God “Sent Forth His Son”

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.
–Ephesians 1:4

In Galatians 4:4-5, Paul described in one sentence the significance of Christ’s birth and what it means for us today.

What did God do? What is the action of these verses? Paul wrote, “God sent forth His Son” (4:4). Notice he did not say that God sent forth His child. He did not say that God sent forth His baby. He said God sent forth His Son. It is too easy at Christmastime to focus on the infancy of that baby born in Bethlehem. We tend to look at the Christmas story and see that baby in the manger. Then we start thinking how sweet babies are in general, and then we start remembering the births of our own babies and get all teary-eyed and digress into this syrupy sentimentality that totally misses the point of Christmas.

There was nothing unique about a baby being born that night, okay? It was wonderful, but not unique. There were probably hundreds of babies who were born that night in Israel. But what made this baby unique was that He was God in the flesh. The reason it is important that this baby was God is that only God could pay the price that needed to be paid for our salvation. You see, this baby born in Bethlehem grew up unlike anyone who had ever lived. He lived a perfect life so that He could be our sin substitute on the cross. The miracle of Christmas is that God is with us.

When did God do this? Paul said He did it “when the fullness of the time came” (4:4). At just the right time, God sent His Son. God is never in a hurry about anything. He is never early, and He is never late. Contrary to what a lot of Christians think, 2,000 years ago God did not just look down from Heaven and say, “Oh, what a mess those human beings have made of the world. I better do something. Jesus, quick, get down there to save those people.” It did not happen that way. It was not a last-ditch effort to save humanity. The plans that culminated at Bethlehem were formulated “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). Before the world was ever created, God already had this plan in mind. And at just the right time, it all happened at Bethlehem.

By the way, what is true in general is true in your life as well. God is never early, and He is never late. What is happening in your life right now may have taken you by surprise. The circumstance you find yourself in may have been something you would have never dreamed of, but it did not take God by surprise. When that unexpected happening occurred in your life this past year, God did not slap His forehead and say, “Oh, I cannot believe they did that. Oh, I cannot believe that happened. What am I going to do?” No, every event in your life is unfolding exactly according to God’s timetable. And that was true about the events at Bethlehem. At just the right time, God sent forth His Son.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Stable Theology” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2007.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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