O, Come to My Heart, Lord Jesus!

Bible Book: Galatians  4 : 4-7
Subject: Christmas; Birth of Jesus

Rev. Wesley G. Hunt, author of The Ten Commandments and You, explains, “Despite all the clamor and glamour of the season, comparatively few have any understanding of the true significance of Christ’s birth.  Whether or not Christ came in the body as a Babe in the month of December is not really relevant.  That He did come and that all the world recognizes that He came and even the calendars of men are kept by the time of His coming, B.C. and A.D., strengthens the faith of His people.  Nevertheless, the majority of earth’s population comprehend only vaguely what Christmas is all about. . . .  ‘God sent forth His Son’ (Gal. 4:4).  Whoever fails to understand this, fails to understand the true significance of Christmas.  Christmas is the day the Son of God or God the Son, came down to earth.  Salvation had its origin in the eternal counsels of the Godhead.  God’s great redemption plan was formulated before the foundations of the world were laid.  Of the three persons of the Godhead, the Son volunteered to offer Himself as Sacrifice for sinners.”1

Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliott (1836-1897), niece of Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871), composer of “Just As I Am”, penned the words to the hymn titled, “O, Come to My Heart, Lord Jesus!” or “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne”:

Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,

When Thou camest to earth for me;

But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room

For Thy holy nativity:

Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus!

There is room in my heart for Thee;

Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus, come,

There is room in my heart for Thee.

Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang,

Proclaiming Thy royal degree;

But of lowly birth cam’st Thou, Lord, on earth,

And in great humility:2

This hymn is often found in the Christmas section of hymnals due to the content of the first two stanzas. 

The Christmas story is prophesied in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, Micah 5:2 and Numbers 24:17, presented in Matthew 2 and Luke 2, and prioritized through doctrinal statement.  The Apostle Paul shares a doctrinal statement about the birth of Jesus in Galatians 4:4-7, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

These verses reveal three facts regarding Christ’s coming into the world.

I. First, notice the Son’s intervention.

Galatians 4:5 reads “to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

The redemption through the atonement of Christ.  Rev. Richard Harold Boytim (1930-1986) explains, “The word ‘redeem’ means to purchase by paying a price. The cost to God of purchasing mankind was the shed blood and death of His Son.  Only by the cross could redemption be provided. Sinners cannot be saved on the basis of Jesus’ beautiful birth, miraculous ministry, powerful preaching, or unique example.  Salvation comes only by believing His substitutionary death on the cross. . . . Before Christ came, sins were atoned for by animal sacrifices that served as substitutes.  The sin was not actually removed but was covered or laid away.  The slain animal was only a deposit guaranteeing that one day the full price would be paid to remove sins.  At the cross all the sins of the past had been covered were uncovered and placed upon Christ: thus He paid the full price of redemption.  The sinner was set free from sin’s penalty.”3 1 Timothy 2:5-6 reads, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”  Some translate the word rendered “ransom” as “the redemption price”.  Galatians 1:3-5 reads, “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Emphasis mine) 

The reception of the adoption as children. Maybe you are thinking?  Aren’t we all children of God.  Acts 17:28-29 reads, “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.’ 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.”

John 1:10-13 reads, “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Remember, just because you are a child of God by creation does not mean you are a child of God by salvation.  Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). 

Rev. Richard Harold Boytim explains, “At this point the message of Christ and His coming into the world become extremely practical. Have we received what Christ came to provide for us?  Christ made it possible for sinners to become children of God.  Those who accept God’s gracious provision receive adoption into His family as adult sons with full privileges.”4

Isaiah 7:14 reads, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

In his Studies on the Sermon on the Mount, Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) writes, “There is no allowance whatever in the New Testament for the man who says he is saved by grace but who does not produce the graceful goods. Jesus Christ by His Redemption can make our actual life in keeping with our religious profession.”5

II. Second, notice the Holy Spirit’s indwelling.

Galatians 4:6 reads, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’” (Emphasis mine)

Romans 8:9, 12-15 reads, “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. . . . Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.  For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’” Ephesians 4:25-32 reads, “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another. ‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” 2 Corinthians 1:20-22 reads, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”  1 John 5:6-13 reads, “This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (Emphasis mine)

