The Marvel Of Christmas – Galatians 4:4-5

By John Bellingham on December 25, 2016
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The Marvel of Christmas

Galatians 4:4-5

I.  The Marvel of God’s Timing

1)     A Moment Chosen by God

  1. Human history has been gradually unfolding according to God’s sovereign, pre-ordained plan
  2. The coming of Jesus was prophesied thousands of years before it actually happened (cf. Genesis 3:15, 12:1-3;  1 Peter 1:10-12)

2)     The Right Moment in World History

  1. Politically – Roman peace and infrastructure facilitated the missionary journeys of Paul and the other Apostles
  2. Culturally – common Greek language across the Empire facilitated communication of the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles
  3. Religiously
    1. Israel’s hopes had been crushed, and her political ‘saviours’ defeated
    2. The Law had worked its purpose of revealing humanity’s sin and man’s total inability to save himself (Romans 3:19-20, 8:3-4)

Application:  The coming of Jesus the Messiah seems agonizingly slow from a human perspective,  but in God’s sovereign plan He entered this broken world at exactly the right moment.   Marvel this Christmas at the perfection of God’s timing

 

 II.  The Marvel of God’s Son

1)     Jesus is Fully God

  1. The Son existed with the Father from all eternity as a Person of the Holy Trinity – He did not begin to exist at Christmas!
  2. “Here is something marvelous:  the Son of God descended from heaven in such a way that, without leaving heaven, he willed to be born in the virgin’s womb, to go about the earth, and to hang upon the cross;  yet he continually filled the world as he had done from the beginning!”    – John Calvin (Institutes II.13.4)

2)     Jesus is Fully Human

  1. ‘Born of a woman’
    1. Emphasis on Jesus’ full humanity
    2. Fulfillment of God’s promise  – Genesis 3:15;  Isaiah 7:14
  2. ‘Born under the law’
    1. Jesus was born under the Ceremonial and Civil Law of the Mosaic Covenant
    2. Jesus was born under the Moral Law

Application:  The fact that the pre-existent Son of God took on humanity and entered into the world He created is the greatest mystery imaginable.   Marvel this Christmas at the incarnation of Jesus Christ.  He is Emmanuel –  God with us!

 

III.  The Marvel of God’s Purpose

1)       Redemption

  1. ‘Redemption’ – to purchase out of slavery
  2. Jesus came to free God’s people from their slavery to sin
    1. He obeyed the righteous demands of God’s Moral Law which we are unable to do
    2. He fulfilled the Ceremonial Law and brought the types and shadows to completion
    3. He paid the death penalty for all of our law-breaking, and satisfied divine justice

2)     Adoption

  1. God’s eternal purpose was not only to free us from slavery, but to make us His children
  2. ‘Adoption as sons’ – believers united to Jesus Christ receive the full rights of inheritance

Application:  To understand the beauty of Christmas you must first understand the ugliness of sin.   Marvel this Christmas at God’s gracious purpose to redeem you from sin and to adopt you into his family.

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