Seven Reasons Why I Believe in
WStS Note: This etext was typed and reformatted by Katie Stewart from a reprint (1971-- uncopyrighted) of the original edition. The use of the letter "s" instead of "z" was correct at the time of publishing.
IN MANY QUARTERS, ecclesiastical as well as secular,
belief in the Virgin Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is scouted as unworthy of twentieth-century
intelligence. Biologically, it is vehemently asserted, such a birth is impossible.
Science with pontifical authority has pronounced against it. Who dares to challenge
the "all knowing" of such an eminent authority?
The fact of the Virgin Birth having been declared against, the evidence and proof which established the fact must now be discredited. Let it be carefully noted that this finding against the Virgin Birth was not the result of a fresh examination of the evidence but rather the arbitrary act of science falsely so called. Having destroyed, in their opinion, the supernatural birth, these "know-alls" must of necessity demolish the evidence which supported that birth. All sorts of ingenious methods have been brought into play to destroy the records-- from the mistranslation of words to the pen-knifing of whole passages of the Bible. Historical evidence is flouted without respect for any known rule of evidence. Unfounded assertions are put forward as sound conclusions and the whole basis of traditional Christian belief is subjected to the methods of a reckless infidelity.
This assault on the doctrine of the Virgin Birth is, however, but one phase of a great battle to evacuate the supernatural from Christianity and to reduce it to the plane of natural religion. These naturalists in religion are out to destroy supernatural Christianity. They go through the Bible and tell us there is no supernatural revelation there; they go through the Birth of Christ and tell us there is no supernatural incarnation there; they go through the Person of Christ and tell us there is no supernatural deity there... they go through the Works of Christ an tell us there are no supernatural miracles there; they go through the Words of Christ and tell us there is no supernatural wisdom there; they go through the Death of Christ and tell us there is no supernatural atonement there; they go through the Blood of Christ and tell us there is no supernatural cleansing there; and they go through the Tomb of Christ and tell us there is no supernatural resurrection there.
Having jettisoned the supernatural from the Gospel Ship they have reduced her to an old hulk of man's manufacturing, a mere plaything for the storms of unbelief and the reefs of infidelity.
Well may Moses say: "For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps." --Deuteronomy 32:31-33.
As a fundamentalist I believe in a supernatural Christianity which presents a supernatural Christ Who had a supernatural Birth, Who lived a supernatural Life, Who died a supernatural Death, Who rose in a supernatural Resurrection, and Who is coming again in a supernatural Manner.
Rejection, then, of the Virgin Birth is an attack on the supernaturalness of Christ. Of Christ's wondrous birth, human incredulity questions, "How shall this be?" Divine inspiration answers, "With God all things are possible."
When human impotence bows to that answer of divine omnipotence the Miracle of the Virgin Birth can be whole-heartedly accepted. He who questions the Virgin Birth challenges the almightiness of God. To discredit the Virgin Birth is not only to strike at the nature of Christ but at the very power of God.
WHAT IS IMPLIED BY REJECTION OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH
Before coming to my reasons for accepting the Virgin Birth let me point out briefly what the alternative is to my position.
No truly honest mind could possibly accept this alternative and continue to plead for Christianity... The alternative involved in the rejection of the Virgin Birth discountenances for all time that glib articulation of the shallow-minded "Oh, the Virgin Birth is not essential."
To reject the Virgin Birth is to impute the stain of unchastity to Mary. Before her marriage Mary was found with child. If this was not by an act of God then Mary must have been unchaste. To reject the Virgin Birth is to affirm that Mary was an adultress. Under the Jewish law an espoused woman's vows to her future husband were as binding as the actual marriage vows. As an espoused woman, if Mary was pregnant by any other act than the act of the Holy Spirit, than she was an adultress. Perish the thought that our Glorious Saviour came into being by an act of adultery. Yet this is what is involved in rejecting the Virgin Birth. What honest person could say that the Virgin Birth is not essential?
To reject the Virgin Birth is to imply that our Lord was a nameless bastard. Joseph never claimed to be his father, but finding Mary pregnant was "minded to put her away privily."
Who, then, was the father of Jesus? The only logical
answer to this, when the Virgin Birth is rejected, is an immoral coward who covered
over his crime with the cloak of anonymity.
To reject the Virgin Birth is to imply that our Lord Jesus Christ was an imposter and liar. He claimed to be the only begotten Son of God. How could He be that, when in reality He was, according to these blaspheming modernists, the bastard child of a fallen woman? Such are some of the implications involved in denying the Virgin Birth.
"But," you ask, "do these modernist preachers fully realise these implications?" Alas, they certainly do, and not only so, but they go so far as to speculate on the very act of immorality which they maintain brought about the birth of Jesus Christ.
Here is a statement by Nels F. S. Ferre, an American theologian:
Having sworn at ordination to preach the Christian gospel such men as Ferre have the brazen effrontery each time they enter the pulpit to attempt to destroy the tenets they are under oath to proclaim. They are perjurers of the worst kind. No language would be strong enough to describe their base villainy. No wonder Dr. Joseph Parker, the illustrious first pastor of the City Temple warned:
Having briefly discussed the awful alternative
to belief in this doctrine, I now come to positive arguments which unquestionably
establish the truth of this cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith.
