The Virgin Birth
by Robert J. Young

Our study is the virgin birth. Isa. 7:14; Mt. 1:23, and contexts.



If Christ's departure from the world was unusual, it should not surprise us to find that his entry into the world was unusual. The virgin rests, first of all, on the reliability of the New Testament. Luke 1:1-4 finds Luke professing to write real history. He insists he checked everything carefully. He claims to have had access to other writings, and to eyewitnesses. Matthew does not reveal his sources, but he was an apostle with apostolic authority (19:28) and guidance (John 16:13-14; 14:21-26). He is associated with the group in Acts 1, and testifies of the virgin birth (Mt. 1:18- 23). Second, I am suggesting there is a certain consistency or "oughtness" to the virgin birth. The virgin birth is a fitting beginning for one who is identified as is Jesus. If the death and resurrection are beyond the norm of the natural, we might expect that the birth would also be beyond the natural.

I. On what grounds is the virgin birth denied or doubted?

II. What are the consequences of denying the virgin birth?

What does the virgin birth mean for you and for me? 1 Cor. 15:1-4 is a definition of the gospel, but it is not exhaustive. When Paul speaks of Jesus, does he not include the incarnation of deity born of the virgin (Gal. 4:4). Isa. 7:14 is translated virgin by the LXX. This is not a question of literal meaning, but what is being communicated. 250 years before Christ, this text was understood as meaning virgin. The gospel includes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, but it is clear in romans that the gospel embraces the response of faith (as opposed to law). This is the good news of Rom.; 3:21-26. Some have tried to distinguish the Jesus Paul proclaims, but Rom. 1:3-4 are a lot like Luke 1:29-35. One can discuss the virgin birth as a topic, perhaps somewhat independent of the person of Jesus Christ, but one cannot abstract the Jesus of the Bible from the Christ born of a virgin. That is the very truth of the Jesus who died, was buried, and rose for our sins.
Is Christ's deity a part of the gospel? Are his appearances part of the gospel? Can the resurrection be gospel without those witnesses? The good news is not only that Christ accomplished his work, but is centered in who Jesus is, and that God has given us through him the message of reconciliation.
It is a denial of the Bible to deny the virgin birth, yet many who fill church pulpits today deny the importance of the virgin birth.

The virgin birth says important things to which you and I must respond.

  • 1. It declares a time in history when God became flesh, that God intersected the human dilemma with his own presence.
  • 2. It points out that Jesus is unique, not just another baby, but is Lord and Christ, in his birth, life, actions, death, and resurrection. Any concept of Jesus that divorces him from his deity, divinity, lordship, and sovereignty is inadequate.
  • 3. It proclaims how deeply God longs to have fellowship with his creation.

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    Last updated November 23, 2002.