What is the importance
of the virgin birth of Jesus?
As the author of the above mentioned article is a Roman Catholic, so we are not surprised that he considers it as an important part of a catechism about Mary to tell us how old she was when she gave birth to Jesus… Maybe he thinks that, although this detail was very important, and yet the Holy Spirit didn’t care or forgot to mention it in His Word… But the most interesting part is that conjecture that he makes concerning her age… I wonder on what he based his guess that Mary would be 14 to 17 years old… Why not 16 to 24 years old?… Anyway, this part is just a Roman Catholic way to make people busy with vanities so that they may not concentrate on the Person and work of Christ, so we won’t write an article about that now.
What is the importance of the virgin birth of Jesus? This is the topic of the fourth question of that article.
Well, first it’s interesting to see that Roman Catholics understand the passages about the virgin birth literally, while they interpret many other passages of the Bible symbolically… I wonder what makes them decide whether a passage of the Bible should be read literally or not… Maybe only the passages that seem to agree with their doctrines should be read literally, while other passages that are clearly contradicted by their doctrines should not be read literally. For instance, should we read Luke literally when he transmits to us the following words that Mary said:
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.” (Luke 1:46-47)
The question is: Did Mary really mean that the Lord is her Savior? Should we take these words literally or not? Indeed, the same chapter explains for us what Salvation is:
“To give to His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins” (Luke 1:77)
So Salvation is by the forgiveness of our sins… And my question to this author is: Do you believe Mary when she says that God is her Savior from sin, i.e. that God forgives her sins? Do you take that passage also literally, or you just re-interpret it, as it doesn’t agree with your false doctrine about Mary?…
Another interesting point is that I know some Roman Catholic teachers (from the clergy) who teach higher criticism, and they fiercely attack any literal understanding of Scripture… Those who watch Télé Lumière or Noursat, used to see the Prof. Boulos Feghali on the screen every week interpreting the biblical passages according to the principles of higher criticism and shocking people each time he said: “There are no prophecies in the Bible”, and that we should not take the literal meaning of the passages… Let’s take for example the following passage:
“Now all this came to pass that that might be fulfilled which was spoken by [the] Lord, through the prophet, saying, Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which is, being interpreted, ‘God with us.'” (Matthew 1:22-23)
Although the Church has always believed that Matthew literally meant to say that the virgin birth was the fulfillment of that prophecy which was written by Isaiah in Isaiah 7:14, higher criticism teachers like Boulos Feghali teach that Isaiah 7:14 doesn’t really talk about a virgin, and that Matthew only reinterpreted that passage of Isaiah to make it look like a prophecy about the virgin birth… And no Roman Catholic authority says anything to this heretic, and he and his students and many other higher criticism teachers are in many Roman Catholic local churches, where they teach this heretical teaching with the full consent of the local church authorities…
Anyway, this is not new: heretical movements always contradict themselves…
But the highest level of misery is reached when this author begins to tell us about his dreams about what the virgin birth should have as a spiritual “deep” meaning… Instead of concentrating on Christ, he concentrates on Mary and he compares her to the righteous remnant of Israel… This is an example of how the moon comes in front of the sun to make a solar eclipse, as we have seen in our first study in this series. By concentrating on Mary and on her merits, he obscures the whole Christian doctrine of human depravity and of free justification before God by Grace alone, and not by any merit in us. Indeed, this remnant of Israel is called like that because it is that section of the Jews who do not rely on their own righteousness and they do not seek to establish their own righteousness, but receive the Righteousness of God by admitting their total sinfulness and receiving the Grace of justification and Salvation from God alone by faith alone, and not by any merit in them (cf. Ephesians 2:8-10). Indeed, Paul explains this in Romans 9, 10 and 11. In Romans 10, Paul talks about the majority of the Jews who refused the Gospel, and he describes them in the following way:
“For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own [righteousness], have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is [the] end of law for righteousness to every one that believes.” (Romans 10:3-4)
So the unbelieving Jews are those who want to establish their own merits and righteousness, and they thus refuse the Righteousness of God which is by faith. Indeed, Paul had previously explained how this Righteousness of God is received:
“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”” (Romans 1:17)
And the righteous remnant of Israel are righteous because they receive the Righteousness of God and do not rely on their own righteousness like the majority of the Jews did:
“In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.
