But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. . . So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
No Longer Slaves to Sin
The apostle Paul compared the human condition to slavery. He wrote, “We were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world” (Galatians 4:3). In other words, our selfish passions and desires seem to control us, and the law (meaning all the good things God wants us to do) feels like a task master magnifying our failures.
That might sound overly dramatic but think about the internal struggle of everyday life. Think about the feelings of envy, anger, or lust that seem to pop up in your heart. Day after day you fight against ungodly thoughts and feelings that tempt you toward ungodly words and actions. You (like all people) are, by nature, enslaved by sin.
But that’s why Christmas is such good news! Paul also wrote, “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law.” That means, at just the right time, Jesus was born as a real human. And he was placed in bondage under those same laws and temptations as we are. But what made Jesus different is that he did not give in to the temptations. He overcame them to redeem us, which means to free us from our slavery to sin. Now Paul says that those who trust in Jesus are no longer slaves to sin but adopted sons or daughters of God.
That doesn’t mean that we will never struggle with sin. But it does mean we don’t need to let it control us, nor do we need to wallow in guilt and shame. We are not slaves to sin! We are sons and daughters of God!
Lord Jesus, you have set me free from sin and shame. Fill me with your Spirit, so I can live for you. Amen.