FIRST REASON: I BELIEVE IN THE VIRGIN BIRTH BECAUSE THE SUPERNATURAL PREDICTIONS OF CHRIST ANTICIPATED HIS SUPERNATURAL BIRTH
Across the impassable "fixed gulf"
the words of Abraham came echoing into the doomed
soul of the tormented Dives, "They have
Moses and the prophets; let them hear them."
--Luke 16:29. But the ruined soul shrieked out, "And
he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will
repent" --Luke 16:30. Abraham's reply
is a final indictment of the damned soul's unbelief: "If
they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one
rose from the dead" --Luke 16:31. Then
came silence, the silence of eternity.
How true, for when God speaks and is unheeded there follows silence, the silence of eternity. No wonder the stricken and rejected Saul wailed, "God is departed from me, and answereth me no more" --1 Samuel 28:15.
No other miracle, not even the miracle of resurrection, can blast the unbelief which rejects the miracle of revelation. "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them." Let us indeed hear them on this vital subject of the Virgin Birth.
Turning to the first book of Moses, the book of Genesis at the third chapter and at the fifteenth verse, I listen to the words which the Lord God spoke to the devil after the seduction of Eve and the fall of Adam.
In passing, let me say that Satan has always fought
hardest against these Scriptures specifically directed to himself. The wounds of
the sword of the Spirit still afflict his Satanic mind. Take, for example, the Scriptures
which our Lord quoted in His temptation. They all came from the Book of Deuteronomy.
Now no book has been more attacked and discredited than Deuteronomy. It has been
the target for the Satanic fury of the so-called "Higher Critics" and the
principal subject of their destructive crucible...
The reference here is to the woman's seed, not to the seed of the man. This is unique because the common reference is always to the seed of the man-- "the seed of Abraham" (Isaiah 41:8), not the seed of Sarah, "the seed of David" (Romans 1:3), not the seed of Bathsheba, and so on.
Something extraordinary is referred to, for only a unique seed, a special seed, a supernatural seed, could accomplish that unique, special and supernatural triumph "the bruising of the serpent's head." Every effect must have an adequate cause and no son by ordinary generation of Adam's ruined race could accomplish the effect here spoken of. The adequate cause is found in the woman's seed, a Virgin-born Saviour.
Since natural generation commenced with the begetting
of Cain, a woman in pregnancy always compassed the child and often that child was
a man-child. Here a new thing is mentioned, the result of a creating act of God,
not the result of any acts of man. A woman bears a child without any relationship
to man, God alone taking the responsibility. This text as reference to the passage
can verify stands before prophetic Scriptures which tell of the ushering in of the
gospel dispensation. Also another Scripture which had its fulfillment in the birth
of Christ occurs in this chapter, Jeremiah 31:15: "Thus
saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel
weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were
The new thing done by God in the woman compassing a man is none other than the Virgin Birth. Notice how the Scriptures refer to it as a "creation," --"the LORD hath created a new thing".
A Virgin unspotted the prophets foretold,
Should bring forth a Saviour which now we behold.
To be our Redeemer from death, hell and sin
Which Adam's transgression had wrapped us up in.
This verse has become the principal battleground
of the whole controversy regarding the Virgin Birth. The first line of assault of
the critics is upon the Hebrew word "almah," here translated "virgin".
It is urged that the proper Hebrew word for virgin is "bethulah,"
and that if a virgin was what the prophet wished to signify he would have used that
word. "Almah," it is contended, simply means "a young woman
of marriageable age."
Now the Lord, upon whose instruction the prophet spoke, foreknew that proud men would come and seek to undermine the force of this prophetic Scripture. In order that the saints, to whom the faith was delivered, might have an answer to such an argument, the Holy Spirit used the word "almah" seven times in the Old Testament, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word might be established. The word "almah" occurs in the following Old Testament verses:--
Seven in Scripture is the number of perfection, so the Holy Spirit has given us a perfect guide to the meaning of "almah". Professor J. Gresham Machen in his scholarly work "The Virgin Birth of Christ" comments:
In his "Prophets and Promise" Professor Willis Beecher says:
Professor James Orr states in his great book, "The Virgin Birth of Christ":
Four hundred years ago Martin Luther issued a challenge:
Luther's challenge still stands impregnable today.
In Isaiah 7:14 the definite article is prefixed to "almah", the literal reading being "the virgin". The definite article has an individualising and specialising force and so the virgin here is from God's point of view the virgin, in contradistinction to all other virgins. This virgin then spoken of by God could be none other than Mary to whom the angel said, "Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." Luke 1:28.
The Old Testament was translated into the Greek language about the third century B. C. This version was called the Septuagint Version. According to tradition this translation was made by about seventy divines hence it has been designated as the LXX, the Roman numerals for seventy. Without doubt, those who made this translation were eminent Hebrew scholars and better equipped to translate the Hebrew than any modern Hebraist, as Hebrew was still a spoken language in their day. In the LXX "almah" in Isaiah 7:14 is translated by the Greek word "parthenos" virgin.
