December 8, 2023

Do You Believe in the Virgin Birth?

The Virgin Birth of Jesus is often taken for granted in Christian circles. Yet, there have always been doubters. We certainly live in a time when more and more people are skeptical of Christianity; at least certain parts of it. But that’s the thing—you can’t pick and choose which things from the Bible you want to believe and which you don’t. It’s an all or nothing deal. If Jesus was just a man, then the whole thing falls apart. So, you can’t say you’re a Christian or that you’re going to Heaven if you don’t believe in the Virgin Birth.


Skeptics and doubters still have to account for Jesus. Who is He, and where did He come from? Well, those who deny the Virgin Birth usually fall into one of two camps: 1) Joseph was the father of Jesus, and the Virgin Birth was invented to make Jesus seem divine. 2) Mary had an affair before marrying Joseph. About fifteen years ago, a group of theologians—working under the title, “The Jesus Seminar”—called the Virgin Birth a legend with no historical validity. Really?


The Virgin Birth in History

Consider these ancient words from the Apostles’ Creed: “I believe in Jesus Christ who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.” They point to a fundamental fact of the Christian faith—God became one of us in the person of Jesus Christ. Even if you say it isn’t true, you can’t deny that the Bible clearly teaches it and that the early church firmly believed it. What’s more, the Church has stood fast on this belief for 2,000 years.


The Virgin Birth in the Bible

The New Testament clearly says that Jesus was born of a virgin. Both Matthew and Luke tell the story as historical reality. The wording in Matthew 1:18 and Luke 1:35 is unmistakable—the conception of Jesus took place through the power of the Holy Spirit, while Mary was a virgin. If you speculate about some other explanation, you do so at the expense of the plain meaning of the text. It’s impossible to make the term Virgin Birth mean any other thing.


Genesis 3:15 says that the Messiah will be born of the “seed of the woman.” But women have no seed in themselves. Such an unusual phrase has long been understood by Christian theologians as an early reference to the Virgin Birth.


Isaiah 7:14 clearly predicts that a virgin will conceive and bear a son called, Immanuel. The angel who appeared to Joseph in a dream quoted this passage as proof that the Virgin Birth is a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (Matthew 1:23).


And then, there’s Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Once you believe that, then you shouldn’t have trouble with anything else in the Bible, including the Virgin Birth.


Why the Virgin Birth Matters

Does it really matter if you believe in the Virgin Birth or not? Yes! Because everything else we believe as Christians hinges on it. If the miraculous birth of Jesus can be discredited, then His death offers no hope. We needed a sinless Savior to shed innocent blood as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).


You see, believing in the Virgin Birth isn’t just about understanding doctrine and theology; it’s practical. Jesus was born of a virgin so we could be born again. He came to Earth that we might go to Heaven. And He became the Son of Man that we might become the sons and daughters of God.