Author: Ron Graham


A Time for Gifts
—Galatians 4:4-6

There are special times when people give gifts to each other to show their love. God also has a time for gifts and he wonderfully blesses humankind.

We all have stories of gifts that were inappropriate or ill-timed; of gifts that were promised but never given; and of course gifts that were a wonderful surprise and which brought much happiness.

God loves to give good gifts to his children "If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:11).

God has proper times for giving certain special gifts to us, such as three gifts mentioned in Galatians 4:4-6 which God gave "when the fulness of time came".

These gifts are the gift of God’s Son (Galatians 4:4); the gift of adoption into God’s family (Galatians 4:5); and the gift of God’s Holy Spirit (Galatians 4:6).

1 The Gift of God’s Son

Galatians 4:4 "In the fulness of time God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under law, that he might redeem those who were under law."

Many great prophecies gave hope to Israel in its bad days. One prophecy said that a child would be born to be a king who would rightly be called the Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6-7).

"A child shall be born to us, a Son shall be given us, and the government shall rest on his shoulders. And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

God had a marvelous purpose in giving his Son. It was that people condemned under God’s law could be redeemed and forgiven. God gave his Son so that "whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

Jesus fulfilled God’s purpose not only in being born, but also in dying, for his death was a timely sacrifice. "At the right time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6).

2 The Gift of Adoption

Galatians 4:5 "That he might redeem those who were under law, that we might receive the adoption as sons".

God’s purpose did not stop at redemption, for it, in turn, also had a purpose, namely to allow us to be adopted by God as sons in his family.

Sons —It's an amazing blessing that we have "a spirit of adoption as sons" (Romans 8:14-17). Incidentally, the Bible counts both men and women as sons of God, because "there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28-29).

Although "God predestined us to adoption as sons" (Ephesians 1:4-5), that doesn't mean that this gift was given us before we existed. It was foreordained then, but we become sons of God and receive the gift of adoption through faith when we are baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:26-27).

"For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus [and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God] for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27 [Ephesians 2:8]).

Heirs —Consider not only the privilege of being adopted as sons, but also the inheritance in heaven that we are granted as heirs of God jointly with Christ: "an inheritance imperishable and undefiled that will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you" (1Peter 1:3-5).

An inheritance also has a proper time to be given, and the sons of God will receive their inheritance reserved in heaven when Jesus returns to take them there (John 14:2-3).

3 The Gift of God’s Spirit

Galatians 4:6 "Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts..."

As adopted sons with an inheritance reserved in heaven, we are given at this present time a third amazing gift...

When Peter preached the gospel on the day of Pentecost, he promised every obedient believer not only the forgiveness of sins, but also "the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38-39).

Paul explains, "You were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance..." (Ephesians 1:13-14).

God does not delay the giving of his Spirit. As soon as we become his sons, the Spirit of his Son is given to us. Otherwise we would be sons without strength for we are "strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner man" (Ephesians 3:16).

Thanks be to God

Whether it be the gift of God’s Son (Galatians 4:4); the gift of adoption into God’s family (Galatians 4:5); or the gift of God’s Holy Spirit (Galatians 4:6), we can but say, "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" (2Corinthians 9:15).