The Virgin Birth of Christ
Take your Bibles and turn to the first chapter of the gospel of Luke.
>This is the second in a sixth series dealing with the Fundamentals of our Faith.
Last Sunday morning we looked at the first fundamental of our faith as we talked about "The Inerrant Word of God."
The Bibleís is Godís inerrant, infallible, perfect word.
Thereís not any mixture of error in it.
It is the perfect word of God.
Every word of God is pure.
All of it together stands as the word of God.
That is the very heart of our faith.
If we do not have a sure word, then we do not have an anchor that can hold our lives intact.
But the second fundamental of our faith is "The Virgin Birth of Christ."
Now there are some who may ask the question, "Why is the virgin birth of Jesus so important?
Would Jesus have not been the same had he been the natural born son of both Joseph and Mary?
Would he not have been just the same?"
Well the answer is very, very simple.
The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is important because had he simply been the natural born son of Joseph and Mary...
He would not have been named.
If Jesus had been just the son of Mary and Joseph...
He would not have been the same Jesus that you and I know from the word of God...
And the same Jesus that lives in our heart.
Let me tell you four reasons for that.
>If Jesus had not been born of a virgin, he would first of all have inherited a sin nature from his father.
Now I donít understand everything about the Bible.
But the Bible seems to teach that our sin nature is that which we inherit from our father.
Now that doesnít mean that we donít get things from our mother.
We get a lot of things from our mother.
A lot of people tell me I look like my mother and thatís good because she looks a lot better than dad.
And so we get some things from our mother.
We get a lot of habits from our mother.
We do a lot of things we do because our mother influenced us in that direction.
But our sin nature did not come from our mother.
Our sin nature came from our father.
The sin nature passes through the seed of man, not through the egg of woman.
Now I do not understand that, but I do believe that the Bible teaches that...
That our sin nature comes from our father.
>Now lest some of you ladie4s go home and begin to attack your husband and say, "Uh huh, I told you so."
While it is true that we get our sin nature from our father...
We learn most of our sins from our mothers.
Now you think Iím kidding at that point.
But Iím not.
Because you see, rebellion is learned by a child first watching his mother...
Rebel against the authority of her husband.
And so the sin nature passes through the father.
And if Jesus had been born the son of Joseph...
Then the sin nature of all humanity would have passed into his life...
And Jesus would have had a sin nature.
>The second reason why the virgin birth is so important...
Not only because if Jesus had been the son of Joseph he would have received a sin nature...
But secondly, if he had just been the son of Joseph he would have committed acts of sin.
You see friends, the sin nature in your life is what makes you commit acts of sin.
We do what we do because we are what we are.
We are sinners long before we ever commit the first act of sin.
Weíre sinners by nature because we inherited a sin nature from our fathers.
But that sin nature begins to be active early in life, and if Jesus had inherited a sin nature...
Then he would have committed acts of sin.
>A third reason why the virgin birth is important...
Is because if Jesus had inherited a sin nature and had committed acts of sin...
He would not have been able to have saved himself.
For you see none of us can save ourselves.
None of us has the power or the authority to forgive ourselves of our sins.
None of us can remove the sin from our life.
We may try...we may turn over a new leaf...
We may decide, "Iím not gonna talk like that anymore...Iím not gonna do that anymore...
Iím not going to play that anymore...Iím not going to go to that place anymore."
And as hard as we try and as much willpower as we muster up...
We always end up in failure because man cannot save himself from sin because man is a sinner.
>And then that brings me to the fourth thing.
If Jesus had not been born of a virgin, he would have inherited a sin nature...
Which would have caused him to commit acts of sin...
Which would mean he could not save himself...
And it would also mean that he himself would need someone else to save him.
And so there would have to be another come that would be born of a virgin.
If it were not Jesus, then someone else would have to come and be born of a virgin...
Because whoever is going to be the one who saves people from their sin must be born of a virgin.
And so thatís why the virgin birth is so important.
>I want us to focus this morning around three personalities.
First of all, I want us to see the angel, Gabriel.
Secondly I want us to see the woman, Mary.
And then thirdly, I want us to see something about the Son Jesus Christ.
