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May 3, 2021 1:00 am
The arrival of the Son of God in Bethlehem fulfilled countless prophecies and drew the attention of legions of angels. In this message we look at the extraordinary virgin birth of Jesus, and why that birth makes Him unique.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Maurice Jesus son of God's arrival in Bethlehem) the attention of legions of angels is a good reason why our calendars from BC to A.D. at the time of his birth for the details. Stay with church in Chicago this morning with Sir teaching helps us make across the finish line.
Master loser today you begin. Message number 21 Christ, among other gods. How crucial is it to believe in the virgin birth date, you know, I have to say that liberal scholars have often down played the virgin birth, many of them don't believe that Jesus was virgin born and then there are some evangelicals who even think that believing it is somewhat optional, but they don't understand Jesus had to be a virgin born so that he would not be a partaker of sin that's a longer story, but we need to be able to understand that the virgin birth is the logical outcome of the fact that God became flesh and by the way, as we will learn in this series of messages Jesus Christ. Miraculous birth is very different from all of the other myths and the supposed miraculous births that are attributed to others. These are critical messages and I've written a book entitled Christ, among other gods in defense of Christ in an age of tolerance. Let me tell you my friend that you need this book.
Your college students need this book. Skeptics need this book because it will help all of us to understand why Christ is totally unique.
Christ among the other gods. Now here's what you do for a gift of any amount will send you this book. We'd love to be able to put this resource in your hands. Go to RTW offer.com that's all one word. Of course the RTW offer and then..com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337. As I mentioned RTW offer.com or you can call us at the phone number I just gave you.
Now let's go to the pulpit of Moody Church where we will understand much better the necessity and the consequences of the virgin birth of Jesus. Listen carefully. I think that all of us remember the story the tragic story that was on the news some time ago about a grandmother had the responsibility of caring for her little two year old grand daughter and the little girl fell into a swimming pool. The grandmother did not know how to swim, but in absolute desperation. She hopped into the pool to try to rescue the little one and sometime later, both bodies were pulled from the swimming pool. You know if you're in the middle of an ocean, and you don't know how to swim and you're beginning to go under. You need somebody to rescue you, but it can't just be somebody who is willing to rescue you and has to be someone who has the ability to rescue you. You need someone who isn't in the same predicament as you are. You need somebody who is not subject to those waves in the same way that you are someone who himself does not need to be rescued. That's what you need when you're going under. The same is true when it comes to sin and its power and its awful consequences to be rescued from sin and its consequences. You need is someone who is able to reach down to rescue you, who himself is not a sinner, because when you're going down.
You don't need somebody who is in the same mess that you are you need is someone who is above the situation, which leads me to the question, who is Jesus Christ.
Anyway, who is a well there have been two views throughout history. One is that he is just a mere man remember when Scorsese made his movie the last temptation of Christ. He said I tried to create a Christ, who in some sense is like the guy down the street of the problem is that I am a sinner and I need to be reconciled to God. And I need more help than the guy who's down the street is able to give them a I need is somebody who is not in my predicament. Historic Christianity is always held that Jesus cries, though he is fully man.
He is also fully God and because he is fully God.
He is different from all humanity, though he has some similarities. He is in all points like as we are, except that he is sinless and that he is joined to a divine nature and because of that he is a perfect sinless Savior and that's why he's the only one who can rescue us from the consequences of the effects of sin. When I was at the Parliament of world religions. I decided to go through those booths. Those display areas and some of you know that I spent several hours there, but one of the things I decided to do one morning is to go in search of a sinless Savior thought to myself as I walk down those islands with all of the displays in the books and the videotapes in the 105 different faiths represented. I thought identifying that me is sinless Savior as I walked over to where the Buddhists were and after engaging them and asking them what they believed. I asked the question, I said did Bhutto claim to be sinless. They said no. He was enlightened but he wasn't sinless gathered some people around them and taught them the eight ways taught them that the things that we see outside of ourselves are not the real reality we must go within and we must meditate, and we must seek to change our Buddha. It is said was enlightened but he did not claim that he was sinless he died. He still is seeking more light, so I double what about the Hindus and I walked over and there was a Hindu swami behind the desk of Erin behind his display booth and I said that. Could you tell me in all the Hindu traditions with all of the Google ruse and all of the teachers did any one of them claim to be sinless, and his answer was very directly said no. In fact, is that if you ever find someone who claims to be sinless. He is not a Hindu. What's interesting so I walked over to the booth where you have the Baha'i Faith and I thought both how will I wonder if he was sinless know. He claimed that some of his teachings were better than those of Jesus Christ. By the way, you know that that's with the Baha'i faith believes that Jesus is one step in the evolutionary cycle and Baha'u'llah is now a more modern updated version of religion. And that's a matter incidentally that we are going to take up in a subsequent message to show you how to answer those who think that Christ is one prophet among many in the evolutionary spiral know he claimed that some of his teachings.
