Friday, August 21, 2009

John Stott on Galatians 4:4-5

Read part of what John Stott wrote about Galatians 4:4-5-

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. - Galatians 4:4-5

What is emphasized in these verses is that the one whom God sent to accomplish our redemption was perfectly qualified to do so. He was God's Son. He was also born of a human mother, so that He was human as well as divine, the one and only God-man. And He was born 'under the law', that is, of a Jewish mother, into the Jewish nation, subject to the Jewish law. Throughout His life He submitted to all the requirements of the law. He succeeded where all others before and since have failed: He perfectly fulfilled the righteousness of the law. So the divinity of Christ, the humanity of Christ and the righteousness of Christ uniquely qualified Him to be man's redeemer. If he had not been man, He could not have redeemed men. If He had not been a righteous man, He could not have redeemed unrighteous men. And if He had not been God's Son, He could not have redeemed men for God or made them the sons of God.


William said...

Nothing to add. Just sitting in reflection on that astounding truth. Amen.

Roger Mann said...

While I agree with everything Stott says here, I think it’s important to point out that when Paul says that Jesus was “born under the law” he was not referring merely to the “Jewish law” per se, as Stott seems to imply, but rather to God’s eternal moral law (i.e., in its role as a covenant of works). I say this simply because Jesus was born under the law “to redeem those who were under the law, that we [both Jews and Gentiles] might receive the adoption as sons.” John Gill makes this point clear in his commentary on this passage:

“The law was given to Adam as a covenant of works, and not to him as a single person, but as a federal head to all his posterity; hence he sinning, and they in him, they all came under its sentence of condemnation and death, God's elect not excepted, and who are the persons said to be redeemed; for Christ was not sent to redeem all that were under the law; for as all mankind were included in it as a covenant of works made with Adam, and all are transgressors of it, the whole world is pronounced guilty before God by it, and liable to the curse of it; but not all mankind, only some out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation, are redeemed by Christ, even all the elect, whether among Jews or Gentiles.”

Moreover, Paul states elsewhere that “whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19). So there’s clearly a sense in which all men, both Jews and Gentiles, are “under the law” from which Christ redeemed his elect people.

Frontier Forest said...

Powerful thoughts to ponder indeed. Here is a corresponding power-filled thought: “Ye shall be witnesses unto ME.” The spirit that comes to His elect is not of our doing anything for Jesus, but of being a perfect delight to Him. The mystery of mission is, that I am His, and HE has chosen me to carry out His mission. The fact that the very Creator of the world, the One who spoke the universe into existence, loves me and has called me worthy to carry on His work, is miracle enough to keep me giving thanks and joyfully serving Him.

Reepicheep said...

Excellent clarification Roger. Thanks.

Jim said...

A funny, if tangential, point.

I took my wife to London for our tenth anniversary. (Don't be too impressed, I took her to Kansas City for our honeymoon, so I owed her.)

In any event, we stayed at the Langham Hotel. Across from the Langham was an Anglican church. I checked it out and it had services on Sunday evening. So we slept in on Sunday morning (due to jet lag), and headed over to the church a few minutes before the start of its evening service.

I figured that we'd join a few blue-haired old ladies at the service.

As we walked over, I saw a group of three or four young folks jump out of a cab and run into the church.

I thought that a bit odd, and wondered whether we should have come over a little earlier.

We walked into the church, which was packed to the gills -- standing room only (although be found some open seats in the balcony). There must have been a thousand folks in the church.

It just so happened that John Stott was the recently retired pastor of the church, and was preaching that evening. So instead of a tepid service of Christian "niceness" with a few old ladies, we received a Christian feat by a gifted pastor.

An added bonus is that actor David Suchet (of Hercule Poirot fame), who apparently is a member of the church, read the Scriptures that evening.

Who wudda thunk.

Rick Calohan said...

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. - Galatians 4:4-5

Listening to your sermon here in the Philippines where 85% are Roman Catholic I praise God for Grace Rooted Message of your Sermon.

Last night while visiting Dorothy’s family a wonderful transforming event was witnessed by me my brother in law Andy is Roman Catholic, who blew his scholarship, who once was on the Filipino National Basketball team, who was lost in shabu (crack cocaine), who had abandon his wife and three boys, who impregnated a mistress out of wedlock, when confronted by my brother in law G√ľnter (Catholic) with a Confucius statement, "If a man lies once he can never be trusted." Andy said you know my faith and trust is in God Alone! That open the door to share the Gospel to explain the doctrine differences between Catholics & Protestants, and proclaim with an emphasis that if your faith and trust is in Christ Alone and not in your works or good deeds or sacraments then you are anew in Christ and you are forever His and you are saved!

Galatians 4: 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!