But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened” (Romans 11:5-7)
So this remnant is according to God’s gracious choice, i.e. it is no longer on the basis of works and personal merits. If Mary represents this remnant, then she should be someone who admits her sinfulness, and by admitting her sinfulness she is pure in the sight of God. Now, this is contrary to the Roman Catholic teaching that Mary was without sin… But we have seen above that this agrees with the Bible that says that God is the Savior of Mary from sin… So let the Roman Catholics make up their mind: was Mary a sinner saved by Grace, thus being a type of the remnant of Israel? Or was she sinless, and thus it was impossible for her to be a type of that remnant? It’s up to the Roman Catholics to decide whether to believe what the Bible says or what their human teachers say…
So Mary was pure, not because she didn’t have the original sin or that she was born without the sinful nature, but because she admitted her sinfulness and she believed in God as her personal Savior, thus receiving the free Grace of God by faith and not by any merit in her. And in fact, God had explained these things in many ways in the Old Testament. He told the Jews that they should not boast of any personal righteousness, but should rely only on the Grace of God who made a Covenant with their fathers:
“Do not say in your heart when the LORD your God has driven them out before you, ‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’ but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is dispossessing them before you.
“It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 9:4-5)
The remnant of Israel will not say in their heart that God gives them any grace because of a merit in them, because the remnant of Israel do not seek to establish a righteousness of their own, but they receive the Righteousness of God.
Another example of how God told the Jews about His Righteousness is when He told them that a person is not pure as long as he doesn’t admit that he’s a totally sinful person and dares to boast of having something good in himself. Let’s read an interesting example in the Law:
“When a sore [as] of leprosy is in a man, he shall be brought unto the priest; and the priest shall look on him, and behold, there is a white rising in the skin, and it hath turned the hair white, and a trace of raw flesh is in the rising: it is an old leprosy in the skin of his flesh; and the priest shall pronounce him unclean, and he shall not shut him up, for he is unclean. But if the leprosy break out much in the skin, and the leprosy cover all the skin of [him that hath] the sore, from his head even to his foot, wherever the eyes of the priest look, and the priest looketh, and behold, the leprosy covereth all his flesh, he shall pronounce [him] clean [that hath] the sore; it is all turned white; he is clean. And on the day when raw flesh appeareth in him, he shall be unclean. And the priest shall look on the raw flesh, and shall pronounce him unclean: the raw flesh is unclean, it is leprosy. But if the raw flesh change again, and be turned white, he shall come unto the priest; and the priest shall look on him, and behold, the sore is turned white; then the priest shall pronounce [him] clean [that hath] the sore: he is clean.” (Leviticus 13:9-17)
Surprisingly, the one who is wholly covered with leprosy is pronounced as clean, while the one who has even a trace of raw flesh (flesh not affected by leprosy) is pronounced as unclean! Why is it so? It’s because this Law, given under the Old Covenant, gives us a spiritual principle. Leprosy is the type of sin. The one who admits the fact that he is totally sinful (that is, leprosy has covered him wholly, from his head even to his foot), and that he has nothing good in himself, no merit that may deserve to be called clean (that is, he doesn’t have any raw flesh), is pronounced clean by God, because that’s the humble heart that admits his real condition of total sinfulness and thus receives the Grace of God. The Lord called such people “poor in spirit” (cf. Matthew 5:3). People who think they are rich in spirit and have much spiritual riches (i.e. personal merits) will not inherit the Kingdom of God, as they are unclean. These are the ones who think they have at least a trace of goodness and merit in themselves that would deserve to be called clean by God (that is, they have a trace of raw flesh).
Those who are part of the remnant of Israel are people who admit that they are totally covered with leprosy, i.e. they are totally sinful and have no merit in themselves that could deserve the Salvation of God, and thus they receive the Righteousness of God and they deny any righteousness of their own; therefore they are pronounced by God as clean, because leprosy has covered them completely. While the Jews who refused the Gospel are those Jews who denied the Righteousness of God, and wanted to establish a righteousness of their own, as we have seen above, and thus they have “a trace of raw flesh”, and God pronounces them as unclean.
