Monday, June 11, 2012

The link between the doctrines of the virginal conception and original sin

Note:  We returned to our series through Spurgeon's Catechism Sunday afternoon at CRBC with Question 21:  "How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?"  The catechism stresses that Christ was a real man with a true body and rational soul.  It also gives emphasis to the virginal conception (virgin birth).  Here is an excerpt from my notes where I try to link the importance of the doctrine of the virginal conception in light of the doctrine of original sin:  

The theological point of the doctrine of the virginal conception is that it provided the way that Christ, the Son of God, escaped original sin (being born in sin) and became the spotless Lamb of God and a perfect High Priest.  Compare:

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

There is always an attack upon the virginal conception and there is also always an attack on the doctrine of original sin.  Modern liberalism rejected the virgin birth not only because it could not stomach the supernatural and miraculous but also because it could not stomach the fact that men are born sinners in need of a sinless redeemer.  Sadly, the doctrine of original sin has come under attack in our day from those who would consider themselves conservative, evangelical Christians.

Back on May 30, 2012 a group of SBC theologians issued A Statement of theTraditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation, attacking Calvinism and its views on man’s total depravity but along the way they also appear to deny the doctrine of original sin.  One line in the statement, under its second article “The Sinfulness of Man,” states, “We deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will or rendered any person guilty before he has personally sinned.”  In other words, it denies the doctrine of original sin.  It denies that “in Adam’s fall we sinned all” or as Paul put it:  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom 5:12).

This is, in fact, the revival of an old heresy preached by a British monk years ago named Pelagius who was refuted by Augustine.  In their zeal to deny the sovereignty of God in salvation in the name of defending man’s free will, the framers of this statement appear to have denied the Scripture’s witness to the devastating impact of original sin.  And when we do that we are on a slippery slope to deny the Scriptural teaching of Christ’s virgin birth, because if there is no original sin there is no need for the virgin birth.  There did not need to be a way for Christ to escape that original corruption.

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