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Meditation: The Virgin Birth

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
January 25, 2024 12:00 am

Meditation: The Virgin Birth

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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January 25, 2024 12:00 am

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Hello, my friend, and welcome to another episode of The Truth Pulpit.

We're so glad that you joined us. And I know that many of you have recently signed up for the podcast looking for the series that I told you about called Building a Christian Mind, and that series is going to start on February the 5th. February the 5th for Building a Christian Mind. Until then, here's the next episode of our teaching as we look to God's Word and as we continue our commitment to teaching God's people God's Word on The Truth Pulpit. If humanity in Adam is fallen and we need a human savior, we need a human sacrifice in order to be redeemed, well, the virgin birth answers that dilemma.

Welcome once again to The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hello, I'm Bill Wright, and today as Don continues teaching God's people God's Word, we'll take an in-depth look at the significance of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ and how that miraculous occurrence more than 2,000 years ago has forever impacted man's eternal destiny. You know the concept of the virgin birth is something that's pretty much impossible to wrap our finite minds around, yet without it there's no hope for fallen man. Today Don will be covering the supernatural aspect of Christianity, the sinlessness of Christ, and Christ as savior.

So have your Bible open and ready as we join our teacher right now on The Truth Pulpit. What shall we think about the virgin birth? The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ was conceived in the womb of his virgin mother Mary by a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit and that this conception occurred without the contribution of a human father. The birth of Jesus was miraculous and that is essential to true Christianity to understand. Christ was not born by normal human methods. If he was, as we'll see, he would have received a sin nature that would have excluded him from being able to save anyone in his death. Christ was conceived in the womb of his virgin mother Mary by a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. It was a miracle. It was supernatural, the conception of Christ, and it paved the way for many supernatural things to occur during the course of his earthly life and his resurrection.

Why is that important? Why is the virgin birth so important to our faith? One writer puts it this way, if Jesus was simply the illegitimate child of Mary's infidelity, or even if he is the child of Joseph's natural marital union with Mary, he is not God. And if he is not God, his claims are all lies. And if his claims are lies, his salvation is a hoax. And if his salvation is a hoax, we are all doomed, end quote, because we are all still in our sins. And so as you trace back, you can kind of reverse engineer it going back to the saving significance of his death is predicated on the fact that he is God in human flesh. And to be God in human flesh means that he could not be a man born by natural human means, otherwise he would just be a natural man.

And so his ability to save us depends upon his deity. His deity depends on not having a natural human birth. A supernatural birth presupposes an act of the Holy Spirit, which the Bible describes as a virgin conception that took place in the womb of Mary.

What I want to do is give you two broad themes to think about. The statements in Scripture about the virgin birth, and then the significance of the virgin birth. I want to start by showing you the statements of the virgin birth that you would see that the virgin birth is the clear teaching of Scripture. There are those who try to embrace a Christianity, but because they are not comfortable with supernatural claims in Scripture, they will deny the virgin birth. You can't do that. You can't have it both ways. You can't say I'm a Christian and simultaneously say I deny the virgin birth, because then you're denying the very nature of Christ in that, and you've made up a God of your own imagination. No, it's like this. As with other matters about true Christianity, we must come to Scripture and receive Scripture for what it says, and to let Scripture speak rather than putting our judgments and our thoughts and our human reason on top of it.

That doesn't work. We either receive Christianity, we receive Christ as he is revealed in Scripture, or we cannot have him at all. We don't get to make one up of our own choosing. We must believe Christ and believe about Christ as he is revealed in the Bible. And so let's look at the couple of gospels to see the statements about the virgin birth.

I invite you to turn with me to the Gospel of Matthew in chapter 1. We see this emphasis on the Holy Spirit, first of all, in the conception of Christ. There at the end of verse 18, she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. The angel told Joseph again in verse 20, the child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. Twice you see the emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit in the conception of Jesus Christ.

That immediately lifts it out of the natural realm and into the realm of the supernatural. And you see twice being mentioned here in this passage that Mary was a virgin. She had not engaged in sexual intercourse at any time prior to the birth of Christ. Verse 23, the virgin shall be with child. Verse 25, Joseph kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a son. And so a conception by the Holy Spirit worked upon a virgin named Mary.

And so Mary had never engaged in sexual intercourse and yet she was with child. This is a miracle, just as there are so many other miracles in scripture. The resurrection is a miracle. The new birth for a Christian is a miracle. Creation by divine fiat was a miracle, and on and on we could go. Christianity is a supernatural religion.

