Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).
December is the month the world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Without the virgin birth, we humans would be doomed to spend eternity in the lake of fire. Many people today would say that is a really strong statement. And that is because Americans have a skewed idea of the God that the Bible reveals.
Most people think of God as a God of love. And God is love. But they forget that God is also Holy. God loves us deeply, but because He is holy, pure, and untainted by universal sin, He cannot approach anything with sin attached to it. It’s God’s love, based on His Holiness, that sent Jesus Christ to earth as a man to bear our sin and pay our sin debt for us. And that is the foundation for celebrating Christmas the way Christians do. We are excited that God loves us enough to do something about our sinful condition that keeps us from Him.
I want you to look with me at a few passages from the book of Revelation. These passages reveal the New Heavens and New Earth and the New Jerusalem after Christ’s second coming. I want you to notice the verbiage and who will be allowed in to both the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 and Heaven in Revelation 22:
Revelation 21:3 (NLT)
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them.
Revelation 21:6-8 (NLT)
And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. (7) All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.
(8) “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
Revelation 21:27 (NLT)
Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Revelation 22:14-15 (NLT)
Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. (15) Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.
These passages reveal the underlying problem we have of our sin keeping us from a Holy God. God’s holiness keeps Him away from anything tainted by sin. We are sinners from birth. We are wicked at heart. And that sin and wickedness at heart keeps us from a God who deeply loves us and wants to be near us. And the virgin birth is God’s answer for His desire to be near us. In Christ, through His virgin birth into humanity, God has solved the problem of sin separating us from Him. God loves us enough to make a way to personally pay the judicial price for our sinfulness.
So, the very foundation of our redemption from sin and its catastrophic effects on all of creation is in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
The reason for the virgin birth is something we all need to understand. When Adam and Eve sinned, the entire human race was immediately severed from fellowship with God. Satan, God’s arch-enemy, became the temporary god of this world.
The “lease” that God gave the first man Adam over the earth to take care of it and “keep” it was transferred to Satan (see Luke 4:5). He became the “prince of the power of the air,” and set up a system of control over this planet and over humanity. Satan was kicked out of heaven because of a desire to control God. When Adam sinned, Satan took advantage of his failure and fulfilled his desire to control by dominating this planet.
Satan may have thought that he had finally done something here that God was helpless to change. He may have thought that his control over the earth and over humanity was beyond God’s ability to reverse, but Satan underestimated the love of God for the human race.
The only way for us to be redeemed was through a virgin birth. You see, a man got us into sin, and a man must pay our sin penalty for us. Satan knew that God was just, and that sin’s penalty must be paid. And he knew that humanity was now a fallen race, and that every human born of two human parents would be born under his control. From Satan’s viewpoint, our redemption was not possible.
But Satan did not understand the deep love that God has for human beings. His corrupted wisdom never considered the price that God was willing to pay to remove sin and the curse from man. The virgin birth was God’s answer for man’s sin from His heart of love.
God’s wisdom before the creation of Adam and Eve was that if they failed the test of Eden and sinned, God would incarnate Himself in the body of a human, and pay man’s sin penalty for him.
No person born of two human parents could pay man’s sin penalty because that person would likewise be a fallen, sin bound, Satan dominated being. But the virgin birth meant that Jesus was not born according to the laws of natural generation of life.
He was a human because Mary His mother clothed Him with sinless flesh. Jesus Christ had no human father! The sperm that fertilized the ovum in Mary’s womb came from God Himself! That made Jesus Christ the God-man! He was 100% God and 100% man. That meant that Jesus was born as the first sinless human since the creation of Adam before the fall; the last Adam as He is called in 1 Corinthians.
And since Jesus was born sinless and free from Satan’s rule, He could legitimately pay the sin debt of mankind! Without the virgin birth, this would not be possible!
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).