by Stephen Olford
Text: “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.” (Gal. 4:4)
Thought: Mankind has never ceased to hold precious the birth of Jesus, and for that reason we need to consider:
1. The Timing of the Event: “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son...” (v. 4). There has never been a moment in history, before or since the birth of Christ, when the occasion was more appropriate for the event. The time was ripe intellectually, religiously, and morally. From God’s viewpoint the time was ripe. All relative prophecies had been fulfilled, and the divine purpose of the ages had, at last, come. Such amazing timing can only be understood in the light of the importance of the event.
2. The Meaning of the Event: “...God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (v. 4). Here we have the meaning of the birth of Christ. In matchless grace God sent forth His Son into the world to deal with man’s utter helplessness and hopelessness. Jesus not only took upon Himself our nature in order to deal with our sinfulness, but He accepted our debt in order to absolve us of our guiltiness.
3. The Blessing of the Event: “God sent forth His Son...to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts...” (vv. 4-6). By redemption we are made His servants, but by adoption we are made His sons and therefore joint-heirs with Christ; but more than this, He makes us saints by sending the Spirit of His Son into our hearts in order to conform us into His own likeness.
God sent His Son, my soul to save,
On that first Christmas night;
‘T’was on that night in yonder cave,
Christ came in glory bright.
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Dr. Olford is founder and senior lecturer of the Stephen Olford Center for Biblical Preaching, based in Memphis, Tennessee.