Let’s focus for a moment on the essentiality of the virgin birth. Why is it so important to the Christian faith? I would argue that there are three reasons.
First, it relates to the integrity of the Bible as God’s Word. The Bible says point-blank that Jesus was born of a virgin. If that is not true, then what can we believe in the Bible? If what it says about the birth of Jesus is fiction, then how can we believe what it says about His death and resurrection?
Second, it relates to the integrity of Jesus as Messiah. In order for Jesus to be our Savior, three conditions had to be met:
a) He had to be Human. No angel could die for our sins.
b) He had to be Divine. A mere mortal could not bear the infinite price that had to be paid for our sins.
c) He had to be Sinless. A sinner could not die for the sins of others.
The virgin birth guaranteed the fulfillment of all three of these conditions:
a) Because He was born of Mary, He was Human.
b) Because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, He was Divine.
c) Because He was born holy, without a sin nature, He was qualified to serve as our Savior.
This last point is extremely important. You see, even though both Adam and Eve sinned, God placed the responsibility on Adam (Gen 3:17-19). Romans 5:12-21 emphasizes this point. It states that just as death entered the world through the sin of one man, Adam, and resulted in condemnation for all men, so also, the hope of life and justification have come through one man, Jesus Christ.
The point is that the sin nature is transmitted by the father, and therefore, for Jesus to be born without a sin nature, He had to be born without an earthly father. And this brings us to another important point. It was not the birth of Jesus that was miraculous. He was in the womb of Mary for 9 months and was born just like you and me. What was miraculous was His conception. In a great miracle of creation, He was placed in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Henry Morris, founder of the Institute for Creation Research, describes the process in these words:
The body growing in Mary’s womb must have been specially created in full perfection, and placed there by the Holy Spirit, in order for it to be free of inherent sin damage.
Christ would still be “made of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Romans 1:3), because His body was nurtured and born of Mary, who was herself of the seed of David. He would still be the Son of Man, sharing all universal human experience from conception to death, except sin. He is truly “the seed of the woman” (Genesis 3:15), His body formed neither of the seed of the man nor the egg of the woman, but grown from a unique seed planted in the woman’s body by God Himself.
That is, God directly formed a body for the second Adam, just as He had for the first Adam (Genesis 2:7). This was nothing less than a miracle of creation, capable of accomplishment only by the Creator Himself.12
We will look at the Annunciation — when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary about the Messiah she would bear — in the next installment of this “Truth of the Virgin Birth” series.
12) Henry Morris, “Creation and the Virgin Birth,” pamphlet published by The Institution for Creation Research (no date), pages 5-6.