When the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.
It is as predictable as eggnog, holiday sales, and the annual showing of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.” I am talking about the annual lament by newspaper columnists, TV commentators, and preachers about the commercialization of Christmas. We bemoan the greed that accompanies the holiday season, even as we whip out our credit cards to make more purchases.
Most people know that Christmas is more than the glitz that surrounds the holiday. But if you press most people about what the real meaning of Christmas is, they have a hard time describing it. They know there is something about a baby, some swaddling clothes, and a nativity scene, but they really cannot express why a birth 2,000 years ago is important today.
This week, we are going to look at the single greatest sentence that has ever been written–the sentence that explains the full meaning of Christ’s entrance into the world. It is a sentence that is pregnant, if you will, with what I call “stable theology.”
When my wife, Amy, and I were in junior high, I was the editor of our school newspaper, and she was one of my ace reporters. In journalism class, we learned that when you are writing a story, the most important part of the story is the lead. That lead paragraph has to answer the basic questions: who, what, when, how, where, and why. While there is no record that Paul ever went to journalism school, in this sentence, he showed some good journalistic skill because he answered those six basic questions of the meaning of Christ’s birth in the world.
In Galatians 4:4-5, Paul wrote, “When the fullness of the 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 week, we will see how Paul answered the questions of who, what, when, how, where, and why of Christ’s birth.
Who is the subject of this sentence? It is clear in verse 4: “When the fullness of the time came, God.” Never forget this–your salvation did not begin with you. It began with God. God is the originator of all the events that happened at Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. God is the originator of the plan that resulted in your salvation. Isn’t that what the Scripture says over and over? “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us … made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4-5). God is the originator. He is the subject of all of these events. The God who created this entire universe instituted the plan for your redemption.
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.