I Believe in the Virgin PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Harold R. Carpenter   
Harold and Myrna Carpenter
Dr. Harold & Myrna

TEXT: Isaiah 7:14

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14, NIV).
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name [was] Mary. 28 the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, [thou that art] highly favoured, the Lord [is] with thee: blessed [art] thou among women. 29 And when she saw [him], she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:  33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?  35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.  36  And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.  37  For with God nothing shall be impossible.  38  And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. 39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;  40  And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.  41  And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:  42  And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed [art] thou among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb.  43  And whence [is]this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  44  For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.  45  And blessed [is] she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.  46  And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,  47  And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.  48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.  9  For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy [is] his name.  50  And his mercy [is] on them that fear him from generation to generation.  51  He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.  52  He hath put down the mighty from [their] seats, and exalted them of low degree.  53  He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 54  He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of [his] mercy;  55  As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.  56  And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house (Luke 1:26-56, KJV).
1  And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.  2  ([And] this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  3  And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  4  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.  6  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  7  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:-7, KJV).


When we arrived in Costa Rica on December 26, 1964, we were met at the airport by Earnest and Joye Bowman who were students in the missionary language school there. On the way to our apartment they shared with us that their babysitter lived in Coronado, a town of more than 30,000 people which did not have a single Protestant, Evangelical, or Pentecostal Church of any kind. We were so full of enthusiasm that we simple said, "Well let's start one!" Within a week we were conducting services in the home of the babysitter's father. Opposition from the Roman Catholic Church was so strong that large holes were knocked in the roof of the house by stones thrown by Catholic agitators. We began to search for a place to rent, but no one would rent to the Evangelicals. I walked the streets of Coronado praying for guidance and for the Lord's help. As I walked the Lord impressed me that we should purchase a run-down auto repair shop just on the Central Plaza itself. A number of miracles occurred making it possible for us to purchase the property.

While conducting service one Sunday morning I was interupted by the drumming of stones on the corrugated tin roof. I left the pulpit and went to the street to confront the stone-throwers. I asked the gang of high-school and college-aged youths why they were throwing stones on our building and at our new congregation. Their reply was, "Because you don't believe in the Virgin!"  Their surprise was great when I replied, "Of course I believe in the Virgin." With this opening I was able to establish a dialogue with the young men, several of whom decided to enter the building and join us in the worship service.

You see, I do believe in the Virgin. I just didn't believe everything that they believed.

Almost all doctrinal errors and heresies begin with a truth and carry it to an extreme until it no longer is the truth.  Roman Catholics have taken the few passages related to Mary in the Scripture and have developed them into a Mariology or a set of dogmas about Mary which are clearly un-Scriptural and untrue.

On the other hand, Protestants have reacted so strongly against the doctrinal errors that we have almost developed an aversion to the truths presented about the Virgin Mary in the Scriptures.

In today's message I would like to rectify these two extremes and look at the message which God has intended for us by including the passages about Mary in His inspired Word.


Over the centuries a number of doctrines have developed within Roman Catholicism which represent a misunderstanding of the role of Mary in Scriptures:

A. Perpetual virginity is the dogma that Mary remained ever virgin and that she did not have sexual relations with Joseph her husband, nor did she bear other children.
  1. The Roman Catholic Church teaches: "The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ's birth 'did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it.' And so the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the 'Ever Virgin.'"  (Cathechism 499)
  2. Scripture teaches that Mary and Joseph had other children after the virgin birth of Jesus:

    46  While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and  brothers  stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47  Someone told him, "Your mother and  brothers  are standing outside,wanting to speak to you." (Matthew 12:45-47, NIV).

    55" Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his  brothers  James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?  56  Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" 57  And they took offense at him (Matthew 13:55-57, NIV).

    12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and  brothers  and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days (John 2:12, NIV).
B. Hyperdulia is the dogma that Mary is a proper object of worship.

    1. The Council of Trent, in December of 1563, proclaimed: "Moreover,  that the images of Christ, of the Virgin Mother of God, and of the other saints are to be placed and retained especially in the churches, and that due honor and veneration is to be given them: not however, that any divinity or virtue is believed to be in them by reason of which they are to be venerated, or that something is to be asked of them, or that trust is to be placed in images, as was done of old by the Gentiles who placed their hope in idols; but because the honor which is shown them is referred to the prototypes which they represent, so that by means of the images which we kiss and before which we uncover the head and prostrate ourselves, we adore Christ and venerate the saints whose likeness they bear." (Dogmas of the Council of Trent, 215-216).

  1. What Scripture says is:

    "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me," (Exodus 20:4-5, NIV)
C. The Immaculate Conception is the dogma that Mary was conceived without the taint of original sin.

    1. This dogma was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in 1854 in a document called Ineffabilis Deus:
      " The most blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin."

  1. There is no such declaration to be found in Sacred Scripture.
  2. What Scripture does say is:

    10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:  11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one  (Romans 3:10-12, KJV).
D. The Bodily Assumption of Mary is the dogma that Mary's body did not suffer corruption, but was immediately raptured into heaven upon her death.

    1. This dogma became a necessity as a result of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

    1. Again there is no Scripture to support this dogma.

  1. What Scripture says is:

    22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  23  And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body (Romans 8:22-23, KJV).
E. Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix is the dogma that Mary actively participates in the salvation of all believers.

    1. The Catholic Church teaches:  "Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold  intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix." (Catechism, 969)

  1. What Scripture says is:

    5 For there is one God, and one  mediator  between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time (1 Timothy 2:5-6, KJV).


A. Mary was chosen by God.

  1. 14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14, KJV).
  2. 26  And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,  27  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.  28  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.  30  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.  31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS (Luke 1:26-31, KJV).
B. Mary was an example of holiness holiness and virtue.

  1. She was highly favored.
  2. She was blessed among women.
C. Mary was an example of faith in God.

  1. 1 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word (Luke 1:38, KJV).
  2. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary  the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren (Acts 1:14, KJV). 
D. Mary was an example of a suffering saint.

  1. 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered [them] in her heart (Luke 2:19, KJV)).
  2. 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.  26  When Jesus therefore saw his  mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his  mother, Woman, behold thy son!  27  Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy  mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home (John 19:25-27, KJV).
E. Mary was saved by Grace through faith in her son and God's Son.

  1. 46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47  And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour (Luke 1:46-47, KJV).
  2. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:44, KJV).


  1. Mary is an example of faith and humility.
  2. Mary is an example of obedience.
  3. Mary is an example of holiness
  4. Mary is an example of perseverance

This is the outline of the Christmas sermon Dr. Harold Carpenter preached 15 December 2002. Dr. Carpenter and his wife served as missionaries for twenty years. Dr. Carpenter also taught missions for twenty years at Central Bible College. He now serves as Pastor of Fair Grove Assembly of God, Fair Grove MO.

© Harold Carpenter 2002. Published by permission.

In Essentials: Unity; In non-essentials: Liberty; In all things: Charity—Peter Meiderlin 1626.


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