I would encourage you to open your Bible to Luke chapter 1; the rich gospel of Luke, third book in the New Testament. Luke the beloved physician wrote his account inspired by the Holy Spirit of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we are into this incredible history of the Lord Jesus Christ. We're not very far in, we're still in chapter 1, but chapter 1 is long, it has 80 verses and chapter 2 has 52 verses. So we're going to be here for a while. This is also very foundational truth to understand Christianity and Christian theology. In fact, in some ways this morning we’ll be a bit more of a theologian than an expositor as we consider the issue of the conception of the Lord Jesus Christ in the womb of Mary.
In chapter 1 I draw your attention to verse 30. "And the angel said to her,” this is the angel Gabriel speaking to Mary, “'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever and His kingdom will have no end.'
"And Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be since I am a virgin?' And the angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative, Elizabeth, has also conceived a son in her old age and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing will be impossible with God.' And Mary said, 'Behold the bond slave of the Lord. Be it done to me according to Your word.' And the angel departed from her."
Here is really where the story of Jesus Christ starts historically. The angel Gabriel comes to a teen-aged girl, probably 13 or 14, living in a humble home, no doubt, in a non-descript town called Nazareth and tells her that God has chosen her for special grace and special favor, which is that she will become the mother of the Son of God and that she will conceive and bear that Son while still a virgin.
Obviously from a human perspective, that is not possible. In verse 34 Mary says, "How can this be since I'm a virgin?" In verse 37 the angel reminds her, "Nothing will be impossible with God." What is going to happen is described in verse 35, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you," in place of a man, a husband, "and the power of the Most High will hover around you and because of that you will have a holy child who will be the Son of God."
Now the conception of Jesus Christ in this manner is unique in all the history of humanity. This is the only time this has or ever will occur. This is absolutely critical to the Christian message. This is critical to the gospel. This is critical to Christianity, to biblical theology, because it protects the nature of Christ as God and Man. He had to be born of God to be Son of God. He had to be born of a woman to be Son of Man. And so in this incredible miracle, Mary, who is human, and God, who is divine, are brought together and one is born of God and of woman who is God and Man, the God-Man Jesus Christ. And the nature of Jesus Christ as God and Man is at the heart of the Christian faith. If anyone denies the deity of Jesus Christ, they have destroyed Christianity. What you have left is a satanic, deceptive, counterfeit, lying religion invented by men and demons to destroy the truth.
I have been asked through my years of teaching the Bible whether it's essential to believe that Jesus was conceived in a virgin. And the answer is yes because it is essential to saving faith to put your trust in the true Christ. You must believe that Jesus is who He is and who He is is God and Man, and that is preserved and launched, if you will, in this very truth of virgin conception.
Now history has had some amazing births. Biblical history has had some amazing births. The birth of Isaac was amazing and actually miraculous. The father of Isaac was Abraham. He was 100 years old. The mother of Isaac was Sarah. She was 90 years old and barren, unable to have children, and at that age God gave Abraham and Sarah a son, Isaac, a real miracle child. And Isaac then really became the father of the whole redemptive community through whom Messiah finally came, a notable child, a covenant child.
To the barren wife of Manoah, Judges 13 says, "Whose womb had been closed," to the barren of Manoah was given a son, her womb miraculously opened by God to give her a son. And this son was not like any other son who ever lived before or since. This son could take a lion in his bare hands and turn the lion inside out. This son could slay thousands with the jawbone of an ass. This son was so powerful that he could bring down a stone temple on himself and thousands of others who were buried in the rubble of it. This son was Samson.
And then there was the barren Hannah who pined away because she never had a child. And the Lord opened her womb that He had shut and gave her a son named Samuel, not just any son, but Samuel the prophet, Samuel the priest, Samuel the anointer of kings.
