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2 John 1:8 by Robert Dean
Series:2nd John (2002)
Duration:59 mins 59 secs

The Necessity of the Virgin Birth; 2 John 8

 

2 John 1:8 NASB "Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward."

Areas of assault.

The virgin birth: five basic questions

 

  1. Why the Saviour needed to be a full member of the human race.

a)  To be a substitute for mankind. Only a true member of the race could die as a substitute for the human race. Like must substitute for like. This is one reason animal sacrifices could never do anything in relationship to sin. They were only training aids related to ritual observance that taught spiritual principles. Hebrews 10:4 NASB "For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins."

b)  To be a mediator. A mediator needs to be fully equal with both parties in conflict. Thus the mediator needed to be fully equal with mankind. Jesus Christ is the one and only mediator between God and man, 1 Timothy 2:5 NASB "For there is one God, {and} one mediator also between God and men, {the} man Christ Jesus."

c)  To fulfil the office of priest. To be our high priest—He is a king-priest, 1 Peter 2:9—a priest must be a part of the group he is representing, therefore the priest had to be fully human in order to represent man before God. Jesus Christ became true humanity in order to be our high priest after the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 7:4, 5,

d)  To be Israel's Messiah. The Saviour had to be a man to fulfil the requirements of Israel's Messiah, Isaiah 53:3-7.

e)  To fulfil Old Testament prophecy. He was to be a descendent of Abraham, the seed of Abraham, Genesis 22:18. He was going to be from the tribe of Judah, Genesis 49:9, 10. He would be from the root of Jesse, Isaiah 11:1.

f)  To fulfil God's covenant with David He had to be in rhe physical line of David, 2 Samuel 7:8-16; Psalm 89:20-37.

g)  To fulfil the office of prophet—Jesus Christ is prophet, priest and king.

h)  In order to pioneer the spiritual life of the church age believer, based on the filling of God the Holy Spirit.

i)  Old Testament prophecies and types teach His humanity. Example. In the construction of the ark of the ark of the covenant. It was made from acacia wood and it was covered with gold. The acacia wood represents the humanity of Christ; the gold represents the deity of Christ. Therefore it represents the hypostatic union. Second example: Melchizedek, the king-priest of Salem is a type or shadow of Christ as king-priest. Therefore to fulfil the type He must be truly human. Genesis 14:18; Psalm 110:4; cf. Hebrews 6:20; 7:23. Third example: Moses was a type of Christ as deliverer and prophet, Exodus 2:2. Fourth, in Isaiah 7:14 the promised Messiah is called Immanuel, which means God with us. That indicates His humanity.

  1. Why must the Saviour be fully God?

  a)  No human being could be qualified to go to the cross because every human being would be a sinner. So no human being alone could satisfy the requirements to go to the cross and pay the sin 

  penalty for the human race. No angel could substitute for the human race because, once again, there is the principle of like being a substitute for like and angels could not substitute for humanity.

  No other creature could serve the role because of the principle of substitution. Therefore the creator Himself must substitute. He was the only option for a Saviour.

  b)  A second reason the substitute must be fully God is that only one with perfect righteousness could qualify. And He would be the source for the imputation of righteousness, so he would have to

   have a righteousness that could be imputed to others in the race.

  c)  Only deity could provide the substitute that would have infinite value. If the Saviour was to die for all mankind He had to pay a penalty that would have value for more than one, in fact a value

  that could pay the penalty for all mankind. 

  1. If the Saviour must be true humanity then why couldn't He enter history by two human parents? First, this would not distinguish Him in any way from any other member of the human race. Nothing would identify Him as being unique. Second, if he was born with two human parents He would still inherit a sin nature from His parents like everyone else and thus would not be qualified to go to the cross. Therefore, if the Saviour must be fully God and fully man, and if the birth could not be through two human parents, then His entry must be through a unique birth. We must keep a distinction between the concept of the virgin birth or virgin conception and the incarnation. The virgin conception is merely the means to bring about the end, which is the incarnation. The incarnation itself includes much more than the birth of the Saviour, it involves the entire principle of the hypostatic union and its purposes and outworking. So incarnation has to do with the hypostatic union and the consequences of it, whereas the virgin conception and birth merely focuses on the means to the end.
  2. Why the virgin birth? Some will say that the purpose of the virgin birth is simply to provide a sign. Isaiah said there would be a sign, a virgin would conceive. So that some would say that the virgin birth is simply a miraculous sign to show that God was doing something unique. But is this restricted to simply that purpose? Is the virgin birth simply something that provides a miraculous note to announce the arrival of the Saviour? It is certainly true that that may be the only reason but that seems unlikely simply because the virgin birth is clearly taught in only two New Testament passages: Luke 1 and Matthew 1. The New Testament does not make a major issue out of the virgin birth—not that it is not important. Historically it wasn't known to anyone other than Mary and Joseph, and possibly Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. The point is that while it was a miracle and it was a sign, it was a very quiet sign at the time, and a very much overlooked miracle.

a)  The Saviour couldn't just appear on the scene; He couldn't just materialise out of nowhere, He had to be true humanity.

b)  A second idea that has come up in history is that deity was added after birth, the position that in the early church was known as adoptionism.

c)  Therefore He had to appear through normal birth, but it couldn't be through copulation between two parents. It has to be something that blocks the inheritance of the sin nature.

d)   We must realise that there can be no doubt at all about Jesus' genuine and permanent humanity. He is still in hypostatic union as the resurrected Lord sitting at the right hand of God the Father.

e)  The problem is the inherited sin from Adam, Romans 5:12. How is the sin nature kept from being passed on to Jesus? The only real solution to this is to recognise the principle of Scripture that it is Adam who is the head of the race, it is Adam's sin that resulted in the fall of the human race (not the woman's), and therefore it is through the male that the sin nature is passed down.

