Christmas has become a time to celebrate the eternally existing God coming to earth as a little baby born in Bethlehem. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
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We know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but how was the everlasting God conceived into a human mother? One of the miracles of Christ’s birth is that He was born of a virgin. Sadly the whole concept of the virgin birth has been challenged by Bible critics. For example they have pointed out that the word that was translated virgin can simply mean a young woman. Linguists could defend the choice of the word “virgin” to describe Mary, but even without that debate, the scripture is very clear that she was in fact a virgin when Christ was born.
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Consider Matthew 1:18, “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.” Notice that before she had even been with Joseph, she was with child. In fact, when Mary was told she would have a baby, she was confused. “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:34) She had not been with Joseph or any other man for that matter. “And the angel answered and said unto 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)
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The Holy Spirit came upon Mary, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ entered her womb. Soon He was born, and grew into a man. This was a fulfillment of the prophecy that God would be with us. “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.” (Matthew 1:23) These verses prove not only the virgin birth, but also the deity of Christ (that He is God).
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Joseph took Mary to be his wife because an angel had explained to him about this virgin birth, and he did not come unto her until after Christ was born. “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” (Matthew 1:25) Mary later had other children. “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.” (Mark 6:3) Joseph did go on to raise Jesus as his own son, but Luke makes it very clear that Joseph was not His biological father. “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,” (Luke 3:23). In fact, earlier in Luke 2:43, Luke refers to the parents of our Lord as Joseph and his mother, not father and mother.
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So why does all this matter? Adam was the first man and all men since Adam, with the exception of Christ, have had a human father. Sin has passed on all men from their fathers. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12) Adam’s sin did not pass on to Christ though, because His father is God, not a descendant of Adam. Therefore Christ is perfectly sinless- not just in deed, but in position. That perfect righteousness of Christ, allowed Him to pay for our sins. “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Romans 5:18)
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As you celebrate Christmas, understand that the virgin birth allowed God to be born into this world in perfection so that He could pay for your sins. If you have not trusted Him, what better time of year to give your life to Christ?