
He is Creator of all things – John 1:3; Col. 1:16
He is preserver of all things – Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3
He alone can meet all our needs – John 7:37
He receives our prayers – Acts 7:59
He is the final judge – Matt. 25:31-32; John 5:22; Rev. 20-11-15
So, the result of the virgin birth is that God became a man. Yet, He was as much God as if He had never been a man, and as much man as if He had never been God. Theologians call this the Hypostatic Union. It refers to the two natures, Deity and humanity, existing together in the Person of Jesus Christ without either nature mixing with or hindering the other nature. I call that amazing, and that is the result of the virgin birth.
I. The Reality Of The Virgin Birth
II. The Result Of The Virgin Birth
III. THE REASONS FOR THE VIRGIN BIRTH
V. 5, To redeem than that were under the Law that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Why did God go to all this effort to bring His Son into the world? Why didnt God use some other great man to accomplish His perfect plan? Why not use an Abraham, a Moses or a David? Why did God have to use something like the virgin birth to brin His Redeemer into the world?
He did it the way He did because no mere human was qualified to redeem sinners from their sins.
When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, he died spiritually. Gen. 2:15-17 says, 15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
When Adam sinned in the Garden, he became a sinner. Then, when he reproduced with Eve, he passed along his sinful spiritual condition to all his children, and they in turn passed it on to their children. So that every person thats ever been born into this world since Adam fell has been born in sin. Rom. 5:12 says, Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
That means Abraham was a sinner. Moses was a sinner. David was a sinner. Your parents are sinners. Your children are sinners. I am a sinner. Guess what? You are a sinner too! Thats just the way it is, Rom. 3:23.
Since man is a sinner, he is under the condemnation and judgment of God. Several verses clearly teach this truth.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom. 6:23.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God, John 3:18.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him, John 3:36.
Since man is a sinner, he cannot do anything, or pay any price, to redeem himself. Anything man offered, or did, would be tainted by his sin.
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away, Isa. 64:6.
And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins, Heb. 10:11.
The only way sinful man could ever be delivered from his sins would be through the sacrifice of a sinless man, His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ did what sinful man could never do when He died on the cross.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified, Heb.10:11-14.
This is what God accomplished in the death of Christ on the cross.
17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous, Rom. 5:17-19.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all, Isa 53:4-6.
When God sent Jesus into the world, He sent into the world a man Who was sinless and perfect.
Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth, 1 Pet. 2:22.
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin, 1 John 3:5.
When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He did not die for His Own sins, but He died for the sins of the lost.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, 2 Cor. 5:21.
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healer, 1 Pet. 2:24.
When Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, died on the cross, He redeemed us from the curse of sin and from the demands of the Law. He purchased us from our slavery in sin and made possible our adoption into Gods family as his sons. He did what no other man could ever have done!
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, 1 Pet. 1:18-19.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together, Rom. 8:15-17.
God did it the way He did because no other way would work. Man had sinned, and man was condemned to death. The only way to change that was for a perfect man to die. The reason God sent His Son into the world through the virgin birth was to guarantee the birth of a perfect, sinless Savior, Who could bear the sins of the lost and satisfy the perfect demands of God.
The reason God sent Jesus through a virgin was so that no one would make the mistake of believing that Jesus was just like all other men. He did it so that none could accuse Christ of being a sinner, or of having a sin nature. If Jesus Christ had come through the womb of a non-virgin, using the same process of conception god used to bring Him through Mary, He would still have been sinless, but there would have been no way to prove that a human male was not His father. Since He was born of a virgin, without the aid of a human male, and since His mother was still a virgin when He was born, we can have confidence that He could and did pay for our sins when He died.
Conc: Without the virgin birth, there is no Savior. Without the virgin birth, there is no salvation. Without the virgin birth, there is no Christmas, or any other reason to celebrate. If Jesus Christ came into the world just like the rest of us did, then He is no different than we are. He, Himself, is a sinner in need of a Savior. All His claims to be God, and to be the Messiah, are all a bunch of lies.
Hear me well: He is Who He claimed to be! He was born of a virgin just as the Bible says He was. He was born without sin. He lived without sin. And when He died, He died to take away sin. You can believe the Bible. You can believe the Gospel. You can trust Jesus Christ with the salvation of your eternal soul.
You can believe this: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life, John 3:16.
And this: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved, Rom. 10:9.
And this: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, Rom. 10:13.
And this: All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out, John 6:37.
And this: Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them, Heb. 7:25.
If you will believe what the Bible says about Jesus Christ, you can say with Paul, I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day, 2 Tim. 1:12.
Have you believed the Gospel? If you have, you can rejoice this Christmas, for you have received the greatest gift ever given to anyone. If you havent believed the Gospel, you have no reason to celebrate at Christmas, or at any other time of the year.
If you need to be saved, come to Jesus now and call on Him by faith. If you are saved, come to Him and rejoice in Who He is and in what He has done for you on salvation.
Why the virgin birth? So you could be saved!