An exposition of Galatians 4:1-11. this message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, December 26, 2010.
It is the only word that really captures the essence of this season. It is the one expression that comes close to describing the indescribable. It is the word “wonder.” Wonder refers to the cause of astonishment or surprise; the quality or state of exciting amazed admiration; it refers to something beyond anything previously known or anticipated.” This is a wonderful time of year. Not because of gifts, parties, programs or “Christmas cheer.” It is wonderful because of the one who came. It is wonderful because the eternal step into time; because the creator became part of his creation; because God moved into our neighborhood in order to redeem us. It is easy to lose sight of that in all the busyness of the season. Too often our minds are flooding with shopping lists, decorations and social obligations. It’s not that we don’t care or that we are indifferent – it’s just, well we’ve got so much going on. Or maybe we have so much going on because we really don’t want to deal with the loneliness and emptiness of the season. If Christmas is nothing more than a momentary relief from the monotony of everyday life…it is of little value or significance. If Christmas is nothing more than a religious observance or annual feast…it is a sorry substitute for celebrating the history-altering event of 2000 years ago.
Christmas is the incredible story of how God became a man. It is a story of love and grace. The story of how God in his holiness made it possible for sinful, stubborn and rebellious folks like you and me, to live in relationship with him! Rediscover the wonder of Christmas as we explore the message of the apostle Paul from the fourth chapter of Galatians.
Text: Galatians 4:4-7
The book of Galatians is a marvelous treatment of the doctrine of salvation. Paul is answering his critics who desire to enslave people to a doctrine of works. According to these false teachers, belief in Jesus was necessary but not enough – you must also live a certain lifestyle, you must observe all the dietary laws of the Old Testament, follow the religious calendar etc. Paul said no, “You must trust in Jesus alone for salvation.” As Paul deals with the joy of our liberty in Christ in this passage, he reminds us of the wonder of the Christmas season.
Thesis: “The true wonder of Christmas can only be understood in the light of God’s sovereign grace in salvation.”
What an amazing statement. Just three brief sentences yet packed full of meaning and profound truths. He we have this concise statement of the person and work of Christ. Every word is packed with meaning.
This is the wonder of Christmas…
- God sovereignly orchestrated the movement of history to prepare for the coming of his dear Son. (4:4)
- God sovereignly brought redemptive history to its climax with the coming of the Redeemer. (4:4-5)
- God graciously brings us into his glorious family. (4:5-7)
Unless you get this – you’ll never get Christmas.
Until you experience the wonder of Christmas through Christ it will never be more than a momentary high.