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PERHAPS NO DOCTRINE TODAY IS MORE BELITTLED AND IGNORED THAN THE MIRACULOUS BIRTH OF OUR LORD!

YET IT IS ESSENTIAL TO ONE'S SALVATION!

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:1

 

 

 

"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,  to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.  And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.  For with God nothing shall be impossible.  And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.   And the angel departed from her."   Luke 1:26-38

 

 

 

THERE ARE TWENTY THREE BIBLE STUDY INSTALLMENTS ON THIS PAGE.  SIMPLY SCROLL DOWNWARD TO READ THEM ALL.  THEY ARE ARRANGED IN ORDER FROM NUMBER 1 (THE FIRST IN ORDER) TO NUMBER 23 (THE FINAL LESSON).  THEY DISCUSS VERSE-BY-VERSE THE TEXT IN LUKE 1:26-38 ... PLUS OTHER MAJOR ASPECTS OF JESUS' VIRGIN BIRTH.

 

 

LESSON 1 ... VERSE 26:

The first verse of our "Virgin Birth" paragraph tells us how Mary first learned of the soon-coming Event!

"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth."  Luke 1:26

But to what does the chronological term "sixth month" refer?  I believe it is giving us a time sense of these events in accordance to Elizabeth's pregnancy.  It was HER sixth month that Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit in Mary's womb.  That means that John the Baptist will be six months older than Jesus according to Christ's humanity!  (Little John just does not compare to Jesus' longevity in reference to His Deity!  Jesus is the ETERNAL Son of God!)

Notice which Angel delivered the message to Mary!  (Interesting:  the very noun "angel" means messenger!  Gabriel sure lived up to his name that day!  What an honor ... to get to announce the Birth of Jesus!)  Of course we Gospel Preachers have old Gabriel beat on that one!  We can preach (announce) Jesus' Virgin Birth, His Sinless Life, His vicarious Death, His literal Burial, His glorious physical Resurrection, His Ascension to Glory ... and His (maybe soon) Coming Again!  Glory!

The name "Gabriel" means "Man of God!"  What a challenge this ought to be to preachers today!  If we are real MEN OF GOD (as Gabriel's name implied for him) ... we too should announce the Virgin Birth of Jesus often!  (Not ignore it or belittle it!)

Gabriel is only mentioned by name 4 times in the whole Bible.  In Daniel 8:16 he is making the prophet understand the vision God had just sent him!   In Daniel 9:21 he again interprets the "70 weeks" of prophecy upon God's chosen people Israel!  And earlier in our Luke chapter he spoke to Zecharias concerning John the Baptist's birth!  I'd say Gabriel is a "messenger" all right!

He might here be called the "apostle" Gabriel.  For the verb "was sent" in Greek is spelled like this:  "apostello!"  (It means "sent forth!")  Every messenger of God is a sent one also!  Yet the strict term "Apostle" is reserved for the Lord's original 12 followers (Judas is "out" and Paul is "in") who both accompanied Him during His life and saw Him as a Resurrected Saviour!

The noun for "city" is "polis."  From it we get words like metropolis or metropolitan or even Indianapolis (city of Indians)!

Galilee means "circuit," probably because of the map appearance of the cities that encircled the heart-shaped lake that bears this name.  (Sea of Galilee)

And "Nazareth" where Mary lived means "guarded one!"  You can be sure of this. The city in which she dwelt and the character and purity of her life had a lot in common!  They were guarded of God!

This verse is just beginning the narrative of the Virgin Birth.  But its "details" are important and cannot be by-passed.

But, Preacher Bagwell, someone may ask, just how important is this Virgin Birth anyway?  I say it is critically important!

If Jesus is not born of a Virgin (fathered by Almighty God) then He is NOT Who the Bible says He is, the Son of God!

He is either God the Son ... or He is an illegitimate son of some man whom Mary knew slyly.  i refuse to believe that.  my heart is grieved just typing that lie from the devil!  Mary was NOT a harlot ... she was a virgin!

Our whole salvation depends upon Jesus being God in human flesh.  That incarnation occurred through the miracle of the Virgin Birth! 

I believe in the Virginal Conception of Jesus ... and I'm not ashamed of that fact at all!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2 ... PAUL AND THE VIRGIN BIRTH:

It is often said that Paul does not emphasize the great doctrine of the Virgin Birth of Jesus.

I do not agree with that assessment at all.

Of course the "liberals" will pin you to the wall on this one!

They just say: "Show me (in reference to Jesus' birth) the word "virgin" in Paul's writings!"

Well, I can't.

BUT I can show you something rather interesting that seems to point to a Virgin Birth for Jesus!

Here goes ...

Every time Paul discusses the physical birth of our Lord (which he does 3 times), he expresses it in unique terms!

Here they are:

"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law."  Galatians 4:4

"Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh."  Romans 1:3

"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men."  Philippians 2:7

The verb here in each case for "made" is "ginomai" and means "to come into existence!"

It is NOT the word for a baby being "born!"

That word stem is "gennetos," denoting physical birth!

See the similarity in Matthew 1:18 where we are told that Jesus is born of Mary. "Now the birth (in Greek = "gennesis") of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost."

So, what is Paul telling us?

Is Paul who (truly) never writes the term "virgin birth" of "born of a virgin" or "a virgin conceived" teaching us in yet another way that Jesus' arrival on earth is via a miracle of God?

Galatians 4:4 says "MADE" of a woman.  That's nearly an awkward way of expressing birth!  But ... that's the point!  Paul did not want to say anything that would imply that Jesus' birth was normal or natural or commonplace!  So He worded it this way!  (Rather, the Holy Spirit did so!)

He speaks of Jesus' birth in a unique manner!  He's telling us there's something SPECIAL about it!

Again ...

Romans 1:3 speaking of Jesus says He was MADE of the seed of David according to the flesh!  Again, we have an unusual vocabulary here!

Paul is again deliberately avoiding all words that suggest a human birth.  Jesus as man came into being of the seed of David!  God sent him via the womb of a virgin, a once but only once event.

And thirdly ...

Jesus WAS MADE in the likeness of men!

Not born as men (millions of them) by husband-wife relationships.  But MADE (by a miracle of God ... via just a lady's womb) in the likeness of men!

See the distinction Paul is seeking to maintain here!

The word group he is avoiding ("gennetos") means physical birth only!

The word he is insisting upon using ("ginomai") strictly means "to come into being" or something like that.

Paul is showing us that Jesus' birth is NOT like normal human births!

He is miraculously sent from God  in a special way (virginal conception) to be the Saviour of the world!

And note this ... all three times "ginomai" is an aorist participle!  It is picturing for us an event that has occurred in the past and is a done deed!  The virgin birth does not have to happen ever again!

It is special!

Don't tell me that Paul does not in a number of ways teach the special birth of Jesus ... the Virgin Birth!

The Scriptures insist that one has to believe it in order to be saved!

If Jesus had not been BORN RIGHT ... He could have never DIED RIGHT ... to save our lost souls!

Thank you, Paul!

Here's a thought ...

"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law."  Galatians 4:4  THIS EMPHASIZES JESUS AT BETHLEHEM!  With Mary His mother according to the flesh!  (Here's Jesus and one woman!)

"Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh."  Romans 1:3  THIS EMPHASIZES JESUS AT JERUSALEM! Sitting some day on the Throne of David!  (Here's Jesus and one man!)

And ... "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men."  Philippians 2:7   THIS EMPHASIZES JESUS EVERYWHERE!  Where men are ... Jesus is, willing to save their lost souls!  (Here's Jesus and one world!)

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3 ... VERSE 27:

Luke 1:27 --- "To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary."

Here we have an announcement with some specifics included!

The angel went to see a young Jewish girl named Mary.  Her name means (according to Unger's Bible Dictionary) stubborn or obstinate!  She is here perhaps a type of mankind ... who is lost and rebellious and stubborn in our sins!  Mary, you know, was born into sin and had to be saved just like everyone else who goes to Heaven! In fact, once she called Jesus her "Saviour!" She got saved!  (Luke 1:47 --- "And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.")

Yet this lady whose name means stubborn ... surely was submissive to the Will of her Father in Heaven!  Her now famous words after hearing of God's (Virgin-Birth) plan:  "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."  Luke 1:38

But not only was Mary a godly young lady ... she was a Virgin too!  The Greek word here is "parthenos" and means a lady who has never had sexual intercourse with a man.  It is so used 14 times in the King James Bible (always being translated "virgin")!  The Virgin Birth of Jesus is a Bible reality!  And it is a necessary part of Jesus' Incarnation which is essential to our very salvation!  (Jesus "incarnate" is Jesus "in the flesh!"  Flesh in Latin = "carne" ... and within in Latin = "in!"  Jesus came as God in human flesh!)

The verb "espoused" translates "mnesteuo" and means betrothed or promised in marriage. It is similar to our expression "engaged" but was much more binding.  It was a legal and permanent agreement to marriage ... just lacking the physical aspects of the commitment.  For all purposes Mary and Joseph were as good as married ... without having ever "touched" each other sexually.

For the noun "man" Scriptures uses the term "aner," meaning the male of the species!  We're talking husband/wife and male/female language here for sure.

And the name Joseph, a godly man of the tribe of Judah, means "adding and adding" to something that already existed.  Joseph had nothing to do with the Birth of Jesus ... but was certainly used of our Lord to "add" to God's great program of Redemption. He gave Jesus a legal home and provided for Him via his carpentry work in those early years.  After Jesus' 12th year, Joseph is never mentioned in the narrative again.  Perhaps he died when Jesus was still a young Man.

If so, Jesus as the Firstborn Son, would have had to specially care for Mary His mother.

Not incidentally is added that Joseph was of the "house of David."  He was in the blood-line that led back to the king (David) himself!  Therefore Jesus is in line to legally occupy the Throne some day ... the throne of Israel I mean.  He already occupies the Throne of God!

Notice that TWICE in this short verse we are told that Mary was a Virgin!  Don't suggest to me that the Virgin Birth is not emphasized by these Gospel writers! (That's exactly what the liberals and Bible haters say!)

Now we've met the main characters in the Birth Narrative of Jesus.

Tomorrow, Lord willing, we'll see what the angel says to Mary the Virgin.

It is one exciting message!

In fact, because this exciting message came to pass just as Gabriel said ... I got an equally exciting message years ago!  Jesus saves!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

The great doctrine of the Virgin Birth is under attack perhaps as never before in all of history!

Just the other day I heard a "liberal" (a Bible hater) say that the Gospel of Mark, considered by many to be the first Gospel chronologically, does not even mention Jesus' Virgin Birth at all!

The enemies of the Gospel blatantly say that Mark must have been ignorant of the whole doctrine ... due to his "silence!"

But what if the Virgin Birth was so commonly believed that no further mention of it was necessary at all?  Is that not at least a possibility?  But the closed minded haters of Jesus will not even consider that!  By the time Mark wrote I guarantee you that everyone knew of Jesus miraculous Birth and life and death and resurrection and ascension!  Mark did not need to re-teach it to the Believers to whom he was writing!

And while it is true that there is no explicit reference to the Virgin Birth in Mark, I do believe some inferences to it are often seen!

For example, Mark is the only Gospel writer who does not once even mention Mary's husband Joseph!  Not once!

In fact, it seems that Mark went out of his way to avoid the name!

Since Mark recorded no birth story for Jesus at all ... it would have been risky for him to infer that Mary and Joseph reared Jesus in Nazareth in their home by the carpenter shop!  So ... to avoid any misunderstanding ... Mark just does not mention Joseph at all!

He took pains not to suggest (or even hint) that Jesus was the Son of Joseph!

But I will tell you Who Mark says is the Father of Jesus.

And it does not take him long to tell us either!

Read Mark 1:1!

"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God!"

Wow!

Folks, that's pretty strong evidence!

Jesus is NOT Joseph's son.  He is God's Son!  And He came to earth in a physical body by means of a virgin's womb!

And ... hear me ... what we believe about Jesus' identity and life work ... determines where we shall spend eternity ... heaven or hell!

The Bible says in Romans 10:9 --- "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5 ... VERSE 28:  (SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2004)

Today we are to study Luke 1:28 --- "And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."

The angel (in Greek = "aggelos" or messenger) is Gabriel. 

The verb "came in" translates "eiserchomai," a Greek compound word meaning to enter into someone.  We are being told here that the angel actually entered into Mary's consciousness.  The verb is used when Jesus entered into a country and when He entered into a room as well. The "aorist" tense here indicates that this happened one time only. 

The angel's first words were "said" to Mary, a verb ("lego") meaning to speak with forethought and logic behind one's communication!  Gabriel did not "jabber" or "gossip" ... he carefully spoke the truth.  He was just delivering (apparently word-for-word) a message from God!  THE Message from God for that hour!

"Hail" is "chairo" in Greek and means "rejoice!"  It is an imperative verb ... issuing a command!  Mary, fear not ... but rather rejoice!  It is strongly believed that at this time in Israel's history (due to Daniel's "70 weeks" of prophecy) the godly people of the land knew Jesus was soon to come!   Hence every precious virgin in Israel who truly had faith was hopeful that Jesus just might be born through her womb! And Mary was the chosen one!  Rejoice, young lady!  (In our King James Bible it is rendered "hail" 5 times and "rejoice" 42 times!)

The other 4 New Testament times this word (in its exact form as here) is used is invariably in the context of Calvary!  (Jesus' betrayal and crucifixion!)  So this grammatical point links the Virgin Birth and the Vicarious Death of our dear Lord! What a thing of amazing beauty!

The first time it is used in the New Testament's first Gospel is in Matthew 2:10 --- "When they (the wise men) saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy."  Again, this is associated with the Virgin Birth!  I wonder in what "constellation" this star was located?  Could it have been "The Virgin" or some other Type of Christ?  No doubt!

The next descriptive phrase is "highly favoured!"  The word "chariton" means "graced!"  It is a verb form of "charis," the noun for grace!  It has a "perfect" sense of time and suggests that Mary was graced of God from that very moment forward!

According to Paul (using the same "root" verb) we also who are saved have been "graced" by God!  In Colossians 2:13 where he says:  "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses,"  the verb "having forgiven" is "graced away!"

Additionally, in Ephesians 1:6 we are told that Believers are:  "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved."  We have been "graced" or "highly favoured" in the Beloved, Who is Jesus!