Dr. Edersheim, whose "Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah" presents a higher order of scholarship than any other "Life" of Christ extant, states:
The second line of assault of the critics is regarding
the significance of the prophecy to King Ahaz. The prophecy, it is argued, is addressed
to King Ahaz and of what particular benefit as a sign could this prophecy be if it
referred to the birth of Christ which did not occur until many hundreds of years
after the death of the king? The sign, it is asserted, must take place during the
life of the king.
Conflicting theories have been brought forward by the critics as explanations of the sign to Ahaz. Some say that the virgin is the prophet's wife, who, in the beginning of the next chapter, bore a son called Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. If this were so, why use such a designation for the prophet's wife as "almah"?
Again, some say that the child here referred to is Hezekiah the king's son. Hezekiah however, was born before Ahaz ascended the throne, so such an interpretation makes the prophecy meaningless.
Yet another theory rejects all actual identification of the mother or the child and says the prophet referred to any young woman who at that particular time was conceiving a male child. If this were so, then the language of the prophet declaring a special sign is extravagant and senseless. These theories which seek to explain this birth as an ordinary birth are, to say the least, unconvincing. They bear too much the marks of man's manufacturing. They are only brought forward by prejudiced minds closed to the supernatural.
If we look closely at the prophecy we shall find that the premise of their whole argument is false, for the prophecy was not addressed to Ahaz as they so vehemently assert. In verse twelve Ahaz refused to ask a sign in the depth or in the height above as God commanded him. As Ahaz closed his ear to the commandment of God, God then calls for a hearing from the whole house of David, "And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?" --Isaiah 7:13. The prophet ceases to address Ahaz particularly, and his words are now general to the whole house of David.
Ahaz was to ask a sign in the depth, or in the height above but the sign which the Lord Himself gave, not to Ahaz, but to the whole house of David and hence to all Israel was a sign upon the earth. The prophecy foretold an incarnation Immanuel, God with us, by a supernatural medium, the Virgin Birth.
When the historical light of the New Testament falls on this prophetic passage the meaning is quite clear. In the temple Simeon took the Babe (Christ) in his arms and blessed God (Luke 2:28) he then blessed Joseph and Mary, (verse 34) and finally addressed certain words to Mary (verses 34 and 35). It is to be noted that he particularly addressed Mary, for his words had no application to Joseph. "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against." Here we have the sign again. The mother and the sign go together and the sign is twofold, a virgin birth and an incarnation.
It is also interesting to note that the Greek word "semeion", used here for "sign" is the same word which occurs in the LXX translation of Isaiah 7:14. Today the words of Simeon are fulfilled in our ears when "the sign," the Virgin Birth, is spoken against. All these prophetic Scriptures implicitly foretold the Virgin Birth and I wholeheartedly accept their testimony.
SECOND REASON: I BELIEVE IN THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF CHRIST BECAUSE THE SUPERNATURAL RECORDS OF CHRIST AFFIRM HIS SUPERNATURAL BIRTH
By the supernatural records, I, of course, mean the New Testament records. There are other records which I do not accept. These testify themselves to their own spurious nature and they have been rightly excluded from the canon.
Matthew and Luke each record the fact of the Virgin Birth. Their records are independent of each other which is an extra guarantee of their worth. The efforts of the critics to show them to be contradictory is in vain. They are, in fact, complementary. Professor James Orr says:
Matthew's narrative is told throughout from the
standpoint of Joseph; Luke's from that of Mary. The language of both narratives is
so unmistakable, so unequivocal and so conclusive that to accept these Gospels one
must accept the Virgin Birth. There can be no halfway position here, only one of
two things can happen-- either the Virgin Birth must be absolutely accepted or the
Gospels totally rejected. No man has a right to quote as authoritative any portion
of Matthew or Luke who rejects the testimony of these evangelists to the Virgin Birth.
The so-called modernists who reject the Virgin Birth because they allege that Matthew and Luke are the only two writers who mention it are keen exponents of the "Sermon on the Mount." The total inconsistency of their reasoning is demonstrated when we consider that only Matthew and Luke record "The Sermon on the Mount." If they were logical they would reject "The Sermon on the Mount" for the same reason as they reject "The Virgin Birth." Principle for the modernists, however, must always be sacrificed for prejudice.
In an effort to take attention away from these plain statements of the evangelists, the critics lay great emphasis on the genealogies which they stress refer to Joseph and not to Mary. "It is beyond dispute," Lobstein the critic audaciously states, "that in the mind of both genealogists Jesus is the son of Joseph." Such a statement is typical of the wild assertions of the critics.
Nothing could be more widely disputed. As a matter of fact, it is beyond dispute that neither Matthew nor Luke wrote of Christ as the son of Joseph. Matthew changes his whole style in verse sixteen of the first chapter, and states not as Lobstein would have it, "And Jacob begat Joseph and Joseph begat Jesus," but "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, Who is called Christ." --Matthew 1:16. Luke, on the other hand, carefully inserts a qualifying clause "as was supposed". "And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli." --Luke 3:23. It is therefore evident that Matthew and Luke recognised no contradiction between the genealogies and these implicit testimonies to the fact that Joseph was not the father of Jesus.
