Do you not know . . . that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
–1 Corinthians 6:19-20
In Galatians 4:4-5, Paul gave us a clear, concise explanation of Christmas. First, he told us the who, what, when, and how: “When the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman.” Next, where did this happen? Paul wrote, “[Jesus was] born under the Law.” What does that mean? It means that, as Jesus Himself said, He did not come to abolish the Old Testament law, but to fulfill it. You see, the Bible says if we break one of the laws, we are guilty of breaking all of the laws. That is why we need a Savior. Jesus came and He met all of God’s requirements. If Jesus had broken any of the laws, when He died He would have been dying for His own sins. But the fact that He obeyed God completely and fulfilled the requirements of the law makes Him the only adequate substitute for our sin. He was born under the law.
Finally, and most importantly, why did Christ come to earth? Why did God go to all of this trouble to send Jesus into the world? Paul answered the “why” question this way: “So that He might redeem those who were under the Law.” God sent His Son in order to redeem us. That word “redeem” refers to the marketplace in both the Greek and the Roman cultures. In Paul’s day if you wanted to buy a slave you would go to the agora, the marketplace. There the slaves would be placed in shackles upon a block and sold to the highest bidder. Once you paid the required price, that slave was yours to do with whatever you wanted.
You and I are born into this world shackled to Satan himself. We are born alienated from God. We are slaves of sin and of Satan. Satan absolutely hates us and has nothing good planned for us in this life or the next life. But the Bible says that God in His great love for us sent His Son Jesus to pay the necessary price and redeem us from Satan’s death hold.
Why did He do that? He was motivated by love, but what was His purpose? To set us free? No. In Paul’s day if you paid the price to redeem a slave, you did not set the slave free; that slave became your slave. When we trust in the payment Christ made for us, it does not mean that we no longer have a master. Redemption means we have a new master, God Himself, who loves us and has our good in mind. That is why 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know . . . that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” God sent His Son that we might be redeemed from the shackles of sin and Satan.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Simply Christmas” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org