>First of all, the Bible tells us about the angel, Gabriel.
Look in verse 26: In the sixth month God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth.
Gabriel is one of four angels that are mentioned by name in the Bible.
Now there are thousands and perhaps multiplied millions of angels.
I have no idea how many there are.
But there are many of them.
God created every one of them, but only four of them are identified by name in the Bible.
One is an angel by the name of Michael.
Michael is named in the Bible as an angel of God, one of the archangels.
Another angel in the Bible whose name is given is the angel Lucifer.
Probably he is the most famous of all because it is the angel, Lucifer, that rebelled against God...
And Lucifer, the angel, became who you and I know as the devil or Satan himself.
The third angel that is mentioned in the Bible by name is found in the book of Revelation.
He is identified as a destroying angel, the destroyer, and his name is given in both Hebrew and Greek.
In Hebrew, he is called Abaddon, and in Greek, he is called Apollyon.
But he is a destroying angel.
He is an angel that oversees a portion of the tormenting eternal parts of hell Ė Apollyon or Abaddon.
And so there is Michael...there is Lucifer...there is Abaddon or Apollyon...
And the fourth angel that is named by name in the Bible is Gabriel.
>Now we read of him four times in the Bible.
Two times he appears in the book of Daniel, and two times he appears here in the gospel of Luke.
He perhaps appears other times just simply referred to as the angel of God.
But four times he is mentioned by name...
And on all four occasions he is seen as coming directly from the presence of God in heaven...
Down to earth to deliver a specific message from God.
And so here is Gabriel who lived eternally in the presence of God.
Always there is Gabriel in the presence of God himself.
And the only time Gabriel leaves the presence of God in heaven and comes down to earth...
Is when God sends him to deliver a specific message.
And that lets me know that his message is not just an angelic message.
His message is not just a message of some man.
His message is the very message of God.
It is as though God himself personified his presence and spoke these words from his own lips.
But the angel, Gabriel, is Godís messenger bringing his message to Mary.
>Now notice secondly, not only this angel, Gabriel, but notice the woman, Mary.
May I say to you that Mary is the most maligned woman of all history.
There has never been another woman that has faced the accusation for as long as Mary has.
She has been slandered and maligned and falsely accused throughout the ages.
Now perhaps there are other women in history who have been accused of a crime that they were not guilty of.
But at least after they die and some time passes you forget about them.
I tried all week long thinking in preparation for this message trying to think of an earthly example...
And I could not think of one.
Iím sure that history is full of women who have been accused of crimes they did not commit.
But those things just fade into insignificance and loss of memory.
But I want to tell you one who has not and it is Mary.
She has been so falsely maligned that it is amazing that the grace of God would be given to anyone.
She has been attacked by infidels and atheists, those who deny the very word of God...
Those who deny the existence of God, those who hate the idea of God.
They have accused Mary of being a barnyard prostitute.
They have accused Mary of being sexually promiscuous with Joseph before they were married.
Some have accused her of shacking up with a German soldier.
Some have accused her of being a common street walker and not knowing who the father of this baby was.
All the infidels have attacked her.
The skeptics have raised questions about her character.
While they would not deny the existence of God...
Their rationalistic way of thinking would not allow them in simple faith to accept a baby being born of a virgin.
And so throughout history the skeptics have joined the infidels in attacking and assaulting the character of Mary...
And denying her virgin birth.
But those infidels and atheists and skeptics have been joined by also another breed.
They have been joined by liberal theological professors...
Men who walk down the aisle and said, "God has called me to preach and to teach."
And theyíve gone off to institutions of higher learning and theyíve earned their PhD and their doctorate of theology...
And they wear the collar and they stand behind pulpits and they assassinate the character of Mary.
And in the hypocrisy of clerical robes they deny the virgin birth of Christ.
I tell you thereís never been a woman in all of history that was more maligned than was Mary.
All throughout her adult life they laughed at her.
On one occasion Jesus was in a debate with some religious leaders and they insulted Jesus by saying this:
"Who do you think you are? We are not born of fornication like you are."
And so Mary has been called a harlot.
Sheís been called unfaithful.
Sheís been called a fornicator and an adulterer.