Now, the question is: is Mary wholly covered with “leprosy” or not? Does she have any trace of “raw flesh”? Is she one of those poor in spirit who admits her total sinfulness and need for the sole Grace of God? We have seen at the beginning of this article how Mary admitted that God is her Savior from sin, so she admitted that “leprosy” has covered her completely and that she has no personal merits that would deserve any goodness from God, and that all what she has is but pure graces from God. Roman Catholics have changed this whole doctrine of Salvation by Grace alone, and they have given to the virginity of Mary some meanings that should only be ascribed to Jesus Christ and to His Grace that was given to Mary and that gave the virginity of Mary the whole significance that it has now. The Gospel according to Luke already explains this when it tells us how the angel of the Lord told Mary that she has received grace (cf. Luke 1:28)… Without this grace of God, the virginity of Mary would have no special meaning other than what all virgins in Israel had in Mary’s days. The Roman Catholics thus made a solar eclipse, as I have said before, as they have obscured the only truth that gives to Mary’s virginity its significance, because they concentrated on the merits of Mary instead of concentrating on the Grace of God which gave a sinner like Mary the Righteousness of God and grace upon grace. Thus, the Roman Catholics do not allow for people to take the right lessons from a saint like Mary, although the Bible teaches us to learn the right lessons from the lives of the saints of God. The Roman Catholics present to people a Mary who belongs to that section of the Jews who refused the Righteousness of God, trying to establish their own righteousness, and thus people follow that false example and they boast of their personal righteousness each time you tell them about the Righteousness of God when you preach to them the Gospel of Grace. I have personally experienced this; whenever I try to tell a Roman Catholic about the Gospel of Grace, two main objections are brought up: 1. That he is doing his best to walk according to God’s Will, and after all God is merciful and He won’t judge him; thus he seeks to establish his own righteousness… 2. I am asked if I believe in Mary; thus he brings up the Roman Catholic example of a Mary who tried to establish her own righteousness, instead of the true biblical Mary who admitted that God is her Savior from sin. With this false Roman Catholic example of a self-righteous Mary, this person gives an excuse for refusing the Gospel of Grace…
Thus you see how dangerous is the Roman Catholic doctrine about Mary: it prevents any real righteousness by forbidding people from receiving the Righteousness of God by a denial of any personal merit or righteousness… Indeed, look how the author of the mentioned article says that Jesus came to abide among the remnant of Israel, meaning the “virgin Israel” or “the pure people who walk in God’s way”, although Jesus said: “for the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which is lost.” (Luke 19:10); and “They that are in sound health have not need of a physician, but those that are ill. I am not come to call righteous [persons], but sinful [ones] to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32) Roman Catholics strongly disagree with Jesus…
A person who doesn’t make God a liar accepts the teachings of the Bible about God’s Righteousness, and he thus understands what the real meaning of the virgin birth is. The Bible tells us that God told Adam that the day he would eat from the forbidden tree he would die. This was the spiritual death. As soon as Adam ate from the forbidden tree, he was separated from God spiritually. In the Bible, this separation is called death, because in the Bible “death” never means an annihilation, but a separation. Just as the separation of the soul from the body is a physical or a biological death, in the same way the separation of a man from God is a spiritual death, because God is the Life. And this spiritual death causes also the physical death which is linked to it. All humans who are born naturally from a natural relation between a man and a woman are born with the nature of Adam who is in separation from God, so all humans are sinners by nature; they are dead spiritually. This nature of sinfulness and spiritual death is called by the Church by the name “original sin”. Each one of us, including Mary, has received this sinful nature from his parents, as he has the same nature as they have. The only two ways to avoid receiving this sinful nature are: 1. To be a race created separately from Adam and Eve; 2. To be born in an unnatural way, without having a natural father and a natural mother, because this sinful nature is received through a natural relation between a man and a woman, as the human nature is not just one of those two genders, but, as God says in Genesis 1:17, the human nature is male and female, and not the male alone or the female alone. As the incarnation of the Word of God, Jesus Christ, had as purpose to save us from