Parkland First Baptist Church
November 29, 2020
      • 1 John 5.13HCSB

      • Esther 1–3HCSB

      • Psalm 139HCSB

      • Revelation 1HCSB

      • Esther 4–6HCSB

      • Revelation 2HCSB

      • Esther 7–10HCSB

      • Revelation 3HCSB

      • Ezra 7–10HCSB

      • Psalm 97HCSB

      • Revelation 4HCSB

      • Nehemiah 1–3HCSB

      • Revelation 5HCSB

      • Download

        Worship Service

        November 29, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        If you are unable to join us in person, then watch us on our Facebook Page
      • Download

        Worship Service

        November 29, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        If you are unable to join us in person, then watch us on our Facebook Page
  • Introduction

    Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving, we sure did.
    How was your dangerous trek out on Black Friday?
    I got what I wanted and then spent the rest of the day at home.
    This is the first Sunday of Advent and we’ll begin a new series entitled “The Birth of Jesus”
    We will look at the birth narratives of each Gospel.
    Each one comes at the birth from a different perspective
    Matthew - presents the King and fulfilled prophecy written primarily to the Jews.
    Mark - the birth is implied and jumps right into His ministry written for the Romans.
    Luke - sees more of the physical birth of Jesus and His humanity written for the Greeks.
    John - emphasizes His deity written for the Eastern thought and others.
    My goal is for us to see the true story of the birth of Jesus and look beyond the tradition and folklore that has grown up around Christmas.
    I would dare say that most of us know the story of the first incarnation through stories we learned in Sunday school or a few sermons repeated each year.
    Maybe it was watching the wonderful Christmas play put on in a church or if you’re old enough in school.
    Maybe you learned about from watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
    To start, let’s look at the timing of the birth
    Let’s read Galatians 4:4-5 together
    Galatians 4:4–5 CSB
    4 When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

    In The Fullness of Time

    Some translations say “in the fullness of time” instead of completion.
    What does that mean exactly?
    This statement relates back to verse 2, “until the time set by his father”
    Paul is contrast between sons and slaves. In doing so, he aims to help the Galatians understand that reliance on the law is a sign not of maturity, but of immaturity.
    In contrast to the law, faith in Christ produces children who become heirs of God’s promises.
    In Paul’s time, children received their inheritance when they came of age.
    Until then, they had neither decision-making rights nor freedom.
    Much like a slave under Roman law,
    Underage children could not exercise legal power over their inheritance;
    So now, Paul brings together the idea of coming of age and the coming of Jesus.
    Paul stresses that the life, death, and resurrection of Christ occurred according to plan of God and His timing.
    A plan that was developed in eternity past in the counsel of the God-head.
    Why did Jesus come when he did?
    The “why” may be unanswerable, except that God knew it was the right time, the “fullness.”
    Some suggest world conditions were ripe for the spread of the gospel.
    The Romans had ushered in an era of relative peace through law and order.
    Their network of roads made travel more convenient.
    Widespread use of the Greek language simplified communication.
    At the same time, the proliferation of empty religions among many people created a spiritual hunger for something genuine.
    I want to look at each of these to see how prepared the world for the birth of Christ

    Roman Preparation

    The Roman Empire also played an important role in preparing the world for Christ.
    The universal empire of Rome was the foundation of the universal empire of the gospel.
    The Roman Empire reached from Palestine in the east to Gaul (France) in the west, from Britain in the north and North Africa in the south.
    It was the largest empire the world had seen up to this point.
    All of the empire was under the protection of Roman law.
    The Romans built roads all over their empire in order to quickly transport their troops from one place to another.
    The apostles of Christianity used these roads to easily take the gospel to the four corners of the empire, and they were able to do it fairly safely as the roads were protected by Roman troops.
    Christ was born during the era identified as Pax Romana, the peace of Rome.
    The rule of one government insured worldwide peace imposed by conquering armies.
    This peace extended over most of the civilized earth making travel and commerce possible in a way previously unrealized.
    Great roads linked the empire of the Caesar’s, ensuring free and uninterrupted communications with the furthest outposts of civilization and providing rapid access to all corners of the empire.

