As the day draws closer when we celebrate the birth of the Savior, our minds turn to thoughts of that glorious time when God became a man. We generally turn to the gospel accounts to find the Christmas message, and yet it is found throughout the Scriptures. This morning we want to consider two verses from Paul's epistle to the Galatians which captures the wonder and presents the message of Christmas giving us when, how, and why.
I. When: "...the fullness of time..."
A. Not accidental.
1. Paul makes it very clear that God had an appointed time for this event.
2. There are no accidents with God, nothing just happens, but everything is according to His time-table.
3. In the opera Jesus Christ Superstar, from the seventies, one song has Judas asking the question, "Why did you choose to come now?"
a. perhaps we have thought about that same question.
b. today we have mass communication, satellites, television, fax machines, etc.
c. Note: Mexican telephone co. says it will bring all of Mexico into the nineties by installing one phone in each village.
d. But God was not premature in revealing Himself in the flesh to man some 2000 years ago! He was right on time!
B. The time was right culturally.
1. In the third century before Christ, Alexander the Great conquered the world and with it brought the Greek culture and language.
2. That Greek culture broke down barriers of nationalism so that people from one nation more easily accepted ideas of someone from another nation.
3. This meant that when Christians would travel from one country to another with the message of Christ, they were more readily accepted.
4. Another important aspect of the Greek culture was the language.
a. the Greek language had become the commercial language of the world.
b. it was then, as English is now, the second language spoken by all people.
c. This made it possible for the Scriptures to be read and understood by all.
5. Truly when Christ was born it was the fulness of time, culturally!
C. The time was right politically.
1. During the century before Christ was born, the Romans took control of the divided territories that Alexander had conquered.
2. With Roman control came roads to connect the commercial centers.
3. With Roman law came protection for Roman citizens and freedom to move from one country to another
4. Thus, when the Apostle Paul and others preached the gospel, they traveled on semi- paved roads with priveleges never known before.
5. When Christ was born it was the fulness of time, politiclly!
II. How: "...God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law..."
A. Christ was made of a woman.
1. The statement confirms the gospel accounts of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
a. Note: Luke 1:35
b. Note: Mt. 1:20-21
2. Christ's birth of Mary also fulfilled the many Old Testament prophecies about how He would be born.
a. Ge. 3:15 suggests the virgin birth in speaking of Messiah as "the seed of the woman".
b. Is. 7:14 specifically prophesies of the virgin birth.
c. As a child in human form He was born; but as a Son in the likeness of His Father He was given. cf Is. 9:6
B. Christ was made under the Law.
1. His coming fulfilled the promises of the Law.
a. The great hope of the Law was that the Lawgiver would come. cf. Ge.49:10
b. Christ's coming fulfilled this promise.
2. His coming fulfilled the precepts of the Law.
a. All the letter and the spirit of the Law were fulfilled in the life of Christ.
b. "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." Mt. 5:17
3. His coming resulted in payment of the penalty of the Law.
a. Note: Hebrews 10:8-10
b. Christ's death on the cross paid the penalty of sin assigned by the Law.
III. Why: "...to redeem...that we might receive the adoption of sons..."
A. Redemption of Sinners.
1. How did Christ accomplish this redemption?
2. Note: 1 Peter 1:18-19
3. Note: Hebrews 9:11-12
B. That we might receive the adoption of sons.
1. To be a son of God means a new nature from God: that's regeneration! cf. 2 Co. 2:14
2. To be a son of God means a new standing before God: that's justification! cf. Ro. 5:1
3. To be a son of God means a new identification as part of God's family: that's sanctification! cf. 1 Co. 1:30
4. To be adopted as God's son, means we can never be disowned, or lose our position: that's eternal security! cf. Jn. 10:28
Conclusion: Read: Galatians 4:4-5. Now we can understand when Christ was born, how God brought this to pass, and why He became a man!
Have you been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ? Do you know the blessedness of the sonship? Why not come today and find the true fulfillment of Christmas? If you reject Christ this morning, you are rejecting all that Christmas is about!
Christians, will you honor Christ ths Christmas? Remember that He was born of a virgin, that He came to redeem us that we might become the sons of God, and that it was all in accordance with God's timing.