The Christmas Story – The Rest of the Story

Test – Galatians 4:4-6

. . . But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, the we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying “Abba! Father!”

 

  1. Introduction
    1. During this Advent Season we have been sharing and reflecting upon the Christmas Story.
      1. It began with the joyful announcement that “We’re Pregnant!” in the most impossible circumstances.
      2. The birth announcement didn’t come through the mail. Heaven emptied itself with praise to God and songs of hope for the long awaited messiah king.
      3. The world noted the birth with a diplomatic mission led by a star to pay homage to the new born king.
    2. However, the child’s birth was simply the commencement of his mission. While the mission was multi-faceted, it is subsumed under one head: Redemption
  2. Explanation of the Text
    1. When the fullness of time came . . .
      1. We have become so time conscious and demanding of immediate gratification we have lost our sense that God designed our world so that things evolve.
      2. For instance, when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, why didn’t God just send Christ then? The answer is that in order for Christ to be fully effective some things had to happen. Some lessons had to be learned. Some concepts had to become everyday knowledge.
      3. For example, human beings had to learn the idea that sin had to be paid for. Throughout the ancient world people not only sacrificed animals for their sins, it was not uncommon for them to sacrifice their children for their sins.
      4. These things took time. Time for empires to rise. Time for evil to enslave people. Time.
      5. One of the key concepts that had to be discovered and experienced is that the law is a taskmaster, but it cannot break the power of sin in our lives. We are sold under sin.
      6. When everything was ready
    2. God sent forth His Son . . . in order to redeem those who were under the law.
      1. The context of this statement is a discussion of how that we were slaves not sons under the law.
      2. Redeem – to buy, denotes to buy out, especially of purchasing a slave with a view to his freedom. (Vine)
    3. Redemption covers many aspects of our relationship with God
      1. We are forgiven of our sins
      2. We have a new form or righteousness – not our works, but a gift that transforms us and enables us to do righteous works.
      3. Our relationship with God had changed from that of a slave to a son.
      4. Once we an enemy of God; now we are loving children.
      5. We have entered into a relationship that heals our wounded broken spirits and emotions and even our bodies.
  3. However the rest of the story is that for all its glorious start it ended with the cross, because the cross was required to redeem us.
    1. The manger always stands in the shadow of the cross and the miracle of the resurrection.