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“The Secret of Joy” (2 Cor. 8:1-4)

“God’s Ultimate Plan” (Gal. 4:4-7)

“God’s Ultimate Plan” (Gal. 4:4-7)

WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – An angelic herald suddenly blazes from the night sky surrounded by “a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest’” (Luke 2:10-14). There is a reason that our Master’s birth announcement was so dramatic: For thousands of years, God’s servants had been carefully putting all the elements of heaven’s ultimate plan in place, and it had all now come together in a manger in Bethlehem.

“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore, you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God” (Gal. 4:4-7 NASB)

Paul reminded the Galatians of their plight before they came to Christ: “Since you didn’t know God, you were enslaved to things that by nature are not gods” (Gal. 4:8). Some were slaves to paganism, some to their own desires, and others to religious legalism. But now, since God sent forth His Son, they and we are:

Redeemed – The release of a slave requires the payment of a redemption price. The cost for our emancipation was high, and Jesus paid it in full. “You were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19). As the old chorus says, “I owed a debt I could not pay; He paid a debt He did not owe.”

Adopted – For God, it was not enough just to free us from self-imposed slavery, He adopted us as His own children. “See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children – and we are!” (1 John 3:1).

Indwelt by His Spirit – Even adopting us into His family wasn’t enough for God. He sent the Spirit of His Son into us, and Jesus within us is continually drawing us deeper into a love of the Father by which we speak to Him in the most intimate of terms: “Daddy.” God is granting Jesus what He prayed: “O righteous Father … I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26).

Declared heirs of His eternal riches – We can’t imagine the riches of life in God’s eternal kingdom – but, by the grace of God, they are all ours. Inconceivably, He calls us, “heirs of God and coheirs with Christ”! (Rom. 8:17)

WONDERFUL THING IN MY LIFE – You and I are RICH! – Redeemed from slavery to sin, adopted as children of God, indwelt by the Spirit of Jesus, and heirs to the riches of heaven. And we don’t have to wait for heaven to enjoy our wealth. Jesus has already paid the full price for it. We can stop living as slaves to either desire, on the one hand, or fear, on the other. We don’t have to live for lesser purposes than the glory of God: “You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

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