Mary, who had Jesus IN her literally and physically, was highly favoured.  And we Christians who have "Christ IN us" spiritually are also highly favoured!  It's the same word in both cases!  (" ... The glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."  Colossians 1:27)

Wow!

Next we read ... Mary, the Lord is also "with" thee!  The preposition here is "meta" and means "in the midst!"  Literally this will be true of the Virgin!  The body of our Lord will live within her womb for 9 months!  Yet today when we meet as a church body, He (through the Holy Spirit) is in our "midst: too!  "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."  Matthew 18:20

And the word "blessed" translates "eulogeo," meaning "well spoken of!"  We have a "perfect" tense here ... "well spoken of" from that day forward!  (Some have carried this way too far!  Others not far enough!  But we are to respect this godly young lady who was chosen to bear the little body of our Saviour!) 

Mary will hear these words  yet again (twice) from the lips of Elisabeth.   In Luke 1:42 we read: "And she (Elisabeth) spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou (Mary) among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb."

The only other time it is used in this exact form is in Mark 11:10 where it's used in reference to the Davidic Line! "Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest."

The Virgin Born One will some day be King of the Jews too!

How we all should appreciate the obedience and submission (not to mention the purity) of this young lady, the Virgin Mary!

When God plans to do something, He does it well!  It was said of Jesus: "He hath done all things well."  Mark 7:37

Amen!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6 ... VERSE 29:

"And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be."  Luke 1:29

This verse gives us a glimpse into the inner workings of Mary's mind.  It actually tells us how this pure godly young lady thought.

The "blessing" from Gabriel astonished her!  In fact, it "troubled" her!  (The verb "saw" means to perceive, to understand or to comprehend as well as to visually notice.)

To be troubled ("diatarasso" in Greek) means to stir or to agitate (as when water is in turmoil)!  The prefix "dia" means through and through!  Mary was completely upset by this salutation.  The word is found only here in all the Bible! 

Maybe Mary was "hopeful" about some things concerning the prophetic plan of God!  She knew the Bible quite well.  I think it's even possible that she was anxiously anticipating more information from this angel of God!  Just maybe!  Just maybe He had some real good news to share!  (Maybe the Saviour was coming soon, the very Messiah for Whom the righteous had so long waited!)

The noun for "saying" ("logos") means a pre-pondered and logically deduced statement!  It's a message from God Himself to this little virgin maiden!

Then the unusual phrase "cast in her mind" must be studied.  It is in Greek "dialogizomai" and means to reckon or to calculate or to enumerate one's thoughts in an orderly manner!  She meditated or concentrated studied these facts she had been given so far. 

Both action words ("was troubled" and "cast in her mind") so far are "perfect" verbs in the middle voice.  They suggest activity that once started (and completed) ... continued onward with influence and bearing on the young girl's mind and heart. The "middle" voice further proves that these "troublings" and "ponderings" impacted Mary ... changed her in some way. (I'd say for the good!)

The little word "manner" can mean "from what country!"  I'd say this is amazing! The Message Gabriel soon will give IS from another land!

"Salutation" is "asposmos" in Greek and means a greeting.  ("Spao," it's root, means to draw near to hug something or someone!) 

Something great is going to happen and Mary senses it already!

Let me close by saying this:  Mary was spiritually discerning!  She was sensitive to the times and to the moving of God in her life!

She here reminds me of a certain tribe of the Israelites described in 1 Chronicles 12:32 --- "And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment."

Do you reckon it's about time some of us in these last days ask the Lord to make us more discerning about the "times" in which we live?

"Times" that just may be as close to a GREAT prophetic event as was the Virgin Mary in her days!

I'm saying:  Jesus is coming again!

And it could be soon ... real soon!

"Even so, come, Lord Jesus."  Revelation 22:20

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7 ... LUKE CHAPTER 1 ... VERSE 30:

Luke 1:30 tells us:  "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God."

God is a Heavenly Father Who seeks to remove our fear!

I just counted sixty three times that Scripture records the expression "fear not!" (The vast majority of these are from the lips of the Lord God Almighty too!)

These begin in Genesis 15:1 when God speaks to Abraham and continue through Revelation 1:17 where the glorified Christ Jesus calms John the Apostle on the Isle of Patmos!

The noun "favor" is in Greek "charis" or grace!

"Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord" says Genesis 6:8.  Certainly, Mary did too!

You might say that Mary has been "graced" by God!  (That's precisely what Gabriel said to her in verse 28 ... "thou art highly favoured!"  In Greek it looks like this: "charitoo."  That is "charis" or "grace" used as a verb!)

The only other use of this exact verb is in Ephesians 1:6 where WE are said to be graced by God ... or "accepted" by Him!  Here's the verse:  "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."  (A distantly related verb is used in Colossians 2:13 and numerous other places too.)

Mary was about to be "graced" because Jesus was going to be literally IN her (the virgin birth)!

We are also "graced" because Jesus is IN us via the Holy Spirit!  Let's allow Paul to tell us our hope:  "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27

No wonder Paul often greeted his converts to Christ with these simple words: "Grace and Peace!"

See Romans 1:7 and 1 Corinthians 1:3 and 2 Corinthians 1:3 and Galatians 1:3 and Ephesians 1:2 and Philippians 1:2 and Colossians 1:2 and 1 Thessalonians 1:1 and 2 Thessalonians 1:2 and 1 Timothy 1:2 and 2 Timothy 1:2 and Titus 1:4 and Philemon verse 3!  Wow!

You can't have "peace" until you first have experienced His "grace!"

This is amazing!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8 ... JOHN AND THE VIRGIN BIRTH:

Those who teach (???) the Bible and will not admit to the Virgin Birth often say something like this:  "The Biblical writings of John never mention the miraculous Birth of Jesus!"

They actually deny John the knowledge of this great Doctrine!

Now ... if you look for the word "virgin" in John's Books (five of them) ... it is not there. (However, both Matthew and Luke DO have the word in reference to Mary and the Birth of Jesus!)

BUT if you look for the theme of the Virgin Birth (in John) it is often mentioned ... or at least implied ... in one way or another.

There's just no other way to explain this particular verse.  John 1:14 --- "And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

How did Jesus become flesh?  How did God make our Lord incarnate? ("Carne" means flesh and "in" means within.")  God the Second Person put within human flesh!

There's only one possible Bible way!  By means of the womb of a virgin young lady named Mary!

That's a reference to the Virgin Birth for sure!

And here's at least an "inference."

We look at the two verses preceding John 1:14.  "But as many as received HIM (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."   On both sides of the descriptive term I've underlined (modifying our new birth in Christ) ... Jesus is clearly mentioned !

How does one get saved?

By receiving Jesus!

By being "born-again!"  (Another of Jesus' terms used by John!)

And this "new birth" ... what's so special about it?

For one thing ... it is "paralleled" here to Jesus birth!  To Jesus' incarnation!  To Jesus' being "made flesh!"

We were "born" (again) ... "not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God!"  (Your earthly Daddy had nothing to do with your new birth in a physical sense!  Sexual relationships had not one thing to do with your getting saved!  It was all of God!)