It does not accord with the natural philosophies of men. It condemns and exposes them as being human reasoning, not in accord with the truth of God. And so we don't shy away from the reality of the virgin birth because it's miraculous. My friends, if we did away with the miraculous and we were ashamed of the miraculous that we find in scripture, we would be throwing Christianity itself out. And if we throw Christianity itself out, you and I are still in our sins and we are miserably doomed. And as Paul said with regard to the resurrection, we of all men are most to be pitied, for we are still in our sins believing something that God has not revealed. And so this is the teaching of scripture is my point for now, is for you to see that this is what the Bible says about the birth of Jesus. And so we are confronted with the reality of whether we are going to believe scripture on its own terms, accept what God has said about the birth of Christ in his own word, or are we going to deny that in favor of human philosophy? And in the process, I say it reverently, throw the baby out with the bathwater of human reasoning.

You cannot have it both ways. Scripture says that he was born of a virgin. We believe that, we accept that without qualification and without shame or embarrassment. We're not ashamed. We're not ashamed, beloved, to believe the word of God, are we?

We're not ashamed to take God at his word and say, I believe what you have said. Now with those thoughts in mind, turn over to the Gospel of Luke, chapter one, where we have another account that supplies more background to the birth of Christ, Luke chapter one, beginning in verse 26. Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin, engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. Now pause there for just a moment. I want you to see that twice in those two brief verses, actually twice in the one verse, verse 27, Mary is described as a virgin.

You cannot miss this. It's repeated for the sake of emphasis that Mary was a virgin. And so the text goes on, the narrative goes on in verse 28. And coming in, he said to her, greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you.

But she was very perplexed at this statement and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. And the angel said to her, do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end. In that brief moment of statement, the angel has given stunning news to this young girl that she is going to, she is going to bear the Son of God, and he is going to reign over the house of Jacob forever, and he will be a king whose kingdom has no end.

It's just stunning how massive the promise and the announcement is, even as we read it 2,000 years later. And Mary herself is astonished. What the angel has just told her is outside the realm of nature. And she states this plainly, repeating for a third time what we see in this narrative portion from Luke chapter one. Mary said to the angel, how can this be since I am a virgin? Literally it's translated what Mary said, I do not know a man.

In other words, I do not engage in intimate relations. How can I give birth to a son? This is humanly impossible.

What you are saying is humanly possible. How can this be? Well, the angel answers her in verse 35, and we see the same emphasis in Luke's gospel that we saw earlier from Matthew's gospel. 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 holy child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has conceived a son in her old age, and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing will be impossible with God. And so the angel explains to her, Mary, something supernatural is going to take place. It's true that you are a virgin.

It's true that, humanly speaking, children cannot be born without a union between a man and a woman. But this is unique, Mary. This is an instance where the Holy Spirit is going to do is going to do something supernatural upon you and bring into your womb a child who you will give birth to. And so both in Matthew's gospel and in Luke's gospel, we see this repeated emphasis that Mary is a virgin. We see this repeated emphasis that the Holy Spirit is the one forming the child in her womb so that this is a supernatural occurrence that is taking place. And the testimony is given in Matthew's gospel that the reason God is doing this so that a child would be born who would one day be in a position to save his people from their sins. This one in verse 32 of Luke who would be great and called the Son of the Most High and given the throne of his father David. On and on it goes.

This is of such magnificent import. And we have the privilege of understanding it and receiving it here today. Those are the statements of the biblical record. A virgin birth conceived in the womb by the Holy Spirit. If you're taking notes, this is a second point, the significance of the virgin birth.

The significance of the virgin birth. The first thing that we want to acknowledge is that Christianity is supernatural. God does not offer heaven to men based on a system of works that is within human power to accomplish.

It is not within the power of man. It is not within the power of a woman or a boy or a girl to do anything that will achieve salvation for himself or for herself. If we are to be saved, there must be an action from God outside us upon our souls in order for us to find the power to be saved, to come to Christ and to be saved. It is not within the power of man to be saved on his own. Just as much as it is not within the power of a virgin to bring about a baby in her own womb.

There had to be something supernatural to occur in the womb of Mary for Christ to come to earth. In the same way, there must be a supernatural act in the soul by God before a man can become a Christian. That's why Jesus said you must be born again. There must be something that happens to you from outside you in order for you to be saved.

And so Christianity is supernatural. It is not a system of morality by which men engage in self-improvement and make themselves acceptable to God. Our sin has ruined us. It has broken us.

We are spiritual Humpty Dumpties. We have fallen off the wall in our sin. We have been shattered and no one can put us back together. No man can redeem another man. No man can redeem his own soul. Christianity is not a matter of man saving himself.

You are lost. You cannot save yourself. You must come to God for mercy or you will not be saved at all. And so, my friends, when the gospel is preached, when we read scripture in Romans and Galatians and Ephesians and the other 63 books of the Bible, you and I must understand this, that when the Bible offers salvation to us, it is not commending us as though we had an ability to save ourselves. It is not telling you that you have the power to save yourself.