We come into the New Testament and already as we move into the first chapter of Luke we meet a barren old couple, Zacharias and Elizabeth. And we know they were old because he was serving as a priest in his old age. There was a 60-year cap on service for the Levites, but there was no cap on service for the priests. And so he well could have been in his 70s or his 80s. They never had had children. And God allowed Zacharias and Elizabeth to come together and conceive a son. And she who was barren became pregnant. Not just any son was born out of that union, but John the Baptist of whom Jesus said he was the greatest man who had ever lived up until his time. He was the forerunner of the Messiah Himself.
Isaac miraculously born. Samson miraculously born. Samuel miraculously born. John miraculously born. And all of them with incredible and astounding lives as God miraculously and supernaturally allowed those children to be conceived and born.
There have been some remarkable births that weren't miraculous. In our own society we all look back to the 1934 event in Canada when the Dionne quintuplets were born and that without the aid of any fertility drug, a rare, almost unheard of birth of five children at once.
More recently it's becoming a bit more common as fertility drugs are being used today. And we read about... Well it was back in, I think, 1973 when the Stanek sextuplets were born in Colorado. And then it was the McCoys, and I think they had seven. And then recently somewhere, I think, eight. And that is astounding to all of us. Fertility drugs are involved in that. There is no miracle occurring there. It takes a man and a woman in the normal way to produce children. It's just the amount, the litter, that is a bit rare, induced by drugs.
I think in my lifetime probably the most defining and remarkable birth was the birth of little Louise Brown, five pounds, twelve ounces, born to John and Leslie Brown of Lancashire, England on July 25, 1978. The first child ever born...conceived outside human bodies. For the first time God permitted a baby to be born that had been conceived outside the human body.
After years and years, 12 years of specific research, the capability came to remove a mother's egg, fertilize it with a sperm removed from a father, do it all in a test tube, then place that fertilized egg back into the womb of a mother, or for that matter a surrogate mother, to be carried until birth. That's amazing. It's becoming something we take for granted today.
And so, if you look at biblical history there have been some really amazing births, miraculous, supernatural births. And if you just look at modern history, there have been some amazing non-miraculous, non-supernatural, normal births assisted by science.
Science has even made some attempt at parthenogenesis. Parthenos is the Greek word "virgin," and parthenogenesis literally means "virgin generated,” “virgin conceived." Science has attempted to allow life to be reproduced without the normal partnership of male and female. And through lab experiments they have produced parthenogenic life among some lower forms.
For example, within the world of honey bees, the unfertilized eggs can be developed into drones or males. It was in 1886 that a man named Tikhomiroff was able to create artificial parthenogenesis in unfertilized eggs of silkworms. Morgan and Mead from 1896 to 1900 started the eggs of sea urchins and marine worms to develop by placing them in various salt solutions, sea water. In 1939 and 1940 Pincus produced several rabbits, all female, through chemical and temperature effects on rabbit ova.
Never has any kind of parthenogenesis been done on the human level. It is a biological impossibility. There is no scientific explanation, no fertility drugs, no external lab kind of environment, no environment can be created to produce on a human level parthenogenesis.
Now even if parthenogenesis of some form could be achieved on a human level, and it can't, but let's say for the sake of argument even if it could, the case of Mary parthenogenetically bearing a son would be impossible. Geneticists have demonstrated that mammals have two X chromosomes in the females and the males have an X and Y chromosomes. Most of you remember that from your education. Thus if you took an unfertilized egg cell, a female egg cell and could somehow create an environment in which it could reproduce itself, two X chromosomes could only reproduce X chromosomes and thus the product of that parthenogenesis, could it occur, would have to also be female. And that was the case in the Pincus rabbits. They were female only.
So even if somehow we could assume that there was some way in which natural parthenogenesis could occur, and we know it can't humanly, but even if it could, Mary would only have been able to produce a daughter, not a son. When Mary gave birth without a man, without a male sperm, as a virgin, to a son, there was then no human explanation. And that's exactly the way God designed it. Since the human male determines the sex of the child, it is obvious that the sex of Jesus' human nature was determined by God. God divinely produced a male child. He produced the male chromosomes and divinely fertilized the egg in Mary's womb.