It ought to be pointed out also that, even if these genealogies refer solely to Joseph, it only makes sure that the legal and regal standing of Jesus is established, for under Jewish law "he that brings up and not he that begets is called the father or parent" and the adopted shares the legal standing of the foster male parent.
There is, however, evidence that Mary herself was of Davidic descent and was the daughter of Heli mentioned in Luke 3:23. Now, under Jewish law "the family of the mother is not called a family" hence there is no mention of Mary's name. Mary and Joseph were then nearly related and so even Matthew's genealogy while a genealogy of Joseph is also in reality a genealogy of Mary. Hence Christ was legally, regally and maternally "of the seed of David".
Our Lord Jesus Christ was quite aware from His earliest days that Joseph was not his father, for at the age of twelve He rebuked His mother for making that assertion. When after three days Joseph and Mary found the boy Jesus in the temple, Mary said to Him, "Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing." --Luke 2:48. The answer of Christ was a clear repudiation that Joseph was His father. "Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?" --Luke 2:49. He was not the son of Joseph; He was the Son of God.
Another argument frequently paraded by the opponents of this doctrine is the alleged silence of the rest of the New Testament. What the critics do not stress is the fact that no New Testament writer denies the supernatural birth but that all New Testament Christology is in complete harmony with the narratives of Matthew and Luke. Mark, we are told, knew nothing about the Virgin Birth. Is it not striking that his first sentence is a complete repudiation of any assertion that Jesus was the son of Joseph. He states plainly that Jesus Christ is "the Son of God." --Mark 1:1.
In Matthew the townsfolk of Nazareth sneered at Christ and said, "Is not this the carpenter's Son?" --Matthew 13:55. Matthew's genealogy, however, completely answers that insinuation. I do not think that it is a mere coincidence that Mark reported another, though similar, sneer of the natives of Nazareth. "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?" --Mark 6:3. Having no genealogy Mark records the sneer that does not impute fatherhood to Joseph.
"Mark," says one writer, "does not tolerate the paternity of Joseph even in the mouth of the Nazarenes."
The testimony of John to the full Deity in the Godhead of our Lord Jesus Christ of necessity implies the Virgin Birth. John commences: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made" --John 1:1-3, and then he makes that tremendous assertion. "The Word was made flesh." --John 1:14. But how? Certainly not by natural generation, for further on John asserts that Jesus said "That which is born of the flesh is flesh." --John 3:6.
It would be blasphemous to suppose that John believed that Jesus by nature was unable to "enter into the Kingdom of God" but like ourselves required to be "born again."
Jesus was born "according
to the flesh" (Romans 1:3) but not
"of the flesh." --John 3:6. We have also the confirming testimony of history,
which records that John's keen personal antagonism was against the arch-heretic Cerinthus
the Gnostic teacher who taught among other things that Jesus was the son of Joseph
Then what of Paul? The critics allege that the silence of Paul proves he knew nothing of the Virgin Birth. It should be pointed out, however, that even if Paul is silent on the matter the critic's conclusion "therefore he knew nothing about it" is not valid. Silence and contradiction are two vastly different things. But, is Paul silent? "God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh." --Romans 8:3. "Was made in the likeness of men." --Philippians 2:7. Surely there is a clear distinction between these assertions of Paul about Christ's birth and a mere natural birth. To Paul, Christ is God's own Son and not in any sense the son of a man. In His incarnation He is one of us, but not of us. He is to be distinguished from all the rest of mankind hence the expressions, "likeness of sinful flesh" and "likeness of men."
"God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law." --Galatians 4:4. Here again the sonship is in reference to God the Father and not man, but the woman is the vehicle of the birth. In verses 22-31 of this chapter, Paul discusses the births of Ishmael and Isaac. When Paul describes the birth of Christ in verse five, however, he employs a different Greek word. Here, and in Romans 1:3 and Philippians 2:7, he uses a more general term which means "becoming". John says, "The Word became flesh" and Paul says "God sent His Son, [literally] become of a woman."
Why did Paul not use the same word of Christ's birth as he used of the births of Isaac and Ishmael if he believed Christ was born of natural generation? Why this careful distinction?
Again in this passage the Divine Sonship is emphasised. He is "God's Son" verse three, and the "Son of God" verse four. Paul knew nothing of any other sonship. He was never to Paul the Son of any man let alone the son of Joseph. Paul also refers here to the prophetic Scriptures. To pretend that he, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, was ignorant of Isaiah 7:14 the great Virgin Birth prophecy, would be absurd.
In verses three and four, there will be found a likeness to Luke's narrative of the Virgin Birth. Professor James Orr comments:
It is evident from a candid consideration of the above that Paul is certainly no witness to be called upon to disprove the Virgin Birth. He stands not with the opponents but rather with exponents of the doctrine. Professor Orr ably sums up the supernatural record thus:
It was a true remark of Dr. Dale's that particular
texts are not the whole or most impressive proofs which the Scripture can supply
on any great doctrine. Particular texts he likened to salt-crystals which appear
on the seashore when the tide has receded. "These are not," he remarked,
"the strongest, though they may be the most apparent, proofs that the sea is
salt; the salt is present in solution in every bucket of seawater."