You don't. You cannot save yourself. You are lost and you are hopeless apart from Christ. God must save sinners through a supernatural act of power or they will be lost.

Now, that has consequences. We're saying that you are dead and that you do not have the ability to save yourself. And that if God does not help you, you will be eternally lost and eternally condemned.

And that shatters the pride of man. No one likes to be told that they are helpless. You are utterly dependent upon grace from God to do a work in your soul or you will be lost. There's no prescription that I can give you, nothing that I can tell you to do that will guarantee your salvation. You must go to Christ directly and plead with him for mercy to save you from a condition of utter helplessness.

Be merciful to me, the sinner, as the tax collector said in Luke 18. Christianity is supernatural and it is beyond our power to make it happen. God must do something or we will be lost. The virgin birth points us in that direction because the earthly origin of Christ was supernatural. He came bearing a supernatural salvation that must be supernaturally applied by the Holy Spirit if any man is to be saved. You must be born again.

You cannot save yourself. What else does a virgin birth teach us about the nature of Christianity? Not only that it is supernatural, but secondly it teaches us that Christ is sinless. Christ is sinless. Men, children, inherit a sinful nature from their parents.

And we trace this all the way back to Adam when he fell. Those little reprobates know how to sin without anyone teaching them to do it, right? No one has to teach a child how to lie. You have to train them to tell the truth.

No one has to teach a child how to be angry when someone takes their toy. Their heart instructs them full good and well on how to do that. And this is just evidence of what scripture says, that we are born into this world as sinners. And as children grow, without the grace of God upon them, without renewing grace bestowed upon them by the Holy Spirit, they only grow in their capacity to sin. As their physical and mental maturity grows, they learn how to sin in greater ways, shown by their attitudes and shown by the filth that comes out of their mouth and shown by the way they pursue their lusts.

This is the nature of humanity. The guilt of Adam is a sign to everyone in the human race because human nature was one in Adam and Adam sinned and we all share in human nature and we all share in the guilt of his act. And the question then is this, how could Jesus Christ become a man and escape a sinful nature? This is a great dilemma. Theologically, this is a great dilemma if humanity in Adam is fallen and we need a human savior, we need a human sacrifice in order to be redeemed.

How can this be? The sacrifice would seem by its humanity to be disqualified because all men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Well, the virgin birth answers that dilemma. Look at verse 35 again of Luke chapter 1.

Luke chapter 1 verse 35. 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 holy child, the holy thing begotten shall be called the Son of God.

This child is set apart. The virgin birth set Christ apart in a way that made him distinct from any other child that had been born. You see, my friends, the Holy Spirit did not simply perform a physical miracle in the womb of Mary in bringing Christ to conception.

The Holy Spirit did a spiritual miracle as well. The supernatural conception of Christ bypassed the natural transmission of sin so that Christ was born without a sinful nature which was part of his power and his capacity to lead a sinless life throughout the course of his 33 years on earth. He lived a perfect life and that originated in his conception in the womb of his mother so that he received a human nature without the sinful nature that attaches to the rest of us. And thereby, he was sanctified.

He was set apart. He was protected from the transmission of sin. And that was central to his ability three decades later to offer himself up as a sacrifice to God for the sins of his people. The virgin birth is the root of that. And the reason that God did it was that he intended to provide a savior for his people. And he did it in a supernatural way that made everything unique, that made Christ unique, and separated him out from all of the religious imposters, which is every other religion except true biblical Christianity.

There's nothing else like this. What else is the significance of the virgin birth? Well, Christianity is supernatural. Christ is sinless. Thirdly, it tells us that that Christ is the savior. Christ is the savior. The virgin birth is the means that God used to establish two natures in the one person of Jesus Christ. He is fully God and he is fully man.

100% God, undiminished deity, undiminished humanity. In John chapter one, it speaks about the deity of Christ. And it says, in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. Before the beginning of time, the word was. He is preexistent. He existed before time began. He existed before time began. He existed before creation. And that is true because he was God, and God had no beginning.

Nobody made God. He eternally was. And that's what's said about the word. And this word was distinct, somehow distinct from God. The word was with God. And yet this word was God, pointing to the ineffable mystery of the Trinity, one essence in which three conscious entities all equally share. The word was with God. The word was God. Drop down to verse 14. And the word became flesh and dwelt among us. In other words, God became a man. The virgin birth is what provided that blood connection to humanity. And we'll see you next time as Don Green continues teaching God's people God's word here on the Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-25 04:39:05 / 2024-01-25 04:47:27 / 8

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