The Christmas season is the time to remember the birth of Christ. That sounds very simple – almost trite, but when we truly understand what the birth of Christ means to the believer, we cannot help but give praise to God.
Before Christ, the world (even the believing world) lived under the law. No one living in Old Testament times fully understood the meaning of the law as given to Moses. One commentator has called this time, “a dispensation of darkness.” As Galatians 4:3 explains, “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.” Old Testament believers were required to offer continual sacrifices even though we know that “the blood of bulls and of goats could never take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). Living under the law was a demonstration of the gap that existed between man and God – a gap that could only be filled by God Himself.
Galatians 4:4-5a tells us, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.” The word “redeem,” or “buy back,” is the exact description of what God did for His children through his Son, Jesus. We were His creation. Yet, separated from God by sin, the world needed a Savior. But, who can take away sin but God? The only way to take away sin was through His Son. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8. God redeemed us, or bought us back, through the only sacrifice that could actually take away sin. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” Galatians 3:13. This is the miracle of salvation that God, through His Son, Jesus, could take away the curse of sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23. Salvation, the second gift, is made possible through Jesus, the first gift. And, because Jesus is Diety, his sacrifice was complete and totally effective. “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” Hebrews 10:14.
This gift of salvation through Jesus Christ is certainly a happier state of the gospel. We see the wonders of divine love and mercy, particularly of God the Father. How has the perfect sacrifice restored us in the eyes of God? The New Testament writer, Paul, explains it as “the spirit of adoption.” Romans 8:15 describes the love relationship that we have with our heavenly Father, a relationship of love, not fear. Interestingly, Jesus himself fully approved of this new relationship as we read in Ephesians 1:5, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” Just like our redemption, our adoption is complete, including our inheritance. This is another true work of God. Among men, the eldest son is heir. But all of God’s children shall have the inheritance of the eldest sons. As joint heirs we can look forward to the inheritance reserved in heaven for us.
This season, as we give gifts to family and friends, let’s not forget to share the great gift, God’s only son, and the gift of salvation that comes through Him. ~submitted by Phil Larsen