So the testimony to the Virgin Birth is in solution on every page of the New Testament. Every book, every chapter, every verse, yes every word which is spoken of Christ or by Christ is spoken on the assumption that He is Virgin born.
To destroy the supernatural birth one must first destroy the whole supernatural record. Therefore let me testify again that I believe in the Virgin Birth because the supernatural records affirm the supernatural birth.
THIRD REASON: I BELIEVE IN THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF CHRIST BECAUSE THE SUPERNATURAL INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD DEMANDS HIS SUPERNATURAL BIRTH
Those who deny the Virgin Birth of Christ must also deny the pre-existence of Christ and those who deny the pre-existence of Christ must further deny the co-equality of Christ in the Godhead. By maintaining that the birth of Christ was by natural generation the origin of Christ is fixed. His conception and birth mark the date of His origin. He had a beginning like all other creatures. His eternity therefore must be rejected. Such is the logical outcome of the denial of the supernatural birth.
Apostasy in this vital doctrine leads to total apostasy in all vital doctrines.
To deny the Virgin Birth is to reduce Christ to the level of an ordinary individual. In doing so His pre-existence and hence, His place in the Godhead, are repudiated. He cannot, therefore, by this reasoning, be the Son of God. If He is not, as the Father from the heavens twice declared Him to be, the Son of God, then the God of Truth is a liar, heaven in reality is hell and the whole revelation one colossal sham.
There is, in fact, no middle ground logically between denial of the Virgin Birth and the pestiferous bogs of open infidelity. Those who maintain that the Virgin Birth is not essential only display their own abysmal ignorance.
If, on the other hand, it can be established that our Lord Jesus Christ was the eternal son of God incarnate in the flesh, the possibility of any other birth but Virgin Birth is finally ruled out.
Only by a Virgin Birth could He, Who forever was, be manifested in time.
An ordinary birth results in the generation of a new person, but the extraordinary birth of Christ resulted in the incarnation of an old person, even the Ancient of Days. No new person resulted at the birth of Christ, but through that Birth the Second Person of the Trinity, by taking into union with Himself an impeccable human nature, was manifested in the flesh.
The Incarnation was a miracle in itself, and presupposes another miracle for its accomplishment, the miracle of the Virgin Birth.
Writing to Timothy, Paul views--
and exclaims, "Without
controversy great is the mystery of godliness." --1
It is surely a great mystery, for it is clothed in the miraculous.
Those who declare that this great mystery all originated in an ordinary birth only reveal their own total misconception of the vastness of God's redemptive purpose. The law that every effect must have an adequate cause rules out the possibility that Christ's birth could be a birth by ordinary generation. Such an effect as the supernatural incarnation demands for its adequate cause the supernatural generation. To tamper with the miraculous in the birth of Christ always leads to a diminishing of the supernatural in Christ all through His life and work. Prof. Gresham Machen says:
Now the testimony that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and as such is God the Son, stands impregnable.
- Matthew 3:17-- "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased."
Matthew 17:5-- "Behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a Voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him."
- John 10:36-- "Say ye of Him, Whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"
- John 1:32-34-- "And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him. And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."
- Luke 1:35-- "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
- John 1:34-- "Upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."
- John 1:49-- "Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel."
- Matthew 8:29-- "And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God? art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?"
- Matthew 14:33-- "Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying, Of a truth Thou art the Son of God."
- Matthew 16:16-- "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
- Matthew 27:54-- "Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God."
- John 20:31-- "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have Life through His Name."
- Acts 8:37-- "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
It cannot be questioned that the term "Son of God"
conveyed to those who heard it that Christ was God. For example, when Christ Himself
used the expression we read: "Then the
Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have
I showed you from My Father; for which of those works do ye stone Me? The Jews answered
Him, saying, For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that
Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God."
This twelve-fold testimony to the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is significant. Twelve in Scripture is the number of governmental perfection. This was manifested in Patriarchal government, twelve patriarchs from Seth to Noah and his family and twelve from Shem to Jacob; in National government in the Twelve Tribes of Israel; in Apostolic Government in the Twelve Apostles, and in Celestial Government in the City of God, which is characterised by twelve, having twelve foundations and twelve gates.
Twelve is the product of three and four. Three is the divine number, three persons in the Trinity, and four is the earthly number, the four regions of the earth, north, south, east and west. In the number twelve we have both combined, so in the twelvefold testimony we have all in heaven combined with all under the heaven, testifying to the fact that Jesus is the eternal Son of God.
Such a testimony refutes any assertion that He was the son of a man and demands the Virgin Birth as the only possible medium of His incarnation.
FOURTH REASON: [OMITTED]
FIFTH REASON: I BELIEVE IN THE VIRGIN BIRTH BECAUSE THE SUPERNATURAL BLOOD OF CHRIST NECESSITATES HIS SUPERNATURAL BIRTH
The whole emphasis of the Bible is on Redemption by the shedding of the Saviour's blood. From the shedding of blood in Eden's garden for the clothing of our fallen first parents, to the great throng of the Apocalypse who sing of the Blood of the Lamb, the Bible is a book of blood. The crimson from Immanuel's veins tinges every verse, every chapter and every book. With the indelible writing of God in the crimson letters of the blood of redemption, God's eternal law stands written across the whole volume. "Without shedding of blood is no remission." --Hebrews 9:22.
