The first Sunday of Advent was this past Sunday and it provided the opportunity to focus our thoughts on hope.
In Galatians 4:1-7 we find these words,
I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything,
2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father.
3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
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. (Gal. 4:1-7 ESV)
Did you catch the contrast in verse four? We were like the heir who is a young child under the watchful eye of guardians and managers until such a time as set by the father. Paul says when we were children we were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But, when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son. God, at the perfect time, at the appropriate time, at the time He had set, sent His Son to be born under the law to redeem those who were under the law. God, at His perfect time, sent His Son to redeem a people for Himself. He turned slaves into sons through the work of Jesus Christ. God, at His perfect time, sent the hope of salvation in the person of His Son. It is only through the redeeming work of Christ that man has hope. Not just hope of a better life. Not just hope for a better job. Not just hope for a life without problems.
Hope of sanctification. Hope of glorification. Hope of eternal life with Christ. Friends, when God sent His Son, Jesus the Christ to die for sinners such as you and me, He sent us hope because our greatest enemy, sin, was conquered in Christ’s victory. Consider the words of the psalmist in Psalm 33:18-22
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
Friends, I pray that the words of this psalm ring true in your souls and that this Christmas Season you will take time to ponder the hope that we have in Jesus the Christ.
By His Grace Alone,