“‘Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they shall name Him Immanuel,’ which translated means ‘God with us.’”Matthew 1:23
There is one event that is widely scrutinized and criticized by liberal theologians today. If this event is not true then all of Christianity is not true. Do you know what it is? Many would say the resurrection. Others would say Jesus’ death. But there is still one event that holds the key to the truthfulness of all other events that are recorded about Jesus’ life— the virgin birth!
Without the virgin birth, Christianity comes up short—way short. If the virgin birth never took place, and if the Bible got it wrong, then ALL of Christianity is nothing but a fabricated, semi-historical narrative made up by men over time. If Christ was born by natural means and not conceived by the Holy Spirit as Scripture says in the gospels, then Christ was not God, He was merely a man. If He was not God, then He didn’t die for our sins. And, if He was not God, He definitely didn’t resurrect. Our hope of all other promises made by God rests on this one event.
It’s no surprise then that the virgin birth is under constant attack. And, as Christians, we must have a good grasp on what we believe about this most crucial doctrine. If Christ is God and was conceived by the Holy Spirit, then everything Jesus Christ says and does is authoritative. It should be followed and can be trusted. But most reject authority when it comes to their own sinfulness. Men love the darkness, rather than the light (John 3:19). They love sin instead of righteousness (Romans 1:32). Scripture makes that clear. So, if you take away the virgin birth, there is no authority to be followed and one is free to live in any way he or she desires. It’s not shocking that so many want to deny this event.
But, is the virgin birth just a New Testament concept? No. There are several passages in the Old Testament that reference the virgin birth—either directly or indirectly (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7). One of the most well-known comes from Isaiah chapter 7: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will name Him Immanuel.”
In his gospel, Matthew references this same verse to describe the virgin birth of Christ that was prophesied thousands of years earlier by the prophet Isaiah (Matthew 1:23).
Also, what God makes known about His character, His word reveals to be true about Christ, as well. In Isaiah 43, God is said to be our Savior, our Redeemer, and our King. In the New Testament, passages reveal the same truth about Christ. He is our Savior (Matthew 1:21). He is our Redeemer (Galatians 3:13). He is the King of Kings (Revelation 19).
The links between the Old Testament and the New Testament are incredible. They point to Christ being God, and because He is God, then all His promises can be trusted. In Him, we have salvation. In Him, we have new life. In Him, we receive the Holy Spirit. And in Him, we have the hope of the resurrection and an eternity spent with God in heaven.