Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. -Isaiah 7:14
The Virgin Birth: To believe or not to believe, that is the question?
No Old Testament doctrine has been met with such skepticism and incredulity as the doctrine of the Virgin Birth. It seems that this teaching, although firmly rooted in prophecy and consistent with the doctrine of the sinless nature of the Messiah, continues to be the one doctrine that is singled out for the attacks of the skeptics during the Christmas season.
But just how important is this doctrine? Do we really need to have a miraculous birth associated with Jesus of Nazareth? Can’t he be just a great teacher or a charismatic leader and still be the central religious figure of Christmas without all the supernatural origin stuff thrown in?
At this time of the year, when Christ is being eliminated from the Christmas holiday and X-mas and Happy Holidays have replaced the more traditional Christmas greetings, what should Bible believers really say about the Virgin Birth?
First, the Virgin Birth is a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith. Long before there was a Christmas holiday, there was the promise of redemption. The first messianic prophecy in the Bible occurs smack dab in the middle of the pronouncement of the consequences for Adam’s sinful disobedience. In the midst of God’s judgments upon mankind and the earth he inhabits, God gives the promise of the Messiah who is to come. He will reverse that curse and destroy the evil one, the Devil, who instigated the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Gen. 3:15
But if man is tainted with sin and the conduit for sin is logically transferred from father to child, how can a Holy God provide a Savior through a human agency who is not tainted with this “original sin?” The answer to this dilemma is the Virgin Birth. God eliminated man from the equation and conceived the Messiah inside the womb of a Jewish virgin through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, the Lord God prophesied the Messiah’s coming to Adam and Eve, He told His covenant people Israel that this would be accomplished through a Jewish virgin 750 years before it actually took place. The prophet Isaiah spoke of the coming of the Messiah, someone who would be both man and God, the Theanthropos, the God-man, the Holy One of God.
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
So that we would not be confused about who this Messiah would be, God also gave other prophetic testimonies concerning the Messiah. He told us that His birth would be the result of a miracle. A virgin would conceive and bear a child who will bear the title of Immanuel, that is “God with Us.”
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
There are many other very specific prophecies concerning the Messiah, e.g. His birthplace and divine origin, Micah 5:2, the method of His death, Psalm 22, He would be rejected by His own people, His atoning death for their sins, and His resurrection, Isaiah 53; Psalm 16:10. There are over thirty specific prophecies associated with the Messiah’s first coming giving us a complete portrait of this Suffering Servant of God.
At this time of the year we have much to be thankful for, but we also have a wonderful opportunity to share the source of our joy, the Prince of peace Jesus Christ. He is the Savior of mankind and the light of the world.
The really good thing about our Lord and Savior is that He has given us many infallible proofs of who He is and why He came to earth 2,000 years ago. We who have placed our faith in the risen Savior do not operate with blind faith.
God has revealed His truth to us by writing the history of the Messiah, Christ’s life, death, burial and resurrection in the form of the prophetical Word of God.
The Bible does have the answer for the many questions people have. It is known by the acronym “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth” - the B-I-B-L-E. The Virgin Birth is an integral part of the story of the redeeming love of God as told to us at Christmas time. The Virgin Birth is a miraculous sign for all generations that God is true to His Word and that the Living Word, Messiah Jesus, really is the “reason for the season.”
The Star of Bethlehem DVD
Steven Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D.(c)
Chief Technical Advisor
Creation Studies Institute