Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 3 Study # 8
February 8, 2004
Lincolnton, N.C.

<049> Thesis: The "virgin birth" was necessitated, not by the language of Isaiah, but by the biblical concept of substitutionary atonement. Introduction: In our studies of Gabriel's announcement to Mary, we have seen that there was a very necessary connection between Mary's perception of her Son and her Son's actual behavior and teaching. She desperately needed to view Him as the "Victorious Warrior" while permitting His "servant" behavior and teaching to fill out that perception. No one ever becomes a legitimate "believer" in Christ who does not grasp the unity of "dominion power" and "service". On the one hand, "service" which does not powerfully confront the real issues of life and death is not "service"; and, on the other hand, "powerful confrontation" which only seeks to subjugate others, not lead them into life, is not true "dominion power". What this translates into, in practical terms, is a two-fold distortion of religion. On one hand, we have "religion" which panders to man's disaster (such as food kitchens) and calls it "serving". On the other hand, we have "religion" which dogmatizes and pontificates in order to dominate and calls it "taking a stand for Jesus". This morning we are going to move further into our text. The question we wish to address this morning is this: why did Mary simply assume that Gabriel meant that she was to have a son without Joseph's input? Because of the complexity of the material before us, let me say at the outset that I am an absolutely firm believer in the "virgin birth of the Christ". I say this because some of what I am going to say this morning can easily be misunderstood if a person has a mental lapse while listening to this message and isn't paying close attention, or a person who, like Mary, jumps to certain interpretive conclusions that are unwarranted by my words.