Perhaps were perfect, but he was not sinless. He never claimed it so I thought well, what about Mohammed.
I walked over to the Muslims and talk to them about Mohammed, and I said, by the way did Mohammed claim to be sinless, and I already knew the answer, because in the Quran. He claims that he needed forgiveness and if you have studied his life you'll know how accurate that really turns out to be. And so I asked them and they said no. He did not claim sinlessness. He himself needed to be forgiven turn where I will. I could not find a sinless prospect, much less a sinless Savior I you turn to the Bible and what different picture you have of Jesus Christ be standing there with all of his accusers. Those who hate him and wanted to be crucified, and he looks at them. Then he looks at them in the audiences to them which you have you convinces me ops sin is there anyone of you that wants to point out a fault and they answered and not a word he said to his disciples regarding Satan. He says the prince of this world comes but he has nothing in there is no commonality between me and Satan. Judas said of him.
I had betrayed innocent blood pilot said, I find no fault in the here the apostle Paul said of him. He knew no sin. And Peter said he knew no sin, neither was there any guile found in his mouth. A sinless Savior. How can Jesus Christ be sinless. All of us are born sinners was only one way, of course, and that is for Christ to have been conceived in the womb of a virgin.
The only way because the Bible says that one man fell in the garden and when Adam partook of the tree and disobeyed God.
God looked at the whole human race as being bound up in Adam. May I say it. You were there in the garden of Eden is able. I don't remember it will. I don't either but we were there yet. Just like the entire tree is in that acorn so the whole human race was in Adam and through Adam.
God imputes Adam's sin to all of us.
We are born under the condemnation of sin. We are born with the taint of sin that comes through human conception that does not mean that sex is sinful. It simply means that all of us for a product of our mothers and our father's involvement. All of us are born sinners and so Jesus was exempt. He was the one who had the grand exception because he was conceived of a virgin, God did a miracle within marriage so that a perfect sinless human being could be born is either several requirements Christ had to meet in order to be our Savior. One of them, as he had to be a male says in the book of Genesis chapter 3 verse 15 regarding the coming Redeemer, he shall crush the head of the serpent. He had to be a human male. By the way no other species would do. Angels could not die for our sin is the book of Hebrews makes very clear. It had to be a man and it also had to be a perfect man, because the perfection was necessary for God to receive the sacrifice that was made sinless and perfect.
And of course he had to be God and I will explain that in a subsequent message why that was absolutely necessary and so I want you to take your Bibles and very briefly we are going to look at two passages of Scripture that we normally read only at Christmas time to our detriment, I might add, but in Matthew chapter 1 we have the story of the virgin conception of Jesus point out to you how concerned Matthew was to preserve that doctrine in chapter 1 verse 16 he says, and to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus you know in English that expression by whom could refer to male or female. Interestingly, in the Greek text is designated, it is female to marry was born Jesus. He wanted to make sure that we did not mistake in any way that somehow Joseph was the actual father of Jesus legal father. Yes biological father. No. And then we read the story. Verse 18 now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows when it is mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her desire to put her away secretly, but when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for that which has been conceived in her is of the holy spirit she will bear a son, you will call his name Jesus, for it is he who will save his people from their sins. I want you to keep that passage open in your Bible. Even though you also turn to Luke chapter 1 where we have a remarkable statement once again regarding this miracle. Luke chapter 1, the angel comes to Mary explains to her that she is going to have a son called Jesus. He will be great.
He will be the son of the most high. Verse 34. Mary said to the angel, how can this be, since I am a virgin and the angel answered and said to her, the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will overshadow you and for that reason the ball holy offspring. Notice that the holy offspring shall be called the son of God. The only way for Jesus to be a man and yet to be perfect is for God to do a miracle that Mary might become pregnant with that which is holy, and Joseph was not Christ's father. Now you know of course that the virgin birth has been criticized and what I'd like to do is to answer some of the objections and then we will give its necessity and radical implications. Some people have said what you know we can't believe this.
In the 20th century because after all, this is based on mythology, there are all kinds of myths in the ancient world.
