3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. — Galatians 4: 3-7 NIV
Unlike humans, God is not concerned with the segments of time, such as minutes. hours, days, months, etc. He sees things throughout eternity. There is a “set time” for all of the events in His plan to take place. God is never surprised by any event or action by any being. God did not see man sin and then quickly devise a plan to redeem him from that sin. The plan had been put into place “before the creation of the world”.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. — Eph. 1:3, 4 NIV
As the Divine Trinity, He could not shed blood, but He had ordained that without the shedding of blood, there could be no forgiveness of sin.
22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. — Hebrews 9:22 NIV
To fulfill the law, He, Himself, became human so that He might shed His blood for our sins.
But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. — Hebrews 9:26a-28 NIV
He came that we might be redeemed, forgiven, and made sons of the only true and living God. He placed HIs Spirit inside of us that we might call out to HIm, “Abba, Father”. We, who were once slaves to sin, have now been made sons and heirs of the Father. And He is coming again to complete our salvation and take us home to live with Him for eternity. There is no better gift to be given and no better reason to celebrate a birth! From slaves to sons, from heathens to heirs! Celebrate! Give gifts!
10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” — Luke 3:10, 11 NIV
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.—1 Cor. 3:5-9 (NIV)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Paul continues to teach that it is the message, the Good News, that is important. Paul and Apollos are only servants of Jesus Christ carrying out His command to “go and make disciples”. It is also a message to us that each of us has been given a gift by the Holy Spirit. We need to exercise that gift and use it to further God’s work and His Kingdom here on earth. We are all members of one body and each of us has a part in the Kingdom and the church. We will be rewarded in heaven for the works that we do here on earth. But if we refuse to use the gift that God has given us to benefit the body, then the whole body is injured and unable to function in the way God has planned for His church. He will call someone else to fill that position and we will lose our earthly blessing and our heavenly reward for that particular task. We are co-workers, planting and teaching, but God is the One who gives the increase. We are responsible for being and doing, we are not responsible for the results. That is God’s part and He will not fail.
10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it
without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.–Isaiah 55:10, 11 (NIV)
28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.–Acts 17:28,29 (NKJV)
God is waiting to show you the way.
One of Webster’s definitions for “being” is: the most important or basic part of a person’s mind or self. “Be” is defined as: to have identity with (someone). Example: She is my sister. God is concerned about our “being”. He even identifies Himself as “I AM” which could be defined to mean “I used to ‘be’, I ‘be’ now, and I ‘be’ in the future”. But with God, it is always “now”, so “I AM” encompasses it all. Verse 29 gives us a clue as to what we ought not to think or believe. If we put that into practical application, it could mean “we are not our work and our work (our “doing”) will not shape us into what God wants us to “be”. We can not achieve Divine Nature by “doing”. We can only achieve Divine Nature by “being”. We can only be identified with Jesus if we allow Him (His Spirit) to abide (“be”) in us and if we abide (“be”) in Him. It is definitely true then, that we have no life or being outside of Jesus Christ.