Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. 3 So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:1-7)
Paul wrote that, when the “fullness” of time had come, God sent Jesus. Jesus did not come when things looked okay, or when the moment seemed pretty good. God didn’t randomly choose a time. There was a right time, a perfect moment, for the long-awaited Messiah to ﬁnally arrive. Jesus did not come a moment too soon or a moment too late. He came when the moment of His arrival had ﬁnally, fully come. This is when He delivered His redemption.
In Greek, the word for “redeemed” means to pay a price for someone’s freedom from the power of another, or to ransom, and this is exactly what our Savior did. At the right time, Jesus came to earth and paid the penalty for our sin, ransoming us from sin and death, and made a way for us to be received as children of God, sons and daughters of the Most High.
Christ made a way for us to be saved without requiring any works from us in return. Jesus made a way for us to “receive” adoption into the family of God. We do not earn the status of “child of God.” We receive it through God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice. It is through Christ alone, apart from any work or effort of our own, that we can call God our Abba, Father.
- Why do you think that some people choose to think of God as distant and detached rather than as a Father?
- When are the times you are tempted to try and earn God’s favor and affection?
- Why do you suppose that is?