Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, December 23. In the last few days before Christmas, busyness can make us forget why we celebrate. Galatians chapter four constructs a solid framework to understand what really took place on that wonderful night Christ was born. Paul has been talking about our sonship as a result of the work of Christ. And so he begins in verse one of chapter four saying, Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave, although he is owner of everything, but is under guardians and manages until the date set by the Father.
So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. And then verse four is what I want us to notice primarily. But when the fullness of the 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, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Therefore, you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Now, as you and I think about all the things that God has worked and controlled in order to bring forth His Son, the question is, why did He bring Him forth? He says He sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.
What do you mean by that? That Jesus Christ was born like every other little Jewish boy was born. And He was born under the same Jewish law that they were born under. That is, it was His responsibility to keep the law. But there's something exceptional about Christ because He not only was born under the law, that is, to keep it, but He was born under the law, that is, to bear the penalty of its violation. And so Jesus Christ came born under the law, but also came to bear on the cross the sin and the penalty of that sin of the violation of the law that you and I may be set free from the penalty of sin. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. He came under the law, all right, born of a virgin. And as we've said before in these past messages, it was deity being clothed in humanity to identify Himself with mankind in order to live among us and then die in our behalf.
Born under the law, walking under the law, living under the law, and dying under the law and your behalf in mine. But the question comes, what is the motivation of all that? Let's go back to eternity past. Why in the mind of God? Why could not He have done it some other way? There must have been some other way He could have done it. Whatever God does is always best.
It is always the wisest from the point of view of infinite wisdom. And in God's preparation down through history, time after time after time, God was working to bring us to a given point. What is it that motivated Him? There were two things primarily. His motivation ultimately was love, but He had two goals in mind. And He states them very clearly in this passage.
Listen, if you'll notice, He says in verse four, but when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order that He says, this is the reason I sent Him. Motivated by love, God says I had a twofold objective. Number one, in order that He might redeem those who are under the law. That is, that He might bring about forgiveness in your heart and mind. That He might release us from the penalty of sin, that you and I may be reconciled to Him, that we may be declared justified. That is, no longer guilty of sin, that you and I may be able to have a relationship with Him that we could not have had Jesus Christ not gone to the cross and died on your behalf and mine.
Think about this. God loves you and me enough and mankind enough that He would down through all of these centuries work in the minds of men and of nations to bring to the very moment in time when Jesus Christ, the Savior was born, in order that you and I some 2,000 years later could say, I thank God, I have been forgiven of my sin. That's what Christmas is all about. Christmas is about the love of God being expressed in the birth of His Son, who came to die and to bear the sin debt of the whole world. That's what Christmas is all about.
It is not manger scenes and shepherds and wise men and cattle. The Christmas story is that God so loved you and me that He sent His only begotten Son that all of us who believe in Him and trust in Him may be forgiven of our sin. So that all of us who responded to His invitation of forgiveness, we have been forgiven of our sin. And we can say today we know that we have been redeemed by the grace of God. The shed blood of Jesus Christ at Calvary has atoned for my sin.
I know that I'm saved and I know that I'm a child of God. But He said His objective is twofold, not one. It was first of all to redeem us of our sin so that you and I could know that we are the forgiven children of God. But He says secondly, His goal was adoption. Now notice what He says in this passage, beginning in verse 5.
In order that He might redeem those who are under the law, that we might receive what? The adoption as sons. And because your sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Look at that. There's the whole trench in one verse. And because your sons, God, that is the Father, has sent forth the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, of His Son Jesus Christ into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Therefore, you're no longer a slave but a son. And if a son than an heir through God.
Now what did He mean by that? His twofold motivation was this. First of all, to redeem us from the penalty of our sin which would have meant eternal death. Secondly, to adopt us into the family of God, into the kingdom of God so that all of us who are saved by the grace of God have now been adopted into the kingdom. That word, if you break it up, simply means place and son. That is, adoption means to place a son.
And this was their custom. That is, to adopt children into their families or sometimes a wealthy man would adopt a slave into his family if he could not have a son. And therefore, adoption was a common thing in those days. And what Paul has done here is to pick up on a truth that he's teaching in the book of Galatians and comparing and showing us what God has done in your life and mine through the Lord Jesus Christ.
He came to bring about the forgiveness of my sin. But that wasn't sufficient, to adopt us into the kingdom. Now what happens when a person is adopted?
What happened in those days? First of all, they got a new name. They took the name of the person who adopted them. Secondly, a person who was adopted, that person had a whole new legal standing. They were no longer slaves, but now they had a different relationship. They were now free.
Not a slave any longer, but now free. They had a whole new family relationship. That is, whatever the family relationship was before, now it is a new relationship. Now they have a new father and a new mother, new sisters and brothers, a whole new family relationship. They had a whole new hope on life, a whole new spirit about life, a whole new attitude about life. That person had a whole new image, no longer a slave, but now a free man. Now I belong to this family. That person had a whole new position.
And what was the position? When a child was adopted into the family, that child became an heir to the wealth of the father. What is Paul saying in this passage? He says, you know what really happened the night Jesus Christ was born? God the Father, brought to fruition, brought to completion, brought to finality, His long plan of eternity past, bringing forth His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, bringing deity and human flesh together, whose mission in life was the cross, to die for the sin of mankind and all of us who accept Him as our Savior, not only experience forgiveness, but we become what? Those with a new name. We are no longer sinners, but what?
Saints, followers of Jesus, we are called Christians. Not only that, we have a new legal standing. We are no longer the slaves of sin, but the Bible says that you and I have been set free. He says, and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. And He says, if the Lord Jesus sets you free, you are free indeed. We are the free liberated.
