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“God’s Timing,” Galatians 4:4-7

4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

 

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

The confidence and the hope that God gives is not uncertain.

It is not doubtful.

It is just the opposite.

God always keeps His promises.

Because God does not change, neither does His Word.

His is the greatest comfort and the only true sure thing you have in life.  People fail you.

God’s promises do not.

God’s promises are as sure as Christ’s birth, His death, and His resurrection.

The confession of our faith is nothing but certainty.

God Himself gives what to believe.

You don’t make up your doctrines, and God does not promise continuing revelations or new doctrines.

God has given you the sure foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone (Ps. 118:22; Matt. 21:42; Mk. 12:10; Lk. 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:6, 7).

What God has given in Holy Scripture is sufficient, even as Christ’s death for your sin is sufficient for your salvation.  There is nothing to add. There is nothing to take.

True certainty comes from the Biblical text itself.

The Words are of God, not of man.

They speak of the One who was sent by the Father, born of woman and born under the law.

It was of that birth that Paul says, “When the fullness of time had come.”

No one could have guessed when that time would be, just as no one can figure out when Christ will return.

We aren’t given that info. It is not our concern.

What is our concern is that He who came did come, and that He will come again, and that we be ready for His return to judge between the living and the dead.

And how are we to be ready?

By believing in Him who was born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law.

This indicates two parts: One, that we are under the law, and two, that Christ redeems us from that law.

As to the first, that we are under the law, by nature we know this.

When we do something wrong, our conscience is awakened.

From what we see in the world, know in our families, and perceive in ourselves, we know that things are not as they should be.

Most everyone will agree that things in the world could be better.  But what many will deny is how bad things, and we, really are.

There is a spark of good in each of us, they say.

If God demands perfection, that must mean that we can be perfect.

If we only try hard enough, God will overlook our faults and shortcomings.

But no matter how hard we try, enough is never enough.

God demands of us what we are not able to do.  The Psalmist writes, “There is none who does good, no, not one” (Psalm 14:3; 53:3).

The Law of God says, ‘do’, and we do not.

God commands, ‘don’t do this’, and that we do.

He calls hating murder and lusting adultery (1 John 3:15; Matthew 5:28).

Jesus says that it’s not what goes into a man but what comes out of him that makes him unclean (Matthew 15:19-20).

The Psalmist says, and we pray, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

By nature, we know that something is wrong, but only God reveals how wrong things are.

He declares through Paul, “Whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore, by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:19-20).

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son.”

God sent His Son to save you from eternal death, to redeem you from the curse of the law, for all who are under the law are under a curse, deserving not only physical death, but eternal death.

This is really how bad things are!

Because of your sin, even yours, you are under God’s law.

But thanks be to God!

God did send His Son, that One who was laid in the lowly manger, that One who moved around at such a young age from those who desired His death, that One who was wrapped in swaddling cloths and visited by the shepherds.

The Lord had a different death in mind for His Son than death by a King Herod or death by the hand of others, until another time had come for Jesus to be put to death, even put to death on the cross.

That’s where Jesus took care of all your wrongs and all your should haves.

On Mt. Calvary, Christ placed Himself under the curse of the law for you, though He Himself knew no sin, nor was any sin found in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

He was the One bearing the full load of your sin.

You are no longer under God’s wrath but have His favor.

That One really born of a woman and really born under the law has indeed really redeemed you, Jesus Himself becoming a curse for you (Galatians 3:13).

The law is no longer your burden.  That burden was already carried by another.  The weight has been removed.

Instead of slaves to sin, you are free in Christ, children of the Heavenly Father—heirs of the promise.

As children of our gracious God, yours is the inheritance of eternal life.

You are under God’s grace, having been purchased with Christ’s own precious blood and with His innocent sufferings and death.

You are now His own and will live under Him in His kingdom in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness.  This is most certainly true.

God’s Spirit testifies to this, and “Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!’” Galatians 4:6 (ESV).

All who desire the Christ of Scripture also love God’s Word and have this Spirit.

These will not be fruitless in their labors.

These continue in Christ and in His Word and have the confidence of a gracious God, “not having” their “own righteousness, which is from the law, but that” righteousness “which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (Philippians 3:9).

These recognize that He who was born of a woman, the Christ child, born on that day of Christmas, whom we celebrate and confess, this same One, is also God in the flesh.

God in the flesh for you and for me, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem us from under the law, when the fullness of time had come.

God’s timing is not your own.

Yet, that should not worry you.

What does draw your attention, because you are the Lord’s, is His Word—what He speaks—what He has said.

There, you find reason to rejoice, and reason to joyfully enter the New Year, in confidence.

God’s timing is always where He would have it be. Amen.

 

Prayer: Gracious God, Your will be done, when and where You please.  Keep me from pride, arrogance, and stubborness toward You and Your Holy Word. Amen.

 

 

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