Where, however, among the sons of men can blood be found rich enough to pay the tremendous debt of sin, precious enough to satisfy divine justice, strong enough to cancel sin's appalling guilt, pure enough to usher in the reign of righteousness, overcoming enough to crush the devil and divine enough to redeem the elect of God?
God has made of one blood, we read, all the nations of the earth. By God's creation men's blood is one in composition. By sin's ruination, [sinful] men's blood is one in pollution. Through the veins of [sinning] humanity flows a poisoned bloodstream The life of the flesh is in the blood. The life of [sinning] man is totally depraved, therefore his blood is but human depravity in solution. Such blood calls for judgment rather than appeasement. its shedding can only bring God's wrath and not God's mercy.
Although this is true, yet wonder of wonders amongst the race of sinners and in the house of David, a house as much cursed with sin as that of any other human family, there has been opened up a fountain for sin and for all uncleanness.
What sacred fountain yonder springs
Up from the throne of God,
And all new covenant blessings brings?
'Tis Jesus' precious blood.
What mighty sum paid all my debt
When I a bondman stood,
And has my soul at freedom set?
'This Jesus' precious blood.
What stream is that which sweeps away
My sins just like a flood,
Nor lets one guilty blemish stay?
'This Jesus' precious blood.
What voice is that which speaks for me
In heaven's high court for good,
And from the curse has made me free?
'This Jesus' precious blood.
What theme, my soul, shall best employ
Thy harp before thy God,
And made all heaven to ring with joy?
'This Jesus' precious blood.
Commenting on 1 John 1:7, Bishop Westcott says, "Jesus His Son, the union in the one Person is clearly marked by the contrast 'Jesus' 'His Son.' Here the human name Jesus brings out the possibility of the communication of Christ's blood, and the divine name brings out the all-sufficing efficacy."
Christ's Blood could only have these great attributes
if He was Virgin-born... The supernatural blood necessitates the supernatural birth.
It is an established physiological fact that the mother's blood is neither the source nor supply of the blood in the unborn infant's veins. It is the contribution of the male which leads to the development of the blood. Without that vital contribution no blood could be produced because the female of herself does not produce the elements essential for the production of this new blood. Gray's Anatomy, a recognised medical authority, states: "The fetal and maternal blood currents do not intermingle, being separated from each other by the delicate walls of the villi."
Woman was so constructed that in the production of her child none of her blood would enter the veins of her offspring. This brings us back to Genesis and there we read: "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man." --Genesis 2:21-22. The word used in verse 22 for the making of the woman is literally "builded." God builded, or constructed, woman and she was constructed in such a manner that when she was producing a child, that child's blood would be a new creation and not formed by the mother's bloodstream. Why did God so build, or construct, the woman? Simply because He was anticipating the Virgin Birth and making ready the woman for the great incarnation of God in human flesh.
Satan used the woman as the instrument to ruin the race, but God who is always ahead of the devil, forestalled him and had already constructed the woman so that she would be the instrument to produce the Redeemer of the race. If the woman had not been constructed in this manner and the production of blood in the unborn infant not so ordered, than Christ's blood would have been common with the whole race and valueless to redeem. The Virgin Birth of Christ, which took place with no male contribution which would originate the infant's blood in the usual way, but by a supernatural act of God thus originating supernatural blood, is absolutely essential to the work of redemption. By such a birth and by such a birth alone could blood be produced-- precious, incorruptible, supernatural and divine, to redeem the fallen sons of Adam's accursed race.
As I view the almighty wisdom of God in the production of such blood the words of the angelic announcement of the Virgin Birth come with fresh authority to my heart. "For with God nothing shall be impossible." --Luke 1:37.
Dr. De Haan of the Radio Bible Class, in his great message "The Chemistry of the Blood" commenting on this tremendous truth, states:
I therefore believe in the Virgin Birth of Christ
because His supernatural Blood necessitates His supernatural birth.
SIXTH REASON: I BELIEVE IN THE VIRGIN BIRTH BECAUSE THE SUPERNATURAL RESURRECTION OF CHRIST COMPLEMENTS HIS SUPERNATURAL BIRTH
In Romans 1:4 we read that our Lord Jesus Christ was "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." He was not made the Son of God by the resurrection but the resurrection was a stupendous affirmation of what He already was. It was a declaration concerning His Person unparalleled in all history. Through it He was manifested as the Conqueror of Death, the Master of Satan and the Victor of the Tomb. The empty tomb with eloquence unequaled and logic unanswerable declares Him to be the Eternal son of the living God. If He had been merely the son of a man His body would long since have turned to dust but because He was the Son of God even Hid dead body was not mutilated by the fingers of corruption. God His Father would not suffer His flesh to see corruption.
