Brothers and Sisters,
In his letter to the church in Galatia, Paul writes, “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. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Galatians 4:4-6, NASB). As Christmastime approaches, we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, and we celebrate the promise fulfilled of His death and resurrection and our redemption from sin. More than this, however, we have cause to celebrate our restoration to relationship with our Father; let us rejoice that God wished not only to save us from our sin but to do so for the purpose of bringing us back to Himself. Of the many gifts which He has given us, the greatest is that of a Heavenly Father.
In the preceding verses, Paul writes of heirs as slaves becoming sons. He strongly implies the Roman concept of coming of age, in which a boy was formally recognized as a man and the father acknowledged the man as his son. Paul writes that while an heir is a boy he is under “guardians and managers,” referring to the Mosaic Law, the imperfect substitute given to us to prepare us for the coming of Jesus. But in verse seven, he writes, “Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” We remain under God, but no longer under the law as we knew it. That is not to say that we are not to follow God’s commandments, but that we have a higher and non-contradictory priority. Rather than following His commandments because they are the law, we are to follow them out of our love for Him as part of our restored relationship as His children.
We are not slaves to sin, nor are we slaves to the law, but we are children of our Heavenly Father, redeemed by His Son and heirs to the kingdom of God. This is what He gave us when he sent his Son to be born for us and die for us, and this is what we celebrate on Christmas. We are still human, and we are not perfect, but we have a new nature which must overcome the old. We have been restored into a relationship with our Father through which we learn to love and follow Him, and we are being returned to the place for which He meant us. This Christmas, be grateful for our restoration, and seek to further your relationships with the One who has redeemed us.
Michael Collins (17) is on staff at TPS Chapel and is a senior at TPS