There have been some amazing births, some miraculous births, as we just saw. And even some wonderful achievements in science, the ethics of which are certainly debatable. But the achievements are amazing. But none of the supernatural births in the Scriptures and none of the scientifically advanced capabilities of our modern time to produce unique births come anywhere close to the virgin conception of Jesus Christ. There is no scientific, there is no human explanation.
Jesus was not the miracle child of a barren woman who was made fertile by God. Jesus was conceived in a virgin. He could not be parthenogenetically produced. It wasn't that He was some freak of nature in a pre-sophisticated scientific time. As remote as such a quasi-natural explanation might be, it's impossible to produce a son. He was born of a woman, conceived in a womb where no male sperm existed and where no female capability to reproduce a man was possible. He had no earthly father.
This then is the most amazing birth ever and the only one like it. Jesus Christ was conceived in a virgin without a male source for a seed, conceived, it says in verse 35, because the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High, the Creator God Himself will overshadow you, then the holy offspring that is produced will not be the son of man, but what? Son of God.
Let me tell you something about the Christian faith. It is predicated on the fact that God was conceived and born in a human womb. That's the incarnation. And that is the foundation of Christianity. If you tamper with that, you tamper with the nature of Jesus Christ and if you come up with any other than the Christ of the New Testament, you have a false religion. If anybody, Paul said, preaches any other Jesus, let him be accursed. It is a damnable lie to assault the virgin conception, virgin birth and the nature of Jesus as the God-Man. And anybody who does it is propagating a damnable lie.
If you say that Jesus is a man and only a man, if you say that He is a good man, a noble man, a religious leader, a prophet, if you say that Jesus is a created angel, if you say He was molded and shaped by God in the sense that He was an angelic spirit, if you say anything other than that He was the God-Man, you have pronounced upon yourself a curse. All of the Christian faith is built upon the nature of Jesus as the God-Man which is defined from this conception. In order to be the Son of God, He had to be born of God. In order to be the Son of Man, He had to be born of a woman. And that's precisely what happened. God came in human flesh.
Now the Jewish leaders believed that the Messiah, when He came — they were looking for their deliverer, their Messiah — they believed that when He came He would be a Son of David, that He would come in the royal line, that was pretty obvious. Going back to 2 Samuel 7 it would be one of David's greater sons who could come to be the King and the Messiah. They believed that the Messiah would be in the line of David, He would have royal blood. But it was not a widespread belief, if even a popular belief, that He would be God.
In fact, when Jesus said He was Son of David, that wasn't a problem. But when Jesus said He was Son of God that was a problem. Jesus could say He was Son of Man all He wanted. Jesus could say He was Son of David all He wanted because they could trace His lineage and that's why Matthew chapter 1 gives His lineage as coming from David, and Luke chapter 3 gives the lineage of Mary coming from David. They didn't argue that He was a Son of Man, human. They didn't argue that He was a Son of David, royal blood. But when He said He was the Son of God, they killed Him. So, far from expecting their Messiah to be the Son of God, that disqualified him.
Now those Jewish leaders who executed Jesus Christ... They actually passed the execution over to the Romans to carry it out, but it was their idea. Those leaders that did that are no different than atheists and skeptics and cultists and liberals today who denounce the God-Man, who denounce the incarnation, who denounce the virgin conception, who denounce the virgin birth.
The last survey that I saw of seminaries in America and it's probably better than in Europe where almost all those schools, well, I suppose nearly all of them are liberal, but the last survey I saw in America indicated that something around 50 percent of students in Protestant seminaries in America believe in the virgin conception and birth of Jesus Christ. These are men, supposedly, in training for Christian ministry. But if you deny the virgin conception of Jesus Christ, you're not a Christian and that's not Christianity.