But I want to tell you thatís not what God called her.
As a matter of fact, in these verses there are six things that are identified about Mary.
>Notice first of all her racial state.
Look in verse 27: To a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.
Now that expression, "a descendant of David", would equally apply to both Joseph and Mary...
Because both of them were Jewish people.
Mary was a Jew.
She was not a Samaritan that would be half Jew and half Gentile.
She was not a quarter Jew.
She was not a Gentile.
She was of the house of David, a full-blooded Jewish girl.
>But notice not only her racial state, notice her residential state.
Look in verse 26: In the sixth month God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth.
Her place of residence was Nazareth of Galilee.
Now you have to understand that the Jews that live down in Judah where Jerusalem was...
The Jews of Judah looked upon the Jews of Galilee with great disdain.
As a matter of fact, the Jews of Judah looked at the Jews of Galilee as traitors and infidels...
Because the Jews of Galilee had very frequent common contact with Gentile people.
And some of the Jews in Galilee actually had friends with Gentiles and Galilee.
And so the Jews of Judah looked down their nose upon the Jews of Galilee.
But the Bible says that Mary was not only of Galilee, but that she lived in the city of Nazareth.
Nazareth was a despised city by the Jews that lived down in Judah.
As a matter of fact, they came up with that cute little proverb...
"Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"
Why they thought that a Jew that would live in Galilee and especially in Nazareth of Galilee was a traitor.
Why they had no Jewish heart.
They might have Jewish blood in their veins, but they had no Jewish heart in their body.
And to live in Nazareth was about the sorriest, lowest down, most worthless way to live a life as a Jew.
But isnít that just like the grace of God?
God in his marvelous grace looked down, not to Jerusalem, not to the holy city...
He looked down to the most despised city in all of Judaism.
He looked down to Nazareth of Galilee and found there the one to be the mother of his son.
What grace that is!
>But not only do I see her racial state and her residential state...
I want you to see, thirdly, her sexual state.
Look there in verse 27: To a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virginís name was Mary.
Two times it says there "virgin".
Two times in mentions "virgin".
If God says something one time, itís enough.
If he says something two times, itís more than enough.
God wants us to understand that sexually speaking Mary was a virgin.
>Now here again the liberals have a field day.
The liberals because they cannot accept the virgin birth because they cannot explain it rationally...
They deny the virgin birth and so they use the word "virgin" and translate it as "young woman".
Mary was just a young woman.
She was a virgin in the sense that she wasnít very old.
Most believe that she was a teenage girl, and thatís probably correct.
But as a teenager she had already become sexually active...
And the word virgin simply means "young woman."
>Well friends, I want to tell you thatís a lot of hog wash.
Go back to the book of Isaiah chapter 7.
In Isaiah 7:14, we find a prophecy of the coming Jesus.
Isaiah says: Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign; the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel.
>You say, "Bro., Joe, the word virgin could be young woman there."
Well maybe, but look at verse 14 again: The Lord himself will give you a sign.
That word sign is very important.
It is a picture of a big bold flashing sign.
It is not some little insignificant line at the bottom of a contract that you have to have a magnifying glass to read.
Itís a big bold sign.
God says, "Iím going to give you a sign that is so uncommon and so unnatural...
That you canít help but see it."
The sign is "a virgin shall conceive."
How could there have been a sign in a young woman conceiving?
Young women have babies all the time.
Young women have always been giving birth to babies.
Thereís no sign in that.
Thereís no miracle in that.
That happens all the time over there at St. Josephís and NPMC.
I mean babies are born all the time all over the world: red, yellow, black and white.
They are all precious in his sight.
But thatís not a sign.
The sign is a virgin shall conceive.
What does it mean to be a virgin?
It means youíve not had sexual contact with a man.
Youíve not had sexual intercourse with a man.
Thatís what being a virgin is.
>What is Maryís own testimony?
Go back to Luke 1 again.
Maryís own testimony is found there in verse 34.
Then said Mary unto the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?"
I am a virgin...
Youíre going to say the KJV says she didnít know a man.
It didnít mean she didnít know men.
The word "know" here means to know intimately, to know sexually.
She knew a lot of men, but she did not know physically a man.
