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Born of the Virgin Mary

By John A. Huffman Jr.

The bottom line is that the Bible says the God of all creation broke into human history in a supernatural way in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God Incarnate. The preexistent God took human form, conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. This is just one of many miracles in the Bible.

To deny it is to declare that Jesus was a bastard child of a promiscuous Jewish teenager from Nazareth who, according to her culture, should have been stoned to death for her behavior. Or, at the best, Jesus was the love child of an engaged couple who lied to cover up their activities, coming up with a fantastic story of angel annunciations and a virgin birth. Or, it happened just the way the Bible says it happened.

Let me put it in the words of the late Clayton Bell, pastor of the Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, who writes in his book, Moorings in a World Adrift:

I believe in the virgin birth, not because I understand how it happened, but because I trust the witness of Matthew and Luke. I believe in the virgin birth because I find this consistent with believing in "God the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth." I find it easy to believe that the early church was so morally pure and so righteous in its teaching that it would not have perpetrated upon the world such a doctrine if it had not been true. I also believe in the virgin birth because I find it extremely difficult to believe the contrary — that Mary was a morally loose woman and that Jesus was a bastard. I cannot believe that. In light of the life and ministry and teaching of Jesus Christ, and in what we know of the gospel record, I find it much easier to believe that Jesus was indeed "conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary."

III.

Question three: So what practical relevance does this have for me today?

Answer: This miracle of the Incarnation, of which the virgin birth is a significant part, has multiple practical implications for you.

Let me mention three.

The first: You have a God who empathizes with you.

Some of the people I most admire are my alcoholic friends who are engaged in AA.

The other day I ran into a fellow who found out I was a pastor. He shared how he no longer goes to church. He didn't find spiritual reality in church. Religion wasn't for him. He said he was in a twelve-step program, engaged in AA, and was claiming the help of his "Higher Power" to get him through, one day at a time.

My response was, as it always is, "That's fascinating. Are you aware that every one of those twelve steps came straight out of the Bible? And are you aware that the name of your 'Higher Power' is Jesus Christ?" You should have seen his jaw drop.

I went on to tell him of my personal association with Reverend Sam Shoemaker, the pastor of Bill W. Bill W. had come to him with the steps to help alcoholics, but somehow the steps didn't seem to work. Together they sat down and opened the Bible and came up with these working biblical principles and the notion of a "Higher Power," which made help in addiction available, even to atheists, based on biblical spiritual principles.

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