Today, Pastor Doug talked about how God is always right on time, and discussed how the Lord’s actions are always perfectly timed to accomplish His sovereign purposes. In Galatians, we read these words: “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5). From this passage, we learn several critical truths about Jesus’ birth. First, we learn that Jesus came right on schedule. God is always on time with his promises.
Pastor Doug shared two examples from the Old Testament book of Daniel which demonstrate both God’s faithfulness and his timeliness. Both examples involve God’s deliverance of his people. The first example is God’s promise to deliver the Southern Kingdom of Israel, Judah, from captivity. After Judah’s repeated disobedience and spiritual backsliding, God allowed Judah to be conquered by the Babylonians. But God wasn’t finished with his people. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God promised that after 70 years of captivity, Israel would be set free (Jeremiah 25:1-12; 29:10- 14). And sure enough, 70 years later, Cyrus, king of Persia, conquered Babylon and allowed the Jewish exiles to return to their homeland. The second example is God’s promise to send a Messiah who would deliver his people from their spiritual bondage to sin. In Daniel Chapter 9, God revealed the exact day on which the Messiah would present himself to Israel as her Messiah-King. And Jesus came right on schedule.
Like John 3:16, Galatians 4:4-5 distills the essence of the Christmas message. Jesus came to us fully human and subject to the authority of Biblical law. What does that mean? In this one short verse, Paul alludes to both Jesus’ divinity and to his humanity. Jesus had to be a man in order to die as a substitute for sinful man. He had to be God to have the power to be our Savior. But Paul tells us something else about Jesus: He was born “under the Law”. That means that like every other Jew of his day, Jesus had the obligation to obey and be judged by conformity to the written law as revealed in the Old Testament. But unlike any other man who has ever lived, Jesus satisfied the requirements of the law, because he kept it perfectly. Jesus was sinless in word, thought, and deed. Without exception, he loved His heavenly Father with all of his heart, mind, soul and strength…and his neighbor as himself. From verse 5, we learn that Jesus came to redeem us and to make us full members of God’s family. This term “redeem” is an interesting one. It means to pay the purchase price. In Jesus’ day, slaves were sometimes purchased out of slavery. That is, some generous person paid the price to free them. At the cross, Jesus paid the purchase price required by God to purchase our freedom. We receive the benefits of that transaction when we place our trust in Jesus as our Savior.
As a result of what Jesus has done, Paul says that we are now part of God’s family. We are His beloved sons and daughters—with all the rights and privileges that come with that honored status. That means that we have transitioned from slaves to sons and daughters. That, in a nutshell, is the Christmas story: It is the message that at just the right time in history, God sent his son Jesus, born of a woman, born under law, that He might redeem and adopt us into His family as beloved sons and daughters. Many of us feel as though we are ready for Christmas when we have finished our shopping and purchased the last gift. Pastor Doug suggested that we are really not ready for Christmas until we have received God’s gift of his Son (John 3:16). Forgiveness of sin and eternal life is contingent upon trusting Christ as your Savior. Have you done so?
Application / Challenge
“When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5). Forgiveness of sin and eternal life is contingent upon trusting Christ as your Savior. Have you done that? If you are making this decision for the first time, let us know here. See the check box at the bottom of the form.