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The Testimony Of Jesus Christ

Chapter Three

The Birth of Jesus Christ

As we begin our study of the “birth” of Christ, let me remind you that Christ is divine and has existed from eternity past. But for Him to also become the Savior of sinners, it was necessary for Him to condescend and take on a body of flesh. Paul said, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3). That challenge necessitated His earthly birth. He must take on our appearance, but not our sinful nature. The only way that could be accomplished was for Christ to be born of an earthly mother. But He could not have an earthly father, for if he had both, He would have been a mere sinful mortal as we are. However, if He had an earthly mother and God as His Father, then He could become God embodied in flesh. Because of these complexities, a Biblical study of the birth of Christ is very important.

The Bible certainly has a great deal to say about this subject. For one thing, it tells us how God sent His Son into the world. Paul declared, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Galatians 4:4). It also tells us why Jesus came into this world. As early as Genesis 3:15, He said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Much later this prophecy was fulfilled through the birth and death of Christ. At the appointed time, our heavenly Father sent His Son, made of a woman, to defeat satan and sin. Because God loved us so much, He sent Jesus to pay our sin debt. John said, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). What wonderful and gracious love!

God’s love for His elect (Ephesians 1:4) was so great that he was willing for Christ to leave heaven and come to this earth as a man. On the other hand, Jesus loved us so much that He was willing to undertake the task which no one else was capable of performing. Redemption would come at an enormous cost, but the Father and His Son understood up front the price that must be paid. The perfect plan was contrived and Jesus Christ was born into this world. Matthew 1:18 tells us, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus; He was conceived by the work of the Holy Spirit.

The divine conception of Christ is absolutely essential in understanding His birth by the “virgin” Mary. It is very important that we recognize the connection between the two. God not only promised to send His Son into this world to save us from the horrible penalty of sin, but He also gave a sign by which mankind could recognize His Son. Almost eight hundred years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah revealed the sign of identification. He said, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Notice that the specific sign was a “virgin” shall conceive and bear a son. The Holy Spirit made it possible for that to happen.

Mary became an expectant mother before she and Joseph were married. Joseph knew that the child was not his. It is an interesting fact that God sent an angel to explain this unusual situation in which they found themselves. In doing so, the angel referred to the ancient prophecy of Isaiah and unquestionably applied it to the birth of Christ. Matthew recorded the memorable words of the angel, saying, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23). A comparison of the words of Isaiah and Matthew reveal they are almost identical, except for an explanation which Matthew added. He explained that “Emmanuel” means “God with us.” That is precisely what happened when Jesus was born of the virgin Mary. He came to live and walk among men.

Somehow, over the years, much of the miraculous aspect of the birth of Christ has been challenged. Some have relegated the word “virgin” to only mean “a young woman.” While it is true that Mary was most likely a young woman, it most certainly was not all that was involved or intended by the word “virgin.” What is the miracle of a young woman giving birth to a man child? It happens all the time, day after day, around the world. Surely God had something more in mind when He gave the prophecy. He most certainly did! He revealed that an indisputable miracle would occur when His Son was born of a virgin mother.

The idea of a “virgin birth” was meant to convey the fact that Mary had never had sexual relations with a man, not with Joseph or any one else. As a “virgin” there was no way she could have conceived a child with an earthly father. It is not very difficult to understand why satan tries so hard to make people think that Jesus was an illegitimate child resulting from promiscuous sexual behavior. But it is difficult to understand why so many people are willing to ignore the truth of the Bible and its teachings about the virgin birth of Christ. Let me assure you, Mary was a “virgin” in the purest sense and remained that way until after the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:25).

That being true, how did a virgin named Mary conceive and bear God’s only begotten Son? Interestingly enough, God did not leave the answer to the imaginations of men. He knew perfectly well that man would contrive every imaginable idea. Therefore, He took great care to spell out the details in simple terms we could easily embrace by faith. Look at 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.” Oh, the power of the Holy Spirit!


Without the “virgin birth” of Jesus, there is no salvation from sin. But the same Holy Spirit Who came upon Mary also came upon us when we were born again. Though our birth is dramatically different from the birth of Christ, it is indeed a remarkable act of grace. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we believe in the miraculous birth of the Son of God and are empowered to devotedly serve Him. What a joy to live for the praise of Jesus Christ.

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This page last updated on November 1, 2015