Sheíd never been with a man.
Sheíd never slept with a man.
Sheíd never had sex with a man.
And the idea that she was going to conceive and bring forth a son without a human father overwhelmed her.
She was a virgin.
>But not only do I see her racial state and her residential state and her sexual state...
I see her marital state.
The Bible says she was "pledged to a man named Joseph".
That means she was engaged.
But in our day engagement is not like it was in the day of the Bible.
Today if a girl decides she doesnít want to marry that creep, she just takes the ring off, gives it back and says...
"Hit the road, Jack."
But in the day of the NT, pledged was official.
It was...while Mary and Joseph w4ere not officially married yet...
They were already considered and called husband and wife.
It had already legally been transacted.
It had not been consummated, but the only way you could separate those that were pledged...
Was either one of them had to die or there had to be a legal bill of divorce.
You know when Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, he had to make a choice.
He could either put her away privately or he could have her stoned to death.
He could put her away by giving her a divorce, or he could have her killed, stoned to death.
And what had he decided to do?
He decided to divorce her and put her away privately.
He loved her too much to have her stoned to death.
But he could not believe himself, he could not believe this virgin birth until what?
The angel of God came to him and said, "Doní be afraid to take unto yourself Mary as your wife...
Because that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."
So I notice her marital state.
>Then I notice, #5, her spiritual state is found in verse 28:
And the angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored."
You know what that means?
It means greatly graced.
Thatís what highly favored means.
It means greatly graced.
Well I want to tell you friends, that simply means she was saved, amen?
Thank God Iím greatly graced.
Every saved person is greatly graced.
God never did meagerly grace anybody.
God never did halfway grace anybody.
Thank God, he just highly graces you.
When you got saved, you became highly favored, greatly graced by God.
She was a saved woman.
>Look what else it says there in verse 28: the Lord is with you.
That means that Mary was walking in fellowship with God.
I know some folks that have experienced the grace of God...
And while the Lord might be in them, heís not with them because they are not in fellowship together.
But friends, this tells me that Mary and the Lord were in fellowship with one another.
The Lord is with you.
>And then one last thing.
Weíve seen the angel, Gabriel...
Weíve seen Mary, the woman...
And now we see the Son, Jesus Christ.
The Bible tells us that he would be fully human.
Look there in verse 28: Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.
(Verse 30) But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.
(Verse 31) You will be with child and give birth to a son
Give birth to a son.
She did not bring forth an angel...
She did not bring forth a robot...
She did not bring forth some embryonic pod.
She brought forth a son.
Jesus was Maryís son.
He was fully human.
He had 10 fingers and 10 toes and two ears and two eyes and a mouth and a nose and a chin.
He had hair.
As a little baby he was dependent upon Mary.
Mary had to feed him...Mary clothed him...Mary changed his diaper...
Mary burped him on her shoulder...Mary fed him from her breast...
He was fully human.
Youíll bring forth a son.
And I want to tell you, friends, not only was he fully human, he was fully divine.
He was divine in his names.
Look there with me in verse 31: And you are to give him the name Jesus.
The word Jesus means Jehovah saves or Jehovah is salvation.
He was divine in his name.
Jesus, Jehovah is salvation.
>But look in the very next verse.
(Verse 32) He will be great and called the son of the most high.
Not the son of Joseph...not the son of a German soldier...
Not the son of a backyard bum.
He is the son of the highest.
And look over in verse 35: will be called the son of God.
He is divine in his names.
>Secondly, I want you to know he is divine in his conception.
In verse 35 the Bible says: the angel answered, "the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will overshadow you."
Folks I want to tell you, nobody else has ever been born like that.
Every little baby thatís ever been born had an earthly father and mother.
They were conceived in the womb as a result of sexual relationship.
But here the Bible says that this baby was going to be born because the Holy Ghost was going to come upon you...
And the power of the most high was going to overshadow you.
This is a virgin birth.
He is divine in his conception.
>Thirdly, he is divine not only in his names and in his conception...
He is divine in his nature.
Look in verse 35: So the holy one to be born.
That holy one...that expression "holy one" was a term that was used to speak of the holy of holies in the temple of God.
