Over a hundred years ago I heard that Spurgeon said regarding the defense of Scripture, “You don’t defend a lion, you turn it loose!”

You don’t defend the doctrines of Scripture, passed down from God through angels and miracles and his Son, to men, you turn them loose.

The virgin birth is one of the clearest teachings in Scripture.  Listen to the words of God:

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

…In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy— the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Luke 1:1-4,26-35

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
  “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Matthew 1:18-24

A few observations:

  • The angel of the Lord visited a virgin
  • Mary was assured she would conceive by the power of God
  • Joseph was not yet married to Mary
  • Joseph was ready to leave Mary because it appeared she was pregnant in the natural way.
  • Jesus, son of God, son of man, came to take away our sins!

I am on the verge of launching into a study of the book of Hebrews and was wondering if anyone would like to join. I am also curious if any of you have suggested commentaries or other resources that would be helpful? I have wanted to do this study for a while but have been putting it off. It will require significant time and energy which is now available and accompanied by an inprocrastinatable hunger brought on by Heb 1:1-4.

I appreciate any help and would like to study and discuss Hebrews on this blog if anyone else is interested.

A friend of mine mentioned something interesting to me at the end of last week. It was that their disciplee did not think the Psalms or epistles should be read at the same level as the gospels. The argument was that the gospels gave eyeswitness accounts of Jesus, while the rest were just man’s words of wisdom. Since I used to feel the same way about Paul’s letters, this comment got me thinking… and writing.
First of all I would like to say that without faith it is impossible to plesae God if you do not believe that God rewards those who seek him (Heb 11:6).
The objections to the Psalms and epistles are, first of all, ones that only God can answer. I struggled with the epistles too before I became a Christian and even in my early days. “Why are Paul’s writings so emphasized at the cost of Jesus’ words?” “Doesn’t Paul contradict what Jesus says here?” “In all, it seems Paul just has some good words of advice that I do not need to follow here because MY situation is different.” Those were some of my thoughts!
The Psalms are Scripture because we see their prophecies fulfilled and they were reverenced by Jesus and the early Christians.
For example, Psalm 34:20, “he keeps all of his bones; not one of them is broken” (which the NRSV and gender neutral Bibles wrongly translate “their bones”) is fulfilled in John 19:36, “…So that Scripture would be fulfilled, not one of HIS bones will be broken.” Or Ps 22… fulfilling 1) the casting of lots for the division of Christ’s clothing (Ps 22:18 to John 19:23-24); 2) Jesus’ words on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Ps 22:1 to Matt 27:46 and Mark 15:34); 3) Jesus’ words, “I thirst” to “my tongue sticks to my jaws…” Ps 22:15 (also Ps 69:21 to Luke 22:36); 4) Ps 22:16 “They have pierced my hands and feet,” crucifixion (Luke 23:33 and Luke 24:40). And all these are things David was describing years before!
Jesus’ veneration of the Psalms is seen in his use of them to answer the Pharisees. Among other places, He saw himself as fulfilling a verse, quoting in Matthew 22:44, “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hands, until I put your enemies under your feet,'” which is directly from David (Ps 110:1). Go to the verse right before, Matthew 22:43, and point out that Jesus himelf (in the eyewitness testimony) said that David was “in the Spirit” when he said these things. Later, Stephen personalizes the Psalm as he is about to be martyred, “[I see] the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56).
Next time, let’s discuss the grounds for the epistles being Scripture!
By His Grace,