The virgin birth expresses the reality that Jesus was conceived through the Holy Spirit not as a result of a sexual relationship. This article gives a biblical explanation of this mystery.

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Virgin Birth

Jesus Christ was born by miracle🔗

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

Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-56; 2:4-7, two harmonious and complementary but obviously independent stories, unite in witnessing to Jesus’ birth as the consequence of a miraculous conception. Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spirit’s creative action without any sexual relationship (Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:35).

Most Christians accepted the Virgin Birth without hesitation until liberal theology challenged miracles in the nineteenth century. Then it became a pivotal point in the debate about Christian supernaturalism and the divinity of Jesus. Liberalism, seeking to desupernaturalize the faith and reinterpret Jesus as no more than a uniquely godly and insightful teacher, surrounded the Virgin Birth with a spirit of needless and unreasonable skepticism.

In reality, the Virgin Birth meshes harmoniously with the rest of the New Testament message about Jesus. He himself worked miracles and rose miraculously from the dead, so no new problem is involved in affirming that he entered the world miraculously. He left the world supernaturally, by resurrection and ascension, so a supernatural way of arriving was entirely fitting. The stress laid on Jesus’ preincarnate dignity and glory (John 1:1-9; 17:5; 2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:1-3; 1 John 1:1) made a mode of entry into incarnate life that involved proclamation of the glorious role he was coming to fulfill (Matt. 1:21-23; Luke 1:31-35) more natural than any alternative.

It is noteworthy that Matthew and Luke show themselves much more interested in the fulfillment of God’s redemptive purpose than in the virginal conception as a physical wonder or an apologetic weapon or a pointer to two-nature christology.

While we cannot affirm that a divine person could not have entered this world any other way than by virgin birth, Jesus’ miraculous birth does in fact point to his deity and also to the reality of the creative power that operates in our new birth (John 1:13). Also, while we cannot affirm that God could not have produced sinless humanity apart from virgin birth, Jesus’ humanity was sinless, and the circumstances of his birth call attention to the miracle that was involved when Mary, a sinner (Luke 1:47), gave birth to one who was not “in Adam” as she was, nor therefore needed a Savior as she did. Rather, Jesus was destined through the maintained sinlessness of his unflawed human nature to become the perfect sacrifice for human sins, and so the Savior of his mother and of the rest of the church with her.

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