We know that something around 50 percent of the people in the major Christian denominations affirm belief in the virgin birth, the rest do not. But no doctrine of Scripture is determined by majority vote, is it? Let God be true if every man is a liar, Romans 3 says.
Now Luke then wants us to understand the importance of the virgin birth. As miraculous, as astonishing, as inexplicable as it is on human terms, as beyond our grasp from a scientific viewpoint, because of its supernatural character as this virgin conception is, yet we are called in the simplest of language as was Mary to accept it as reality. And it is the explanation of the two-fold nature of Christ as God and Man.
Now somebody might think, as we're going to talk about this this morning, somebody might think that this whole idea of the virgin conception just fell out of the air, just sort of a...just sort of arrived in somebody's imagination. After all, if all the Jewish leaders didn't believe it and if all of the people didn't believe that Messiah was going to be God, and that there was going to be some kind of miraculous virgin birth take place, if they killed Him for saying He was the Son of God, if this wasn't part of Messianic expectation and all of the...all of the elite students of the Old Testament and so forth didn't really anticipate this reality, shouldn't we believe that this was something concocted by people so as to cause Jesus to somehow rise above the crowd? And those who wanted to do that on His behalf really invented Him as the God-Man?
Well the answer to that question is not at all. In fact, there are some serious foundations to this reality, and I want to show you what those foundations are this morning. Three of them.
Number one... And by the way, we're going to go through several points in the next few weeks. We're going to go through the foundations, the fallacies, and the facts of the virgin birth. But for today: The foundations. Is this something new? Is this something invented? Or does this have a foundation? Three things give it a foundation.
Number one: The Old Testament, the Old Testament. Go back to Genesis 3 in your Bible. We mentioned this in a recent message and I want to go back to it because of its foundation character. You're in the first dawning of redemptive history here, creation in chapter 1, and in chapter 2. Then in chapter 3 man falls into sin and he's cursed and woman is cursed by having pain in child bearing and having conflict in marriage. Man is cursed by having to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow and he too has to engage in the conflict that marriage brings.
Then, of course, then God pronounces a curse on the serpent, who is Satan. And part of the curse on Satan in verse 14 is he's going to be cursed more than every other animal. And then in verse 15, going behind the animal to Satan himself, "I will put enmity between you and the woman." And then it says this, "And between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise Him on the heel."
Now this is a very important prophecy. This is really the first prophecy next to the one where God said, "In the day you eat of the Tree of Life you'll die," that was a prophecy, too. But this is the first prophecy that looks forward to redemption. There's coming someone. This someone is called "her seed," and this one who is her seed will bruise the head of Satan, a crushing deadly blow. Who is that? Well only one person could effect the deadly crushing blow on the head of Satan. Who was it? It was Christ. Satan bruised His heel, Satan dealt a blow against Christ obviously in His death on the cross, but it was only a minor wound and out of that wound came redemption. And the risen Christ came forth out of the grave triumphant to give the fatal blow to Satan. That will be executed on him. It was won at the cross, it will be finally executed when he is sentenced and cast into the Lake of Fire forever.
Now notice that it says the One who will crush the head of Satan is called her seed. I just remark, a woman doesn't have a seed. When God gave a promise to Abraham, God said this: His seed would bless the families of the earth. “In his seed would all the families of the earth be blessed." The man has the seed. A woman doesn't have the seed. Her seed, how could a woman have a seed? Only one time did a woman ever have a seed of her own and that by the miraculous intervention of God.
The Jews, if they knew Genesis, should have seen that. And then there is Isaiah. Turn to Isaiah 7 chapter 7, verse 14. The Jews, we know, were always looking for a sign, always looking for some supernatural indicator, some supernatural event that would point to God working. And so in verse 14 Isaiah...of chapter 7, Isaiah says, "The Lord will give you a sign." You want a sign? Here it is. "A virgin will be with child and bear a Son." Wow! That will be a sign. That doesn't happen. That can't happen. That's impossible. And if that happens, that is a sign. Furthermore, "When she brings forth that child she will call His name Immanuel, God. El is “God,” immanu is “with us." When the child is born name Him "God is here." That's a pretty clear sign.