    Greek Preparation

    Secondly, the Greek culture and language was even greater factor unifying the diverse regions of the empire.
    Alexander the Great took the throne of Greece in 336 BC and began his first military campaign in 334 BC.
    Alexander’s empire reached from Greece and Macedonia in the west, to India in the east.
    Alexander had a great love for Greek or Hellenistic culture, and spread it wherever he conquered.
    Greek language, education, literature, and philosophy became widespread in his empire.
    Greek became the common language which was very important part of God’s preparation plan.
    It was in Greek that the Lord chose to communicate His truth in the New Testament, and it was because of the widespread use of Greek that the gospel was able to be spread.
    Greek philosophy and religion was also important because it showed the world the emptiness of a worldview void of God.
    By the time of Christ’s coming, many Greeks and Romans were dissatisfied with the old religion and even with philosophy, and were ripe and ready for something real, something that would all the void in their souls.
    They were ready to receive the gospel.

    Jewish Preparation

    The preparation for Christ begins in the garden of Eden.
    Then with the call of Abraham, it begins in earnest as the beginning God’s plan of redemption for His people.
    As we move on through history we see God using pagan nations to accomplish his purposes.
    Egypt was the means of preserving Israel and his family through famine.
    It was also in Egypt that God showed his supremacy over the Egyptian gods.
    God’s power and providential care is also seen as God leads His people out of captivity in Egypt and into the promised land.
    God used nations such as Assyria and Babylon to punish his people for their sin, and reveal His holiness and justice.
    Persia was used by Him to free the Jews and allow them to return to their homeland after their captivity in Babylon.
    The ancient world as a whole, was almost entirely in darkness and with the darkness came the worst vices imaginable.
    Each civilization was ruled by totalitarian leaders who held total power by divine right and often enslaved and demanded the worship of their subjects (the only exception to this was Persia where the law was above the king).
    Paganism was openly practiced and represented everything that is evil and ungodly.
    Human and child sacrifice was a common practice, and so was the enslavement, torture and execution of pretty much everybody.
    People in the ancient world were miserable.
    These nations rejected God’s law in favor of man made, counterfeit laws, and they also persecuted the true people of God.
    A theme we see in history is that nations will either have God’s law, or chaos.
    Where God’s law is not heeded and followed, there is chaos.
    The Jewish nation was a nation set apart from all others.
    God ordained it to be separate and unique.
    While the nations around them worshiped many gods, the Jews only worshiped one.
    Where the ancient cultures were governed by man, the Jews king was God.
    While the ancient nations were governed by laws made by man (although claimed to be from god), the Jews law came from God directly and is vastly different in nature from the often unjust and inequitable laws of the heathen.
    Where the religions of the ancient world focused on trying to please the gods and and their way up to them, the Jews religion was one of God reaching down to man.
    These two branches of heathen thought, Judaism and heathenism, both played a vital role in the preparation of the world for Christ.
    As we shall see from the Greeks, heathenism created an emptiness and void that could only be filled by Jesus Christ.
    Another role the Jews played in the preparation for the coming of Christ was in the law and the sacrifices.
    God ordained the law, not as a means of salvation, but as a means of showing the world their sin, and of showing them their complete and total inability to please God on their own.
    There are still more ways God used the Jews to prepare the way for Christ.
    As we travel through history we and the Jewish nation under the domination of first the Greeks, and then the Romans.
    The Jews were chosen by God as the keepers of the true religion and the layers of the foundation for Christianity.
    God used the Roman general Pompey to start a Jewish colony of Jewish captives in Rome that became the roots for the Roman church.
    It is also in this time period that we see the rise of the synagogue.
    This was important because it was in the synagogues that the gospel would first be preached.

    The Time Was Right

    Now back to Galatians 4:4-5, we’ve seen the setting, the fullness of time.
    Let’s look at the why now.
    The time had come for God the Father to introduce His Son to the world, born of a woman, under the law.
    Two-fold purpose seen here.
    First, it was ‘to redeem those under law’.
    By our law-breaking we were under the law’s curse (3:10), the punishment due to us for our sins.
    God sent his Son (and later delivered him up to the death of the cross, 3:13) in order to redeem us from that curse.
    In his humanity, the Son subjected himself to both the law’s demands and its penalties, that we might be freed from its condemnation.
    Second, his purpose was ‘that we might receive the full rights of sons’ (v. 5).
    God’s sending of his Son was so that the adoption to which we were lovingly predestined (Eph. 1:5) might become a reality for every believer (Gal. 3:26).
    Sonship could not become ours automatically—only through the incarnation and the cross.
    Now that it has become ours, we have, as a consequence, the Spirit of God’s Son in our hearts and the privilege of being heirs (4:6–7).
    That’s why we have Christmas and now we better understand the when Jesus came was just the right time.
      • Galatians 4:4–5HCSB

      • Download

        Worship Service

        November 29, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        If you are unable to join us in person, then watch us on our Facebook Page
      • Download

        Worship Service

        November 29, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        If you are unable to join us in person, then watch us on our Facebook Page

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