JUST AS (and this is what John is saying here) ... Jesus' "being made flesh" (His Birth) was NOT of blood ... and NOT of the will of the flesh ... and NOT of the will of man ... BUT OF GOD!

Amen!

Then, thirdly, in John's Gospel ... Jesus and the "Jews" were having a conversation about the Messiah!  They, scoffing and mocking, said to the Lord, "Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?"  Then the Rulers themselves speak up and declare:  "Howbeit we know this man (Jesus) whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is."  Whereupon Jesus is described:  "Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not."   John 7:26-28

Folks, this is a Virgin Birth discussion.  And John knew that his readers were familiar enough with that great Doctrine to read "between the lines" and understand the implications of this whole conversation! 

All of a sudden John's "silence" about the Virgin Birth has begun to thunder rather loudly!

Do not ever let anyone tell you that the Virgin Birth is a relatively minor teaching of Scripture!  It is a Fundamental Fact of the Faith.

If you do not believe He is the virgin-born Son of God ... you can't even be saved!

If He is not God (in a human body) ... His death on Calvary can be neither substitutionary nor atoning in its power!

Paul is right.  Jesus was (and still is) "God manifest in the flesh!"  1 Timothy 3:16

Hebrews 10:5, quoting the Psalmist (Psalm 40), says of Jesus:  "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me."   God prepared Jesus a body ... through the miracle known as the Virgin Birth!

And I didn't even get to John's Epistles yet!

Listen.

"Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."  1st John 4:2-3  (And HOW did Jesus Christ come in the flesh?  Via the Virgin Birth!)

And read:  "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."  2nd John 7

Why, John is a Virgin Birth Preacher for sure!

Praise the dear Name of our Lord!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9 ... VERSE 31:

Here comes some great news!

And a young lady heard it first!

The angel Gabriel said:  "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS."  Luke 1:31

"Behold" is an imperative verb that means: "Look!"

The verb "shalt conceive" translates "sullambano," a Greek future tense middle voice action word!  It means "to take or get hold of" ("lambano") and "with" ("sun"), a preposition which intensifies the activity.  It can even mean "to seize." It is only used 16 times in the Bible!  It is translated in various (but accurate) ways such as: to help, to catch fish, and to arrest!  (I have given here either the literal wording of the King James Version or a grammatical synonym true to the text.)

Did Mary so long to be the mother of the Messiah that she actually had via prayer or submission or purity of life seized the opportunity?  This word for "conceive" in meaning is similar to the verb Jeremiah uses in reference (I believe) to the Virgin Birth!  "For the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man."  Jeremiah 31:22 (Wow!)

The "middle" voice of "conceive" indicates that Mary will be impacted and changed by this event too!  (She was never to be the same again!)

Then the noun womb is "gaster" in Greek.  It literally means the stomach ... but here by contextual study obviously means the womb!

The child shall be a little Boy!  ("Huios" emphasizes the humanity of Jesus/God becoming man!)

The Name "Jesus" means salvation!   (Literally, Jehovah is Salvation!)

What an announcement!

And the angel is not through yet!  In fact, he's just getting started!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10 ... VERSES 32 AND 33:

All our Christian lives we believers have heard preachers talk about "comparing Scripture with Scripture."

Isaiah was mocked for preaching "line upon line and precept upon precept!"  (See Isaiah 28:10 and 13.)

And each of us has been taught that the Old Testament has in it the New Testament concealed!  And the New Testament is in reality the Old Testament  revealed!

There are two verses in the Annunciation (Gabriel's Message to Mary about the Virgin Birth of Jesus) that well illustrate the truth of New Testament/Old Testament harmony!

This is the "heart" of the Angel's Message!

Gabriel, speaking of Jesus, told Mary:  "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."  Luke 1:32-33

These words closely parallel a passage in the Old Testament!  In 2nd Samuel chapter seven (verses 8-16) we, through the Prophet Nathan, hear the Lord promising David some things.  More about this in a second.

First we had best analyze a few key words in our Luke (Virgin Birth) text.

The adjective "great" is in Greek "mega!"  It means big (in height and length and mass and weight and statue and age and compass and extent!)  We have a Mega-Saviour!

He also will be know as the Son of the "Most High" God!  "Highest" (in Greek = hupsistos") means most high (in rank)!  Luke just declared Jesus to be God!

He also will sit on a throne (in Greek = "thronos") which here means a seat.  (A Royal Seat!)

He will occupy the very Throne of David!  (Hence the Child will have to be out of the Tribe of Judah!)

His lineage or genealogy will be traceable back through and including King David himself! 

And His Kingdom will last for ever! (In Greek = "eis tous aionos" ... into the ages!) Eternally King!

Jesus either has or will fulfill ALL of these prophecies!

But ... again ... many godly Bible students have noticed that the angel's message roughly corresponds to the Old Testament promise given David about his throne lasting for ever!

Watch:  In 2 Samuel 7:8-16 the Prophet Nathan reports God's very Words to David ... "I have made thee a great name!"  And of David's posterity: "I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever."  Then of David's seed it is said:  "I will be his father and he shall be my son."  Furthermore, "Thy house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever:  thy throne shall be established for ever!"

In each case where I've used blue type ... the Old Testament is revealed and fulfilled in Jesus!  Jesus is The Promised One!  He is the Apex (the Height, the Supreme One) of David's lineage!  He will complete all these qualifications literally!

God keeps His Word, doesn't He?

So ... based on this information ... JESUS is the literal Son of David, King of Israel and Saviour of the world!

This is great news about a great Saviour!  (A Mega-Saviour again!)

Praise His Name!

(Don't ever be afraid to compare and delight in the many Old Testament/New Testament relationships!  They are beautiful!)

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11 ... VERSE 34:

"Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?"  Luke 1:34

What a question!

To "know" a man is here used in the sexual sense.  It's the Greek parallel to Adam's situation in Genesis 4:1 --- "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD."

Mary is helping us (by her sincere question) to more clearly understand that Jesus' Birth is supernatural ... without any human (male) involvement!

The adverb "how" means "by what means, in what way or after what manner!"

Watch this.

Mary asked a question prompted by the angelic announcement ... and got a gracious answer!

Zecharias asked such a question also prompted by Gabriel's announce (concerning the birth of little John the Baptist) and was sharply rebuked!  Struck dumb! 

The question:  "And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years."  Luke 1:18

The rebuke:  "And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season."  Luke 1:19-20

The only answer I know is this.

Mary asked sincerely in faith ... and was rewarded!

Zecharias asked in doubt ... and was disciplined!

Either way ... we learn that God is at work in the births of these two godly children!

One a great Prophet!

The Other ... the God-Man!

Praise the Lord for the Virgin Birth!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12 ... LUKE'S OBVIOUS EMPHASIS ON THE MOTHER OF THE CHILD! (SIMPLY BECAUSE THE CHILD HAD NO EARTHLY FATHER!)

In the Gospel of Luke's birth account of John the Baptist, great emphasis is laid upon the child's father, Zecharias.  In Luke 1:5-25 I have counted (using nouns and pronouns alike) a 3 to 1 ratio in Zechariah references as opposed to Elisabeth references.  The focus is on Daddy!

That's just the way it is in Biblical culture.  Remember how the two Disciples of Jesus, James and John, are often designated.  Five times in the New Testament they are "the sons of Zebedee!"  (Sons of their father!)  This is so typical.

