Summary: This is a thematic sermon for Christmas.
Title: “In the Fullness of Time” Script: Hab. 2:3; Gal. 4:4; Lk. 2:9-11
Type: Topical Christmas Where: GNBC 12-6-20
Intro: There’s a familiar song that begins with: “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.” It is a beautiful song that brings back a lot of memories. One stanza says, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas; Soon the bells will start. And the thing that will make them ring - is the carol that you sing right within your heart.” To us, Christmas is special because it celebrates the birth of Jesus. And because of Him, it is also a time when we can envision a world the way it could & ought to be. There was an article a few years ago in which a man gave his idea of a perfect world. He said, "In a perfect world you would feel as good at 60 as you did at 17. And you would be as smart at 60 as you thought you were at 17." "In a perfect world professional basketball & football players would be complaining because schoolteachers were signing multi million dollar contracts. In a perfect world,” he said, “potato chips would have calories, but if eaten with dip, the calories would be neutralized." That was his idea of a perfect world. What would make this a perfect world for you? Ice cream that's good for the heart? Apple pies that prevent cancer? Cheese cake that helps take off pounds? I can think of all kinds of things for my perfect world. Since we're thinking about perfect things, notice what Galatians 4:4-5 says: “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law”. I love that phrase: “when the fullness of time came”. My friend, God has perfect timing! The Lord Jesus was born at the perfect time! You have come into the world at the perfect time! Today, I want us to examine three passages of Scripture which address God’s perfect timing.
Prop: Christmas time displays God’s perfect timing in the affairs of man.
BG: 1. Make no mistake, there was no mistake in Christ’s 1st Advent and make no mistake, Christ’s 2nd Advent will be in the Father’s perfect timing!
2.”Time” is an important concept in all of life. Our lives are governed by time. Our activities, our work, our hobbies and sports, are days are divided into hours and minutes and seconds.
3. Christ stepped out of eternity and into time…into a specific time…into the fullness of time…in order to bring salvation to man!
Prop: Let’s examine 3 passages to better appreciate God’s perfect timing in the affairs of man.
I. Let’s Look to the OT to Realize God’s Perfect Timing in the Affairs of Mankind. Hab. 2:2-3
A. The Word of the Lord to Habakkuk gives us great insight into the Perfect Timing of God.
1. God is actively involved in the affairs of man.
a. I want to put this passage in it’s proper context and state up front that it does NOT have direct interpretation to the prediction of Christ’s birth. However, it does give us a very strong application of the absolute assurance of God’s sovereignty over the affairs of mankind and the events of both history and the future. The reason is given why the oracle is to be committed to writing. Is yet for an appointed time. The vision will not be accomplished immediately, but in the period fixed by God.
b. Write the vision and make it plain: God told Habakkuk to record this “question and answer” time for the benefit of others – that he may run who reads it. Habakkuk’s revelation wasn’t just for himself, but also to strengthen others. Those who read it would make rapid progress (may run), but they couldn’t make this progress if Habakkuk did not make it plain.
2.Let’s take a moment to better understand what God was saying to the prophet.
- Habakkuk first had to see the vision. The prophet cannot make anyone else see what he does not see for himself. Habakkuk then had to make it known. The prophet must do what he can to make the word of God known, and make it known in as many ways as possible. Habakkuk had to make it known as permanently as possible – he was told to write the vision. The prophet must do what he can to make a permanent impact on his listeners. Habakkuk had to make it plain. “I have sometimes thought that certain ministers fancied that it was their duty to make the message elaborate, to go to the very bottom of the subject, and stir up all the mud they could find there, till you could not possibly see them, nor could they see their own way at all . . . They tell people all the difficulties they have discovered in the Bible, – which difficulties most of their hearers would never have heard of unless their ministers had told them” (Spurgeon). Habakkuk had to make it practical – that he may run who reads it. It doesn’t say, “that he who runs may read it,” but “that he may run who reads it.” The running – the activity and progress – comes forth from God’s word. For the vision is yet for an appointed time: Habakkuk spoke to an age beyond his own. The Babylonian conquest in the future.