When a virgin is pregnant and has a son, that's a sign. It can't happen humanly. And, even if parthenogenesis could happen — and it can't, but for the sake of argument, if it could — it would be a girl, not a son.
By the way, the word used there for virgin, almah, is used only nine times in the Old Testament, a translation of pure virginity. That's really what that word means. The New Testament equivalent of it is parthenos and parthenos always means virgin, always means virgin. And in Matthew 1 we have in verses 22 and 23 the message from God, an angel of the Lord, and the angel of the Lord — listen — interprets Isaiah 7. And, folks, you can trust this interpretation. This is the angel of the Lord's interpretation. And he says in verse 22...verse 21, you're going to have a Son, call His name Jesus, etc. "All this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled saying, 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, God with us.'" And he used the word parthenos for virgin, which means virgin.
Matthew recorded that, definitely understanding that Isaiah intended to predict that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. Jesus used the word parthenos three times in the parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25. Luke used it twice of Mary. Luke used it in Acts 21 of Philip's four virgin daughters. Paul distinguishes between a wife and a virgin in 1 Corinthians 7. And John records the word parthenos as descriptive of men who had no sexual relationship with women and were therefore totally yielded to God. That's used in Revelation 14:14.
So parthenos means one who has had no sexual relationship at all. Mary was a virgin and that was the intent of Isaiah 7:14. That was a sign. If a girl got pregnant and had a son, that's not a sign, that happened all the time. But when a virgin is pregnant and brings into the world a son, that's a sign, that's a sign.
You know, some of the rabbis, I think, believed that there was going to be something like this. One rabbi wrote, "Messiah is to have no earthly father." Hmm. One ancient rabbi seemed to get the message. Another rabbi wrote, "The birth of Messiah alone shall be without defect." Another rabbi wrote, "His birth shall not be like that of other men." Another wrote, "The birth of Messiah shall be like the dew of the Lord as drops upon the grass without the action of man." There were some rabbis, I'm sure there were some faithful believers, who understood that Messiah would be born of a virgin.
Well that was not the popular view, not at all. And certainly the Jewish leaders never thought that. In fact, John 7:27, they're very upset at Jesus and the question comes up, "Is Jesus the Christ?" And in verse 27 this is the...this is the response, "We know where this man is from, He's from Nazareth. But we know His family up there. But whenever the Christ or Messiah may come, no one knows where He is from." See, they just thought Jesus was just a common, Galilean guy born in the town of Nazareth to Joseph and Mary.
Back in chapter 6 this is further indicated. They were grumbling at Him, it says in verse 41. And they were saying, "Is not this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, 'I have come down out of heaven?' We don't get it." So maybe they did believe that there was some...some unique feature to His birth, but not necessarily a virgin birth. Maybe if they'd really believed Isaiah 7:14, Genesis 3:15, Jeremiah's prophecy, maybe if they really did believe those things and really understood them under the illumination of the Spirit of God and they had known that Jesus had been born of a virgin, it might have changed how they viewed Him.
They didn't see it. They may have expected some kind of special birth, apparently not a virgin birth and certainly not somebody born to a common couple in a dumpy place called Nazareth.
Some rabbis had taught that Messiah was of heavenly origin. And some rabbis even said that He eternally existed. Hmm. In 150 B.C., 150 years before the birth of Christ, the book of Enoch, not a biblical book, says this, "He appears by the side of the Ancient of Days, His name has been named before God." They were talking of Messiah. Some of them saw Messiah as pre-existing His birth.
