What is the True Significance of the Virgin Birth?

One of the central tenets of the Christian faith is the miracle of the virgin birth. Jesus had no earthly father but was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born from the Virgin Mary (Matt. 1:23, Luke 1:30–35).

What is the significance of the virgin birth?

The traditional explanation is that a virgin birth meant Jesus was unstained by Adam’s sin. Since he did not have a natural father, he did not inherit Adam’s sinful nature.

It is an oft-repeated explanation, but one that is not found in scripture.

The true significance of the virgin birth is that Jesus was not born into Adam’s enslaved family, and only a free man can ransom a slave (see Table below).

Jesus was not a slave

Adam’s sin put humanity on death row. (Romans 5 calls it living under the condemnation of sin and death.) But Jesus was not of Adam’s line. He was born outside the prison.

On numerous occasions, Jesus told his disciples that he was not from earth but had come from heaven. “I have come down from heaven” (John 6:38). It’s like he was saying, “I’m not a prisoner. I have come from outside to set you free.”

And this is really, really important when you consider the significance of this verse:

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. (Romans 5:12)

“All sinned” means all of us were in Adam when he sinned. We were in the car when he drove over the proverbial cliff.

It makes no difference whether you are good or bad. By virtue of the fact that you are descended from Adam, you are part of the “all sinned” group.

But Jesus is not part of that group. Since he is not of Adam’s line, he’s not subject to the law of sin and death. Sin can’t touch him and death can’t take him. The only way Jesus could go to the cross and die on our behalf was if he chose to.

Throughout history many pseudo-saviors have come promising freedom and every one of them was a slave to sin. They couldn’t save anyone. If you are redeemed by a slave, that slave’s master becomes your master.

Ransomed by the Free Man

We needed a free man to redeem us from our slavery to sin and Jesus is that free man.

No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them – the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough – so that they should live on forever and not see decay… But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself. (Psalms 49:7–9, 15 NIV)

The true significance of the Virgin Birth

Click on pic for a larger version

Moses the Deliverer shows us how this works. Moses was a type of Christ because he was the only Hebrew not owned by Pharaoh. Moses was a free man used by God to liberate a nation of slaves.

Similarly, Jesus is the only human who wasn’t a slave, which makes him an ideal savior. When you’re locked up inside, you need help from outside, and Jesus is the definition of outside help.

You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. (John 8:23)

Unplugged from the Matrix

Jesus was constantly telling people that he was not from earth. He was saying, “Since I’m not part of the Matrix I can unplug you from the Matrix.”

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14–15, NIV)

Sometimes those in the Matrix don’t see their need for liberation, and this was the case with the Jews. Jesus told them, “The truth will make you free,” and the Jews replied “but we’re not slaves” (see John 8:32–33). They were blind to their bondage.

The same is true of many people today. They have been told they are sinners and that the remedy is to stop sinning. They don’t know that the situation is more dire than that and that they are slaves, dead in sins, and in need of Savior.

Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins. (John 8:24)

Near the end of his life Jesus said:

I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me. (John 14:30, NIV)

No hold means no claim, no power, and no ownership. The devil couldn’t lay a hand on Jesus. This made Jesus hard to kill.

For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from me, but I lay it down on my own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. (John 10:17–18)

It was not sin but love that caused Jesus to lay down his life for you.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

Jesus is the only Savior who can deliver the slaves of sin and he did it because he loves you. What a friend we have in Jesus!


Extracted and adapted from Paul’s new book, Original Sin: What Does the Bible Really Say? available now on Patreon.

16 Comments on What is the True Significance of the Virgin Birth?

  1. Wow, some great points here that I’m still processing. Thanks!

  2. Jesus had no mother?! Mary was not his mother?? Heb 7:3 is not about Jesus; it is about Malki-Tzedek, king of Salem.

    • As I explain in the book, Jesus had no mother, at least not in the biological sense. Jesus is the eternal God, the Creator of all including Mary (John 1:1, Col 1:15–16). Just as Joseph contributed no DNA to the Savior, neither did Mary. How could she, since she was just as much a part of Adam’s enslaved family as Joseph? Mary provided a womb, but no egg.

      For most of us, life begins in the womb, but Jesus had no beginning. The Word who became flesh was with God when creation began (John 1:1). Jesus did not need a sperm donor or an egg donor. He needed a body, and that’s what the Holy Spirit provided (see Heb. 10:5).

  3. Brandon Petrowski // September 30, 2022 at 12:18 am // Reply

    That will preach. 🙂
    Amen and hallelujah!

  4. Excellent truth Dr. Paul! Very helpful. God bless.

  5. Good stuff, Paul. As the work of Christ was predestined before the foundation of the world, he is the blueprint and beginning of humanity. The “2nd Adam” is actually the original and the “Great Reset” already happened 2000 years ago.