However, when Luke begins to relate the story of Jesus' Virgin Birth, His emphasis dramatically shifts to the mother of the Child!  In fact, it appears to me that Mary's eventual husband Joseph is only mentioned when necessary!

This is atypical, unusual ... even unique!

It is another way to discern spiritually the fact of the miraculous Virgin Birth of Jesus!

Isaiah was right!  A Virgin DID conceive and bring forth a Son, the Son of God!  ("Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14)

The Holy Spirit teaches us this great Doctrine both directly and indirectly.  He reveals it both in thunderous tones of dogma and slight whispers of Scriptural syntax.

Jesus, the Second Person of the triune Godhead, came to earth by means of a virgin's womb!  How very amazing!

Indeed it was a silent night, a holy night, when Christ the Saviour was born!  Virgin Born!

                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 13 ... THE EPISTLE OF 1ST JOHN AND THE VIRGIN BIRTH:

I've just counted the clause five times (5 times) in the little Epistle of First John!

John, under Holy Spirit leadership, seems to love it!

See if you can "spot" what I mean.

1 John 3:9 --- "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."

1 John 4:7 --- "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."

1 John 5:1 --- "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him."

1 John 5:4 --- "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."

1 John 5:18 --- "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not."

See it? 

"Born of God!"

Where did John get such terminology?

In the Old Testament, John would have been drawing primarily from Psalm 2:7 where the Father is speaking to the Son --- "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee."

In the Greek Bible that John would have been using, the verbs are the same in Psalm 2:7 ("begotten") and in every instance of his First Epistle's "born of God" sequences!

And Psalm 2:7 unquestionably is speaking of The Messiah, of Jesus!

Even in His Gospel John refers to Jesus as "born of God!"  In John 1:14 John says --- "And the Word was made ("born") flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."  Then John adds in John 1:18 --- "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten ("born") Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."

John calls us who are saved "born of God" ones!

And Jesus also is the One "born of God" in relation to His humanity, His physical body! 

What I'm trying to say (rather awkwardly I fear) is this:  Jesus is "born of God." That's the Virgin Birth!  We too are "born of God!"  That's the New Birth!

This strongly argues for the Virgin Birth!

Just as Jesus' Birth was a miracle ... born of God, not of man ... (follow this reasoning now) ... so our being saved, our new birth is a miracle, man having nothing to do with "fathering" us!

So, dear Christian friend, your (new) birth is also a miracle!  You are born of God too!  No human father ... just the Holy Spirit!  Along with the "seed" of the Word! James says to "Receive with meekness the engrafted ("implanted") word, which is able to save your souls."  James 1:21

We've just seen our NEW BIRTH distinctly compared to Jesus' VIRGIN BIRTH!

Thank God for salvation!

Paul says we are "cruified with Christ" in Galatians 2:20.  That would mean nothing if Jesus had not literally been "crucified" ... which He was!  Therefore when John (6 times) says we are "born of God" ... that would mean nothing if Someone had not literally been born ... not of Adam or his fallen race, but ... born of God literally!  Again, that is the Virgin Birth!  It was such an assured Truth in John's mind that he argued from it almost unconsciously!

I've always firmly believed in the Virgin Birth.

But, truly, after having studied these lessons and numerous Bible Passages, I believe it more than ever!  It's in the very "warp and woof" of Scripture! 

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 14 ... VERSE 35:

This great verse is the "apex" of the whole paragraph!

The angel Gabriel here answers Mary's question, "How shall this be?"

"And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshdow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."  Luke 1:35

The verb "answered" is a rendering of the Greek word "apokrinomai," which means "to give judgment from oneself."  This angelic response has behind it some serious forethought. (In fact, the very omniscience of God supports it!  Here comes the Virgin Birth described in proper yet thorough fashion.)

The accompanying verb "saith" is an aorist form of "lego."  Again, logical deliberate expression is indicated.  Both verbs are telling us that the action described is in the past and is complete.  This conversation will not again occur. 

The "Holy Ghost" ("hagios pneuma") is the Third Member of the Godhead.  (Very God of Very God!)  The Father devised the plan of redemption.  The Son gave Himself to effect it.  And the Spirit executes it in the lives of human beings!

To "come upon" one is to "eperchomai" and means to influence, to arrive, to supervene or to impend.  This verb is used less than a dozen times in the New Testament. 

The Holy Spirit is again promised to "come upon" some in Acts 1:8!  "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

Jesus (using this same verb) has "come upon" the devil and robbed him of his spoils too!  (I believe this happened at Calvary.)  See Luke 11:22.

"Power" is the noun "dunamis," indicating strength in action!  Miraculous power! Some scholars label dunamis as "inherent power."  (Stored power within an entity ... with plenty for future use!)

"Highest" is the superlative form of "hupsos," and means most high!  (Or greatest in rank!)  We do serve the "Most High God!"  See Genesis 14:18-19.

The verb "overshadow" is "episkiazo" ("epi" = upon!  "skia" = shade!)  One lexicon says:  to envelope in a haze of brilliancy!  Only 5 times do we see this verb in all the Bible!  Four of those five times it refers exclusively to Jesus!  (Three times are in reference to His Transfiguration ... and once here to His Virgin Birth.)  The fifth time it's used is in Acts 5:15 of Peter.  The word indicates the overwhelming Presence of God!

Then comes a darling term used in regard to our dear Lord!  He is "that Holy Thing!" All three words translate but one noun in Greek ... "hagios!"  (It is neuter in gender ... so the King James translators rendered it "thing.")  Luke loves this word!  Of the 22 times it is used in the New Testament, all of them but 4 are in Luke or Acts!

And we are studying the Virgin BIRTH ... so Luke (a physician) uses the verb "gennao," meaning "to bear a child."  There is some reason to believe that the word can also mean "to conceive."  If so ... this verb, being in the present passive form here, possibly means that the Conception could have occurred the very moment Gabriel announced it.  (I base this comment on the sheer grammar of the words involved.)

A further "hint" of this may be that the verb "shall be called" translates "kaleo" as a future passive ... the naming will come later!  (Although the Name has been given prior to Birth ... and that by God Himself!)

Who is He?  This Child of Mary the Virgin?

He is "The Son of God!"

He is the "huios" (son) ... with an emphasis on the honor of such a position!  (So the noun implies!)  It is a word invested with dignity ... the son of His Father!

I point out that the first time the "string" is used ("the Son of God") is in Daniel 3:25 where Nebuchadnezzar sees four men walking in the fire!  "Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."

The next two times it's used in the Bible, the devil employs it!  During Jesus' temptation (Matthew 4:3 and 6) our Lord is so addressed! 

Then finally, after the miracle of stilling the storm (having walked on the water), the disciples call Jesus "the Son of God!"  (Matthew 14:33 --- "Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.")

Jesus is "the Son of God" in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts. Romans, 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Hebrews, 1st John and Revelation!  (Nine times alone in John's Gospel and seven more in His First Epistle!)

God came to earth!

Immanuel!

God with us!

We have here as far as Jesus' humanity (body) is concerned a "new creation!"  This has never happened before nor will it ever again!

