It’s elementary, my dear apostle.

Sherlock Holmes.  It all started with Sherlock Holmes. 

 My name is John and I am an anglophile. 

Don’t worry, that’s not a disease or addiction, it just means that I like things that are British: Holmes and Watson, Shakespeare, BBC sitcoms on public television, things like that. 

I married an anglophile.  I hope Donna is okay with me outing her. 

Since we do enjoy a bit of Brit, we find ourselves pushing the kids to enjoy it as well.  This year we all sat down to watch A Christmas Carol with none other than Jean-Luc Picard himself, Patrick Stewart.  He’s British.

A Christmas Carol is one of the great stories of the English language.  We all know Ebenezer Scrooge and how he turns from a curmudgeon to one who lives out the spirit of Christmas each day.

 While Patrick Stewart did an excellent job showing the change in Scrooge’s life after his ghostly encounters, Christmas is about more than being nice and charitable. 

 This weekend, everyone had the opportunity to attend church on Christmas day.  We gathered at 10 AM for worship at FBC and the Lord blessed our service. 

My text for the morning was Galatians 4:1-7. It reads, “1 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God (ESV).”

Christmas is about God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, coming into the world to purchase sinners out of slavery to sin, resulting in adoption into the family of God. 

Notice that Paul said we were “enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.”  These words mean that we were slaves to man-made false religions, cults, good old-fashioned paganism, and our own sinfulness. (Galatians 4:9-10, Colossians 2)

 Sherlock Holmes would surely appreciate Paul’s words.  After all, Paul was talking about the “elementary principles.”  Holmes used the word elementary to show Watson and others that his seemingly astounding insight was actually simple deduction. 

Like Holmes’ conclusions, the gospel is elementary.  Without Christ we find ourselves under the elementary principles of the world.  Through repentance and faith, we find ourselves under the lordship of Jesus Christ. 

 I don’t know what your weekend was like, but mine was filled with family, food, presents, and laughter.  Most importantly, it was filled with worship.

 It’s elementary.

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