There's also Psalm 2, where you have God saying this about the Son: That He is going to bring His Son into the world, He's going to install Him as King on Zion. And He says, "You are My Son, today have I begotten You." So there was a promise that God was going to bring a Son into the world who would be the ruler and Psalm 2 says He would rule the nations with a rod of iron, which is a messianic prophecy. If they had understood Psalm 2, they would have understood that the Messiah who rules the world, who rules in the kingdom of Israel at Zion is going to be born the Son of God and that He was already in God's presence. Now there's a foundation for the virgin birth of the eternal Son.
A second foundation beside the Old Testament is the doctrine of the Trinity, the doctrine of the Trinity. Now I'm going to give you some theology here. You're going to go away being theologians if you grasp this tremendous truth.
I want you to understand the nature of God. Go back to Deuteronomy chapter 6 and we're going to do this, I hope, in about fifteen minutes. That's all we have left, so I'm going to turn you into an instant theologian on this subject. Deuteronomy 6, here's the distinguishing truth of true religion, the distinguishing truth of true religion; 6:4, Deuteronomy 6, the most defining statement in the Old Testament about the nature of God. This was required to be put on the foreheads and on the arms and on the doorposts of the houses of the people of God. "Hear, oh Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one." Boy! That is it.
There were all kinds of gods among the nations. They were polytheistic, they had many gods. Israel had one God because there is only one true and living God. And that is supported by verse 5, "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might." Now let me give you the point of that. You can do that because you don't have to reserve any of that love for any other deity because there isn't any other one. There is one God and you are to love that one God with all your soul, with all your heart, with all your might. You do not divide that love because there is no other God. You love Him and Him alone with all your being. If there were three gods, you could love two of them and not one, or you could love one of them and not two, or you could love three of them with a third of your passion, but you could never love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind leaving nothing back if there was more than one.
James 2:19, "You believe,” James writes, “there is one God, you do well." Then he adds, "Even the devils believe that." Demons have better theology, far better theology than many religious people. God is one, yet though one in nature and one in essence, He is three persons. Can I explain it? No. Why? Because I can't understand it. Do I believe it? Yes. Why? Because it's revealed in Scripture as such. And the fact that I can't understand it says nothing about God, but an awful lot about me.
We know there are three persons in the one essential God cause in Genesis 1 when God says He creates, "In the beginning God created," the word "God" is Elohim that's a plural, that's a plural word. In Genesis 1:26 when God says, "Let us make man," He says, "Let us make man in our image." He uses a plural personal pronoun: “Let us” and “our image.”
In Isaiah 6 when God is speaking, He says, "Whom shall I send...referring to the need for someone to go to the people before judgment comes and Isaiah is listening, "Whom shall I send and who will go for us?" Us. In Isaiah 48:16 Isaiah writes, "Come ye near unto Me, says God, hear this, I have not spoken it secret from the beginning, from the time that it was, there am I and now the Lord God and His Spirit hath sent Me." There's at least two.
David said, "The Lord said unto my Lord," there you have the Lord and the Lord. Here you have the Lord and the Spirit. There are plenty of references in the Old Testament to the Father God, to the Spirit, and to the Son who very often appears as the angel of the Lord.
You come into the New Testament and Jesus is there at His baptism, the Son of God, and the Father is speaking out of heaven. "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,” and the Spirit is descending like a dove. You have all three members of the Trinity in the same scene at the same time.
In the 15th chapter of John, that wonderful and complete statement is given, I think it's verse 26, "When the Helper comes,” the Holy Spirit, Jesus says, “whom I will send from the Father." The Son sends the Spirit from the Father, keeping the distinction.
At the great commission at the end of Matthew, chapter 28 verse 19, we are to baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Second Corinthians, as you will remember, the last verse of 2 Corinthians says the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. There are numerous references to the fact that God though one God is three persons.
That is the first thing that lays the foundation for the virgin birth. God, listen to me, doesn't have to fully create a Son, one already eternally exists, understood? The second member of the Trinity, eternally God, is literally put into human flesh to be born of a virgin.
