Monday, December 1, 2014

A Virgin Birth

The Virgin Birth of the Lord Jesus Christ has always been a vital part of evangelical theology. Mary conceived supernaturally. Joseph had nothing to do with her conception. That Christ was virgin-born was numbered among five of the fundamentals of the historic Christian faith. The inspiration and authority of the Bible, the Deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement of Christ, and the bodily resurrection and second coming of Christ are the other four items.

Christ’s virgin birth means the Holy Spirit of God was the efficient cause of her conception. He supernaturally produced the effect or result of it.

Is this a cardinal doctrine of the historic Christian faith? Indeed, it is and therefore it is very important. Why? you may ask. It is because of the clear teaching of Scripture. This doctrine determines whether we have a naturalistic or a supernaturalistic Christ. By means of Jesus’ virgin birth God the Father kept His Son from receiving a sin nature from Joseph or Mary. This belief is not what Roman Catholicism calls the immaculate conception of Mary. She was not without sin or free from original sin but supernaturally Christ was and is free from sin.

Scriptural support for Christ’s Virgin Birth is given by Matthew, Luke, and John. Matthew’s quotation (1:23) of Isaiah 7:14 makes very clear that virgin is the intended meaning of almah which was used by Isaiah. Also, Matthew’s use of the feminine relative singular pronoun “of whom“ (Matthew 1:16) provides strong support because Matthew associated Christ’s birth with Mary only. After all, she was with child “before” she and Joseph “came together” (Matthew 1:18). Luke, the physician, records the angel’s explanation to Mary of her pregnancy (Luke 1:34-35). John, the beloved disciple, assigns God as the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ and thus affirmed the Virgin Birth (John 8:19-48).