That place where only once a year could the high priest go in...
And the very glory of God would come and fill the holy of holies.
Well what God is saying here is, "Mary, your womb is going to be transformed into a holy of holies...
Because the glory of God that fills the temple once a year, the glory of God is going to invade your womb...
And that holy thing that is going to be born of you shall be called the son of God."
I tell you, heís divine.
>But also heís divine in his authority.
Look in verse 32: He will be great and will be called the Son of the most high; the Lord will give him the throne of his father David;
And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.
Listen, there have been a lot of men on earth that were kings.
There have been kings in Spain, kings of Italy, kings of this country and that...
There have been many who sat on Israelís throne, the throne of David.
It began with David...it was then Solomon...
And then following Solomon came a long succession of kings that sat upon the throne of David.
Some of them were good and godly.
Some of them were as mean as snakes.
Some of them were wicked and ungodly and perverted.
But there they were.
Thereís been a long line of earthly kings sitting upon the throne of David.
But the Bible says that this king is going to be different.
Heís going to be born of a virgin.
Heís not going to have a sin nature.
Heíll never commit an act of sin.
Heíll be the son of God and his kingdom will never end.
>Now listen, he doesnít sit there yet.
There is a place where his throne is going to sit there on that stone under that Dome of the Rock...
There on that stone where the throne of David will one day sit and Jesus Christ will assume his position on that throne...
And occupy that throne and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Oh, heís king...heís fully human...heís fully divine.
>How important is the virgin birth?
If Jesus is not born of a virgin, heís not the Savior and weíre still in our sins.
If Jesus is not born of a virgin, he is not the Son of God.
If Jesus is not born of a virgin, he is not conceived by the HS.
If Jesus was not born of a virgin, he is not our king that we look to come again.
>"Bro. Joe, how could all of this happen? How could a baby be born of a virgin?"
Verse 37: For nothing is impossible with God.
Folks, I want to tell you, thereís not anything God canít do.
He can pick up a mountain and put it in the sea.
He can look at a wind and tell it to stop blowing and it stops blowing.
He can speak to a raging sea and say, "Be still", and it comes to be as smooth as glass.
Iím telling you, thereís not anything our God canít do.
With God, nothing is impossible.
He makes donkeys talk...he makes angels fly...he makes stars sparkle.
Thereís not anything God canít do.
Jesus is born of a virgin.
>This is inscribed in one of those little hardback study course books on the gospel of Matthew.
Roland Leavell wrote:
An unbelieving physician once sought to ensnare me before a crowd by asking: "Parson, recently a young woman in our hospital gave birth to a boy, declaring that the child had no human father. Would you have believed her?"
The question caught my breath for a moment! By breathing a prayer, I answered about as follows:
"Doctor, if that motherís son had been born in exact fulfillment of prophecy for some 1500 years; if the stars of the heavens and the angels above had acknowledged the glory of it; if wise men had come from afar to worship him and bring gifts;
if his life had been so sinless that even his bitterest enemies could not convict him of one sin; if his hands had healed the lepers and opened blind eyes...
if he had called forth the dead from the grave; if he had spoken such words of wisdom that the world would sit at his feet listening; if cruel men had crucified him on a cross and the very sun had hidden his face for shame at the deed...
if a platoon of soldiers guarding his grave could not prevent him rising from the dead; if for 40 days he had manifested his resurrection by many infallible proofs...
if he had done for me what the one has done who was born without a human father Ė if all this had been true, oh, yes, doctor, I would believe that motherís story."
>This virgin born baby, our sinless Savior, our wonderful Lord, our coming King.
Fully human, he knows our heartaches.
He knows when you are weeping.
The song says: Does Jesus care when Iíve said goodbye to the dearest on earth to me?
When my sad heart aches until it nearly breaks, oh, tell me, does Jesus care?
And the chorus says, "Oh yes, he cares, I know he cares. His heart is touched with my grief. When the days are dreary and the long nights weary. I know my Savior cares."
Because heís fully human but heís fully divine.
He not only cares, he lifts our cares, floods us with peace, saves us by his grace...
Washes away our sin, writes our name in the book, carries us to heaven when we die...
This virgin-born son of God.