When the virgin conception took place, God and Man came together. That was because the only one who has a right to reign and a right to rule is not just Son of David, but Son of God, Psalm 2.
So you have the Old Testament foundation and you have the foundation in the doctrine of the Trinity. The third foundation comes in the duties of Messiah, or in the work of Messiah, the person and work of Messiah.
What do I mean by that? Well, now follow this very carefully. I'm going to show you something that's critical to the Christian faith, absolutely critical. Turn to Isaiah 43. We're going to hang around Isaiah awhile, so for just the remainder of time this morning, so don't leave it, and bounce back a little bit, but just kind of stay in Isaiah, 43 is the main portion.
In Isaiah 43 I want you to notice verse 11, verse 11. The prophet is quoting God here, "Thus says the Lord," the chapter begins. The Lord is speaking, verse 10, "Declares the Lord." This is the Lord speaking, first person, verse 11, "I, even I am the Lord," and listen to this, "and there is no (what?) Savior besides Me." No Savior besides Me. Hmm. Chapter 45 verse 22, "Turn to Me and be saved all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is no other." Everybody on the face of the earth who wants to be saved has to turn to Him. He alone saves, He alone saves. God, says Titus 1, our Savior. God, says Titus 2, our Savior. God, says Titus chapter 3, our Savior. God is our Savior. "Who is a pardoning God like You?" God is a saving God. He is by nature a Savior. Paul says to Timothy, "God our Savior, the Savior of all men."
What's interesting about that? What's interesting about that is Matthew. Just let me read it to you, Matthew 1:21. Jesus is going to come into the world, verse 21, "You shall call His name Jesus for it is He who will save His people from their sins." Now let me draw a simple conclusion. If there is one God and He alone is Savior and Jesus is Savior, then who is Jesus? He's God, unmistakably, unmistakably.
In Luke chapter 2 the announcement comes in verse 11 to the shepherds, "Today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior who is Messiah the Lord." God is the only Savior, Jesus is a Savior; therefore Jesus is God. That is a rational syllogism. In fact, Acts 4:12 says, "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there's none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved, except the name of Jesus." And the Samaritans were right when they named Jesus the Savior of the world.
Back to Isaiah 43 again, and I want you to notice another thing that God says is true only of Himself. Verse 14, Isaiah 43:14: "Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,” the Lord your Redeemer, “the holy One of Israel." Verse 14, the Lord identifies Himself not only as your Savior, but as your Redeemer. There is no other Redeemer.
Hosea 13:14, "I will ransom them from the power of Sheol; I will redeem them from death." In Luke chapter 1 verse 68, that familiar verse we've read a couple of times, Zacharias says, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people." God is the Redeemer and yet it says in Galatians 3:13 about Jesus, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law."
If God is the only redeemer and Christ redeemed us, then Christ is God. It necessitates a virgin conception and virgin birth for God to be born in the world and Jesus is God, therefore it is understandable that He was born this way. First Peter 1 says, "You were not redeemed with silver or gold, or anything like that, but with the precious blood of Jesus." He is the Redeemer; since God alone redeems, He is God. Since He is God, the Son of God, the second member of the Trinity, preexisting, coming into human life, it had to be by means of a miraculous coming together of what is divine and what is human and that is the virgin conception and birth.
Furthermore, back to Isaiah 43 and verse 15, actually verse 14, God defines Himself as the Holy One. Verse 15, "I am the Lord your Holy One." I don't have time to go all through the whole Old Testament and tell you how many, many, many times God called Himself holy. He refers to His holiness over and over and over again and you have in the text I read you this morning, Luke 1:35 this word from Gabriel to Mary, "The Holy Spirit is going to come upon you, the power of the Most High is going to overshadow you and you're going to bring forth a holy offspring."
