Study 2 THE MIRACLE OF HIS BIRTH
THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST
by Francis Dixon
Scripture Portion: Luke 1:26-38
If Jesus is God (and He is), and if He became man (and He did), how did He become man? John 1:14 says that “the Word became flesh…”; and Galatians 4:4 says that the Son of God was “born of a woman”. But His was no ordinary birth. There has never been another like it before or since, for His was a virgin birth. In this study we are to state our belief in the supernatural character of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. In some quarters the doctrine of the Virgin Birth is openly treated as a fable; but those who discard the truth of the virgin birth also, more or less, disbelieve the other great Christian doctrines. Any such denial of Christian doctrine involves the Person of Jesus Christ – His sinless life, the authority of His teaching, the wonder of His miracles, the vicarious nature of His atonement, His bodily resurrection and ascension, the personality of His Holy Spirit and the triumph of His second coming.
By the Virgin Birth we mean that when the Lord Jesus was born He had a human mother but no human father. This is very clearly stated in Matthew 1:20. God has five ways of making a human body:
- Without the agency of either man or woman, as He made Adam – Genesis 2:7.
- By the law of natural generation, as He made you and me.
- As He made Eve – look up Genesis 2:21-22.
- Through a man and a woman both past child-bearing age, as He made Isaac – look up Genesis 18:11-15 and 21:1-2.
- As He ‘made’ a human body for His Son, the Lord Jesus – look up Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:20; Galatians 4:4 and Hebrews 10:5.
1. In view of the Person who was born of the Virgin, the manner of His birth is only what we should expect
Consider this in connection with the first study and you will have no difficulty in agreeing with this statement. When we remember who Jesus is we understand why such a birth was necessary. “The how of the birth is easily received when the Who of the birth is taken into account.” If Jesus was just a man then the Virgin Birth will seem inexplicable; but if He was (and is) God, then His virgin birth at once became necessary.
2. The Virgin Birth was necessary to make possible the Incarnation
It was necessary to the mysterious and wonderful union of the divine and the human, of God and man. This took place when Jesus (who was God) was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary (who was human). The Lord Jesus needed to have a real body, so He was “born of a woman” – look up Galatians 4:4; and in order to be sinless His had to be a virgin birth.
3. The Virgin Birth is the only explanation of His sinless life
That He was sinless we have seen – look up John 8:46; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 7:26 and 1 Peter 2:21-22. That He needed to be sinless in order to be the Redeemer of mankind we have also seen – look up Exodus 12:5 and John 1:29. Had He been born according to the natural process He would have inherited a sinful nature – look up John 3:6. The virgin life demanded a virgin birth, and it proved it!
4. The Virgin Birth is indispensable to the integrity of the Scriptures
As we shall see, the Bible states that Jesus was virgin-born. If we could possibly prove that the Bible is wrong in these statements we would have to cast the whole Bible aside as being unreliable. If we accept the prophecies relating to His coming, to the place and nature of His birth, and the historical accounts in the Gospels of that birth and of His life and redeeming work, we must accept them fully. To question one part is to question the whole.
5. The doctrine of the Virgin Birth is clearly stated in the Scriptures
- Let us begin with the Book of Genesis. Is there any reference to the Virgin Birth? Yes – in Genesis 3:15, where we are told about the seed of the woman. Nowhere in scripture is the seed ever connected with a woman, for the simple reason that the “seed” is always resident in the male – look up and compare Genesis 12:7; 15:18; 17:8; 24:7; 26:3. (KJV)
- Now turn to the Messianic Psalms – Psalms 86:16 and 116:16 – and compare Luke 1:38.
- Then turn to Isaiah 7:14. What a clear prophecy of the Virgin Birth!
- Notice also Jeremiah 31:22.
- Now look up Matthew chapter 1, verses 16,18,19,20,22 and 23. Notice that in Matthew 1:2-16 we read that “So-and-so was the father of So-and-so…”; but in verse 16 it does not say, “Joseph was the father of Jesus…” Then notice in verse 17 that there are mentioned three groups of fourteen generations. But in the last group of fourteen you will find only thirteen names. The fourteenth is the Holy Spirit, through whose agency the Lord Jesus was conceived.
- In the Gospel of Luke we find that two supernatural births are announced that of John the Baptist, announced by the angel to Zachariah (the father), and that of the Lord Jesus, announced by the angel to Mary (the mother). Why this change? It was because Jesus had no human father. Notice also that Mary (the mother) sang the Magnificat in anticipation of the Saviour’s birth – look up Luke 1:46-55; but Zachariah (the father) sang the Benedictus when John was born – look up Luke 1:67-79. Read Luke chapter 1, and specially notice verses 26-38; and look up Luke 2:33 and 2:48-49 (“your father and I…my Father…”); and Luke 3:23!
- While the Apostle Paul makes no direct references to the Virgin Birth, nothing in his letters questions or casts any doubt upon this vital Christian doctrine – look up Romans 5:12; Romans 8:3 and Philippians 2:7.
6. We believe in the Virgin Birth because of the practical bearing of this doctrine upon the matter of our salvation
The whole principle of the Virgin Birth, of the Incarnation, of divine and human blending in one Personality, is involved in the experience of conversion, or the new birth. The Lord Jesus was “born to give us second birth”, and every real Christian is one in whom Christ has been born – look up and compare Luke 1:34-35 with John 3:6. Have you been born again – John 3:3?