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Celebrate Jesus - Pt. 3

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God Extended His Grace to Us – Galatians 4:4
December 24, 2017
Reemphasizing from past weeks, the Christmas season is much more than tinsel and lights. It’s all about Jesus, and the reason why He came.
Matthew 1:23 NKJV
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
God was with mankind, but with the fall in Genesis 2-3 things changed and we find the purpose of Jesus coming.
Luke 19:10 NKJV
for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
1. Sin is severe and results in judgement
2. Sin separates us from a Holy God
3. Sin has been defeated by Jesus
Understanding that God was with us, but that sin changed that relationship, is the first step in truly celebrating Jesus this Christmas.
Although sin changed things, God wasn’t caught off guard - He had a plan after all.
Ephesians 1:4–5 NKJV
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
God was with us, but man sinned and broke that relationship. However, God had a plan - and that plan is Jesus!
On this Eve of Christmas, we will see how Paul unfolds for us the blessings of this plan in the Gospel.
Turn with me please to Galatians 3.
Galatians 3:26–4:7 KJV 1900
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

3:26 - Sinners become part of God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ alone

John 14:6 NKJV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

3:27 - Following faith, we identify with Christ through baptism

Romans 6:3–4 NKJV
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
ἐνδύω (enduō) - to clothe or be clothed with a garment (military uniform)

3:28 - In Christ, there are no differences when it comes to God’s acceptance

Romans 10:12 NKJV
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.

3:29 - By faith we become Abraham’s descendants

4:1-3 - The law is insufficient and binding

Paul contrasts between being a son and a slave aiming to help the Galatians understand that reliance on the law is a sign of immaturity. Under the law, there is no freedom - only bondage. He writes later on in verse 9:
Galatians 4:9 NKJV
But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?
Then we come to verse 4:

4:4 - Christmas was a detailed plan with a purpose

fullness of time - highlights that the life, death, and resurrection of Christ occured according to God’s plan.
God sent forth His Son - highlighting that Jesus existed before He was sent which promotes His eternal deity. Jesus was not just another baby. He is the God man. He is Immanuel - God with Us.
Born of a Woman - Speaks of Christ’s humanity (hypostatic union)
Born under the law - Jesus was a Jew and was subject to living under the law.
Matthew 5:17 NKJV
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Romans 8:3 NKJV
For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,

4:5 - Jesus came to exchange bondage for redemption/slavery for adoption

Paul is driving home the overarching theme of Galatians that we are justified by faith in Christ alone.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Here we find the great exchange of redemption and justification.
God became man, so that man could know God.
God in the flesh became sin, so that we could become righteous.
Illustration of Justification - 2 parts - forgiveness of sin/imputation of Christ’s righteousness
Paul finishes this section with the affirmation that those in Christ are no longer slaves to sin and the law, but are sons and heirs of God through Christ. All that comes with being a child of God is ours in the present.
It is said that In rabbinical schools in Israel today a student is not allowed to read the Song of Solomon or Ezekiel 1 until he is forty years old. The Song of Solomon is considered too explicit for a younger mind, and Ezekiel 1 contains a description of the glory of the ineffable God. The Talmud tells that when a certain person under forty began to read Ezekiel 1, fire came out from the page and consumed him. What this shows is that a person under law is not considered a man until he is forty. (The well-known bar mitzvah at age thirteen only makes a Jewish boy a “son of the covenant”—the meaning of the term—and thus responsible to keep the law.) Up to the age of forty the Orthodox man is considered a minor.
However, this is not so with believers under grace. The moment they are saved the whole inheritance is theirs. They are treated as adult, mature sons and daughters, and the whole Bible is theirs to read, enjoy, and obey.
What does this have to do with Christmas? What does this have to do with celebrating Jesus?
The reason to celebrate begins back in Genesis at the fall, extends through Old Testament prophecy of the coming Messiah, and culminates in the Gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Christmas is all about the incarnate Christ, coming of a woman, under the law, to redeem those under the law.
Christ came to exchange your unrighteousness for His righteousness, your sin for His sinlessness, your bondage for the benefits of being in God’s family. As you walk through the busyness of Christmas this season, remember what it’s really all about. Jesus - the One planned to redeem you.
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