Now the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is
the best attested fact of history and has rightly been called the Gibraltar of all
the Christian evidences. Its truth has been impregnably established. This supernatural
exit from the world of the Lord Jesus Christ, i.e., the resurrection, demands the
supernatural entrance into the world of Christ, i.e., the Virgin Birth. The resurrection
is the complement of the Virgin Birth and its logical outcome. Christ's miraculous
birth could only be complemented by Christ's miraculous resurrection and His resurrection
could only be complemented by His Virgin Birth. Both are absolutely necessary and
the one without the other is unthinkable.
Professor Warfield states:
The New Testament's comments on two prophetic psalms
link beautifully together the birth and the resurrection of our Lord. Hebrews 10:5--
"Wherefore when He cometh into the world,
He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared
Me." Here we have the Divine Preparation
of our Lord's Body which is nothing else than the Virgin Birth. Acts 2:27,31--
"Because Thou wilt not leave My soul in
hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption... He [David] seeing this
before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither
His flesh did see corruption." Here we
have the Divine Preservation of the Lord's Body which is nothing else than
These two Scriptures also reveal the care of the Father for the body of our Lord. In our day the attack is spearheaded against this precious and holy temple in which our Lord has eternally taken up habitation. Those who impugn the Virgin Birth are seeking to make that holy and precious body an unholy and polluted piece of flesh. On the other hand the great battle of the day concerning Christ's reconciling work centres around His bodily resurrection, which the critics maintain did not take place. They are prepared to accept any doctrine of rising again but the New Testament doctrine of a Risen Christ Who declared: "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have." --Luke 24:39.
The object of their attacks in both cases is the supernaturally prepared and supernaturally preserved body of the Saviour.
The dynamic power of Christianity for almost two thousand years affirms the reality of the resurrection of Christ and by so doing establishes the only adequate complement of that resurrection, the Virgin Birth.
SEVENTH REASON: I BELIEVE IN THE VIRGIN BIRTH BECAUSE THE SUPERNATURAL COMING AGAIN OF CHRIST WILL VINDICATE HIS SUPERNATURAL BIRTH
The personal, visible and glorious coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ is the Blessed Hope of the Christian Church. This great hope that our Lord and Saviour is to return again is established by a fivefold testimony. Such a testimony cannot be broken.
1. The Return of Christ is Divinely Revealed
The New Testament Scriptures abound with references to this doctrine. It has been ascertained that in the two hundred and sixty chapters of the New Testament, there are no less than three hundred and eighteen references to it. No other subject is more fully expanded.
The testimony of Christ alone is sufficient to establish beyond question this most important truth. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." --John 14:3. No words could be more convincing. He is gone and He is coming again.
2. The Return of Christ is Prophetically Declared
The Old Testament prophets whose predictions of Christ's first advent came so wonderfully true, also spoke of His second advent. The testimony of the prophetic Scriptures is conclusive that the King is coming back again. These prophetic Scriptures have been confirmed by many miraculous fulfillments and stand impregnable. Without doubt, as the references to Christ's first coming were all proved true so their references to Christ's second coming will also be gloriously vindicated. The first of the great line of Old Testament prophets, Enoch, proclaimed this truth. "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." --Jude 1:14-15.
With Peter we can say, "We have also a more sure Word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." --2 Peter 1:19.
3. The return of Christ is Angelically Affirmed
When our Lord ascended to heaven the apostles were given a wonderful affirmation of this glorious truth. In Acts chapter one, verses ten and eleven we read, "Acts 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Here is angelical affirmation of Christ's second advent. Just as a heavenly messenger affirmed to Mary His first coming, so heavenly messengers affirm His second coming.
Who would dare to challenge such a testimony or suggest that Luke's record is a fabrication?
4. The Return of the Lord is Apostolically Confirmed
The Apostles in their writings confirm the doctrine. Peter speaks of "appearing and revelation" of our Lord Jesus Christ. "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ... Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." --1 Peter 1:7,13. Paul says, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." --1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. James exhorts to patience, "Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." --James 5:8. John declares, "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen." --Revelation 1:7. In fact, every writer of the New Testament plainly confirms that "Unto them that look for Him [Christ] shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation." --Hebrews 9:28.
5. The Return of Christ is Believingly Anticipated
The fact that Christ is to return has been the source of inspiration of the true Church of Christ in all ages. If the Lord's second coming were the mere fiction of fallible man and not the mighty fact of the infallible revelation, how can the purifying inspiration of this doctrine be accounted for? When the Church really looked for Christ she really laboured for Christ. History invariably records that when the Church lost sight of this glorious truth she became corrupted, decadent and unworthy of her Lord, but when she was captivated with the thought that her Lord was coming for her, then the fires of evangelism burned within her bosom and she made her greatest advancements. Who can deny that modern evangelical foreign missions owe their origin and impetus to the recognition of the fact that "the coming of the Lord draweth nigh"?
Lo! He cometh! countless trumpets
Blow to raise the sleeping dead;
'Midst ten thousand saints and angels
See their great exalted Head.
Let the welcome summons spread!
Sow console our waiting spirit,
Hasten, Lord, the general doom!
And to dwell in heavenly mansions
Take Thy longing exiles home;
Travails, groans, and bids Thee come.
