During this Advent season, we have been reflecting together on Galatians 4:4-5: But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
In previous posts, we have considered the phrases, the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son, and born of a woman, born under the law. For this one last time, we now devote our attention to phrases that instruct us about God’s intentions and achievements with regard to the Son’s incarnation: to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons.
What does this tell us about our deliverance?
The universal human predicament is summarized by the words under the law in two respects: (a) our obligation to keep the law perfectly in order to achieve and maintain right standing before God the Judge; and (b) our subjection to the death penalty for any and all violations of the law. Paul tells us that the mission upon which the Father dispatched the willing Son was one intended to purchase our release from both of these conditions. Christ both fulfilled the law’s demands and suffered the death penalty on our behalf. We have been entirely and eternally delivered from our two-fold predicament!
What does this tell us about our destiny?
But redemption has a particular effect relative to our destiny. Sonship has supplanted slavery. The contemporary adoption analogy Paul employs requires him to emphasize that Christ’s redeemed ones receive adoption “as sons” since the adoption laws of his day were conditioned upon gender. Paul makes clear elsewhere (c.f., Gal. 3:28) that social classifications based upon gender have been abrogated with reference to standing in Christ. Thus, all who are redeemed in Christ, male and female, enjoy the status accorded to “sons” who are no longer minors constantly minded by tutors (Gal. 4:2) but instead adult heirs with all the rights and privileges thereof.
Our destiny is one of both relationship and inheritance. We are full-fledged members of the ultimate royal family. No matter the drudgery and destitution in which we may be presently immersed, riches beyond our wildest imagination await us. Paul assured the destitute Corinthian believers that, though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich (II Corinthians 8:9).
I invite you to recall and recite these truths not only throughout this season but also all through the year to come:
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
Fresh gleanings to fuel your leadership awareness, reflection, and conversations …
Check out this treasure trove of audio resources from the November 2015 International Council for Evangelical Theological Education’s Global Consultation on Theological Education gathering in Antalya, Turkey. Among the outstanding plenary addresses are ones by Tyndale University College’s Rupen Das and Columbia International University AWM-Korntal dean, Bernhard Ott.
Have you subscribed to my colleague, Steve Moore’s nexleader idea portal blog? Matthew’s Gospel reports that when King Herod learned from the Magi of an impending Jewish monarch’s birth, “he was disturbed.” Steve’s insights into the symptoms of insecure leadership will have you signing up for more. And don’t miss Episode 1 of Steve’s new nexleader idea portal podcast: Mentoring: Why Organization-Wide Programs Don’t Work and a Lesson in Resilience from Churchill.
I identify as … Radical Autonomy’s Cruel Cultural Curse
Brendan O’Neill has hit a nerve with his Spiked Review essay, The Crisis of Character. O’Neill affirms as entirely apt the New York Times’ designation of 2015 as “the year we obsessed over identity.” He urgently exposes the tragedy and threat of this malignant and mutating narcissism to our very existence.