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Monday
Apr272009

Theological Term of the Week

virgin birth
Mary’s miraculous conception of Jesus by a work of the Holy Spirit, without the participation of any human father, so that Mary was still a virgin at the time of Jesus’ birth.

  • From scripture:
    Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:18-21 ESV)
  • From The Heidelberg Catechism:

    Question 35. What is the meaning of these words “He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary”?

    Answer: That God’s eternal Son, who is, and continues true and eternal God, took upon him the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary, by the operation of the Holy Ghost; that he might also be the true seed of David, like unto his brethren in all things, sin excepted.

    Question 36. What profit dost thou receive by Christ’s holy conception and nativity?

    Answer: That he is our Mediator; and with His innocence and perfect holiness, covers in the sight of God, my sins, wherein I was conceived and brought forth.

  • From In Understanding Be Men by T. C. Hammond:
    …[Great] significance attaches to the virgin birth when it is realized that here God begins to ‘do a new thing’ for our salvation. Seen in this light, the supernatural form of the birth of Jesus takes on a profound symbolical appropriateness. It proclaims that mankind is able to make no contribution to its own aid. Even Mary is entirely passive; the initiative is all of God. It is God who ‘has visited and redeemed his people’. … The virgin birth declares that God acts on His own. The ‘overshadowing’ of the Holy Spirit recalls Genesis 1:2, and perhaps indicates the beginning of the new creation.

Learn more:

  1. GotQuestions.org: Why Is the Virgin Birth So Important?
  2. John Hartog III: The Virgin Birth: A Mystery to Be Cried Aloud
  3. Sam Storms: The Virgin Birth
  4. John Piper: Conceived by the Holy Spirit
  5. Al Mohler: Can a Christian Deny the Virgin Birth?
  6. Wayne Grudem: The Person of Christ, Part 1 (mp3)

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

I’m also interested in any suggestions you have for tweaking my definitions or for additional (or better) articles or sermons/lectures for linking. Credit will be given for any of these suggestions I use, too.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms organized in alphabetical order or by topic.

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