Tuesday 15th August, 2017 – Sabbath School Lesson

gless08

“God Sent Forth His Son” (Gal. 4:4)

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law” (Gal. 4:4, ESV).

Paul’s choice of the word fullness indicates God’s active role in working out His purpose in human history. Jesus did not come at just any time; He came at the precise time God had prepared. From a historical perspective, that time is known as the Pax Romana (the Roman Peace), a two-hundred-year period of relative stability and peace across the Roman Empire. Rome’s conquest of the Mediterranean world brought peace, a common language, favorable means of travel, and a common culture that facilitated the rapid spread of the gospel. From a biblical perspective, it also marked the time that God had set for the coming of the promised Messiah (see Dan. 9:24-27).

Why did Christ have to take our humanity in order to redeem us? John 1:14; Gal. 4:4, 5; Rom. 8:3, 4; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 2:14-18; 4:14, 15.


Galatians 4:4, 5 contains one of the most succinct accounts of the gospel in Scripture. The coming of Jesus into human history was no accident. “God sent forth His Son.” In other words, God took the initiative in our salvation.

Also implicit in these words is the fundamental Christian belief in Christ’s eternal deity (John 1:1-3, 18; Phil. 2:5-9; Col. 1:15-17). God did not send a heavenly messenger. He, Himself, came because only God could save us.

Although He was the divine preexistent Son of God, Jesus was also “born of woman.” Though the virgin birth is implied in this phrase, it more specifically affirms His genuine humanity.

The phrase “born under the law” points not only to Jesus’ Jewish heritage but also includes the fact that He bore our condemnation and was born in order to die for our sins.

It was necessary for Christ to assume our humanity because we could not save ourselves. By uniting His divine nature with our fallen human nature, Christ legally qualified to be our Substitute, Savior, and High Priest. As the second Adam, He came to reclaim all that the first Adam had lost by his disobedience (Rom. 5:12-21). By His obedience He perfectly fulfilled the law’s demands, thus redeeming Adam’s tragic failure. And by His death on the cross, He met the justice of the law, which required the death of the sinner, thus gaining the right to redeem all who come to Him in true faith and surrender.

Advertisements

Sunday 13th August, 2017 – Sabbath School Lesson

gless08

Our Condition in Christ (Gal. 3:26-29)

Keeping Galatians 3:25 in mind, read Galatians 3:26. How does this text help us understand what our relationship to the law is, now that we have been redeemed by Jesus?


The word for at the beginning of verse 26 indicates that Paul sees a direct connection between this verse and the preceding one. In the same way that a master’s son was under a pedagogue only as long as he was a minor, Paul is saying that those who come to faith in Christ are no longer minors; their relationship with the law is changed because they are now adult “sons” of God.

The term son is not, of course, exclusive to males; Paul clearly includes females in this category (Gal 3:28). The reason he uses the word sons instead of children is that he has in mind the family inheritance that was passed on to the male offspring, along with the fact that the phrase “sons of God” was the special designation of Israel in the Old Testament (Deut. 14:1, Hos. 11:1). In Christ, Gentiles now also enjoy the special relationship with God that had been exclusive to Israel.

What is it about baptism that makes it such a significant event? Gal. 3:27, 28; Rom. 6:1-11; 1 Pet. 3:21.


Paul’s use of the word for in verse 27 indicates once again the close logical development of his reasoning. Paul sees baptism as a radical decision to unite our lives with Christ. In Romans 6, he describes baptism symbolically as our uniting with Jesus, both in His death and resurrection. In Galatians, Paul employs a different metaphor: baptism is the act of being clothed with Christ. Paul’s terminology is reminiscent of wonderful passages in the Old Testament that talk about being clothed with righteousness and salvation (see Isa. 61:10, Job 29:14)“Paul views baptism as the moment when Christ, like a garment, envelops the believer. Although he does not employ the term, Paul is describing the righteousness which is conferred upon believers.” — Frank J. Matera, Galatians (Collegeville, Minn.: The Liturgical Press, 1992), p. 145.

Our union with Christ symbolized through baptism means that what is true of Christ also is true of us. Because Christ is the “seed” of Abraham, as “joint-heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17)believers also are heirs to all the covenant promises made to Abraham and his descendants.

Dwell on this thought that what is true of Christ is also true of us. How should this amazing truth affect every aspect of our existence?