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9 Truths About the Virgin Birth

For true believers, accepting the virgin birth is non-negotiable.

I love Christmas because it's the only time I get to sing one of my favorite hymns, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

It's not just a Christmas carol for me; it's one of my all-time favorite hymns. Back in 1872, the Church of England even picked it as one of the four greatest hymns in the English language.


I wait all year to sing this hymn, and once the season starts, I find myself humming it constantly. The hymn is a beautiful tribute to our Savior, Jesus Christ, and is a treasure for anyone who knows its incredible words.


Originally written by Charles Wesley in 1739 for Christmas Day, it underwent some theological edits by famed-evangelist George Whitefield 15 years later. The familiar version we sing today emerged, but it needed a tune. About 100 years after that, Felix Mendelssohn, a German Jew who converted to Christianity, composed a cantata with an amazing tune. Since around 1850, that tune has been associated with "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."


When a song involves Wesley, Whitefield, and Mendelssohn, you know it's special. It's not just good; it's the best!

I'm sure you're familiar with the opening words: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled..."


The hymn has more verses than what's in the hymnal, making it truly great. Each verse ends with "Glory to the newborn King." Through Wesley and Whitefield's words, it teaches us about Jesus Christ - the newborn King, the Prince of Peace, the Sun of Righteousness, the everlasting Lord, the Incarnate deity, and above all, Immanuel, God with us.


This hymn beautifully captures the essence of Christianity.

But why the Virgin Birth?

The virgin birth of Jesus is crucial to our Christian faith.


It's not just an incidental detail; it's the foundation of Christianity. Without it, there would be no salvation. Jesus had to be born of a virgin to be sinless and to sacrifice himself on the cross for our sins.


The virgin birth is like a key link in the chain of our salvation. It means that Jesus was both fully God and fully man—truly divine and truly human. This unique birth allowed Jesus to live a perfect life and be a sinless sacrifice for our sins.


If someone denies the virgin birth, they're essentially rejecting the core aspects of Christ's sinlessness, holiness, obedience, and sacrificial death. It's a big deal in our faith. Those who deny it might be considered heretics, apostates, or unbelievers.


For true believers, accepting the virgin birth is non-negotiable. It's a central and essential belief in our Christian doctrine.

Some Points to Consider

#1 - The virgin birth didn't mark the start of the Son of God—he existed eternally (John 1:1-17; 8:58, Col. 1:16-20, etc.). It's the beginning of Jesus as both God and man.


#2 - The virgin birth doesn't mean Jesus became less divine. It's not like God turned into a man. Jesus, as God the Son, remained fully God even when taking on a human form.


#3 - Believing in the virgin birth doesn't mean accepting the idea of Mary's immaculate conception, as some teach. This doctrine claims Mary was born without sin. Yet, there's no evidence of this in the New Testament. Mary herself acknowledged her need for a Savior (Luke 1:47). We are all born into sin and it affects every part of us (Psalm 51; Rom. 3, etc.)


#4 - The virgin birth doesn't require us to believe in Mary's perpetual virginity, as stated by the Council of Trent in 1545-63. The Bible mentions Jesus' brothers and sisters (Mark 3:31-35; 6:3; Luke 8:19-21; John 2:12; Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 9:5; Galatians 1:19), and Matthew 1:25 suggests that Joseph and Mary had a normal marital relationship after Jesus' birth.


#5 - The virgin birth doesn't elevate Mary to a special status for obtaining grace or salvation, as some previous popes have claimed. There's no biblical basis for such veneration of Mary (John 14:6; 1 Tim. 2:5, etc.).


#6 - The virgin birth ensures both the full humanity and full deity of Jesus. If Jesus had been created in heaven and sent to earth without human parentage, he might not truly be human. If born through both human parents, he might not truly be God. The virgin birth, then, is essential for him to be truly God and truly man (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:34-35; Col. 2:9).


#7 - The virgin birth wasn't about God transforming into a “human germ” within Mary, as suggested by some. Instead, it was the result of the Holy Spirit's work in Mary's womb, as described in the Bible (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:34-35).


#8 - The virgin birth was necessary to prevent the corruption of Jesus' humanity by inherited sin. The interruption of the normal human descent from Adam to Jesus, without a human father, emphasizes the Holy Spirit's role in Christ's conception (Romans 5; Luke 1:35).


#9 - The primary reason for the virgin birth was to highlight that God's entry into human flesh was a divine initiative, not a human action. It emphasizes that salvation comes from God alone, and the virgin birth marks the unique origin of Christ in human history (Jonah 2:9; Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:34-35; 1 Timothy 1:16).


Praise the Lord that the God-man, Jesus Christ, came to earth! Not just to live – but to die for our sins, to raise again, ascend to heaven, and come back for his people again.