|The Virgin Birth
By Bishop Ronald Wilson
"That Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father, conceived of the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary."
The doctrine of the virgin birth is one of the most precious beliefs that all true Christians hold dear to their hearts.
Through the years, the ungodly have tried to dispute and destroy this great Bible truth. To attack the virgin birth, in
effect, attacks the deity of Christ. The entire Gospel message falls apart if Christ were not God in the flesh. If belief
in the virgin birth is destroyed, salvation for the sinner does not exist, we have no hope of deliverance and healing in
this life, and certainly no home in heaven when this life is over. If the conception and the cradle of Christ are treated
as myths, His cross and tomb have no value either, for they were built upon lies.
Those who deny the virgin birth do so in complete disbelief and rebellion against God's Word. They also deny the
power of Almighty God. In their blindness, these unbelievers seem to have forgotten that God created all things in
the beginning by simply speaking them into existence. If God could create Adam without a man or a woman, and if
God created Eve from the rib of Adam without a woman, causing the birth of Jesus without an earthly father would
be easy for God. As many preachers before me have said; "The same God who brought a motherless woman from
the body of a man brought a fatherless man from the body of a woman."
In chapter 7, verse 14, Isaiah prophesied the virgin birth of Jesus; "Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign;
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." Mary acknowledged her virginity
and her purity when she asked the angel Gabriel this question; "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Luke
The idea that Mary was just a young woman, which is how the Revised Standard Version translates Isaiah 7:14, and
not a virgin, cannot be validated with any scripture in the Bible. In fact, whether Mary was a young woman or not,
has nothing to do with the issue. Mary could have been a young woman and not a virgin, or she could have been a
virgin and not a young woman. However, if Mary had been with child out of wedlock, she certainly would not have
been highly favored with God as Gabriel said to her. "Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed
art thou among women" (Luke 1:28). The Bible makes it clear that Mary had never had any sexual relations with a
man when she was found to be with Child.
In the book of Genesis, after Adam and Eve sinned, God promised them a Savior would be born into the world. "And
I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman (Eve), and between thy seed and her seed; It shall bruise thy
head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" Genesis 3:15. From the beginning, the prophecy said nothing about the seed
of man, but the seed of woman. Jesus would be born of a woman, yet the method of His conception would be unlike
anything the world had ever known. It would be a special birth for earth's most special Child.
As we come back to the Gospel of Luke, in response to the question Mary asked, the angel Gabriel said to her;
"The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy
thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). The clear meaning of this scripture is
that Jesus was to be born of Mary without a human father. The Holy Ghost conceived the Child inside her.
In the Gospel of Matthew, we read this account of the birth of Jesus. "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise:
When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with Child of the Holy
Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put
her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream,
saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of
the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people
form their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Behold, a virgin shall be with Child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being
interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and
took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called His name Jesus"
The fact that Joseph was not the father of Jesus is perfectly clear if one reads the Scriptures. Mary was espoused to
Joseph, but the marriage had not been consummated. When Joseph learned that Mary was to become a mother, he
decided to divorce her. Joseph reached this decision because he knew that Mary's Son was not his son. However,
the customs of that day forced Joseph to make a choice. If he divorced her openly, both parties must present
themselves to the elders of the city in a public meeting. If the woman was found to be with child by another man, she
would be taken outside the gates of the city and stoned to death. Joseph knew this would happen to Mary if he
publicly divorced her. He did believe Mary had been unfaithful to him, but he loved her so much that he did not want
her to die. The only other option Joseph saw was to put her away privately, which is what the Bible tells us he
intended to do.
If Joseph were not the father of Jesus, who was? If Jesus was not born of a virgin, then Mary was a woman of ill
repute. If Jesus was not begotten of God and conceived by the Holy Ghost, then two unmarried and immoral people
who were responsible for His birth concocted the most incredible story ever perpetrated upon the world to cover up
their sin. If that is true, then Christianity is built upon the most horrible fraud of all time. If you take away the virgin
birth, what is left?
If Jesus were an illegitimate child, do you think the angels would have rejoiced? "And there were in the same country
shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, an angel of the Lord came upon
them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them,
Fear not: for behold I bring you. . ." Did the angel say that he brought sad news from heaven that a woman who had
given birth to a child conceived out of wedlock? Was that the news that caused heaven to rejoice? No! The angel
said: "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born
this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be sign unto you; Ye shall find the Babe
wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly
host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke
2:8-14). Heaven rejoiced because God's Son and earth's Savior had been born!
John 3:16 is said to be the most quoted verse in the Bible, but notice the wording. "For God so loved the world, that
He gave His only begotten Son. . ." Begotten means to be the father of. I know many people like to skip all the
begats of the Bible, but you miss something when you do. Take the begats of the New Testament. In Matthew's
account of the genealogy of Jesus, he begins in verse two with Abraham and proceeds toward the birth of Jesus with
a total of 39 "begats." Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob, Jacob begat Judas, and so on until he comes to
Joseph. When he gets to Joseph, this is what the Bible says. "And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of
whom was born Jesus who is called Christ" (Matthew 1:16). Matthew did not say that Joseph begat Jesus. Why? The
reason: an earthly father did not sire Jesus.
The genealogy of Jesus in the book of Luke, which is the lineage of Mary, goes all the way back to Adam. This was
done to show that Mary was the woman through whom the "promised Seed" had come. Just as God had promised,
her Seed would bruise the head of the serpent.
When the angel of the Lord instructed Joseph to go into Egypt, he did not say to him, take your wife and your son.
But rather, "Take the young Child and His mother." Joseph had nothing to do with the conception of Jesus.
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus is called the Son of Mary, the Son of David, the Son of man, the Son of God, the
Only begotten of the Father, the Son of the Highest, and the Son of the most High. With one exception, only His
enemies called Him the Son of Joseph. The exception was the occasion when Jesus was twelve years old. During
the celebration of Passover, He became separated from His earthly family. When Mary and Joseph found Him in the
Temple, she said; "Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us? Behold, Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing."
The answer Jesus gave to His mother was a gentle rebuke. He said to her; "How is it that ye sought Me? Wist ye not
that I must be about My Father's business?" (Luke 2:48-49). Mary had spoken of Joseph as his father. Jesus
reminded her that God was His father.
If Jesus were in fact the Son Joseph, then years later the Jewish leaders were correct when they charged Him with
blasphemy. They were right to demand His death. They knew the Son of Joseph could not save us from our sin. You
see, it does make a difference whose Son Jesus was. Divine birth proves Sonship, and only divine Sonship provides
If Jesus were not born of a virgin, then He had a human father. If He had a human father, He inherited the sin nature
of that father. If He were born in sin, He was under the curse and penalty of sin Himself. When He claimed that He
had power over His own life and no one could take His life from Him, if He were only the son of an earthly father, that
was nothing more than another lie. If Jesus had a finite father, he would have been a finite son. If Jesus were a finite
son, He could not have been an infinite Person. If He were finite, He was not God. If He were not God in the flesh,
then salvation is nothing more than a cunningly devised fable.
A person who denies the virgin birth snatches the robe of divine royalty off our Lord. They strip Him of His sinless
humanity, denounce His deity, make the cross a failure and disgrace, and tell us we have to face eternity with no
hope. In essence, they destroy Christianity.
Let the agnostic and infidels say what they please, but we believe the Bible speaks with clarity on this most vital
doctrine; "Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father, conceived of the Holy Ghost, and born of the virgin
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