  1. The mechanics of the virgin birth.

a)  Adam's sin in the garden was the origination of the sin nature in the human race. Romans 5:12, "in Adam all die." Genesis 1:26, 27 says that God created the male and the female in His image, but 

  in Genesis 5 when we are given the genealogy we are told that when Adam fathered a son that son was not in the image of God, he was in the image of Adam. So that every descendant from

  that point on is born in the image of Adam, i.e. fallen and a participant in Adam's original sin, and under corruption from that original sin.

b)  Although both the man and the woman in the garden were equally guilty of sin, the woman's sin wasn't the issue. She wasn't the designated head of the human race. The issue was the sin of

  Adam as the federal head of the human race. The woman's sin was due to her deception, 1 Timothy 2:14, and his sin was a sin of full cognisance. Therefore his sin was the determinative and the

  crucial sin. The result, therefore, is that though both the man and the woman have a sin nature only the male transmits the sin nature through the fertilisation of the female ovum. 

c)  The sin nature clearly has a physical dimension as expressed in the Scripture. This is communicated through the use of terms such as flesh in Romans 8:3 plus numerous other passages; the body

  of sin in Romans 6:6. Therefore all the cells in our body are contaminated by the sin nature. It impacts our physical body and orients us in the direction of rebellion against God. We are born with

  this sin nature, this capacity for evil and orientation towards rebelliousness, that affects every single cell in our body. It is to that sin nature that God the Father imputes Adam's original sin at the

  instant of our birth. We not only have a sin nature, which means that we are born corrupt, but through the imputation of Adam's original sin we are just as guilty of Adam's sin as he is and are

  partakers of spiritual death.

d)  In physical procreation the sin nature is then passed down through the male. At birth the guilt of Adam's original sin is imputed to that sin nature. So at procreation the sin nature is passed down

  through the male.

e)  The sperm has 23 chromosomes that comes from the male. When the egg is first generated it has 46 chromosomes. Then through a process known as meiosis the egg throws off 23 of these

chromosomes in what are called polar bodies. That leaves 23 chromosomes that have been purified through this process. So what happens in the virgin birth is that God the Holy Spirit 

miraculously fertilises these 23 chromosomes. He creates a new and unique life that is fully human but does not inherit anything from Adam. He supplies the other 23 chromosomes necessary for life to begin and the result is the birth of Jesus of Narareth who is minus a sin nature. Because He was born without a home for the imputation of Adam's original sin and He is born with perfect righteousness in His humanity just as Adam was originally created with perfect righteousness. Therefore Jesus is called the second Adam.

  1. Since it is only the male 23 chromosomes that carry the sin nature, not the female, that means if the woman has a virgin pregnancy, if her ovum is fertilised apart from human male involvement, then the progeny would be born minus a sin nature. This is how the humanity of Jesus Christ was generated. The result is known as the hypostatic union.

The doctrine of the hypostatic union

Definition: The word hypostatic comes from the Greek word hupostasis [u(postasij] which refers to something of a substantial nature, essence, actual being, or reality. In terms of a theological definition the hypostatic union describes the union of two natures: undiminished deity and true humanity in the one person of Jesus Christ. These natures are inseparably united without loss or mixture of separate identity, without loss or transfer of properties or attributes, the union being personal and eternal.

In church history:

Apollinarius came along after the Nicene creed had been written. The Council of Nicea dealt with Arianism which didn't believe in an eternal deity of Christ but a deity that was secondary. Apollinarius was very much opposed to Arianism so he sort of went to the other extreme in trying to explain the relationship of the humanity of Christ. He went so far, though, that he essentially denies the humanity of Christ. He said that Christ had a human body, a divine soul (not a human soul) and a partly human spirit. But this is not true humanity. So he ended up with a Christ who was not fully human. That was condemned at the Council of Constantinople in AD 381 as a denial of Jesus' humanity.

Nestorius came along and tried to explain the hypostatic union. Nestorianism makes the problem of blending the deity and the humanity of Christ. Instead of acknowledging two distinct natures in one person Nestorius denied that there was a real union between the divine and human natures of Christ and he virtually held the idea that there are two natures and two persons. So this is a divided Christ. He separates things too much.

The third person to take a stab at things was Eutychius. He unites them so closely that they blend their attributes, so that the humanity blends into the deity and the deity blends into the humanity.