by John Henson
The virgin birth of Christ is, and has been, a dividing line between those who believe the Bible and those who don’t; it has been a stumbling block for those who wish to be religious, but only wish to express a form of godliness (2 Timothy 3:5).
Matthew, the apostle of Christ and the penman of the first gospel account, begins his story of Jesus by stating in no uncertain terms, a prophecy from Isaiah 7:14, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, ‘God with us.'”
Men believe in the name Emmanuel. They believe Jesus was born and they believe his mother was with child. But they fight continually that Jesus was conceived from the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin.
One commentator of Matthew wrote, “This is a doctrine that presents us with many difficulties; and we are not compelled to accept it in the literal and physical sense.”/1 The only difficulty anyone should have with Matthew 1:23 is the difficulty to believe God’s word and obey it.
The proof of the virgin birth is what the Bible says. For those who believe the Bible, that is enough to prove the virgin birth. Additionally, the doctrine of the virgin birth has been settled from the beginning of the church.
Ignatius, of the Antioch Church of Syria, affirmed the virgin birth in his writings. Justin Martyr, another one of the acknowledged early Christian leaders, defended the virgin birth against opponents both Jewish and Gentile, as did Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian and Origen.
The strongest assaults against the virgin birth have come from rationalist philosophers in the 18th century./2
Modernists wish to make Christ an ordinary man and not God our Savior (Titus 1:3, 4). To do this, they preach that while Jesus was a genius, he is just an ordinary man. In order to solidify their doctrine, the virgin birth is the first casualty.
They do not give enough attention to Isaiah 7:14, for there Isaiah points to the physical birth of a male child, descended from King David; a man who will bear as king of David’s throne the government, and that his name would be “Mighty God, the Everlasting Father.”
As Turner observed, “How can a child of physical birth be Mighty God, the everlasting father? /3
Without a knowledge of the virgin birth, how can anyone truly appreciate God’s love and his giving of his son on the cross for the sins of the world?
1/ William Barclay, “The Gospel of Matthew,” Page 23
2/ “Systematic Theology” by Rex A. Turner, Sr., Page 163
by John Henson