Statement of Faith Current Teaching Teaching Index
The Incarnation and Virgin Birth of Christ
March 2017

In this study we will examine three important aspects of this miraculous event.  Which holds within its understanding the truth of the deity and nature of Christ, the existence of God, the knowledge of His boundless love for all mankind, and why He had to go the cross and die which resulted in man’s salvation from sin and death.

  • Why is the Virgin Birth so important

  • What is the importance of the incarnation

  • What did it bring us

First let us define the term “Incarnation.”  According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary the term incarnation means “the act of clothing with flesh; the act of assuming flesh, or of taking a human body and the nature of man; as the incarnation of the Son of God.”  According to the Easton Bible dictionary it is “the act of grace whereby Christ took our human nature into union with His Divine Person and became man. Christ is both God and man. A Divine Person who was united to a human nature” (Acts 20:28; Romans 8:32; 1st Corinthians 2:8; Hebrews 2:11-14; 1st Timothy 3:16; Galatians 4:4; etc.).

In order to start our discussion on the importance of the virgin birth we must go back to the first book in the Bible; the book of Genesis.  Let us look at chapter 3.  As we know Adam and Eve both sinned in the Garden.  Eve sinned because she was deceived and ate of the fruit and Adam for his silence in the situation while it was happening and placing Eve over the ordinances of God and eating the forbidden fruit.  What is vital to note about this encounter is that God placed responsibility for the Fall on Adam (Ref. Genesis 3:17-19): “Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. (18) Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. (19) In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”  In the book of Romans we see the same thought expressed by Paul.  “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Obviously the sin nature of man comes down from the man.  Adam is the reason we all die, just like Jesus being the second Adam and in Him we all live.  Notice what Romans 5:12, 17-19 says in regard to where our sin nature comes from; “therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned… For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (18) Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. (19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.”

          The virgin birth is an essential doctrine; two very important and pivotal reasons.

1.     The theological value of the virgin birth is that it happened. To strip it of its supernatural character humanizes Christ's birth, it eliminates the redemptive significance of His coming, and makes Christ, His followers and His Word a lie or at best a good bed time story for children.  Why?  Because God never did what He claimed He would do in regard to Jesus' birth. The historical fact of the virgin birth, which was so firmly accepted and held to even to death by Matthew and Luke, forces us to acknowledge the importance of Jesus Himself, His work, His Words and His way of salvation at the highest level possible: If we acknowledge that Jesus was “virgin born” we must accept that He is God incarnate.

2.     For it is the basis of Jesus’ sinless nature.  This is not to say that He could not sin, for He was human in every way and tempted in every way just as we are (cf. Hebrews 2:18, 4:15), only He chose not to sin (Hebrews 4:15) and so can you.  That fact makes the virgin birth so important for us to understand for it is not the mother, but the father who passes on the sin nature to their offspring. So, in order for Jesus to be born without a sin nature, it was essential for Him not to be born of a man. That is why it was necessary for Jesus to be born of the Holy Spirit. Jesus had to be virgin-born, so He did not have Adam's sinful nature, with pure untainted blood which allowed Jesus to die as our sinless blood sacrifice that would wash away our sin once and for all.  “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (26) For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; (27) who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself” (Hebrews 7:25-27).  As you can see the Virgin Birth circumvented the transmission of man’s sin nature to Jesus by an act only God could perform the act of impregnating a human female by the Holy Spirit.  This act combined a fully human child with the full holy nature of God.

Any true student of the Scriptures will undoubtedly come to the conclusion that Jesus was fully human, with a physical body just like ours which he received from the woman, Mary! Notice:

  • He was hungry – Matthew 4:2, 21:18

  • He had to sleep – Matthew 8:24; Mark 4:38

  • He became sorrowful and distressed – Matthew 26:37

  • He grew from childhood to manhood – Luke 2:40

  • He was capable of learning – Luke 2:52

  • He had a physical body just like ours – Luke 24:39

  • He got wearied – John 4:6

  • He became troubled – John 12:27

  • He shed blood – John 19:34

  • He died -  John 19:33, 20:9, 21:14

At the same time however, Jesus was fully God, with an eternal, sinless nature which He received from the Holy Spirit (John 1:14; 1st Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14-17).  To deny either of these conditions or there connection with each other would be to deny redemption itself.  Man would be condemned to the lake of fire which is called Hell, for all eternity. There would be no hope of escaping the wages of sin and death.  But because of the incarnation (Christ who is fully God became fully human) salvation is possible!  This was the ultimate goal of God’s plan for sinful man.  Through this union of Godhood and manhood, Jesus could come to earth die on a cross and as a result of this selfless action redeem man from their sin and glorify God in the process.  But although salvation was won by the selflessness of Christ’s actions it was not the only thing brought to man.  Salvation bridged the gap between a holy God and a sinful man alright but along with it came a restoration of fellowship.  God and man could communicate once again as in the Garden of Eden.  Man could call on God in times of trouble, weakness, pain, sickness and need and our Heavenly Father would respond in mercy, power, grace and supply.  All that is required of us is to love God with all our heart soul mind and strength, and obedience to His commands; when that is fulfilled we can look forward to all of what God promises.   “it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, (14) then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. (15) And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled” (Deuteronomy 11:13-15; cf. Deuteronomy 28).

In summation let me quote the great Scottish professor, John Murray of Westminster Seminary.  He described the incarnation of Christ in this way:  “The infinite became the finite, the eternal entered time and became subject to its conditions, the immutable became mutable, the invisible became visible, the Creator became created, the sustainer of all became dependent, and the Almighty became infirm. God became man that he may die, and by his death destroy the works of the devil and take away our sin.”[i]

Galatians 4:4-7  “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, (5) to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. (6) And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" (7) Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”  Thus, in the fullness of time, the eternal Son took upon himself human flesh in the womb of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Soon he would be born as God/man and later he would be introduced by John the Baptist as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And as the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2nd Corinthians 5:21).

[i] Collected Writings of John Murray: Volume Two, Select Lectures in Systematic Theology , [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1977], 132-133)

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