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Sunday, March 9, 2014 pm                Basics Index

BACK TO BASICS
March Theme – The Godhead
Jesus – His Virgin Birth & Resurrection

 

The Bible is a book of prophecies and miracles.  These are important events that verify the purpose of the Bible and Jesus.  Critics of the inspired Word and of Jesus will typically attack 2 events in His life – His virgin birth and His resurrection.  An understanding of both of these events is fundamental to our faith in Him.  Tonight we are going to discuss them.  We will place greater emphasis on His virgin birth, but make mention of His resurrection time permitting (because we have given recent attention to His resurrection).

 I.                    Was Jesus Born of a Virgin?

a.        By virgin birth we mean that Jesus had no earthly father.  When Mary conceived it was of the Holy Spirit.  Naturalists (those who deny miracles) seek to discredit the miraculous conception and birth of Jesus.  Some relegate it to myth that originated in the 2nd century AD.   To reject Jesus, His miraculous birth MUST be disproved.  If the virgin birth is proved then the supernatural intervention of God is demanded and thus a need to accept the Bible.  That is why we should take some time to establish His birth – and we will!

b.       It was anticipated and prophesied –

                                                   i.      Gen. 3:15 – “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

                                                  ii.      Isa. 7:14 – “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

c.        The gospels proclaim His virgin birth – Both Matthew 1:18-23 and Luke 1:26-35.

d.       The purpose of His virgin birth 

                                                   i.      IT fulfilled prophecy – Matt. 1:22-23 – quotes Isaiah 7:14.  It is a proof that God is with us.
Gen. 3:15, see Galatians 4:4, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,” (Galatians 4:4, NKJV)

                                                  ii.      It establishes Jesus as both God (deity) and man (actual flesh).  This becomes significant when we consider why Jesus came to this earth.

                                                iii.      IT provided a suitable sacrifice for sins between God and man.
 John 3:16 tells us that God gave His only begotten Son.  If Jesus were not God or just like any other man why could not some other make the acceptable sacrifice. 
Heb. 10:4-10 tells us that it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins, but the sacrifice of Jesus WAS sufficient. 
Also consider again Phil. 2:5-9. 

                                                iv.      In it we find God revealed to us (John 14:9, Col, 1:15 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  Hebrews 1:3, “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

                                                  v.      AND He reveals us to God (at least the excuse, “You don’t understand” cannot be made).  Heb. 4:14-16, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

e.       Evidence for the Virgin birth

                                                   i.      The reliability of the New Testament.  In examining both NT accounts, they CLEARLY imply that Jesus was born of a virgin.

                                                  ii.      Matthew 1:18-23 notes: 1) Before they came together; 2) Joseph’s was minded to put her away secretly indicates his concern that she was with child; 3) Joseph was told, “that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;  4) Isaiah 7:14 is referenced. 
NOTE: Another interesting observation.  IN the genealogy of Jesus leading up to Jesus the term “begot” is used some 39 times, but note that in vs. 16 we read, “And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.” It does NOT mention that Joseph “begot” Jesus.  
Furthermore, Matt. 1:25 states that Joseph did not know Mary until Jesus was born.

                                                iii.      Luke 1:26-35 – 1) Mary is called a virgin and admits it in vs. 34;  2) She is told the Holy Spirit would come upon her.

                                                iv.      The prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 -
Some seek to discredit Isaiah 7:14 as not a prophecy about Jesus but rather a prophecy directed toward Ahaz dealing with the timing of invasion.  Some also argue that the word “virgin” can actually mean “a young woman of marriageable age.”  They will say that Matthew chose to apply this passage to bolster his case for Jesus.
1) The background on the text: Ahaz was king of Judah as Syria and Israel were waging war against Jerusalem.  Isaiah is sent to Ahaz to tell him they would not succeed.   The Lord also told Ahaz to ask for a sign from God.  But Ahaz refused.  This prompted Isaiah to say, “Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. The Lord will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father’s house—days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah.”” (Isaiah 7:13–17) . 
Within this text, Isaiah sets a time frame for deliverance of a few years before the nations of Syria and Northern Israel would fall.  But he presents a prophecy that was not fully fulfilled until the coming of Jesus.   There is NO evidence of a VIRGIN conceiving (as a virgin) during that time frame.

2) it is argued that the word “virgin” means a young woman of marriage age and not necessarily a virgin.  The point being a young woman would get married and conceive a child and thus it was not talking about a miracle. 
BUT the wording indicates otherwise – the Hebrew word here for virgin is alma and it is a word that every time it is used is in reference to a virgin (used 8 times in OT). 
Also the Greek word in Matthew 1:23 which quotes Isaiah 7:14 is παρθένος (parathenos) and means a virgin.  It is used 14 times in the New Testament and again it is ALWAYS in reference to a virgin.  Furthermore, the word used in Matt. 1:23 is the same Greek word used in the LXX for Isaiah 7:14.
3) “The virgin shall conceive” is worded as if to indicate she will be in that state as she conceives. 

4) IT was called “a sign”  A young woman bearing a child is not a sign.
5) His name would be “Immanuel” which is translated “God with us”
Considering these facts and others, it becomes clear that the text of Isaiah 7:14 was not ultimately fulfilled until the time of Jesus coming.  Matthew WAS accurate!

                                                  v.      The lineage of Joseph – Jesus could not fulfill the prophecy to David (2 Sam. 7:12-13) through Joseph because of Jeremiah 22:30“Thus says the Lord: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.’ ”” (Jeremiah 22:30, NKJV) – Joseph was a descendent of Jeconiah (Matt. 1:12, 16).  It is interesting how legally Jesus could be of the direct line of the kings, but NOT naturally.  Only the virgin birth explains this.  Mary, WAS a descendent of David.

                                                vi.      One other thought.  Early church fathers were united in teaching that Jesus was born of a virgin.  It was only after modernism in the 1800s entered into the picture that the issue began to be called into question. 

 II.                  Evidence for the Resurrection

a.        Over the past 2-3 years we have devoted considerable time to the importance and validity of the resurrection of Jesus.  This evening we simply submit a summary.

b.       The resurrection is at the foundation of our faith. 

c.        Jesus foretold His resurrection on at least 16 passages – this eliminates it being an “accident” or His not really dying. 

d.       He appeared to numerous witnesses as recorded in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20.  1 Corinthians 15:3-8 also accounts a number of appearances including over 500 on one occasion, “the greater part remain to the present” Paul wrote.   Paul could write this letter with ANY authority if that statement were not true.

e.       The spread of the gospel immediately after this is strong evidence within itself.  Why would disciples be willing to die for a lie?  How would the gospel spread as powerfully as it did, if there were no hope of a resurrection?  And isn’t that what Paul said.

f.         Consider the alternatives.  There are basically 4 possibilities:

                                                   i.      The wrong tomb

                                                  ii.      Jesus never really died – he “swooned”

                                                iii.      The body was stolen either by enemies or disciples

                                                iv.      He arose from the dead.

 

It is imperative that we believe in both His coming into this world and His resurrection.  Our faith depends on it.  Also, we ought to be able to “give a defense for the hope that is in us.” (1 Pet. 3:15)  May the thoughts in this lesson help us believe and share it with others.