The Virgin Birth (Conception), Its Significance
Scripture Reference: Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-25; Isaiah 7:14
A. This topic is highly conversial and much debated on, just like the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The reason is: The virgin birth is beyond human comprehension. Hence, question arises if it is a historical fact, a hoax, or just an imaginary made up event. Some arguments for the doubts/question are as follows:
- It is beyond the natural laws, which normally requires man and woman mutual contributions of the ingredients for the conception
- There was no parallel recorded event in the other two books of the Gospel – Mark and John. Pointing further that Mark is the oldest/earliest of all the Gospels written and could not have missed such an important event.
- Neither was mentioned too in the Book of Acts or in the Epistles of Paul
- Was it an oral traditional “gossip” passed on from generation to generation and ultimately accepted by the early church just to suit a purpose, without any credible and corroborative witnesses?
B. Such doubters missed the following arguments:
- It was a fulfillment of a prophecy in Isaiah 7: 14 – “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel”, which means God with us.
- That there were two credible sources of information with knowledge of the actual event – Joseph and Mary, independently narrating the event; Joseph’s account in Matthew and Mary’s account in Luke. Twice mentioned is sufficient proof of such event happened.
- That it was mentioned in the bible and has to be accepted as truth; for the scripture is inspired and authoritative. To deny such event, is a repudiation of the whole book and therefore not a reliable basis for our faith. As Rev. Billy Graham said “There are things in the bible that are difficult to comprehend but because it is in the bible, I accept it with faith”. This should be the possitional stand of every Christian.
C. Some other issue arises too, that Mary remained in perpetual virginity – a Catholic doctrine. True, she was virgin up to Jesus’ birth; for Joseph did not have sexual relation with her (Matt. 1: 25). However, after Jesus’ birth the normality ensued, producing sons and daughters (Mark 3: 31-32)
II. Main Text/Message Outline
What then is the significance of the Virgin Birth (Conception) to us? Here it is:
A. A reminder that our Salvation is Supernatural.
- Quoting John3: 5b-7 “No one can enter the Kingdom of God unless one is born of water and spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit… you should be born again”
- Also in John 1: 12-13 – “to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision, or a husband’s will, but born of God”
- Salvation does not come thru man’s effort, nor is it his accomplishment.
- Virgin birth suggests God’s working in our Salvation; it is totally of God, evidence of the activity of the Holy Spirit
B. A reminder that God’s Salvation is fully a gift of Grace
- There was nothing special or particularly deserving about Mary, though Mary manifested qualities such as faith and dedication (Luke 1: 38, 46-55) but she has nothing to offer, not even a husban); other Jewish girl could do the service too, yet she was favored – a gift of Grace
- That someone apparently incapable of having a child should be chosen to bear God’s Son is a reminder that Salvation is not of human accomplishment but a gift from God, and an undeserved one at that
C. An evidence of the uniqueness of Jesus, as the Savior
- It serves to show that Jesus was at the very least, a highly unusual man, singled out by God in particular ways.
- Though came into the world as human, He was sinless, not contaminated by the depraved nature (inherited sin).
- He is our “Great Priest who has gone through the heavens” (Hebrews 4: 15); since birth, “holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heaven” (7: 26); “without blemish” (9: 14)
- Peter declared Him “the Holy One of God” (John 6: 69) and taught He “committed no sin; no guile was found on His lips” (1st Peter 2:22). Apostle John declared too, “in Him there is no sin” (1st John 3: 5). Apostle Paul, similarly attested too, “knew no sin” (2nd Cor. 5: 21). Evem Judas, in agony declared, “I have sinned in betraying an innocent blood” (Matthew 27: 4) and so Pilate’s wife (Matt. 27: 19) and the thief on the cross ((Luke 23: 4)
D. An evidence of the power and sovereignity of God over nature.
- On several occasions, God had provided a child when the mother was barren or past age of childbearing (i.e. Isaac, Samuel, John the Baptist). Sarah laughed at the idea of her bearing a son at an old age, to which the Lord said, “Is anything too hard for the Lord” (Genesis 18: 4)
- That God was able to work the seemingly impossible in the Virgin Birth is symbolic of His ability to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of granting a new birth to sinners. When the disciples in perplexity exclaimed “Who, then, can be saved?” Jesus replied, “with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19: 25-26)
Aside from the foregoing observations, we can gather from the textual topic some important points, which every believer should follow for life application:
- Submission and obedience to God – both Joseph and Mary submitted to God
- Willingness to be used by God for His Holy purposes, denying himself/herself of personal ambition and convenience
- Trust and dependence on the activity of the Holy Spirit, not on our own understanding
- Practice attitude of expressing gratitude to God