The Supernatural second coming of Christ will vindicate finally His supernatural Birth. That He is not a son of any man, but the Virgin born incarnate Son of God, could have no greater vindication than this stupendous event. "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." --Philippians 2:10-11. Perish the thought that the One Who is coming in the clouds, attended with angels and accompanied by all the glory of the eternal Father, is the mere product of fallen humanity. Who could seriously accept such a proposition? The birth by which
"Being's source begins to be,
And God Himself is born!"
must be supernatural.
No wonder those who deny His miraculous birth, also eventually discard His miraculous life, His miraculous birth, His miraculous resurrection and then finally His miraculous coming again.
The golden symmetry of the glorious gospel of the blessed God which presents the Christ of supernatural Life, supernatural Death, supernatural Resurrection and supernatural Return would be irreparably violated if that Christ was not supernaturally born.
Those of us who, however, have had a saving experience of the supernatural Christ know assuredly that He who receives us into His Kingdom by a miraculous birth was Himself, for our salvation, miraculously born and He who makes us sons of God is Himself the Son of God.
I do not know how Bethlehem's Babe
Could in the Godhead be;
I only know the manger Child
Has brought God's life to me.
The Virgin Birth will always remain a mystery, but its fact is eternally demonstrated in the Person it produced.
To reject the virgin-born Christ is to reject the only real Christ in favour of a christ of men's own vain imagination.
This humanitarian christ, a non-entity by birth, is powerless to save sinners. To accept and preach him is to be a participator in the "strong delusion" and to believe "a lie."
Such a christ is "another Jesus" which Paul warned against.
To this false christ I owe no loyalty and give
The Christ to Whom I have sworn fealty is "my Lord and my God."
Dearest of all the names above,
My Jesus, and my God,
Who can resist Thy heavenly love,
Or trifle with Thy blood?
'Tis by the merits of Thy death
The Father smiles again;
'Tis by Thine interceding breath
The Spirit dwells with men.
Till God in human flesh I see,
My thoughts no comfort find;
The Holy, Just, and Sacred Three
Are terrors to my mind.
But if Emmanuel's face appear,
My hope, my joy begins;
His name forbids my slavish fear,
His grace removes my sins.
While Jews on their own law rely,
And Greeks of wisdom boast,
I love the incarnate mystery,
And there I fix my trust.
"Wylie's 'The History of Protestantism' is the best history extant.
I welcome its republishing. Read it. Study it. Circulate it.
And by so doing you will help to dispel the dark cloud
of priestly superstition, popish idolatry and papal tyranny
encircling our land." --Ian Paisley
"The History of Protestantism" (3 volumes, 1878) by J. A. Wylie ---New Window
Other sermons in this series:
From the book CHRISTIAN FOUNDATIONS
by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley
Seven Reasons Why I Believe
THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD ---New Window
by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley
"The more I study the calamity which follows the rejection of the Bible the more I am convinced that the Bible is the inbreathed Word of God. In view of this impregnable fact, surely we need to get back to the Bible, back to Bible preaching, back to Bible praying and back to Bible practicing. A revival of Bible Christianity alone can save the situation. A rediscovery of the Word of God brought about the glorious Reformation of four-hundred years ago and thank God the Bible dynamite is just as potent today. Let us then let the Bible rule our hearts and homes and refuse to support those who dare to trifle with it in the pulpit. Above all things, let us seize the unfailing promises of the Book and never rest night nor day from prayer until the God of the Bible visits us with a gracious revival."
Seven Reasons Why I Believe in
THE FULL DIVINITY OF CHRIST ---New Window
by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley
"Our Lord Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh. God tabernacling in human form. When I say I believe in the full deity of Christ, that is what I affirm. At His birth our Lord Jesu Christ did not begin to exist. He was before all worlds Very God of Very God. Neither did He cease to be God, He was, is and always shall be the Mighty God, the Father of Eternity. At the incarnation God the Son took on another mode of existence by taking into union with Himself an impeccable human nature."
Seven Reasons Why I Believe in
THE ATONING BLOOD OF CHRIST ---New Window
by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley
"This vital consideration brings us to the fulcrum of the great operation of the Divine Revelation, to the centre of the vast circumference of Divine Redemption and to the very heart of the throbbing purpose of Divine Reconciliation. We come from the shallows of human speculation to the depths of divine revelation when we come to the Blood. We step at this juncture from the shadows of Old Testament typology to the blazing sunshine of New Testament theology. It is here we launch our souls from the shores of man's estimate into the boundless, tideless, endless sea of God's ultimate."
Seven Reasons Why I Believe in
THE BODILY RESURRECTION OF CHRIST ---New Window
by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley
"The Resurrection is essential to Christianity, for by it alone can Christianity be confirmed. The Resurrection is the great corroborator of the Christian gospel. Remove this keystone and the goodly temple crashes into ruin. As life is essential to living so the Resurrection is essential to a living Christianity. Take away the Resurrection and Christianity becomes a dead letter, but another contribution to the world's Pantheon."
"And if Christ be not raised, your Faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" (1Corinthians 15:17).
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