God’s Plan of Salvation

God’s Plan of Salvation

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 of sons.” Galatians 4:4-5

I cannot think of any where else in the sacred Text where there is such a comprehensive yet concise exposition of the Gospel of God concerning His Son and its ultimate outcome as outlined in the six short unambiguous statements recorded by an inspired apostle Paul. The following Meditation deals in summary form with each of these, trusting that it will lead to a greater appreciation of Whose we are and Whom we serve.

“When the fullness of the time came” – God’s Sovereignty

Prediction Fulfilled

Fullness – pleroma – is used in several contexts in the New Testament, here it is connected to “time” – chromos – and grammatically refers to a specific moment in time. It is closely linked to Hebrews 9:26- “…now once at the end (consummation) of the ages has he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” It was the zenith of God’s plan of salvation. All the symbolism and prophecies of the Old Testament pointing forward to the incarnation and death of coming Messiah is now finished. The time had arrived when the world that God SO loved, comprising both Jew and Gentile, would see His rescue mission unfold in all its untold wonder.

“God sent forth his Son” – The Son’s Deity

Pre-existence Declared

Deuteronomy 33:37 refers to the “Eternal God” and linked to Isaiah 9:6 the “Everlasting Father.” In human terms a man as a father is the same age as the eldest child. Here the Father and the Son are in a unity of Deity. The Lord Jesus, Himself, made a profound statement to His disciples in this connection “I came forth from (beside) the Father and am come into the world, again I leave the world and go to the Father“ John 16:28. This is indicative of the eternal union within the Godhead. Scholars refer to it as the ‘hypostatic union’ meaning to personalise the invisible. The Apostle John in the introduction of his Gospel describes it as “the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us” Referring again to Isaiah – the Child is born but the Son is given.

“Born of a woman”His humanity.

Parenthood Explained

The use of the word ‘woman’ and not ‘virgin’ is to emphasis our Lord’s humanity. His birth was natural, in every sense of the word. The writing is explicit, Luke 2:6-7. “the days were completed for her to be delivered and she brought forth her first born son…” We marvel, the Creator, a babe within His own universe! It was His conception that was supernatural, Luke describes the young chaste virgin’s incredulity. Troubled not only by the sudden appearance of an angel but confused by the message he brought. In human terms to her it was an impossibility! When she heard the full message regarding the Holy Spirit’s intervention that the child would be “holy…son of God… and Saviour,” we read, “Then Mary said, “Behold the handmaiden of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38.

“Born under the Law” – His Normality

Pathway Defined

Not only was he fully man but he was identified directly with the Jewish race – the land and the people. It was to “His own things and His own people He came”, John 1:11. Luke is quick to emphasise this in his following statement.

“And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the child, his name was called JESUS the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb” Luke 2:21-22. In manhood He Himself, declared that He “came to fulfil the law” Matthew 5:17. W.E. Vine in his Galatians Commentary explains “He thus took upon Himself all the general obligations imposed by God… particularly upon the Jews in the law given at Sinai. The fulfilment of this law by the Lord was the outward and evident token of His acceptance by God, and of His competence for the work He had undertaken to do” This surely gives significance to the truthfulness of the declaration to His Father “I have glorified you on the earth, I have finished the work that you gave me to do” John 17:4

“to redeem those whom were under the law” – Liberation

Purpose Unfolded

The law was condemnatory, embracing not only Jews, but Gentiles “all have sinned” says the Apostle Paul, Romans 3:23. And so it follows that if condemned sinners are to be pardoned and justified God’s holiness must be met. God had declared, as a principle, that “without the shedding of blood” – that is death as a punishment – “there is no remission of sin” And so redemption – liberating by purchase through the payment of a ransom – was accomplished by God Himself in the death of His sinless Son. As we have already seen, this unique act was the consummation, the zenith of the ages. When God “made to meet upon Him” His only begotten Son, “the iniquities of us all,” Eric Sauer in his book ‘The Triumphs of the Crucified’ with an economy of words says:

Bethlehem and Calvary are:

‘Of all ages the turning point,
Of all love the highest point,
Of all salvation the starting point,
Of all worship the central point,’

“that we might receive the adoption of sons” – Responsibility.

Privilege Extended

The Apostle in 2 Peter 1:4 says “He, God, has granted unto us, his precious and exceeding great promises, that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature” Adoption is establishing a family relationship to a child that is not connected by birth. In the new birth we are regenerated, born again, and that without condition. Here the emphasis is placed on the privilege and the ensuing responsibilities of spiritual adults. The expression ‘like father like son’ expresses the taking on of the family likeness. God in an act of sovereign grace in redeeming us has placed His Spirit within us as enabling us to address Him as Father, bearing His likeness. And the Apostle concludes “…if a son then an heir of God through Christ.” The Apostle Paul’s treaties in Romans 8:12-17 on this topic concludes “…heirs if God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him, that we also may be glorified together” What a prospect!

 

 

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