Summary: The importance of Christ’s virgin birth.
THE NECESSITY OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH
Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
I. The Controversy Concerning the Virgin Birth.
A. Beginning in the early nineteen hundreds liberal theologians began to debate in Christian circles over whether belief in the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ is something necessary for Christianity. Is it possible for an intellectually astute and mature adult today to believe or is it merely something from Christianity’s superstitious past which really isn’t vital anyway.
B. A poll of 7,441 Protestant clergy showed a wide variation in belief. The following ministers do NOT believe in the virgin birth: American Lutherans 19%, American Baptists 34%, Episcopalians 44%, Presbyterians 49%, Methodists 60%
C. Some of the most recent modern translations of the Bible translate the Hebrew “almah” in Isaiah 7:14 as a young woman not a virgin, or they paraphrased the text to play down that it would be a virgin who would conceive the promised Immanuel.
II. The Need for a Unique Savior.
A. The Need for a unique Savior is seen in two facts Man’s Sinfulness and God’s Holiness.
B. Man’s Sinfulness
1. Genesis 2:16-17 “And Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may freely eat of every tree in the garden, but you shall not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’”
2. Romans 5:12 “Therefore, even as through one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed on all men inasmuch as all sinned.”
3. Man stands in need of a savior because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
C. God’s Holiness
1. Psalms 145:17 “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.”
2. Habakkuk 1:13 “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity…”
3. Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
4. That separation ultimately finds itself in being eternally separated from God in a place of unending torment.
D. There is a danger of forgetting that the Bible reveals, not first the love of God, but the intense, blazing holiness of God, with his love as the center of that holiness. - Oswald Chambers (1874-1917). The hope that God is too kind to punish sinful man is a deadly deception.
E. Because of his lost estate man stands in need of a unique Savior. Since the penalty for man’s sin must be meted out only a man could stand as the vicarious substitute for the penalty. But ALL men are sinners. And if you could find a man without sin, which one cannot, at best he could not satisfy the debt of the sins of the whole world and bridge the gap between both God and man.
III. The Unique Savior
A. The Need for a Proper Mediator
1. Job 9:33 “Neither is there any daysman betwixt us that might lay his hand upon us both.”
2. In the ancient world, businesses and families were not separate institutions; they were combined in the institution of the household. There was no legal document that corresponded to our power of attorney; the son possessed the father’s power of attorney by virtue of being his son. If a man had no son, but had a trustworthy slave, it was a common practice for him to adopt the slave as a son so that he would be empowered to run the business. By virtue of the virgin birth Christ is both all God and all man. He is therefore called in the Word of God both the Son of God and the Son of Man. The proclamation that Jesus is the Son of God has two meanings: it means He shares God’s essence, and it means He is God’s authorized representative whose acts have the legal force of divine acts. The proclamation that Jesus is Son of Man (Humanity) also has two meanings: it means He shares our human essence, and it means He is the authorized representative of the entire human race, whose acts are binding and effective on all. The phrases ‘Son of God’ and ‘Son of Man’ express both essence and agency. Jesus is both truly human and truly God; Jesus is simultaneously the attorney-in-fact for the human race and attorney-in-fact for God. - borrowed
3. 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the man CHRIST JESUS.”
4. Apart from the virgin birth we would have no mediator. But 1 John 2:1 declares, “…we have an advocate with the Father--Jesus Christ the righteous.”