Interpreting the Christ Event

MEMORY VERSE: “After that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” —Galatians 3:25-26

MATTHEW 1:1 – 2:6; LUKE 3:23-38; GALATIANS 3:23-26

CHRISTIAN men and women throughout the world are celebrating the birth of Jesus during this, another Christmas season, and it is our obligation to interpret this great event within the context of our memory verse.

Although it has become custom to set aside December 25 as the date for this event we should, as Bible students, understand that its occurrence was around the early part of October. Further study of the Scriptures in this connection shows that our Lord Jesus began his ministry when he was thirty years of age, and that it continued for three and a half years until his crucifixion, which occurred during the passover season around the early part of April. Therefore it is a simple matter to calculate the time period of Christ’s birth as occurring in the autumn rather than the generally accepted date in December.

Millions of people have been born into the world, lived their lives, and then died without ever really knowing anything about the precious name of Jesus. Few have understood God’s original law as it was written in the very heart of man when he was created perfect in the Heavenly Father’s image, or have they known about God’s covenant with Father Adam as being one of eternal life based on continued obedience to that law, any infraction of which would result in the penalty of disobedience, death.

God did provide special arrangements with the children of Israel whereby they could be reckonedly lifted up or separated from the rest of mankind and its penalty for sin. However, the death sentence had passed upon all, for neither the Israelites nor anyone else could perfectly keep God’s laws and receive everlasting life as a reward.

With this thought in mind we note the Apostle Paul’s emphasis on the fact that our Lord Jesus had indeed come into the world and had put an end to the Law Covenant. But the expression “put an end to the Law Covenant” is one that needs further clarification, because Jesus did not in the literal sense eliminate the perfect law of God that will always be in existence. That law states, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind … and … thy neighbor as thyself.”(Matt. 22:36-39) The covenant that God gave to Israel was often known as the Law Covenant, so therefore both concepts became interchangeable in the minds of those who spoke or wrote concerning them. In this sense Jesus made an end to the law; that is, the covenant based upon that law.

This was accomplished by our Lord’s fulfillment of the law and all of its obligations pertaining to life as a human. He thus became the heir of God to the arrangements which the law had provided for the one who could keep it. The Jews, on the other hand, those who could not keep the law, are still under its curse and will continue to be until the New Covenant is established. And, as the apostle explains in the context of our lesson, we have the opportunity of becoming children of God because of our faith in Christ Jesus.

What a wonderful blessing is offered to those who will, by faith, lay down their little all on the altar of sacrifice while yet in this life, that they may become joint-heirs with Jesus!

Believers of the present age—the footstep followers of our Lord—are free from their former condemnation; are justified by their faith in the Redeemer, and have received of his spirit of love and obedience. As long as they continue to abide in him they are free, and their best heart intentions are acceptable. Those who come into Christ, therefore, submit themselves to his will and make it their law, voluntarily. We see, then, that since God could not give an imperfect law, and we could not obey a perfect one, we have of necessity been freed from all law, and instead have been accepted by faith in the merit of our Lord’s fulfillment of the perfect law of God.

To those who have consecrated their lives to God with this view in mind the interpretation of the Christ event means more than life itself—it means the rededication of all they possess in the service of the Most High God, and that faithfully unto death.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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