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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: What Everyone Needs to Know about Jesus

Don Stewart :: Why Is the Doctrine of the Virgin Birth Important?

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Why Is the Doctrine of the Virgin Birth Important?

What Everyone Needs to Know about Jesus – Question 31

The Bible teaches the virgin birth, or the virgin conception of Jesus Christ. Christians have considered it as one of the essentials doctrines of the faith. The question before us is why this one doctrine is so important. Does it really matter whether or not Jesus was born of a virgin?

Yes indeed it does. There are at least five reasons why it is important to believe in the virgin birth or virgin conception. They are as follows.

1. Jesus Had a Heavenly Origin

The most important reason to hold the belief in the virgin conception concerns Jesus’ identity as God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity. If Joseph were His true father, then Jesus would be only a human being. He would not be the Son of God as Scripture clearly states. He would have had His beginning in time rather than eternally existing. The Bible, however, states that God the Son, who became the Man Jesus Christ, had no beginning. John’s gospel states it this way:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 KJV)

Thus, the virgin birth is crucial to Jesus being the Son of God.

2. Jesus Had a Sinless Nature

A second reason why the virgin birth is important concerns the sinless character of Christ. If Jesus had a human father, then seemingly He would have inherited a sinful nature as the rest of us have. The Bible says,

Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned... (Romans 5:12 RSV)

Scripture possibly teaches that the sin nature is passed through by male rather than the female. If this is the case then Jesus would have inherited a sin nature had He had a human father.

Yet the Scripture states that Jesus Christ never sinned. In summing up the life of Jesus, Peter wrote the following about Him:

He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. (1 Peter 2:22 RSV)

Clearly, the New Testament writers thought that He was sinless.

John the Apostle also testified that Jesus was without sin. We read these words from him:

You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. (1 John 3:5 RSV)

Again we have the emphasis that in Jesus there is no sin. However, if Jesus were the actual son of Joseph, then His sinless character would only be a myth.

3. Jesus Was the Perfect Sacrifice

A third reason why the virgin birth is crucial to the Christian faith concerns our salvation from sin. Without the sinlessness of Jesus Christ there would be no salvation for us. To be the perfect sacrifice, Jesus had to be unblemished. In other words, He had to be without sin.

He Came to Set People Free from Sin

According to the Apostle Paul, God the Son, Jesus Christ, came into our world to save those who were under the law. He wrote the following to the Galatians:

But when the time was right, God sent his Son, and a woman gave birth to him. His Son obeyed the Law so he could set us free from the Law, and we could become God’s children. (Galatians 4:4, 5 CEV)

The Son of God came into the world at the fullness of time. In doing so, He was able to set people free from the bondage of the Law by being our sacrifice for sin.

This echoes Jesus’ own statement as to the purpose of His coming into the world. Luke records Jesus saying the following:

“And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost.” (Luke 19:10 NLT)

Jesus came to be our Savior.

In doing so, He had to be the unblemished Lamb of God. Indeed, God required a sacrifice that was without blemish. We read of this in Exodus:

Your lamb shall be without blemish... (Exodus 12:5a NRSV)

If Jesus were a sinner in any sense of the word, then He could not provide salvation for us. However, because He came into the world by supernatural means and lived a sinless life, He could be that sacrifice for our sins without spot and without blemish. The Bible makes this clear:

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 RSV).

Jesus was without sin. Therefore, He qualified as the perfect sacrifice.

4. It Shows the Uniqueness of Christ

There is something else about the virgin conception of Christ that is important. Among other things, it shows the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. No one else has ever come into the world the same way as Jesus. The unique and miraculous nature of Jesus Christ carried on through His entire life. His birth was a miracle, His public ministry consisted of miracles, Jesus miraculously lived a sinless life, He miraculously came back from the dead, and then He left this world in a miraculous way. Consequently, from His entrance into this world until His departure, the life of Jesus Christ was a miracle. Thus, His life was certain one of a kind.

5. The Bible Says So

The fifth reason to believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ is because the Bible says so. If Jesus were not actually born of a virgin, then the Bible is wrong. If it is wrong concerning the virgin birth, then it is possible that it may be in error about other matters.

Indeed, once the door opens to the possibility of error in Scripture the eventual and logical result is that the entire foundation of the Christian faith will crumble. The doctrine of the virgin birth and the credibility of Christianity go hand-in-hand.

This sums up why the doctrine of the virgin conception of Jesus Christ is so crucial to the truthfulness of the Christian faith. Indeed, without it, there is no Christian faith.

Summary – Question 31
Why Is the Doctrine of the Virgin Birth Important?

One of the key doctrines in Christianity is the virgin birth or more properly, the virgin conception of Jesus Christ. There are at least five reasons why this is so. We can list them as follows.

First, it confirms Jesus’ heavenly origin. According to the New Testament, He was not from this world. The fact that He did not have a human father shows the difference between Himself and all of the rest of us. He is from above while we are from this earth. Therefore, the virgin conception highlights His heavenly origin.

Second, it is important for Jesus’ sinless nature. It is possible, but not certain, that the sin nature is passed along to each of us at conception. If the sin nature is passed on by conception, then Jesus Christ, God the Son, could not have been conceived in the same manner as everyone else. Consequently, it was necessary that He had a human mother but not a human father.

Thirdly, the virgin conception was also necessary for Him to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin. Indeed, He had to be one without any defect. To be an acceptable sacrifice for our sins Jesus had to be the unblemished “Lamb of God.” This is who the Bible says that He was. Indeed, at the annunciation of His conception He was called the “Holy, Son of God.” Thus, our eternal salvation depends upon His sinlessness.

The virgin conception also points out the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. Indeed, nobody else in the history of our planet has ever come into our world in this manner. In addition, nobody in the future will ever be born of a virgin in the same way as Jesus. He is thus one of a kind.

Finally, the virgin birth is important because the Bible says that is what happened. The authority of the Bible is at stake in this issue. If the Scripture says it happened, then it happened. The ultimate author behind the Bible, God Himself, does not lie.

These five points illustrate the importance of the virgin conception of Christ. Indeed, it is a crucial doctrine of the Christian faith.

Why Do We Find the Virgin Birth Only Recorded in Matthew and Luke? ← Prior Section
Was the Virgin Conception Necessary? Next Section →
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