One writer compared this to the original creation week!  The earth was without form and void ... until the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters ... then came LIGHT and LIFE!  So Mary's womb too was empty and unfulfilled ... until the Very Same Spirit moved (overshadowed her) and then really came LIGHT and LIFE (JESUS)!!!

Hallelujah!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 15 ... VERSES 36 AND 37:

The Angel Gabriel makes the statement.  He is talking to the young Jewish Virgin Mary.

Luke 1:37 records it word for word:  "For with God nothing shall be impossible."

How very encouraging!

These words remind one of Genesis 18:14 where God asks Abraham:  "Is any thing too hard for the LORD?"

Or God's question again in Jeremiah 32:27 --- "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"

I think that in the context of this Virgin Birth (just announced to Mary), the Lord felt it appropriate to remind the young maiden that HE could do anything!

(Anything!  Even to bringing His only begotten Son into the world by means of physical birth!)

When Israel had the army of Pharaoh behind them and the sea in front of them ... seems like I can hear old Gabriel saying:  "Is any thing too hard for the LORD?"

When three Hebrew young men were being thrown into a burning fiery furnace, I can hear him again:  "Is any thing too hard for the LORD?"

When Daniel was thrown into the den of lions ... listen!  "Is any thing too hard for the LORD?"

When YOU face your next great battle ... I trust these words of Gabriel (meaning ... the man of God) will echo in your ears:  "Is any thing too hard for the LORD?"

And just to illustrate his point the angel recounts something that has recently happened to Mary's cousin Elisabeth.  "And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren."  Luke 1:36

Now in her later years, Elisabeth giving birth will also be a miracle of God. (Although let it be understood that John the Baptist had a literal physical Daddy, Zecharias!  Jesus is the Son of God!)

God often loves to re-tell an old story that magnifies His power and grace!

So should we!

For example, Psalm 105:2 encourages us to:  "Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works."

And here's the longing of David in Psalm 26:7 --- "That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works."

Let's today join in the heart throb of Psalm 145:4 --- "One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts."

The last Psalm actually commands us to ... "Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness."  Psalm 150:2

And one of His mightiest acts?  The Virgin Birth!

Thank God for the Virgin Birth!

(Paul so loved to tell of God's mighty power in saving his lost soul that he recorded it in Acts 9 ... and again in Acts 22 ... and yet a third time in Acts 26!)

Go tell a man or woman today something GREAT the Lord has done for you!  Then tell them about the GREAT Virgin Birth too!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 16 ... PAUL AND THE LAST ADAM ... HINTS OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH:

In 1st Corinthians 15 Paul compares Christ Jesus to Adam.

For example, he says in 1 Corinthians 15:22 --- "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."

Everyone "in" Adam dies!

Everyone "in" Jesus lives!

Then in verse 45 the Apostle adds:  "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." 

Adam is the first man!

Jesus is the last man!

Paul actually calls Jesus the "last Adam" here!

He says Adam "fathers" one kind of people ... those doomed to sin and death!

Jesus "fathers" (via the new birth) another kind of people ... those blessed with cleansing and righteousness and (eternal) life!

Therefore ... since the first Adam had a miraculous entrance into this world scene!

Is Paul not (indirectly) saying that Jesus also had a miraculous entrance! (Which would be called the "Virgin Birth!")

Adam came into existence by means of Creation!

We believers come into existence by the New Creation!

For those of you who think I'm carrying things too far by calling Adam a "type" of Christ, let me point you to Romans 5:14 where Paul says: "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure (in Greek = tupos ... our word type) of him that was to come."  Adam IS a type of Christ.

By the way, for Paul to speak so casually of "the Last Adam" (Jesus) as the anti-type (the fulfillment) of the "first man Adam" proves that He could simply allude to the miraculous origin of Jesus' earthly life ... and be well understood by his Corinthian converts!

EVERY Believer in that day well knew the truth of Jesus' Virgin Birth!

It was universally preached and believed!

Glory to God!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 17 ... VERSE 38:

One of the most obedient statements in the whole Bible is found in Luke 1:38.

Mary the Virgin, after being informed of the miraculous plan of God in bringing His Son Jesus into the world, said:  "Be it unto me according to thy word!"

Here's the exact verse:  "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her."

It appears that she is talking directly to the angel Gabriel here, but he has simply reported to her God's will for her young life!  She is to be the mother of the humanity of our Lord!  And no man has ever touched her!  This is all of the Lord!

So Mary simply yields to God's directive!

Again, here are her words:  "Be it unto me according to thy word!"

That is obedience!

It's the equivalent of saying "Thy will be done, O Lord!"

Notice that she calls herself here the "handmaid" of the Lord!

That noun is "doule" (feminine form of doulos) and is the common Greek word for "slave."  (One in bonds)  It is derived from a root verb that means "to tie or bind."

Again, what obedience that reveals!

Her words completely satisfy the angel and he leaves immediately.  The interview is finished.  As far as I can tell, Gabriel never visits her again.  The verb for his departing is "aperchomai" and means "to go away" and is in the aorist tense.  It pictures completed action.

It looks to me like God just loves to set certain of his children on display ... especially when it comes to their faith in trust in Him!  He surely did so with Job! Listen to God talk to the devil:  "And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?"  (Job 1:8) God was thrilled with Job's trust!

He says a similar thing about David.  "And when he (God) had removed him (Saul), he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will."  God was proud of David's faith too!

And in Acts 9:15, even before Paul traveled on a single preaching journey, the Lord called him "a chosen vessel!"  He was special concerning the level of dedication he would have to his Lord!  "But the Lord said unto him (Ananias), Go thy way: for he (Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel."  Wow!

And it looks to me like our Lord follows the same pattern here with Mary.

We are given the account of her conversation with Gabriel (really of his conversation with her mostly) ... then the paragraph is capped off with Mary's words of trust and obedience!

Again here they are:  "Be it unto me according to thy word!"

How many of us live by those words of faith?

I believe that's about the same as praying that part of the Lord's Prayer:  "Thy will be done!"

Thank you, Job and David and Paul and Mary, for such examples of obedience and trust and love!

As a teenager, I once heard an old preacher say:  "The two greatest words in the Christian vocabulary are:  trust and obey!"  And he well may have been right!

Such attitudes and actions do please and glorify our Father in Heaven!

If fact, He makes a record of them!

The next time God shows you His will for your life in some area, consider responding:  Lord ... "Be it unto me according to thy word!"

How very pleased He will be!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 18 ... JESUS IS VIRGIN BORN ... AND A WHOLE LOT MORE:

Many of the "liberal" Bible-hating (or at least Bible-questioning) preachers, teachers and theologians of our land mention again and again that the Virgin Birth is just NOT given the emphasis in the New Testament that one would expect of such a basic doctrine. 

They say that the virginal conception is just a later "afterthought" added to the Bible by some well-meaning editors or copyists!

I SAY THEY ARE WRONG!

If the Virgin Birth is only taught ONCE in all the Bible, that's enough for me!  God only has to say something one time and it is sufficient!  He cannot lie says Titus 1:2. (Let me quickly add however that the Virgin Birth is taught many more times than once in Scripture!  Two Gospels, Matthew and Luke, explicitly record It!)

Besides, who am I to tell God how many times He ought to mention something?  His ways are not my ways!  ("For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  Isaiah 55:8-9)  He teaches the Virgin Birth just the right number of times!

