This post is in response to the question that Phil posed under my earlier post concerning Rob Bell and the virgin birth. Phil writes:
This may be sort of a weird question and somewhat of a tangent, but how does one really “prove” that he or she believes in the Virgin Birth? I mean we can say it, but how does that belief translate into how we live our lives? I know that the Virgin Birth is essential in establishing the divinity of Christ, but it seems like a rather abstract to our everyday lives. Contrast that to the death and resurrection of Christ. This impacts how I live my life everyday. If I don’t believe Christ rose, then I am without hope. If I don’t believe He rose, then I can’t have a relationship with Him.
I felt this was an honest question. I will do my best to answer; the list could go on, but I think these are the biggest ones.
1. It means that the Jesus I follow is the Messiah.
If Jesus were not born of a virgin, then He could not be that One for which the Old Testament longed. If He were not virgin-born, He would simply be another Buddha or Mohammed. The path that his followers now take could still be a “good path” — but it would not be the straight and narrow path to God.
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Further, the virgin birth is relevant to me today because it assures me that I am living my life in such a way that God is pleased with me. Think about this for a moment: if Christ were not born of a virgin, then He could not be Messiah. If Christ is not Messiah, then I am not living in reality at all — actually, I am living in some sort of dream world where I only imagine that my sins are forgiven once for all, where I only imagine that I am not bound by the Mosaic legislation any longer. If Christ is not Messiah, then I better be looking for one.
However, since I know that Christ was indeed born of a virgin — that is that Mary was with child before she ever had sexual relations with Joseph — I can be assured that Jesus is Messiah, that we need not look for another and that my sins are forgiven once for all.
2. It means that the Jesus I follow is God.
If Jesus were not born of a virgin, then He could not be God. If his birth were merely of earthly parents, then He could only be human — that is, Jesus could only be a created being, not God.
Since Jesus was born of a virgin, I can be assured that I know and follow God in an intimate way.
3. It means that the Scriptures I read are reliable.
If Jesus were not born of a virgin, then the gospels would be flawed and could not be the trustworthy Word of God. Since God cannot lie, then the Scriptures could not be of divine origin. If the Scriptures are not of divine origin, then they are merely another idolatrous creation of fallen man — they would be completely insufficient in directing us to know God.