The Virgin Birth is a fundamental belief of the Christian faith. Like the Resurrection, if it is true the Gospel is true and ought to be believed. If it is not true then Christians are to be pitied (1 Cor 15:19).
The Apostle’s Creed summarises the clear New Testament teaching on the Christmas story:
I believe in Jesus Christ, [God’s] only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
“Hail the incarnate deity,” the carol Hark the Herald Angels says; fancy words to say that Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, was born of a virgin and conceived by the Holy Spirit and so both fully God and fully man, yet without sin. The Bible says “he tabernacled” [pitched His tent] or dwelt among us (John 1:14) enfleshing Himself, taking on human form to become one of us (Phil 2), so as to live the perfect life, die the perfect death, rise from the dead and bodily ascend into heaven, all to become the Saviour of those who’d call upon Him in faith for the forgiveness of their sins. The Incarnation was God’s rescue plan.
Most dismiss Jesus as simply a good moral teacher and not God’s Son and a saviour. As only ¼ of Brits believe in the Virgin Birth here are three answers to common objections and also three reasons to seriously consider the incarnation, Common objections include
- It’s unnatural (or biologically impossible)
- Objection: Because the virgin birth cannot occur according to the laws of nature it is impossible.
- Response: This naturalistic view is blind for it discounts that as part of creation there is a spiritual reality and also that Creation is a closed system unable to be interacted with by the Creator who is sovereign to engage with His creation. In fact it is deistic and thinks such a God could not engage with a world and laws He made, rather than seeing God as the personally involved and the sustainer of His creation (see my sermon on miracles in our Jonah series here from October 8, 2017).
- The simplistic view (the NT is simply a primitive religion)
- Objection: Primitive religions may have believed such things but they were naïve.
- Response (from C.S. Lewis): “A moment’s thought shows this to be foolish, with the story of the virgin birth as a particularly striking example. When Joseph discovered that his fiancée was going to have a baby, he not unnaturally decided to repudiate her. Why? Because he knew just as well as any modern gynecologist that in the ordinary course of nature women do not have babies unless they have lain with men.
- “No doubt the modern gynecologist knows several things about birth and begetting which Joseph did not know. But those things do not concern the main point—that a virgin birth is contrary to the course of nature. And Joseph obviously knew that” (Miracles, New York, Macmillan Pub. Co. Inc., p. 48).
- A personal God, come on!
- Objection: What kind of God, if there is a God, would stoop so low as to be born in a manger and die on a cross?
- Response: A personal God and God of love (again see Phil 2). Consider the evidence of the New Testament, the most trustworthy ancient document in the world!
The Virgin Birth is theologically necessary for a number of reasons (not limited to):
- It shows salvation is of God and not of man.
- It produced the full deity and humanity of Christ, necessary for Him to sympathise with us, relate to us, be an example to us of the perfect man, and live the perfect life we could never live. His deity was necessary that God the Son might die to save us (again so salvation would be of God), so Jesus would be the perfect sacrifice to atone for sin.
- It fulfilled Bible prophecies like the one to Abraham (i.e. “seed” or “offspring,” Gen 12), etc.
The Virgin birth is a mystery but a mystery need not be incoherent or illogical, it simply means we cannot know everything about it, but that does not make belief in it unreasonable. If we trust that God has spoken to us through the Bible we must believe in the Virgin Birth. In fact, belief in the Virgin Birth is a sort of test of belief (of orthodoxy), yet not the only one. Ultimately, have you bowed your knee in awe to the God-man Jesus Christ, recognizing Him for who He is, accepting Him as Saviour and submitting to Him as Lord?
We showed the following video, a modern parable on the Incarnation, at one of our Christmas carol services. It helps impress the key points of this blog post:
The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,
 It is not simply modern atheists and liberals who don’t believe in the Virgin Birth, many people throughout history have denied it including the Greeks and the Gnostics.
 In 2008 it was 1/3 and I presume this has dipped since this time.