Dr. D. Stuart Briscoe writes, “When a sinner receives Christ as his Saviour, he receives Christ.  It is impossible to separate Christ the Saviour, whom men receive for the forgiveness of their sins, and Christ the Indweller, the power and dynamic of all Christian experience.  There is only one Christ of all Christian experience. . .. For many years after I had trusted Christ as my Saviour and had invited Him to come into my heart and life, I did not grasp the simple, stupendous fact that when I received Him, I received Him – when He came to live in my heart, He came to live in me.  The promise of the Word of God is that the sinner who needs Christ and invites Christ to take up residence, will receive a living person – Christ.  Yet there are many who believe this to be good, sound doctrine, and yet live as if they had received a variety of commodities, rather than the Person promised. . .. To understand the reality of His indwelling, we need to understand three things: 1) the reality of Who He is; 2) the reality of Where He is; 3) the reality of Why He is. . ..”6 

III. Third, notice the Father’s inheritance.

Galatians 4:7 reads, “Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”  Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) comments, “All God’s sons are, in a certain sense, his servants; but there is a sense in which servants are not sons. We, therefore, are not like those servants who have no relationship to their master, and no share in his possessions; but we are sons. Whatever service we render, we are still sons, and we have a share in all that our Father has; we are heirs, ‘heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.’ Are you living up to your privileges, brethren? Are we any of us fully realizing what this heirship means? Do we not often live as if we were only servants toiling for hire? Do we not tremble at God as if we were his slaves rather than his sons? Let us remember that we are God’s sons, his heirs; and let us come close to him, let us take possession of the blessed inheritance which he has provided for us.”7 Galatians 3:26-4:3 reads, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.”

Romans 8:16-17 reads, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”  Titus 3:4-7 reads, “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Hebrews 1:14 reads, “Are they [angels] not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” Ephesians 1:13-21  reads, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” Revelation 21:7 reads, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” (Emphasis mine)


Dr. Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) once prayed, “Lord God, we praise you for the mystery of the manger, the blessing of Bethlehem, and the treasures of the Trinity.”8

Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe writes, “Historians tell us that the Roman world was in great expectation, waiting for a deliverer, at the time Jesus was born. The old religions were dying. The old philosophies were empty and powerless to change men’s lives. Strange new mystery religions were invading the empire. Religious bankruptcy and spiritual hunger were everywhere. God was preparing the world for the arrival of His Son.”9

In the words of Charles Wesley:

Joyful, all ye nations, rise

Join the triumph of the skies;

With angelic host proclaim

‘Christ is born in Bethlehem’10

Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) explains, “Every man is meant to be the ‘Bethlehem’ of the Son of God by the regenerative power of Redemption.  Just as the historic Son of God became Incarnate in the Virgin Mary—‘that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God’—so the Son of God is formed in the life of the individual saint by the supernatural grace of God.”11  Titus 2:11-15 reads, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”

1Wesley G. Hunt, “God Sent Forth His Son” Sermon Notes (Galatians 4:3-5). 

2Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliott, “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne” / “O, Come to My Heart, Lord Jesus” (1864).

3Richard Harold Boytim, “Divine Sovereignty and Jesus’ Birth” Sermon Notes (Galatians 4:4-5).  


5The Quotable Oswald Chambers, comp. and ed. David McCasland (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House, 2011), “Behavior”.

6D. Stuart Briscoe, The Fullness of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1971), 66-68.

7Charles H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit: Sermons of Charles Haddon Spurgeon 2500-2599 “Persecuted, But Not Forsaken” #2574 Sermon Notes (Psalm 129) Exposition on Galatians 4 and 5:1. Database © 2014 WORDsearch Corp.

8Adrian Rogers, “A Christmas Tribute to the Trinity” Sermon Notes (Luke 1:35). 

9Warren Wiersbe, Be Free: Exchange Legalism for True Spirituality (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2009), 93-94.

10Charles Wesley, “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” (1793).  

11Oswald Chambers, Still Higher for His Highest, ed. David W. Lambert “O, Come to My Heart Lord Jesus” (Galatians 4:19) (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 1970] (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan Publishing House, 1993), December 25.  


Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Don’t Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah and

Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice [Both available on Amazon.com in hardcover, paperback and eBook]

http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Miss-Revival-Spiritual-Awakening/dp/1462735428 &  http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Biblical-Preaching-Giving-Bible/dp/1594577684 / fkirksey@bellsouth.net   / (251) 626-6210

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