Friday, 25 October 2013

Embrace Your Inner Catholic

'Therefore the LORD Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel' - Isaiah 7:14


The 'Virgin Birth' - perhaps one of the most fundamental, debated, unfathomable doctrinal strands of Christianity that does not cease to amaze, confuse and intellectually challenge individuals.
While there are many conspiracy theories around seeking to explain this mind boggling phenomenon, it is vital as Christians that we understand the significance of the virgin birth and the reality of it.

'Immanuel' - God with us
This very name from Isaiah's prophecy indicates the incarnation of God in human flesh, implying that Jesus was 'fully God' and 'fully human'. I'm not sure about you but this alone is enough to confuse my incompetent brain!

Jesus as Lord and Savior
Salvation pivots on ackowledging Jesus as not only our Savior (someone who died in our place to set us free) but as our Lord (one who is in-charge of and holds our lives). His divinity makes all the difference; if Jesus was not divine, we believe in vain! 
For Jesus to be 'divine', He had to be born of a virgin, but why?
Normal Birth = Normal Human Being 
Hence Jesus' life and teaching would have been the result of the Holy Spirit working in Him. This makes Him no different to the prophets, whom God used as instruments through His Holy Spirit.

Cutting Adam's line
Romans 5:12-21 reminds us that sin is an innate quality in every human, it is written in our genes (so to speak). This natural inclination to sin needs to be broken in order for us to be saved, as we will view God's law with a renewed reverence.
If Jesus was a part of Adam's line, i.e. had earthly parents, he too would have this predisposition, hence His sinfulness would have resulted in an insufficient sacrifice. However, Jesus was God incarnate, conceived by the Holy Spirit, He lived a sinless life and presented Himself as the Lamb without blemish at the altar - a sacrifice plentiful for the human race!

Prophecy fulfilled
Finally, in case you did not notice, the verse at the beginning of this post is from Isaiah, a prophet who lived around 700BC. The prophecies about the Messiah had to correlate with the birth, life, death and ressurection of Jesus.

Yes, it is a far fetched concept that is out of the ordinary, but is God ordinary? 
Yes, it is scientifically impossible, but is God bound by the laws of science, space or time?
NO and NO!
We serve an almighty God, the Maker of heaven and earth, when He could breathe this cosmos into existence ex nihilo, what stops Him from causing a virgin to bear child? Nothing! God is a God of miracles.

The virgin birth is not a basis for salvation but it is a Biblical truth we ought to embrace. As a Vicar at Christian Union illuminated this truth, he also mentioned how unlike Catholics, Evangelicals often ignore, hence devalue this miraculous event, robbing it of its due splendour. Thus I invite you to join me in searching for, finding and embracing that inner Catholic in you, that holds dear this illogical, rationally challenging concept with chains of faith!

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