Jesus Was Born of a Virgin for Our Salvation

Pastor Tom Ascol continues in his Advent series with a message on Matthew 1:18-25 entitled “Jesus Was Born of a Virgin to Be Our Savior.” Jesus’ birth as described in our passage, as well as in Luke 1, illustrates for us the natural circumstances, the supernatural cause, and the eternal significance of that event.

Mary and Joseph were betrothed though not yet married. Betrothal then was a far more serious relationship than is engagement today. It involved legal relationships. The relationship between the betrothed was initiated yet not consummated so Mary’s becoming pregnant would normally have indicated an adulterous affair. The fact that the baby was from the Holy Spirit was neither known nor anticipated. Mary’s pregnancy, therefore, was scandalous. Joseph, no doubt at first hurt, decided to privately put Mary away to spare her ridicule. However, an angel in telling Joseph what had happened, directed Joseph to stay with Mary. What should have been a time of happiness now would open the couple up to judgment and derision. Still, as far as anyone knew, the circumstances of Jesus’ birth would be natural even if caused by the supernatural.

How could a baby be born of a virgin? Matthew tells us Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. This is exactly what the angel Gabriel had told Mary (Luke 1:30-34). It is what the angel told Joseph. God was doing something miraculous and unique. However, it was not only the angels speaking to Mary and Joseph that told of a virgin giving birth. The Old Testament foretold this event. Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel,” prophesied a virgin giving birth. This was fulfilled in Mary giving birth to Jesus. Objections to the virgin birth come from both biological and exegetical concerns. Yet is it really difficult for the Creator to make something improbable happen, especially given the peculiarity of this sign for the coming Messiah? Furthermore, the preponderance of usage of the word alma refers to a young, unmarried maiden, perfectly descriptive of Mary. The biblical conclusion is that Jesus was born of a virgin. Being born in natural circumstances from supernatural causes leads to the eternal purpose of Jesus’ birth.

Jesus came to save His people from their sin. In fact, Jesus means “savior.” Moreover, Immanuel means “God with us.” While God has always been with His people His Incarnation brings Him to His people in an unprecedented way, the only way He could work out salvation for these people. Hebrews 4:15 explains “we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” As He lived among us He fulfilled the Law enabling Him to be a worthy sacrifice on our behalves. This One, miraculously born of a virgin, miraculously provided a way for sinful man to be saved from their sin and enter into the relationship with God planned before the foundation of the earth. Come to the Father through the Son today.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
Get Founders
in Your Inbox
A weekly brief of our new teaching resources.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Teaching BY TYPE
Teaching BY Author
Founders Podcasts