Must we believe the Virgin Birth?

While most everyone is excited about celebrating Christmas, I fear that very fewer actually believe in the Virgin Birth of the Son of God the Son as proclaimed in the Bible. It was the prophet Isaiah predicted this, and the Gospel of Matthew made clear the connection to Jesus – who was conceived in Mary before she was wed to Joseph (Mt. 1:18) — 

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isa. 7:14)

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). (Mt. 1:23)

Luke reported in his Gospel that Mary was a virgin, and recorded her own testimony to that fact (Luke 1:27, 34). New Testament doctrine goes on to explain how Jesus is the divine Son of God (not the son of human man), as well as a sinless Savior (without the sin inherited from Adam). The Virgin Birth is not merely part of the Christmas story — it is a vital doctrine woven into the very fabric of biblical truth about our Savior.

Dr Al Mohler, in a recent article on the Virgin Birth, engages NYT writer, Nicholas Kristof, and others who challenge the credibility of the Virgin Birth. Some key paragraphs — 

Even if the Virgin Birth was taught by only one biblical passage, that would be sufficient to obligate all Christians to the belief. We have no right to weigh the relative truthfulness of biblical teachings by their repetition in Scripture. We cannot claim to believe that the Bible is the Word of God and then turn around and cast suspicion on its teaching.

Millard Erickson states this well: “If we do not hold to the virgin birth despite the fact that the Bible asserts it, then we have compromised the authority of the Bible and there is in principle no reason why we should hold to its other teachings. Thus, rejecting the virgin birth has implications reaching far beyond the doctrine itself.”

Implications, indeed. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, who was His father? There is no answer that will leave the Gospel intact. The Virgin Birth explains how Christ could be both God and man, how He was without sin, and that the entire work of salvation is God’s gracious act. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, He had a human father. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, the Bible teaches a lie.

Carl F. H. Henry, the dean of evangelical theologians, argues that the Virgin Birth is the “essential, historical indication of the Incarnation, bearing not only an analogy to the divine and human natures of the Incarnate, but also bringing out the nature, purpose, and bearing of this work of God to salvation.” Well said, and well believed.

READ THE WHOLE MOHLER ARTICLE HERE.

May we all be steadfast with the truth, and share Mohler’s conclusion:

This much we know: All those who find salvation will be saved by the atoning work of Jesus the Christ — the virgin-born Savior. Anything less than this is just not Christianity, whatever it may call itself. A true Christian will not deny the Virgin Birth.

T4G Tuesday

Well, my old friend and roommate, Ron Giese arrived just after midnight last night. we chatted for well over an hour before turning in. Christian friends, especially long standing ones, are precious gifts from the Lord!

The day started at 7:20 AM, but our special breakfast plans were thwarted (a local Papa John’s advertised “breakfast pizzas” delivered to the hotel) when no one answered the phone.

SESSION ONE — Ligon Duncan…
There is a growing suspicion and disdain for doctrine in American evangelicalism. Yet, Duncan says, systematic theology is necessary, important and unavoidable in Chrisitian living and ministry. He went through several NT passages to show this connection.

One reminder he mentioned was this: People do systematic theology all the time in our churches, when someone asks a question such as “what does the Bible say about ____?” (any topic works, such as ‘angels’ or ‘vocarions’ etc) The answer will be one form of doing systematic theology. Whether the answer is a good one (or not) depends on one’s grasp of the Bible.

At another point, as he taught from Acts 18, we learned that refutation of false doctrine actually encourages the brethren! This encouraged me, since we’ve invested several Sunday nights at CPCC on the series, “Critical Concerns for the Church.”

After the panel discussion we broke for dinner. Enjoyed some fish & chips in Louisville.

SESSION TWO – Thabiti Anyabwile on our Identity in Christ.
Very powerful stuff. (more soon).