September 27, 2022
At Christmas, we celebrate the miracle of the Virgin Birth—the God of creation came to Earth and was “manifested in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16)—but the Virgin Birth isn’t the only miracle we should think about this season. There are two other births and all three are miracles.
Doctors call our natural birth a miracle. Each one in its own way is a miracle, considering the myriad of delicate, exact changes taking place in the nine-month journey a child makes toward birth.
The new birth—when the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts—when we are transformed and transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light—is another miracle.
But why was there a Virgin Birth? Why did God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, have to become a man? The cross, the grave, the tomb, the resurrection—were they necessary?
You’re in good company with your questions. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, one of the most important men in Israel came to Jesus with questions. Nicodemus was on the “A” list of religious leaders, “a man of the Pharisees, a ruler of the Jews” (John 3:1), a member of the Jewish high court. Even his name, “Nicodemus,” meant “superior.” He'd seen Jesus open blind eyes, straighten withered limbs, and unstop deaf ears. He needed some answers. He was a master in Israel, but still spiritually blind. Secretly he came by night, but there was greater darkness in his soul.
Jesus’ response confounded Nicodemus:
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, "You must be born again." (John 3:5-7)
In effect, Jesus said, “Nicodemus, if you want to understand miracles, you need to become one.” It must have been a shock to this educated, dignified man to be told one birth wasn’t enough.
We’re born with a sinful nature. Our natural birth binds us to a sinful world. Nicodemus needed to be “born again.” And if he needed to be born again, every one of us does. None of us could measure up to Nicodemus.
God uses the analogy of birth to describe salvation because birth is something we all understand. Jesus stepped out of heaven, coming to Earth in human flesh, to turn around the deficiencies in our natural birth.
He came through the portals of a virgin’s womb, conceived by the Holy Spirit, the virgin-born Son of God.
And the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
There was no other like Him. But why did He have to come? Why the agony of dark Gethsemane? Why bloody Calvary? If God loves the world, why couldn’t He simply say, “Are you sorry for your sin? Do you repent? Then look, I forgive you.”
Jesus had to come so there could be revelation, redemption, and restoration.
Jesus explained in John 14:7-9 that He came to reveal what the Father is like. It was the only way we could see, know, and understand God. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus Christ, who said, “He who has seen Me has seen My Father” (verse 9). The Father says to lost mankind, “I love you so much.” But mankind is willfully blind. Jesus explained to Nicodemus,
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (John 3:19-20)
Spiritual blindness isn’t the worst of it. Many people shut out the Gospel because when they see, they realize they must change their lifestyles, and they love darkness rather than light. We understand when a little child is afraid of the dark, but how tragic when a grown man is afraid of the light.
Jesus suffered, bled, and died, that “whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:17-18)
When our ancestor Adam sinned, he dragged the entire human race down with him. Our relationship with God was lost through Adam. He sold it out to the devil. We’re all descendants of Adam, and “In Adam, all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22). Adam became a slave of Satan, and the son of a slave is a slave himself. The burden of sin is upon us.
You say, “I didn’t vote for Adam. What Adam did has nothing to do with me.” I hope you don’t believe that. We’re all connected to Adam. We receive his sinful nature by our natural birth.
Here’s where the Virgin Birth comes in. Jesus could not physically be a son of Adam. If He were, Adam’s sinful blood would have been in His veins. He would have been a slave to Satan, just like every other son of Adam. He had to be the Son of God. Therefore, He was born of a virgin, sired by the Holy Spirit of God, to be sinless.
But Jesus also had to be a human being to pay the sin debt, “for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin” (Hebrews 9:22). Therefore, He had to be the God-man.
This is redemption: He came as He did, born of a virgin, to be what He was—sinless. He was what He was—sinless—to do what He did—die for our sins. A sinner could die for nobody else’s sin but his own. He died for our sins to be our substitute that we might be what we are—sons and daughters of God. He came to earth that we might go to Heaven. He was born of a virgin that we might be born again.
Thank God for the Virgin Birth! It’s not incidental or mythological; it’s the foundation stone of our faith. God became man, buying back what the first Adam lost.
Jesus bought back more than Adam ever lost. In the Garden of Eden, Adam was merely innocent until he sinned. You are more than innocent; you are righteous when you trust the Lord Jesus Christ. God imparts to you the righteousness of Christ.
When you understand it all, it will make you want to shout. I would rather be a saved sinner than an innocent Adam before he ever sinned. We have more in Christ than we ever lost in Adam. The Virgin Birth brings revelation, redemption, and restoration.
When parents conceive a child, they don’t create life; they transmit life. The life of the parents now goes into the child. When you’re born again, God doesn’t create life in you; He transfers life to you. The life of God comes into you. Salvation is not getting man out of Earth into Heaven. It’s getting God out of Heaven into man. Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
When you are born again, you get a new character. The character of God is reproduced in you. We become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). A Christian is not like a tadpole that finally matures and becomes a frog. A Christian is more like a frog who has become a prince by the kiss of grace. It is supernatural. We aren’t just nicer people—we are new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17), receiving the characteristics and nature of our Father.
The new birth means:
The new birth brings a love for Jesus, a love for God’s Word, a desire to share Jesus with others, and a desire for holiness. Instead of running to sin, you’re running from it.
The Virgin Birth, the natural birth, the new birth—these are what Christmas is all about— three miracle births and God in human flesh.
Pray this prayer: Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that You love me and want to save me. Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God, who died on the cross to pay for my sins. I believe God raised You from the dead. I now turn from my sin and, by faith, receive You into my life as my personal Lord and Savior. Come into my heart, forgive my sins, and save me, Lord Jesus. In Your name, I pray, Amen.
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