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The Miraculous Virgin Birth


Dr Grant C Richison


The virgin birth was far more than an unexpected event of the Messiah coming into the world.  It was an intervention into the natural law of the universe – a miracle.  The purpose of miracles in the Bible is to authenticate the veracity of Jesus Christ.  So, the virgin birth is an appeal to human observation of God’s supernatural work.

The basic idea of the birth of Christ is that God the Son took on a human body to live among men.  Jesus lived billions and billions of years before his birth.  His birth was merely the beginning of his humanity.  His deity existed forever. 

John 8: 58  “Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’”

Abraham lived 2000 years before Jesus yet Jesus lived before Abraham lived.  It was not the humanity of Christ that existed before Abraham but his deity.   Notice that in John eight Jesus says, “I AM.”  This means that He is the eternally existing One. 

The unique means of the incarnation (God taking on human body) is the virgin birth.  This is the joining of the eternal Son of God to humanity. 

Isaiah 7:14 explicitly predicts his birth by a virgin,

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

“Immanuel” means God with us.  A virgin will bear a Son named “Immanuel” – God with us. 

Matthew 1:18-25 gives the New Testament documentation of the virgin birth.

Matthew 1: 18  “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 ‘And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ 22So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’ 24Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.”

Mary asks how can she give birth since she is a “virgin?”  Joseph struggles between love and righteousness because his fiancee was to give birth.

All three members of the Trinity participated in the birth of Christ.  The Father prepared the body,

He 10: 5  “Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:

‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,

But a body You [the Father] have prepared for Me.’” 

The Holy Spirit directly conceived the Lord Jesus (Mt 1:18,20).  The Son came from the very presence of God into a world of woe (Phil. 2:5; He 2:14).

Why did Jesus come?  He came to be the sinless redeemer.  Because men are born into sin, they inherit sin from Adam (Eph 2:1-2; Ps 51:5; Ro 5:12-21).  Jesus, however, came to produce another race of the redeemed.  In doing so, He came as the sinless sacrifice (He 7:26; 9:14). 

Normal birth begets another distinctly new person.  Christ was the eternal Logos.  Without the virgin birth, Christ would have become two persons.  This would have been heresy.  Jesus is one person with two natures (divine and human). 

The virgin birth involves an infinite and a finite person.  Most miracles affect something created but his miracle involved the Creator Himself (Jn 1:1-3; Phil. 2:5-8).  This virgin birth is the basis of all other graces that He extends to us.

The virgin birth involves two tremendous results:  1) God the Son emptied Himself of the voluntary use of His divine attributes while He operated as a human being.  By the way, He never stopped operating as God or He would have ceased being God.  2)  Jesus was one person in deity and true humanity.  He was no less than God nor more than man.  He was undiminished deity and true humanity (He 4:14; Re 1:13; Ac 1:11; Zech 14:3-4).

The incarnation (God becoming man) encompasses an extended purpose.  Jesus had to become humanity to become our redeemer.  He could represent us to God in that He was God and He could represent us as man since He was man,

1 Ti 2: 5  “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”

The focal point of the incarnation then is the redemption of man,

1 Jn 4: 9  “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 

Believing in the humanity of Christ is essential for salvation.

1 Jn 4: 1  “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”