Summary: First Sunday in the New Year.
Galatians 4: 4 – 7 / Heirs
Intro: Have you ever thought you might be the long-lost heir to someone’s fortune. There may be thousands of dollars out there just waiting for you to claim them. There is a website run by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY ADMINISTRATORS where you can go to see if your name occurs on any unclaimed riches anywhere in the United States. (www.unclaimed.org) Thousands of people live every moment of every day oblivious to their rightful inheritance. You could be one of them! Check it out and if your name is there, remember 10% goes to the church as a finder’s fee.
I. Unfortunate and sad as it is to live not knowing you have a fortune waiting for you is the fact that a multitude of people live daily unaware of their DIVINE inheritance.
A. VS. 4 “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, . .” tells us this was God’s decision. It had nothing to do with us. It was in God’s time that humanity would receive its inheritance.
B. We exist in a “WANT IT NOW” state of being. We want things our way when we want them and not a second later.
C. It was God’s decision to include us in the family of God and it was done through the sending of Christ Jesus into the world at just the right time.
II. Timing is everything! In the world of sports, even one second can determine who wins and who looses. In the world of music, if the choir or the orchestra does not play or sing at the same tempo or timing, it can be the difference between excellence and horror. Timing is everything!
A. At the right time, the perfect time, in the fullness of time, God sent Jesus into this world. VS 4 continues, Born of a woman, born under law.”
B. BORN OF A WOMAN tells us that Paul believe Jesus was fully human, just like us. The Son of God would experience full humanity at its height and depth. Christ Jesus would know the human condition intimately.
C. BORN UNDER LAW informs us that Paul believed that Jesus was born under the very Jewish law he had been sent to fulfill.
III. Vss. 5 – 7 tell us why God acted in this way. “To redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.”
A. The Greek verb EXAGORASE translated here as REDEEM refers to the emancipation from slavery, with overtones of paying the price to purchase the slave’s freedom.
B. These verses tell us that Israel (those under the law) as well as the Gentiles (we) are redeemed, purchased, set free by the death of Christ Jesus on the cross.
C. This is our inheritance, our gift, this holiday season! VS. 6 – “God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, Abba, Father.” Our gift is that we are all adopted into God’s family and therefore precious to God. We are not only his children, we are also God’s heirs.
Conclu: In contrast to God’s own Son, all other human beings, including Jewish believers, enter God’s family only by adoption. We are all sons and daughters of God ONLY through God’s generosity and mercy. God has liberated us from slavery by sending the Son to invade our prison and set us free, bringing us all into God’s family. Vs. 7 “So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.”