When the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
One of the ways you know it is about to be Christmas is the airing of Christmas movies on television. Our family favorite is “Elf” with Will Ferrell. It is part of our Christmas ritual to watch “Elf.” You may like one of the older ones like “Frosty The Snowman” or “Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Maybe you are an “It’s A Wonderful Life” fan. Or maybe you like the perennial classic “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.” Remember the story of the Grinch? He absolutely hated Christmas. He hated the trees, the lights, the carols, and the feast of roast beast. So one year he decided to steal Christmas from the Whos who populated Whoville.
Many people do not know that Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, wrote “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” as a protest against the commercialization of Christmas way back in 1957. Can you imagine what Geisel would write today if he saw what is happening in our culture? These days talking about the commercialization of Christmas seems trite. We all know we can allow greed and self-centeredness to obscure the real meaning of this holiday. And yet most people, even Christians, would be hard-pressed to explain the real meaning of Christmas. They know it is about a baby who was born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago, but what does Christmas have to do with our lives today?
In one sentence the apostle Paul gave us the clearest explanation for Christmas found anywhere in literature. In Galatians 4:4-5, Paul wrote, “When the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” This letter was written to the church at Galatia to combat a false teaching that had been brought into the church by a group known as the Judaizers. The Judaizers said, “Yes, faith in Christ is necessary for salvation, but it is not sufficient. You also need to keep the Old Testament law.” Paul wrote to the Galatians to say, “No, the law was certainly good, but it was simply preparatory for the coming of Christ. If you are under the law you are a slave, but Christ has come to save us from the requirements of the law we could never keep. Why would you want to go back and live as a slave to an impossible list of requirements?” That is why Christ came: to set us free from the requirements of the Old Testament law. This week we are going to look at Paul’s explanation of what Christmas is really all about.
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