If any man says he has no sin, he's a liar, isn't he? How can you have a holy offspring? Only if that child is God in human flesh. In Isaiah 43:15, "I am the Lord your Holy One,” further, “the creator of Israel,” listen to this, “your King." God says I'm your King. Zechariah 14:9 God says, "I am your King,” I'm your King, I'm your only Savior, I'm your only Redeemer, I'm the only Holy One, and I am your King and you don't have more than one sovereign, do you? And yet it is said of Jesus in His conversation with Pilate...Pilate said to Him, "Are you a King?" And Jesus says back, "Yes, you have so said it." And what kind of King? Revelation 19:16 says He has a name written on Him and it is King of kings and Lord of lords. There is no other explanation for Jesus Christ than that He is the Savior God, the Redeemer God, the holy God, and the sovereign God in human flesh and that necessitated a miraculous virgin conception and birth.
All of that leads to Deuteronomy 6:13, where we were earlier in Deuteronomy. Don't go back to it. In Deuteronomy 6 after saying the Lord is our God, the Lord is one, love Him with all your heart, soul and might, it says in verse 13, "Worship the Lord your God and Him only.” Worship the Lord your God and Him only. And yet Hebrews 1 says, "And when He brought the firstborn into the world,” Christ, “He said, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him.'" If God Himself calls the angels and men to worship Christ and worship is reserved only for God, then Christ is God.
Isaiah 50...Isaiah 45 again, verse 23, I can't resist these because they're so foundational, just two more. Verse 23, "I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back,” now listen to this, this is what God says, “that to Me,” God, “every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance and they will say of Me, 'Only in the Lord.'" I want every knee and I want every tongue, I want every bowed knee and every sworn allegiance to Me and Me alone. That's God.
You remember Philippians 2? This is what God says about Christ. "God has highly exalted Him, given Him a name above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow." If God demands that every knee bow and every tongue acknowledge His sovereignty, and swear allegiance to Him, and God calls for that for Christ, then there's only one conclusion, Christ is God. This is the Christian faith and anything other than this is not.
The 42nd chapter of Isaiah and I will end with this passage, verse 8, "I am the Lord, that is My name. I will not give My glory to anybody else.” “I will not give My glory to anybody else." That is an absolute, unilateral statement, and yet it tells us in John 1, really pretty amazing, in John 1, that “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory." And in John 12:41 it says, "Isaiah saw His glory and spoke of Him." Isaiah saw the Messiah and saw that He would bear the glory of God.
So, if you think that somebody just invented the virgin birth, if you think that some people just trumped it up to sort of elevate Jesus above the hoi polloi, guess again. The Old Testament said it would come, the Trinity makes it a reality, and the very nature and work of Jesus Christ demands it. This is the foundation of the virgin birth. Next time, two weeks from today: The fallacies. We'll explode those, and the fact of the virgin birth. Let's pray.
We're so greatly affirmed and encouraged and strengthened in our faith when the Word of God comes to us with such clarity and power, Father. Thank You for that. Thank You for the encouragement that it brings. Thank You for the confidence that it produces, the strength of conviction. We grieve at those who assault the nature of Christ, the cults that say He's a created angel, He's some kind of spirit being, those who would want to make Him just a good man, a noble martyr for a cause He believed in and anyone who would attack His blessed, glorious person as the God-Man. Oh Father, we pray that You would bring such to the truth. We know that anybody who preaches another Jesus than the One revealed in Scripture is anathema, devoted to eternal destruction...cannot strike a blow against who our Savior is and still believe that He's our Savior. That is a deceptive lie.
Father, affirm to us the glories of our Christ, fill our hearts with adoration and praise and may we love You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. May we love Christ, who is of Your essence, the same and with an undivided love embrace the Trinity with all that we are. Thank You for this great truth and the mighty work launched at this virgin conception. May we proclaim this glorious truth that transforms lives eternally in Christ's name and for His honor. Amen.
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