This year as Christmas approaches, my focus has been directed to three marvelous verses found in Galatians:
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!” Galatians 4:4-6 (NKJV)
These three short verses reveal three perfections of Christ’s incarnation. Consider these three perfections with me.
The Perfect Time
The Scripture refers to it as “the fullness of the time.” Christ’s coming into the world had been prophesied hundreds and even thousands of years prior to His birth in Bethlehem. The Jews had long awaited the arrival of their Messiah. Students of the ancient scrolls at that time knew the time would come, and they knew it could happen at any time. The question was: “when will these things be?” The answer was that it would be in the “fullness of the time.” That means it would happen at the exact time God intended. Not one minute sooner. Not one minute later.
Many Bible scholars and historians have recognized and pointed out that Jesus was born at the precise time in history when the religious, cultural, and political conditions were all in place for God’s plan of salvation to be carried out. Romans 5:6 says that “in due time Christ died for the ungodly”. It was the time God had a chosen. It was a time when His Son would face religious opposition from His own people. It was a time when the Romans would join ranks with the opponents of Christ and their soldiers would nail Him to a cross. If Jesus had been born at any other time in history, these conditions would not have been in place. “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son.” The birth of Christ was according to God’s timetable, and that means He was born at the perfect time.
The Perfect Plan
Christ’s entry into the world was also God’s perfect plan for the salvation of His people. Our text says He was “born of a woman”. This reminds us that the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin, a doctrine that is absolutely essential to God’s plan of salvation (Matthew 1:18-25). If Jesus had not been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, He would have inherited a sin nature, just like every other person born into the world. If he had inherited a sin nature, He could not have lived a sinless life. If He had not lived a sinless life, He could not have died as the sinless, substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of His people. Thank God for the virgin birth of Jesus which made it possible for Him to die in our place!
Our text also reminds us that Jesus was “born under the law, to redeemthose who were under the law.” One thing both the Old and New Testaments demonstrate and teach is that man is incapable of keeping God’s law perfectly. In fact, the Bible is clear that the Law of God was NOT given so men and women could prove their own righteousness. Quite the contrary, God’s Law was given to prove to us that none of us has the necessary righteousness to be pleasing to God. The only righteousness that will please God is perfect righteousness, and the only one who has ever lived their entire life perfectly is the Lord Jesus. He never sinned in word, thought, or deed. He was “born under the law” and He is the only One who has ever kept God’s Law perfectly.
Why is that important? Because the only way we can have a righteousness that will make us fit for heaven, is if we have Christ’s perfect righteousness applied to us. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” In other words, a great exchange took place when Christ went to the cross. He took our sins on Himself and gave us His perfect righteousness. Jesus was “born under the law, to redeem those under the law.” If that were not true, no one would ever be fit for heaven. Thank God for His perfect plan for our salvation!
The Perfect Purpose
Finally, this text in Galatians tells us that the birth of Christ had the perfect purpose: “that we might receive the adoption as sons.” God’s design from eternity past was that He might adopt those whom He had chosen into His family. Ephesians 1:4-5 says it this way: “… He chose us in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” God wanted His chosen ones to be able to call Him “Abba (Daddy), Father”. The problem was that we weren’t acceptable to be part of God’s family on our own. But again, thank God that “He made us accepted in the Beloved (Jesus Christ). In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:6-7). Jesus’ coming into the world fulfilled God’s perfect purpose by making His chosen ones fit to be part of the family of God!
This Christmas season as we believers celebrate the incarnation of our Savior, let’s remember these wonderful perfections of His birth: He came at the perfect time, He was God’s perfect plan, and He fulfilled God’s perfect purpose which was to bring us into His family!