But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
Christmas traditions vary considerably from country to country, and even family to family. For some it is the classic Christmas picture of stockings and a Christmas tree, with the classic Christmas dinner with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, sprouts and cranberry sauce. For others it is the sense of giving that truly encapsulates the spirit of Christmas, giving others gifts and caring for your fellow man. That sounds lovely doesn’t it? Perhaps, for you church carol services are the tradition you most associate with Christmas. And that’s fair, nothing feels more Christmassy that singing hark the hark the herald angels sing in candle lit church! However, what if I were to suggest that the concept of adoption was right at the heart of the Christmas story?
Strange as that might seem, according to Galatians 4 adoption is key to why Jesus came as a baby all those years ago. We are all born under the law, God’s perfect law, and we are unable to keep it and are therefore condemned. This is a rather grim prospect and we can not rectify this situation ourselves, we can’t meet God on our own. Thankfully however someone else met God’s standards on our behalf, so that we could meet God and know him. “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.” Through God’s own son Jesus, we are redeemed from the law, through his perfect obedience we are reconciled to God. Not only that but through Jesus we receive adoption into the family of God, we share in Jesus’ sonship with the Father. Jesus’ coming into the world is the glorious story of God adopting us into his family.
Through Jesus we can call out to God as our Father, “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” While we may have imperfect earthly fathers in this life, we can trust in a heavenly Father who we can always cry out to. The spirit of sonship that has been sent into our hearts not only means we have the privilege of coming to God directly for our needs but also means we have freedom! Verse 7, “So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” We have been freed from the law that once burdened us and instead we can hold firm to our promised inheritance, the blessing of being an heir of God.
Christmas is all about freedom! The freedom found in Christ and being declared a son of God. Treasure the adoption you have received this advent season, stand in truth that of Galatians 4:7 “you are no longer a slave but God’s own child”. What better reason is there than this for true joy this Christmas?