Back to Articles

Virgin Birth Is Foundational

by Gil Rugh

The virgin birth of Christ is a foundational doctrine. If Jesus Christ is not the virgin-born Son of God, then no one can gain salvation through Him.

If Christ was not God, it would not matter how great a man He was or how tremendous His accomplishments were. If Christ was the greatest man who ever lived but nothing more, He could not pay the penalty for every man’s sin by dying on the cross.

The virgin birth is God’s statement that His Son is more than a man; He is God. When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the penalty for the sins of the world. This enables God to offer salvation as a gift to anyone who will accept it. Whoever believes in Christ has eternal life.

Mary Married Joseph

When Joseph discovered that Mary, his betrothed, was pregnant, it would have been quite a shock. It wasn’t until God sent an angel to him that he understood what had happened and what he was to do.

Matthew said Joseph was a righteous man, who believed and heeded the angels. “And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife” (Matt. 1:24).

Joseph’s response indicates his faith. After the angel explained to him that Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit, he took Mary as his wife and, “kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus” (v. 25).

Mary and Joseph had no sexual relations until after Jesus was born. Perhaps this was to leave no doubt that Joseph was not the physical father of Jesus.

Jesus Is God and Man

John tells us that Jesus is God. “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).

It is remarkable that God should choose to become a man. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Purpose in Becoming Man

The Word became flesh. The Word is not only God, the Word is also mankind—humanity, flesh—and we beheld His glory! “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col. 2:9). Jesus is not only man—He’s God.

Jesus had to be both man and God. It was necessary for Jesus to become man so that He could be an acceptable substitute for humans and pay their sin penalty. It was also necessary that He be God so that He could offer forgiveness of sins to everyone. It is crucial that we understand the significance of the virgin birth. In that process, God became a man so that God Himself, in the person of Jesus, the God-Man, could become man’s Savior by personally paying the penalty for man’s sin.