Summary: How important is celebrating the birthday of Christ? How important was the birth of Christ? How does the differentiation between these two concepts help us sort out the meaningful from the frivolous aspects of December 25?

  Study Tools
  Study Tools

Galatians 4:4-5 (NASB)

“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

Today is the first Sunday of Advent

What is Advent? Advent means arrival. But the season of Advent is all pointing toward an arrival, and, the arrival that we’re talking about is arrival of the day chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ!

And, boy, do we love celebrating the birth of Christ, or … at least … we love celebrating the holiday called Christmas.

But, how important was the actual birth date of Christ? In the time of Christ a date of birth was relatively unimportant. It was only used for tracking your age. They did not hold birthday parties. They did not buy birthday cards filled with mockery when you turned 40 or 50. You didn’t receive gifts or cakes or balloons on your birthday.

It was a very sad time … :-(

According to the Jewish calendar Jesus was born in the year 3758 which on our calendar would have been 3 or 4 BC. And, on the Gregorian calendar which we use, this year, 2012 would be 5773.

But, back to the question of how important was the actual birth date of Christ, or, how important to our eternal destinies was the actual birth of Christ?

In short, it was critical and non-critical! The fact that Jesus came to earth as a human is ultimately critical while the actual date itself is really only fun to think about.

So, what does the Bible itself say about the birth of Christ?

In Matthew chapter 1 the narrative of the birth of Christ is only eight verses long.

Mark doesn’t mention the birth at all.

Luke provides the most extensive account and even with the extra side stories about the birth of John the Baptist the account is covered in less than two chapters.

And, John doesn’t cover the account of the birth at all but jumps right into the majesty of the incarnation.

When doing a quick search of New Testament scriptures that are not directly related to the narratives of the birth I only found two other verses addressing the birth of Christ.

In John 18:37 when Jesus was having a private conversation with Pilate during His trial before His crucifixion

“Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth.’”

And, then in Galatians 4:4-5 (NASB), our Scripture for today it says,

“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

However, when the amount of text about the birth of Christ is compared to the amount of text regarding the teachings, death and resurrection of Christ the difference is phenomenal! Still, the birth made the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the cross possible. So, the two are both necessary and there are distinctive elements of the birth that are critical to our salvation.

When we take a look at the first two phrases of Galatians 4:4 it says:

“But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son …”

God did not use some haphazard time to send Jesus. He chose a time when a powerful empire ruled all of the Mediterranean area, the Roman government had built roads throughout the empire and a common form of Greek was spoken everywhere within the empire as a first or second language.

Not only that, but the fullness of time referred to the fulfillment of prophecies.

Michael Stark states in his sermon called “The Fullness of Time” -

“Daniel had clearly prophesied that the exact time of Messiah’s advent could be calculated from the issuing of the Persian decree to rebuild Jerusalem [DANIEL 9:25]. The Messiah was to come during the era of the fourth Gentile empire [DANIEL 2:31 45; 7:1 14]. First, Babylon, then Persia, followed by Greece and finally, Rome, had successively ruled over little Israel. The Magi recognized the significance of the era in which they lived, understanding that “the fullness of time had come,” but Jewish religious leaders were ignorant of those same times.”

The next phrases we want to look at is, “God sent forth His Son, born of a Woman …”

As you can see, the phrase, “God sent forth His Son” is important in both concepts. God was waiting for the fullness of time to send forth His Son and He sent forth His Son to be born of a woman.

Download Sermon With PRO View On One Page With PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion