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The Virgin Birth

The Virgin Birth poster

A Christmas Meditation

In our Apostles’ Creed we say “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; conceived by the Holy Ghost; born of the Virgin Mary…”

On what grounds do we believe this? First, we believe, because it is plainly and directly stated in the New Testament. It is there declared so positively that it cannot be explained away by any sort of ingenuity. The two Gospels which begin the life of Jesus at His birth both affirm it. It is quite universally agreed that the early part of the Gospel of Matthew is the story of Joseph, just as he related it to the author. “Everything is from the standpoint of Joseph.” He tells of his surprise and sorrow at what he learned concerning his betrothed; of his uncertainty and perplexity; of his intention to quietly put her away; then of the great joy that came when he knew the truth; and of the measures he took for the safety of the Holy Family until their settlement in Nazareth.

The Gospel of Luke, which gives us the fullest account of the birth, is the story of Mary, the mother, told to Luke. Leaving out for a moment the thought of inspiration, the fact that the Virgin Birth is so positively asserted by Joseph, by Mary, and by Luke, the great physician of the New Testament, gives to it the very strongest grounds for certainty.

Second, the Virgin Birth was prophesied in the Old Testament, in words so clear and unequivocal that they cannot be misunderstood. It was the seed of the woman who was to bruise the serpent’s head, and there is that even more explicit prophecy, “A virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.” He was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.

Third, the Virgin Birth of Jesus is a necessary factor in the divine plan of salvation. To be a mediator between heaven and Earth, Jesus had to be both God and man. He had to be what He was, “conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary.”

Fourth, we believe in the Virgin Birth because of the unbroken testimony of the church to this doctrine from the very beginning. “A man of judgment will long hesitate before he will call in question a truth which has been held so firmly for almost two thousand years.” The greatest intellects the world has known and the greatest saints have accepted it. The present generation has no more knowledge than had they of spiritual things.

Fifth, we believe because we know that with God all things are possible. Of course if we deny such a thing as the supernatural; if we say that law is greater than the lawgiver, then God has no part in the coming of Jesus. But if we believe in the power of God, that He does His will in the armies of Heaven and the inhabitants of the earth, then we know that Jesus was born just as the New Testament says He was.