The Law, Christmas, and Culture

CMG - Unto Us A Child Is Born - Square - Blank

One text often comes to my mind during the Christmas season and that is Galatians 4, particularly verse 3-7:

 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.  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. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:3–7 ESV)

The coming of Christ is the answer to our greatest need freedom from sin and redemption from the curse of the law. He redeems those under the law not by negating the law. As Christ says in Matthew 5,  “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17–18 ESV).” We are redeemed through the law’s fulfillment.

In our day the redemption of Christ is greatly diminished in the eyes of some because they have a diminished understanding of the law of God. In the Old Testament there were three types of laws given. Those types were the ceremonial, civil, and moral. Christ in his death on the cross fulfilled the ceremonial through his sacrificial death. The civil law was contextual to the civil government of Israel. We are left with the aspect of the law most often ignored by our relativistic culture. One particular aspect of this is the sexual chaos of our society evidenced in the promotion of homosexuality and the transgender movement.

Ignoring and disregarding the moral law of God are not legitimate courses for Christians in this or any society.  Then what must we do? Nancy Pearcey, in her forthcoming book Love Thy Bodypoints to a way forward in pointing our culture to the redemption in Christ. Pearcey says:

To make Christianity credible, we must create homes that reach out to those who do not have homes or families of their own— including those with sexual issues. Christians have often operated by a double standard, treating same-sex sin as though it were more sinful than other transgressions…Christians must repent of their unbiblical attitudes and find ways to communicate to those who struggle with sin of any kind that they will find a refuge in the church. Jesus said, “a bruised reed he will not break” (Matt. 12:20). People must be able to trust that churches will protect and nurture the bruised and broken parts of their lives.

As Christ’s body, the Christ who was born of a woman to bring redemption, we must be redemptive in our relationships with all sinners, knowing they need what we need the redemption that Christ has accomplished.

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