SET TIMES (PART 3)
WALKING THROUGH THE 25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
God has an incomparable appointment calendar that spans the course of human history. And, before the earth was brought into existence, He scheduled an event and notified man as recorded in Genesis 3:15:
“I [God] will put enmity between you [serpent/Satan] and the woman [Eve], and between your offspring and hers; He [Messiah] will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.”
For millennia, God consistently reiterated the redemptive purpose of His long held appointment. He even sent prophets to establish the predetermined time and place for the appointment. Then, at the “set time,” God sent His Son to earth as humanity’s promised Redeemer.
The apostle Paul informs,
“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’
So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir” (Gal. 4:4-7, NIV, emphasis added).
As documented by Paul, God purposefully scheduled this appointment to accomplish two primary objectives—first, “to redeem those under the law” (v.4); and second, “that we might receive adoption to sonship” (v. 5).
The expression, “under the law,” in verse four conveys the idea of being imprisoned, bound or enslaved—in this case, bound and/or enslaved to the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13).
As the promised Redeemer, Jesus didn’t free man from moral accountability to God, but rather from the curse imposed on man’s inability to keep the law. What a profound concept to contemplate!
Sending His Son as a human baby into the time space continuum of our existence was inseparably linked to God’s plan for the substitutionary death of His Son as the perfect sacrifice for sin (Rm. 8:3). God alone had that right.
As difficult as it is to comprehend that fact, the Man, Jesus Christ, is in point of fact, God Incarnate—God’s only begotten Son (Jn. 3:16).
As a human being, He was born under the law. He was born of a Jewish mother; circumcised according to Mosaic Law; at the age of 13, became a bar mitzvah (son of the commandment); made pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the required feasts; ate a kosher diet and attended synagogue. He lived a perfect life as a man within the stringent context of Judaism.
Only as a Man could He die as a substitute for man’s sin, but only as God could His death have efficacy to redeem lost humanity. Simply redeeming man from the bondage of the curse of the law is in itself astounding; but, there was an added benefit!
God’s purpose was not only redemption, but also adoption. God had planned to make children out of slaves to sin!
The apostle Paul illustrated the concept with a prevalent Greek and Roman practice allowing the head of a household to adopt a slave and make him a legal heir. Again, it’s mind-boggling to think that the God of creation would not only orchestrate the redemption of humanity, but also the very personal “adoption to sonship” that makes it possible for individuals to become His children.
Paul told the church at Galatia and by extension all who have trusted God’s sacrifice for sin through the centuries, “because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’” (Gal. 4:6).
We have not been redeemed in a cold sterile formality! In choosing to accept redemption, we—as people of biblical faith— have been made His children:
“So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir” (Gal. 4: 7).
God planned and orchestrated the opportunity for us to have the privilege of an affectionate, intimate and personal relationship with Him.
Dear reader, please take note—God desires an intimate relationship with us and extends the invitation to call Him “Daddy!” The indwelling of the Holy Spirit not only makes that relationship possible, but also defines our position in Christ in the tenderest relationship of Father and much-loved child. (1)
Jesus’ Incarnation and birth was appointed by God to fulfill the promise made in the Garden of Eden; He’s not just our Father, but Abba Father! (2)
While the Western world seems to have forgotten the significance, our celebration of Jesus’ birth and His resurrection on Easter Sunday is an acknowledgement of the historically documented truth that God appointed these set times to accomplish His purposes.
Today, take time to not only thank God for what He accomplished at the Nativity of His Son, but also for His amazing and infinitely brilliant plan that provided our redemption!
Then, be encouraged that the sovereign God of creation is so awesome and mighty He will accomplish every detail of His plan at the predetermined set time.
(1) The relationship Paul describes is more than a self-professed identity; it is verified by the Holy Spirit Himself. At the moment of God’s adoption, the Holy Spirit indwells the adopted individual to confirm and provide evidence that they are truly His children. It’s like an adoption certificate. In point of fact, it is even better. Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we receive, “His divine power [that] has given us everything we need for a godly life” (2 Pet. 1:3).
(2) Abba is the same word for “Daddy” children use in Israel and many Jewish communities today. On every trip to Israel I’ve taken over the past 20 years, I’ve heard this word used regularly. It is a term of endearment used by children demonstrating a reliant, but affectionate relationship with one’s father.
1) Walking to church (c. 1853). By George Henry Durrie (1820–1863) [PD-US, PD-Art], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) Abba, Father, Encircled with the Lord’s Prayer. By Nheyob (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via Contact Form under ABOUT. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Categories: Walking Through the Days of Christmas