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Devotional - week of December 7, 2008


IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME JESUS CAME

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 as sons. Galatians 4:4-5

When all of the circumstances were right, Jesus came to redeem us from being under the law. Later in the same chapter, Paul writes about two covenants. One of those is the covenant of law. He came to free us from that covenant that He might inaugurate a new covenant.

Hebrews 8:13 says, “In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”

Paul writes in Galatians 4:22-31 that the old and new covenants are pictured in Hagar who gave birth to Ishmael and Sarah who gave birth to Isaac.

Hagar represents the old covenant that God had given the Jews at Mount Sinai. She was a slave woman and represents the slavery to the law of anyone who lives under the old covenant.

Sarah, a free woman, represents the new covenant Jesus came to establish. In Galatians 4:31, Paul writes, “… we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.”

In Galatians 5:1, Paul says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

Paul goes on to say in the following verses that if we insist on staying in the first covenant attempting to keep the laws in the flesh, we have fallen from grace. He does not mean we have lost our salvation. He means we could be living out of the resources of God and not our own if we would give up law-living and be led by the Spirit.

As long as we walk in the flesh, our self-confidence, we will walk in slavery. When we experience our oneness with Christ, we walk in the Spirit.

Meditation on these truths could add to a merry Christmas.