For example, there was a myth that Plato was actually fathered by the God Apollo, Zeus was a God who was having intercourse with a number of different people and and creating a number of different gods and there were all kinds of stories about his sexual prowess and of course you have stories like Alexander the great. It is said whose mother became impregnated when she swallowed a pomegranate, people are said to themselves you know the Bible is is just the very same it's just got all these myths want you to know that the gap between what mythology teaches and what the Bible teaches is a gap as great as the Grand Canyon. For one thing the mythology comes in a context of polytheism, the belief in many different God. Where is the New Testament in the Old Testament is based on monotheism that there is but one God. It is unthinkable that Matthew and Luke would have borrowed the idea of mythology from paganism. But there's more that you look into all the myths there was always immorality. The dogs were immoral. It is unthinkable that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would've had a sexual relationship with Mary, we just can't even think of it, because the context of this account is so radically different and then of course not only that, when you read this, it does not read like a myth, it is a very sober account and all the other instances, these mythologies grew up after a time when the person became great in this instance even before Jesus was born, we already know the prediction was made and the text is clear that Mary had to be convinced of what was happening because a miracle was taking place there goes your site. Well, you know. Perhaps the disciples made it up. They may have made it up to cover the immorality of Mary they made hat may have made it up in order to make it look as if prophecy was fulfilled, but all of that. This is the beauty of this account. Remember that Luke was a physician who very probably talk to Mary and got the details directly from her. When you read it you have the impression that this is indeed a sober history. This is a man to be believed. Now there's another view that I need to comment on Bishop Spong Bishop was Shelby Spong has written a book entitled born of a woman of Bishop rethinks the birth of Jesus and it is being sold today and being widely read. Bishop Spong in his book basically says a number of things. First of all, that these accounts are symbolic, they were never intended to be treated as literal. He says furthermore that to Mary. Very probably was the victim of rape and that's how she became pregnant and he says that Jesus Christ most likely was married very probably to Mary Magdalene and he takes that from John chapter 2 when they were at the wedding. He says, whose wedding could this be the wedding of Jesus himself and somebody says it is these narratives were written to inspire faith which makes us smile because faith in what after you've done that to the text, but nevertheless he says they were written to inspire faith and therefore should not be interpreted literally and in here you have a book that is being widely read and people say it is so eloquent, I must tell you it is so incredibly wrong that I don't want to get technical, but I want to give you three words that highlight how a book like this can be written and why it might even be read by hundreds of thousands of people what what is it that goes into the text. When a man comes up with something like that.
Number one. Remember that books like this are based on unbelief unbelief is the fervent desire of many different scholars to make a Jesus Christ, a mere man, no matter the cost to strip them all his miracles to strip him of his miraculous birth because what they are so desirous of his to make sure that we have here a man who was only a man may be a special man man.
Nevertheless, and so what Spong does as others before him have done is they've come to the text, and they have said, we must strip it of everything the 20th century, people cannot believe so interesting in one place. Spong says he says I am not going to subject to my Jesus to the fundamentalist. His Jesus is exactly what you have in his book is his Jesus, his own private Jesus because he's gone to the text discarded everything that doesn't fit with his view of Jesus. So first of all, you have unbelief. A second thing that you have in Spong's book is an agenda will remember that word agenda. I have read what another one of his books and I discovered much about him. I don't learn anything about Jesus and his books, but I learned a lot about him. For example, in his book about fundamentalism. He says that very possibly the only thing that fits the facts is the belief that Paul was a homosexual.
So I know that that is Spong is going to the text I already know that he is for gay rights. I know also that he is a feminist because he says that the virgin birth has contributed to the idea that women are supposed to be at home and rear children, so there is that on his agenda. I know that he's an unbeliever. I don't know anything about Jesus, but I know lots about Spong. There's 1/3 word of the word unbelief. You have the word agenda and the third word that I think is so very important in this sequence is the word arrogance and thinking that you know better than the writers of the New Testament as to what happened.
Imagine that you can have such revisionism that you can go back and you can take a document that is nearly 2000 years old and you can rewrite the story in accordance with what you want to see their and therefore you can put out the light of fundamentalism. Well I would say to Dr. Spong and to hundreds of other people like him that if you want to put out the light in our hearts by writing books like this.
It is about like trying to put out fire with straw.
It simply will not work.
It won't work. What I like to do now and the time that is before us is to discuss very briefly the necessity of the virgin birth, the virgin conception and its implications will my friend, this is Pastor Luther you most assuredly are going to have to listen to running to win next time to hear the rest of this message and you know it is a matter of arrogance is to think that there are people out there who believe that they know better than Jesus as to what God is like what you and I need to be able to defend the faith in an age of confusion and tolerance. I've written a book entitled Christ, among other gods, a defense of Christ in an age of tolerance. I want you to have a copy because it will be a valuable resource to you when your children ask questions or your grandchildren or when you as a college student have some doubts about the Christian faith and why Jesus Christ is unique.
This resource is for you. It's titled Christ among other gods, a defense of Christ in an age of tolerance for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. Let me give you that contact info once again RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and when you connect with us. Let me thank you in advance for helping us financially and with your prayers because together. The message of Jesus Christ is going out to thousands upon thousands. Thanks for being a part of the family. You can write to is running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 Jesus was fully human, but has no human father born to a young Jewish maiden would never known a man his beginnings on earth were indeed extraordinary next time you'll hear more details on why a virgin birth was essential for Jesus to be a sacrifice for sin that the father could accept Dr. Erwin lutes or this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody church