Summary: Shows Christ came at the right time.
Title: In the Fullness of Time
Text: Galatians 4:1-7
Gal 4:1 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, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
The whole book of Galatians is about Paul building a case for salvation outside of the law. There were a many Jewish Christians in Galatia at the time. There was also a false teaching that said for one to be saved they must receive Christ as their savior but they must also have strict observance of the law.
So throughout Galatians Paul is building this case for salvation apart form the law. In this book we find one of the most profound verses on salvation in the entire Bible.
In chapter 4 Paul uses an allegory of a son who lost his father and is left and inheritance. Before he comes of age he is just as a servant. He cannot do a thing with what was given him.
Just as us before we became a Christian. We were given a great inheritance but until we receive it it is as nothing.
I love the transition here. Paul makes one of the most profound Christmas statement ever. “In the fullness of time”. When all things were right. When ever thing came together God sent his son.
At the right time. With that we were redeemed. We were adopted and now we are joint heirs.
Now look again at these words, “In the fullness of time”. Culturally things were perfect. The Romans had a common language and a common connection. The people were prime for something new. In God’s timing Jesus Christ came.
Christmas is about God’s timing coming together.
Let me take these verses a little father and make some personal applications.
I. God has a timing
The first lesson that we learn is that God has a time. It was in the fullness of time that God sent His son and set the stage for redemption to all who will believe.
Jesus said in Mark 1:15 after John the Baptist was thrown in prison, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
Everything worked to God’s timing.
The same is true in our personal lives. God has a time for us.
Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
II. We were once slaves in bondage to this world
We were all once slaves bound by the sins. We were controlled by the flesh and lived at its desire. Yet through Christ we have been set free from the bondage of sin and into the freedom of Christ.
We touched on it last week when we read Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
III. When we receive Christ we are adopted into the family
Notice the third point. When we receive Christ we are adopted into the family. This is more than just being an outsider but now we have all the rights that go with the family. We are now part of the family of God. We have become brothers and sisters in Christ.
IV. The assurance of our adoption is the Spirit
I love this, our assurance of our adoption in found in the Spirit. We have been sealed by the spirit of God.
Ro 8:16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Eph 1:13 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,
That means we can walk around with assurance of salvation in our heart. As long as we are “in Christ” we are sealed by His spirit.