our sins and from the eternal damnation caused by our sins, so Jesus followed the second option (cf. Hebrews 2:14-18 and Hebrews 4:15), and He didn’t just create a new humanity (which is the first option) and dismiss the whole seed of Adam, although He could do that. Thus, Jesus took from the virgin Mary the same human nature that we have, but He didn’t take the same sinful nature, because He was not the natural fruit of marital relations between a man and a woman. This is actually how the Word became flesh (cf. John 1:14), and didn’t just receive flesh. In this sentence, “flesh” means “the human nature”, and not “body” as many misunderstand. So Jesus became a human, having a human body and a human soul and a human spirit. Although He took His body from Mary, and yet He didn’t take the sinful nature of Mary’s body, because He was not born in the natural way of a relation between a man and a woman. Although He took His human spiritual soul from Mary, and yet He didn’t take the sinful nature of Mary’s soul, because He was not born in the natural way of a relation between a man and a woman through which people are born in the image of Adam (cf. Genesis 5:3), i.e. they are born as sinners by nature. So Jesus was not born a sinner by nature as we all are born, including Mary who is a natural human and not a supernatural being… And the Word of God makes this fact clear when it tells us that Jesus is not of the nature of Adam: “the first man out of [the] earth, made of dust; the second man, out of heaven.” (1 Corinthians 15:47) So Jesus is not of the same sinful earthly nature of the first Adam, but He is the second Adam, a totally new humanity that is without sin, although not another humanity; Jesus is the last Adam who is totally from another nature, a heavenly one. Mary didn’t give Him an earthly nature, because a virgin cannot give her son that sinful nature, as that nature is received through a natural relation between both a man and a woman. He only received from Mary our human nature, and yet without sin, because His nature is the heavenly nature which He didn’t receive from Mary. If the Lord wills and we live, we will see more details about this when we study the error in the expression “mother of God”.
Now, as you should have noticed, this virgin birth is very essential for the whole Christian Faith! Indeed, if Jesus was not born of a virgin, then Jesus has received the same sinful nature of Adam, and thus Jesus was a sinner Himself (may it never be!), and thus He could not die in our place on the cross to save us from our sins, and He couldn’t rise again on the third day!… Do you see how all of the basic truths of our Faith are destroyed as soon as we deny the virgin birth? Indeed, this is the importance of Christmas, but people have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. The true meaning of Christmas is this virgin birth through which the Savior came to save us. The true meaning of Christmas is related to the cross! And that’s why the devil tries to destroy this truth of the virgin birth in all ways. In many people, he has destroyed this truth by making them doubt the virgin birth or just dismiss it (like in the example of the Christmas celebrations where the virgin birth and its importance are just forgotten); in the Roman Catholics, he has destroyed this truth by giving to the virgin birth a completely new meaning which obscures the truth of God’s Righteousness and elevates the merits of Mary instead, as we have seen above. Indeed, if you have followed the behavior of Roman Catholics in Christmas, you will see that they glorify Mary instead of Jesus, as if Mary had any merit that deserved the grace that she received from God… In all occasions, Roman Catholics find a way to praise Mary instead of Jesus, thus always making a solar eclipse, as we said previously: Is it Christmas? Then the Roman Catholic says that we should congratulate Mary! Is it the sad Friday? Then the Roman Catholic says we should weep with Mary for the death of her son… Is it the Resurrection Sunday? Then the Roman Catholic says that we should congratulate Mary, for her son has risen!… Is it the month of May? Then that’s the month of Mary… Is it August? Then it is the month of Mary’s assumption to Heaven!… You know: the first Christians were called Christians because they kept talking about Christ and they related everything in their life to Christ; thus people noticed this, and they said “these are Christians”… What would they call the Roman Catholics whose sole subject is Mary? Is it not Marian instead of Christian?…
As a conclusion, we should remember that the importance of the virgin birth is about Jesus Christ, and not about Mary. The author of the article that we are studying made the same error which Roman Catholics always do: They consider the virgin birth as a part of their Marian catechism, while in fact it is a part of the Christian catechism…
Grace be with you!
Disciple of Jesus Christ
Posted in Religious Movements | Roman Catholicism and similar heresies
This is part 3 of the series: Roman Catholic desperate defense of Marian worship