But let me add this thought today.

It is not the fact of the Virgin Birth alone that saves old sinners!

Truly there is not one shred of evidence in all the Bible that belief in Mary being a Virgin will redeem any lost soul!

No!  Jesus, truly being the Son of God (not of man), and truly being sent into the world by means of a virgin's womb, still had to live a sinless life and die a substitutionary death (shedding His precious Blood on Calvary), being buried and raised again the third day ... to save wicked hell-bound sinners!

Plus Paul says this.  THE act of God that proves Jesus to be His approved Son is not just His Virgin Birth ... but His literal victorious Resurrection from the dead!  Listen. "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."  Romans 1:3-4

See that?  God declared (or "marked out") Jesus as His Son by means of the Resurrection!

You can be sure of this!  If Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of God (and He was) ... then He IS the Virgin Born Son of God!  He IS the Man of Truth!  And He IS everything else He said He was too!

Without the Cross, without the Blood, without Propitiation ... none of us would go to Heaven!

And equally so ... without the Virgin Birth the Cross would have had none of its efficacy (power) to redeem the lost!  God as Man must die to save sinners!  Had Jesus been an imposter, not born of a Virgin as the Bible says ... His death would have been just another martyrdom or maybe even just another execution by Rome!

BUT, putting it all together in Biblical balance, Jesus is the VIRGIN BORN, SINLESS, CRUCIFIED, BURIED, RISEN, ASCENDED LORD WHO EVER LIVETH TO SAVE SINNERS!  (And He is coming again too!)

It takes it ALL to properly tell His Story!  (I'm sure you have noticed that "history" is just a combining of HIS STORY!)

We have a perfect, complete Saviour!  In Him there is nothing lacking!

Praise His Name!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 19 ... JESUS, THE GOD-MAN AND THE SON OF MAN TOO:

Whenever I speak of Jesus, I always want to make it clear that I believe Him to be the very Son of God!

He is NOT just a man!

Therefore I emphasize His Deity.

I would much rather call Him the Son of God or the Lord Christ or even the Lord Jesus Christ than just the Carpenter or the Master or the One named Jesus.

I love to quote verses such as John 14:9 where Jesus says:  "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father."  Jesus and the Father are co-eternal and co-equal!

He also said once:  "I and my Father are one."  John 10:30

Exalt His Deity!  His Sonship!  His Godhead!

I tend to do this because I have no problem whatsoever in acknowledging and believing His humanity.  It is His position as God that is so often doubted today.

BUT ... and here's the point of this article today ...

But when Jesus came He nearly took the opposite view!

He was so assured of His Deity ... having been the Son of God eternally ... that He did not as often mention It!

He rather talked about being the "son of man!"

It seems that this was His favorite Name for Himself, son of man!

He, being very God of very God, wanted to let people know that He was also very man of very man!

That title (The Son of Man) is used 30 times of Jesus in Matthew!  And another 14 times in Mark! Plus 25 more times in Luke!  And even 11 times in John!

And the majority of these occurrences were occasioned by Jesus Himself!  He called Himself the "son of man," emphasizing His humanity!

Naturally the New Testament writers often called Him what He called Himself, the son of man!  This fact alone may have led to the relatively few direct statements we have in Scripture about His Virgin Birth!  He wanted folks to know He had a human Side!  I want them to know He is God!

Blessed Saviour!

He is God!

He is man!

We call Him the Son of God!

He calls Himself the son of man!

(Of course Jesus does refer to Himself as the "Son of God" too!  For example, John 3:18 --- "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."  And listen to Jesus in John 10:36 --- "I said, I am the Son of God."  Then in John 5:25 Jesus, speaking of Himself, said:  "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."

Both Names are correct!

He is the perfectly balanced One!

And He is our Redeemer!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 20 ... TWO MORE TEXTS:

Did you ever wonder what the "sources" were that Luke and Matthew used to relate their Virgin Birth facts?

Neither of course were there when the event occurred!

Nor was Joseph (who was present but was not the father of the Child) still around to tell them anything.

But ... wait a minute!

That old theological line about having to know the "sources" these writers used is a pointless one anyway!

I'll tell you their Source!

The Holy Spirit of God!

Yes, I still believe in the Divine inspiration of Scripture!

I agree with Simon Peter when he said:  "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2nd Peter 1:21

Their Source was God Himself!

However, I do want to say this.  If Doctor Luke wanted to get further "independent" confirmation of his material, it would have been easy to do so.  There was someone still alive who could give him eye-witness information!  (And the Holy Spirit MAY have directed him to her!)  I'm of course speaking of the mother of the humanity of Jesus, Mary.  She was a believer herself!  She was present at many of the early church meetings.  She was at the Cross!  She was in the "Upper Room" for ten days prior to Pentecost!  Acts 1:14 proves it.  "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren."  I suspect she gladly would have given her "testimony" about Jesus' miraculous Birth!  And, of all people, she would have known!

Then the other day I noticed something else unusual about Luke's Gospel in this area.  Luke is well aware that Jesus is NOT the son of Joseph.  Let me show you.  "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed ) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli."  (Luke 3:23)  The way Luke worded that is great --- "as was supposed!"  Three words sure can say a lot! 

But Who is Jesus' Father.  Luke tells us that clearly also.  Gabriel, speaking to the Virgin Mary said:  "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshdow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."  See it!  He is the Son of God!

But, watch this.  When Luke gives us the genealogy of mankind right back to the beginning, see what is told about Adam.  "Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God."  Luke 1:38  Adam had no earthly father.  He was created by God directly ... so Luke terms him "the son of God!"  (With a lower case "s")

So notice what we have.  (Very similar to Paul's First Adam/Last Adam scenario!)  Adam is the son of God!  Jesus is the Son of God!  Two bodies who lived on earth ... one who brought death and One Who brought Life!  One who introduced sin ... One Who introduced Victory over sin!  Two heads of the peoples of the world ... one the physical head the Other The Spiritual Head!  Both without human fathers!  Both of God!  This line of reasoning absolutely demands The Virgin Birth!

I have one word for all this ... amazing!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 21 ... SOME ADDED THOUGHTS:

I have tried to cover with you many of the main points of Scripture concerning Jesus' Virgin Birth.

Let me close this Series of Bible Studies with a few more thoughts.

Twice in the New Testament Jesus is associated with David in an unusual way!

In Matthew 22 we are told:  "While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.  He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,  The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?  If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?"  (Matthew 22:41-45)  Here we are shown how Jesus is the son of David and the Lord of David! Even Jesus' enemies had to admit this!  Jesus as God's Son exists on both sides of David ... before him and after him!  This proves the eternal Sonship of Christ for sure!  But if Jesus is the literal son (descendant) of David ... some kind of "God-come-in-human-flesh event" had to occur!  It did and it's called the Virgin Birth!

Again in Revelation 22:16 Jesus calls declares:  "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."  Now if Jesus is the Root of David ... he was before him in time!  And if Jesus is the offspring of David ... he is after him in time! Again, Jesus is eternal!  And, again, to be the offspring of David ... a birth of God into humanity had to occur!  This would have been a miraculous Birth!  And Scripture says it was a Virgin Birth!

