Faith: Significance, meaning and the virgin birth
By Tyler Warner
When the great interview host Larry King was asked whom he would interview if he could interview anyone who ever lived, he answered without hesitation: “Jesus Christ.” And the question he would ask? “I would like to ask him if he was indeed virgin-born. The answer to that question would define history for me.” While himself an atheist, Mr. King grasps the gravity of the Incarnation.
The Incarnation represents the entire premise of Christianity – God became a man. The apostle John would write twice that to deny the Incarnation is to deny the faith entirely (1 John 4:2, 2 John 7). And it was John who gave us the simplest definition: “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). The Son of God joined Himself to humanity forever without compromising His deity. And the Incarnation was consummated when Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary on what we commemorate today as the first Christmas.
Believing in the Virgin Birth is one of the most wonderful parts of being a Christian. It retains mystery in our lives at a time when we worship knowledge and understanding; it brings awe to a jaded generation; it dignifies the body for a people that treat their bodies as an enemy to be overcome; it sanctifies motherhood and childbirth, it glorifies humility, and it identifies us distinctly as people of faith in a miraculous God.
Naturally, with so much significance wrapped up in one event, there are those who want to minimize the Virgin Birth. The cynic and the scientist believe that significance itself is an illusion, a construct, a lie we invented to keep ourselves from despair. With such a heartbreaking worldview, there is no room for miracles and meaning, so the Virgin Birth could only have been invented by desperate men – it would be too transcendent if it were true.
But we are not smart or clever when we try to reduce the great truths of God to mere myths and symbols. It’s all the rage to try and sanitize Christmas and every other tradition and strip it of everything that is wonderful and lovely. Some can only see an artificial star on an otherwise meaningless tree. But just because something is meaningful does not mean that it cannot be true. On the contrary, truth is meaningful. We don’t believe in the Virgin Birth because it gives our lives meaning, we believe it because it is true! And because it is true it gives our lives meaning. There’s a reason all those Christmas carols talk about hope and joy – if Christ is born, then salvation has come.
Tyler Warner is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Trussville. CCT currently meets on Sundays at 9:30am, in the Cahaba Room of the Hilton-Garden Inn on 3230 Edwards Lake Pkwy. Listen to Tyler’s verse-by-verse Bible teaching at CalvaryChapelTrussville.com or Sundays at 2:30pm on WXJC (101.1 FM).