    Love the use of the Matrix to illustrate the point. I often think how if Jesus were here telling his parables in todays culture he might say “You know, like when Forrest Gump did…” or “You know, like when Neo realized…” or “You know, like when the big green Hulk did…”. Perhaps, indeed, that is exactly what the Holy Spirit is doing today – giving us many creative paths to see these truths illustrated.

  6. Stacy Barrows // October 1, 2022 at 3:14 am // Reply

    Hebrews 7:3 is NOT about Lord Jesus, it’s about Melchizedek. Lord Jesus developed from the egg of Mary, born of a woman.

    3 There exists no record that can link Melchizedek to a natural father or mother; no birth certificate neither any account of his death, nor is there any record of his age. He resembles exactly the Son of God: his priesthood abides without beginning or end. (This was at a time where detailed records were kept of every genealogy.)

    Heb 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh AND blood, he (Jesus) also himself likewise took PART of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;


    • Heb. 7:3 is not about Jesus but Heb. 10:5 is. We don’t need to speculate what the Holy Spirit may or may not have provided, because the scriptures plainly tell us – a fully-formed body. And it had to be this way because Mary was just as much a part of the slave race as any man or woman.

      The word “part” is not found in Heb. 2:14. That is a poor translation. The original word (metecho) means to share or partake. Jesus shared or partook of our human experience.

      As you say, Heb. 7:3 is about Melchizedek, who is a type or shadow of Christ. Just as Melchizedek was without father and mother, so was Jesus. Interestingly, there is no record of Jesus ever referring to Mary as mother.

    • Brandon Petrowski // October 1, 2022 at 12:37 pm // Reply

      Stacy, some of your comments are accurate. However, you can’t fill in gaps with what you think or want to believe. There is nothing in the Bible that suggests Jesus received any genetic tissue from Mary. I understand why it’s easy to assume your conclusion, but it’s not Biblically reliable.

  7. Thanks for your research into this. NSAB says born of a woman whereas KJV says made of a woman a distinct difference. The bible says Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit so the surrogate mother with the KJV translation makes it logical as Jesus was a New Heavenly Man and not tainted by the old couple earthly Adam and Eve prone to sin. A divine conception yet was tempted in everyway but He did not sin as Satan had no hold on Him as Jesus was rooted in Righteousness and through suffering temptation learned obedience. Hebrews 5:8

    • Many translations say Jesus was born of a woman, but the King James Version gets it right. Jesus was made of a woman, not born of a woman. The original verb (ginomai) means to cause, to become, to assemble. This explains why Jesus could say that John was the greatest among those born (gennetos) of women (Matt. 11:11). Surely Jesus is the greatest of all, but Jesus was not born of woman in the conventional sense. Although all four Gospel writers refer to Mary as the mother of Jesus, she was not his biological mother. Mary was a surrogate mother who carried and raised the child from heaven.

  8. Jonathan smith // October 2, 2022 at 8:52 am // Reply

    I do not believe that the Bible teaches original sin, however, you are making a case for what used to be called “clean flesh”, that is that Jesus did not share in our humanity. That presents some theological difficulties. If no human can obey their creator, then God is either an incompetent creator or an unjust monster. Jesus, as a sinless descendant of Adam, shows that God was just in condemning sin (Romans 3:26 and 1 Tim 2:5). Secondly, if there was nothing from Mary, then how is Jesus a descendant of Abraham and David? Did God lie to those two men? (Galatians 3:16-20).

    • Not sure how you are coming to that conclusion, Jonathan. Hebrews 2:14, 18 and 4:15 states that Jesus shared in our humanity and became a high priest who is well acquainted with our frailties. He was fully human, he just wasn’t part of the enslaved race. (Perhaps you think the God who made first Adam couldn’t make another?)

      Jesus was included in Abraham and David’s lines by virtue of being born to Joseph and Mary (see Matthew 1 and Luke 3).

  9. I agree with you Paul ,let’s consider ABBA God the Sovereign Creator of all whose ways and thoughts are higher than ours and that because of this He is able to do what we cannot even conceive of or imagine from our limited,earthly human perspective,imagination and understanding. Let’s give ABBA God the credit that He is due and the truth the admittance that we as humans can’t fathom this out that He is able to do the “impossible and unimaginable “ after all He is God and He is good ,let’s go to His Holy Spirit and ask Him to reveal it to us after all that is why the Lord gave us His Holy Spirit- to teach us, bring to our remembrance about and teach us and open us up to and about the Lord,to teach us all things,to guide us into all truths. The revelation of the Lord is beyond our human capacity to know,grasp and understand the Lord and His will and ways so let’s go to the One that the Lord has provided for us to enlighten us who is beyond us. Amen

  10. This is a reminder to me it wasn’t my works but his love that saved me and is able to sustain me Thank you Paul

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.