Sometimes time seems to stand still. I know there are many children across the country thinking Christmas couldn’t get here soon enough, and in a flash for many a family it was over in a matter of minutes. Time can fly by after standing still for so long. In our wireless, fiber-optic high speed internet world, time does seem to fly by all while dragging on. Time has always seemed to drag on while we wait upon God. As James Dobson has written, “God’s timing is always perfect; it’s just three days late for us.”
But God is the author and maker of time. His timing is indeed perfect and nothing ever takes Him by surprise. As has been said over the years, “There’s no panics in heaven; just plans.” It was so with the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ:
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)
The greatest gift ever given at Christmas or anytime in history is redemption; Christ redeeming man so we could be adopted into the family of God. The human race is not part of the family of God. The Bible clearly teaches we must be adopted. We have no natural rights to God’s kingdom; our sin stripped that right from us. It took a king becoming one of us, then dying for us, to pay the acceptable price of adoption. It is far greater than we could ever afford.
As precious as Baby Jesus was, it took Christ on the cross to redeem us. That is why He came in the first place; to be bruised by His Heavenly Father so we could be redeemed:
“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:10-11)
My humanity is what condemns me to Hell; Christ’s divinity and perfection, along with my trusting Him grants me full membership into the family of God:
“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:21-26)
We cannot earn our way into heaven through any good deeds we perform. Why? It is because we’ve broken many, if not all, the Ten Commandments and we cannot pay the price required. The Ten Commandments are known as the law and we are under its curse:
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:13-14)
Gee Brother Dave, this is beginning to sound like an Easter message. Easter and Christmas are forever linked; one without the other is meaningless. To have a virgin birth without the resurrection means death anyway. Without the virgin birth, even with the resurrection the blood spilled at the cross would have been tainted and unworthy of the price required.
It is through this divine doublet comes our adoption as sons and daughters. Do not miss this important point. We are not merely forgiven for our sins, although that alone is reason enough to celebrate Christmas. The great gift of salvation comes with not only a paid in full receipt for our sins, but also and oh so gloriously it comes with adoption papers!
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:26-29)
I bet you didn’t know that the Book of Galatians contained so much of the Christmas story, did you? But can you think of a greater and more valuable Christmas gift than being saved from your sins and adopted into the family of God? I most certainly cannot. The Apostle Peter nicely juxtaposes who we were and who we are once adopted into God’s family:
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
So as you gather together with your earthly family today, be sure to share with them the best Christmas gift ever: adoption papers declaring them part of the family of God. I promise you won’t be ruining Christmas; you’ll be making it the best ever!
Merry Christmas from Karen and me to all of you. We love you dearly!
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Copyright © 2013 David Jeffers