And the third is what? We have a new relationship. We have the authority to become the sons of God, but as many as believed in Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of the living God.
But don't forget this. He says, we have a brand new position. We're no longer sinners, but we are saints who do sin at times.
But our position now is not beggars. We don't have to crawl before God and hope He's going to listen. But listen, as the sons of the living God, sons and daughters of a brand new family relationship, the Spirit of God living on the inside of us, He says that God the Father has made every single believer a joint heir with the Lord Jesus Christ so that everything Jesus Christ's name is on in eternity future, your name and my name is on there with it. Look, if you will, in Romans chapter 8.
He says the same thing in a little different fashion. Paul is speaking here using the same kind of illustration. He says in verse 14 of Romans 8, for all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When the Holy Spirit came into your life and mine and sealed us, that sealed us as an adopted son or daughter of God. He says the spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out Abba Father. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
And children, what? Heirs also heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ if indeed we suffer with them and all that we may also be glorified with Him. The Bible says that you and I have been redeemed by the grace of God. We have been made joint heirs with the person of Jesus Christ and we also have to look forward to being glorified even as our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, has been glorified. Now, what motivated God to do all that?
One simple thing. God loves you and me enough that in eternity past He planned to save us. And He worked through individuals and through a nation and through nations to bring all of humanity to a moment in time at which we say Jesus Christ was born. And we talk about Christmas Day. And we look at the calendar and somehow the whole calendar began to revolve around that. And civilizations revolve around that moment in time. And all of life revolves around that moment in time. Because in that moment in time, God chose to give all of humanity a hope, a hope for some who never had hope and for all of us who know Him as our Savior, the one hope that we need, that Jesus Christ has atoned for our sins, that our name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, that one of these days when they put these old bodies on the earth, these bodies of ours shall rise in the glorified fashion of which He's provided, that we have not only life after death, but we have life with Christ, with God the Father, with God the Son, with God the Holy Spirit after death and with all the saints who passed on before and who will pass on in time and future. That is the blessing and the promise of God that He's provided for every single believer. And so when somebody says, oh, what's Christmas all about?
Christmas is all about God and eternity past, loving, sinful, lost, damned evil humanity so much as to choose and to govern and to providentially guide and protect that through a man, through a family, through a nation, He would send a Messiah Redeemer who would reconcile lost, sinful man, declare him no longer guilty, write His name in the Lamb's Book of Life, and He would do it through His Son, Jesus, born with human flesh, walked among men as the God-man, dying upon the cross as the substitutionary, sacrificial, all-sufficient, atoning sacrifice for the sin of mankind, bury Him, raise Him, send Him seated at the Father's right hand, waiting to come again. And the question is, when He comes, will you be ready? My friend, if God loved you enough to send His only begotten Son Jesus to die for your sins, is that not an expression of God's unconditional love for you?
What are you going to do about it? Are you going to accept His love or reject His love? The fact is that the Messiah Jesus came and lived and died for your sin in mind that you and I may be forgiven of our sins and adopted into His family. And not only that, for 2,000 years, He has kept the hope of His return alive in the hearts of believers. And if it takes 2,000 years more, we'll still be believing, still trusting, still proclaiming, still shouting the truth that Jesus Christ, the resurrected Son of God, is the atoning sacrifice for your sin, and one of these days, He's coming again. The question is, have you ever trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? Have you ever surrendered your life to Him? And then one last question. One of these days there's going to come a time when the fullness of your time and my time will have come, and we will stand in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ to give an account of our life.
Let me ask you a question this morning. Are you today where God wants you to be at this point in your life? In this sequence of events that God has given for your life, how long the time span may be or how short, nobody knows, as best you know your heart, are you on God's schedule, under God's guidance, on His track, heading in His direction, fulfilling His will, glorifying the Son in your daily life? Or would you have to say, no, somewhere back yonder I got off track? Or would you have to say, no, I never considered Jesus having any plan for my life. I never considered Jesus caring about who I marry or where I work or what I do.
I never considered that. Well, my friend, you need to start considering it. There's a plan for your life, a purpose for your life, and He also has a moment in time when you will give an account for your life. And I want to encourage you, if you've never trusted Jesus as your Savior, if you'll pray this simple prayer, God will forgive you of your sin.
And God will give you a whole new beginning because, you remember, you'll have a new name and a new standing, free, a new relationship and a new spirit and a new image and a whole new position of being a joint heir with Him. And here's the simple prayer, Father, forgive me of my sin. I do believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sin. I do believe He paid my sin debt in full. I receive Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. I accept His forgiveness and I accept my new relationship as a child of God. My friend, if you've prayed that prayer, find yourself a church that preaches the truth, be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and begin to share the truth of what Christ has done in your life.
And, my friend, when we do, here's what happens. We're on track doing what God wants us to do where He wants us to do it. Could you say today, I'm on God's track, living by His will, doing what I believe He wants me to do, knowing that one of these days, my days will be fulfilled and I will have to give an account.
You say, but suppose you're not, then what? Confess it to Him, thank Him for His forgiveness provided at Calvary, and telling that today you are stepping into the center of His will, which He will have to show you. Lord, from this moment on, I want to be on your track, doing your will, in your way, in your timing, in your strength, until the moment that you say the fullness of your time has come. A moment in time, the hope of eternity. That's what Jesus' birth said to the world and is still saying today. Our hope is the person of Christ. Thank you for listening to part two of A Moment in Time, the Hope for Humanity. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-23 05:56:19 / 2022-12-23 06:03:31 / 7