[He was] born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
Galatians 4:4 says that Jesus was “born under the Law.” What does that mean?
Jesus was born under the requirements of the Old Testament Law. Some people say that when Christ came, God loosened the Old Testament standards and said, “Relax; you do not have to be perfect anymore. I will operate according to grace now.” No, God has not changed. He “is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). If you want to have fellowship with God, you have to be perfect. When Jesus came, He came under the Law, and He met every one of those requirements. Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). Because Jesus met the requirements of the Law, He was qualified to be our sin substitute. Had Jesus sinned even once, His death on the cross would have been for His own sins. But the fact that Jesus met God’s requirements qualified Him to be the spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Why did God go to such lengths to send His Son? Paul answered that question in two ways in Galatians 4:5. He said, “so that He might redeem those who were under the Law.” That word “redeem” in Greek refers to buying a slave out of the marketplace. If you wanted a slave in Paul’s day, then you would go to the marketplace and purchase a slave. And in the same way, because of our sin, you and I were born as slaves to Satan and sin. But God, because of the great love with which He loved you, redeemed you. He sent His Son to die for you, to pay the price to redeem you from that marketplace of sin. Christ came to redeem you.
A second reason God went through this plan at Christmas is that we might receive the adoption as sons. When you become a Christian, you do not enter God’s family as a slave; you enter His family as a full-grown son with all the rights of an heir of God. What does that mean? It means, first of all, that you have the same position with God that Jesus Christ has. When God looks at you as a Christian, He sees you as sinless and as perfect as He views His own Son. Not only that, it means you have the same privileges that Jesus has. Jesus can ask His Father for anything, and God will do it for Him. As an heir, you have that same privilege. Finally, you have the same power as Jesus. The same power that allowed Jesus to feed the 5,000, the same power that allowed Him to say no to some of Satan’s most intense temptations, the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is at work in your life right now if you are a believer.
When the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, who, “although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but … humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).
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.