And if, as the liberals wrongly say, the Virgin Birth is insignificant, why does the Birth account of Jesus take up so much room in the Gospel of Luke.  Luke was a precise "historian" in his writings!  He researched his material well.  He says so in Luke 1:1-3.  Luke's telling of Jesus' Birth takes up more than 10% of his whole Gospel!  (And it's a big Gospel too!)  Truth be told, Luke's Birth narrative is one verse longer than His Passion (Cross) narrative!  Wow!  This does not sound "unimportant" to me!

Think about these three Bible Passages today:  Matthew 22, Revelation 22 and Luke chapters 1 and 2.  They are three more "signposts" clearly indicating the Virgin Birth of Jesus!

Amen!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 22 ... ONE LITTLE "PROBLEM:"

We are nearing the end of our study on the "Virgin Birth" of Jesus.

We have analyzed and reverently reviewed each verse of the "Annunciation," the birth announcement made by the angel Gabriel to Mary.

Today I would like to discuss what some see as a little "problem" to those of us who believe in a literal miraculous virginal birth of our Lord.

Luke particularly is the biographer of the Birth of Jesus.

And he occasionally uses some terminology that can at first bring some questions to one's mind.

Listen:

Luke 2:27 --- "And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law."

Luke 2:41 --- "Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover."

Luke 2:43 --- "And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it."

Luke 2:33 --- "And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him."

Luke 2:48 --- "And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing."

Wow!

Luke does not seem to mind grouping Mary and Joseph together in way we would not dare!  (Due to our reverent fear of detracting from the Virgin Birth and the true Father of Jesus, Almighty God!)

In the five verses above you can easily see what I mean.

"Thy father and I!"

That's astounding in light of the Virgin Birth!

In fact, there is only one way to explain it.

And the explanation does not hurt the Doctrine of the Virgin Birth at all!  On the contrary, it helps validate the great Event!

The only way Luke could so speak of Jesus and Mary and Joseph is IF all the people to whom he was writing already KNEW clearly about the Virgin Birth and accepted it as Truth without doubt!

Then ... and only then ... could Luke have the liberty to speak as he has done in His Gospel!

If it was a settled fact, undoubted and widely taught (even to the point of already being incorporated into the early "statements of faith" that we've found from that time) that Jesus came to earth via a virgin's womb and without a human father ... then Luke could have followed more conventional ways of discussing Jesus' early life.  That's exactly what Luke did too.

He no longer needed to stop at every mention of Jesus' mother or Joseph to "detail" the Virgin Birth.  Everyone knew about It!  Luke could speak colloquially ... and he indeed did.

Oh, how this helps me as I ponder the earthly origin of my Saviour!

If He (Jesus) is God ... He had to be virgin born!

(If Mary was not a virgin at Jesus' Birth ... she, being untouched by her espoused husband Joseph, would have been an immoral woman, a fornicator!  That's unthinkable!  But it's the only other choice the Virgin Birth doubters have as I see it!)

But when Jesus was born Gabriel called Him "That Holy Thing!"  No sin there!  No "hint" of any wrongdoing by Mary!  (Again see Luke 1:35)  Please do not misunderstand me here.  I am NOT saying that Mary never sinned in any area. She was a lost soul who needed to be saved by Grace as is every other individual humanly born.  I am just saying she was a Virgin when Jesus was born.  She had never been with a man.  (In Luke 1:47 Mary gives her "testimony" and calls Jesus her Saviour!  "And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.")

Now, back to Jesus!

Our Lord had a sinless past, a sinless birth, a sinless life, a sinless death, a sinless resurrection and has a sinless eternity ahead!

All this demands the Virgin Birth!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 23 ... A FINAL THOUGHT:

In the study of the Bible one often hears an expression called "the argument from silence."  By this theologians and preachers and teachers mean that when a text or an author does NOT mention something ... it may mean that he does not know about it.  They are implying that "silence" indicates likely "ignorance!"

I do not agree!

One may know many things he or she does not tell in every letter or conversation!

After all, Proverbs 29:11 teaches us:  "A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards."  Wow!

We don't tell all we know immediately, do we?

The reason I'm thinking of this today has linkage with the Doctrine of the Virgin Birth!

The skeptics and Bible mockers say that many books in the Bible do not mention the Virgin Birth.  Hence they draw from this fact the conclusion that Jesus' miraculous Birth was relatively unknown to most believers!

That's terrible logic!

They say even Paul does not mention the Virgin Birth!  (They are wrong as we've already seen in this series of studies.)  His "silence" assures them of his "ignorance" of the matter!  (I'd hate to call Paul ignorant about anything, wouldn't you?)

Let me show you today why it is risky at best to call "silence" a clue to "ignorance."

I want to illustrate with the Apostle Paul and the great Doctrine of the Lord's Supper.  Jesus' last meal with His disciples is mentioned by all 3 "synoptic" Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark and Luke) in some detail.  And John adds even further specific information about it. 

Also Acts mentions the "breaking of bread" the early Christians practiced regularly, a term most students believe refers to the communion service!

But what about Paul?

He never mentions it in Romans, that great book of Doctrine!  Perhaps he's never heard of it, the liberals would say.

Nor does he suggest it in Galatians ... or Ephesians ... or Philippians ... or Colossians ... or Thessalonians ... or Timothy ... or Titus ... or Philemon ... or even Hebrews! Neither will you find it in 2nd Corinthians!

Truthfully, you will not find the Lord's Supper, an ordinance which Jesus taught us to observe "often," referenced in any of the New Testament Epistles (except one)!  If I am wrong here, someone tell me soon.

Twenty New Testament Epistles ... all silent on the topic of the Lord's Supper!

Then ... the liberals would have said (from the "silence" argument) that neither James nor Peter nor Jude knew a thing about it!

And they would have said it about Paul too ... except for one paragraph in one chapter in one Epistle!

Such silence!

Yet it does NOT indicate ignorance!

"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."    1 Corinthians 11:23-34

And when Paul broached this subject he was NOT teaching a class per se on Communion!  He was correcting an error in the Corinthian fellowship!

Wow!  Paul did know about the Lord's Supper!

His many many years of silence did NOT mean ignorance, did it?

And ... so ... I rest my case. 

The lack of mentioning the Virgin Birth in many places in the New Testament does NOT mean ignorance of that precious Doctrine.

We Bible students owe a lot to these misbehaving Corinthians!

Without their irreverence, for which they were stiffly disciplined, we would not be so easily able to shut the mouths of the wicked crowd that argues:  No Virgin Birth! It is not often enough mentioned!

Add up the total chapters of all the Epistles in the New Testament and you get a total of 120.  They are ALL silent about the Lord's Supper ... except one (1 Corinthians 11)! 

How very close we were to hearing someone say:  "Due to the argument from "silence" the Apostles never taught even one church to observe the Lord's Supper ... even though Jesus commanded they do so!"

How we should thank God for those carnal Corinthians!

They have given us proof (once again) that the "liberals" are wrong!

Praise the Lord!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

I can truly say I have a better working knowledge of the Virgin Birth after studying these Scripture Passages.  I trust you can say the same.  We have a wonderful Bible to study!  Let's tell folks about our Lord's miraculous Birth as well as His Death, Burial and Resurrection ... and Second Coming!

 

 

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