Summary: This sermon looks at the entirety of the Christmas message from the book of Galatians through a series of questions and answers. We look at when Jesus' birth occur, what God did, how and why Jesus came, and the overall purpose.
The Sum Total of the Christmas Message
Generally people don’t look at what the Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Galatian Church when bringing forth a Christmas message. Rather, we look to the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth. But what I would like to share with you is what I consider to be the sum total of the Christmas message from what Paul said in this particular passage of Scripture.
There has never been a day when religious life is more superficial than it is today. Now, people have been saying this for centuries, but every year it just seems to be getting worse, as Christians seem to be more content to stay on the edge and dwell upon the surface of their faith.
And to the majority of people, Christmas means little more than overcrowded shops, overpriced merchandise, and overstuffed stomachs. For most people Christmas is simply a time of giving and hopefully receiving more than they give.
Yet, Christmas, out of all the holidays should be an occasion of gladness, especially seeing what Paul says, because once someone understands the spiritual significance of Christmas, the joy of the Lord for all eternity will be theirs.
On that night heaven opened up upon this sin darkened world as a multitude of angels broke forth into praise and worship, because God came to this earth as a small baby wrapped in clothes of poverty and laid in the feeding trough of animals so that He could be that perfect sinless sacrifice for our sins; to be that Lamb of God that takes upon Himself the sins of the world.
Let’s take a look at Paul’s most unusual Christmas message.
“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. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” (Galatians 4:4-7 NKJV)
To see this Christmas message, I would like to ask and then answer several questions. Please join along with me in your notes.
Question: When Did the Birth of Jesus Occur?
Answer: In The Fullness of Time
“But when the fullness of the time had come.”
God isn’t haphazard about anything. God is the source and center of all order. He is the greatest clockmaker of them all. In other words, God’s clock never has to go to the repair shop nor does it ever need new batteries.
Did you know that Astronomers can so accurately predict the movements of the heavens that they can tell you exactly when the next eclipse of the sun or moon will take place a hundred years from now? That is how undeviating the course of God’s creation is.
Further, the Bible says that God doesn’t change, Malachi 2:6. Therefore, God had an appointed time for this great event to occur from the very foundations of the universe, from the very beginning of time, even before time itself came into existence.
So what we must remember is that God’s redemptive plan for humanity wasn’t some divine afterthought on the part of God. In other words, after Adam and Eve blew it, God didn’t says, Well I go to come up with something.” No! The Apostle Peter said that all God’s works are known by Him throughout all eternity, Acts 15:18. And so God predetermined Jesus’ coming, and told it to the prophets.
Through the prophet Daniel the Lord said that 483 years after the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem that the Messiah the Prince would come and die, which was the exact time Jesus came.
So the people knew they were in the time of the Messiah, which is why the religious leaders asked John the Baptist if he were the one, which he denied, while at the same time telling them that the one coming next would be greater than he and who’s sandals he was unworthily to untie.
And so when Jesus arrived on the scene, the people wondered the same about Him, even proclaiming Him as the Messiah a couple of days prior to His crucifixion. You see, God had set it up, and it was something that the people could count on.
As Americans we are a very impatient people. We live in a society of instant everything; instant food, news, and weather. We want things right when we want them. Think about it, when personal computers came on the market it took over a minute to get to the programs we wanted to load and see. Now, if it takes more than a couple of seconds we’re pounding the monitor.