The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ

"You will be with child and give birth to a son ...'How will this be,' Mary asked the angel, 'since I am a virgin?' The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:34-35).

The virgin birth is an essential doctrine of historic Christianity. Christ did not have a sin nature. To be the perfect sacrifice, as Jesus was, required that He be free of sin. Yet, Christ had to be fully man. The virgin birth solved both of these requirements: Christ was born of a woman so as to be fully man; yet was born as result of the miraculous intervention of God, by means of the Holy Spirit -- the result of which was that Adam's sin nature was not passed to Jesus.

The Old Testament prophesied the virgin birth: "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14). Those who deny the virgin birth often claim this text should be rendered "A young woman will be with child." That interpretation would render the passage meaningless since the birth was to be a sign. A virgin bearing a child is a sign; a young woman bearing a child is not a sign.

The Apostles recognized Isaiah's sign as applying to Jesus -- they affirmed the virgin birth. "All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel' -- which means, 'God with us'" (Matthew 1:22-23).

Most cults deny the virgin birth. Some claim that Christ's conception and birth was no different than that of any other person. At least one claims that Jesus' birth was the result of sexual relations between God and Mary. All deny the clear teaching of Scripture that this was a miraculous intervention by God the Holy Spirit. The virgin birth is an essential of the faith and must not be compromised.

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