“But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive adoption as sons” (KJV, Gal. 4:4).
“But when the fullness of time was come”
The Bible tells us that Christ came to the earth when the fullness of time had come. What is the fullness of time, and why does the Bible speak in this way? The fullness of time must be recognized as the perfect time in God’s eyes to send His Son to the earth and to spread the Gospel message.
First, it was the fullness of time in respect to the fulfilling of what God had already promised. The Old Testament is filled with prophecies that tell us of the coming Messiah. From Genesis to Malachi, God tells His people of the coming Messiah.
Second, the fullness of time also consisted of the atmosphere for Christ’s coming. Prior to Christ’s ministry upon the earth, the Roman Empire had ushered in a time of peace. During this time of peace, Rome also built a vast road system that facilitated travel and helped their military to be deployed quickly.
Thirdly, the Grecian civilization that came prior to the Roman Empire had provided the people with a universal language. The Greek language was also the language that was used within the Roman Empire during the time of Christ.
Finally, the Jews preached a monotheistic belief that ran contrary to the ways of the Empire. They spoke to the masses of the coming Messiah and the hope that was to come.
As a result, the road system would have enabled travel and the spreading of the Gospel. The language would have allowed for easy communication of Christ’s message. Finally, the proclamation of the coming Messiah would have prepared the hearts of the people.
Truly, the fullness of time had come.
“God sent forth his Son”
When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son. Here we see the divine nature of Christ. Christ came into the world as God. This is an important element to factor into the equation. Jesus has always been God. Jesus never gave up any of His divine attributes when He came to the earth.
In Christ, the fullness of God dwelt. It must never be thought that Christ gave up His deity or a part of His deity when He came to the earth. When Christ came to the earth, He came as the Son of God, or, stated inversely, He came as God the Son.
God’s sending His Son should not be taken lightly. For a father to send a son to die for another is hardly a point of minimal consideration. God sent His Son to die for sinners. But why?
God knew the fate of every sinner apart from divine forgiveness. God also knew that justice had to be served. God could not simply forgive someone for his sin without justice being served.
God is not unjust in forgiving a sinner when the sinner turns to Him in repentance and faith. Sinners have brought about the wrath of an Almighty God. But Christ came to pay the price for sin. It is not unjust that Christ died in our place and that God accepts Christ’s sacrifice.
The price for sin is death. One man cannot pay for another man’s sin because he has his own sin to pay for. Christ took death upon His shoulders in an act of love and in sinless perfection. Christ stepped in as the legal representative for the Christian, and the Father was pleased to crush the Son in the place of the sinner.
“made of woman”
Not only was Christ the Son of God, but we also see that Christ became a man. The mystery of the God-Man cannot be fully understood, but it can be discussed. In the God-Man, we can see Christ as fully God and fully man, one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man. However, there was no comingling of the two natures.
For instance, when Christ came to the earth as a man, He was not infused from His divine nature when His flesh grew weak. We can see Christ as thirsty, hungry, tired, and more. Christ took on the flesh of man to walk as man walks, but also to set the tone for the life of the Christian and to die in the place of sinners as a man.
“made under the law”
Christ came as a man who came born under the law. Here we see, yet again, a vital component to the Gospel. In the Old Testament, we are told of the requirements for blessing and how someone would incur the cursing of God in his life.
When Adam was in the Garden, he was told to not eat from the fruit of the tree and that if he did he would die. Thus, we can see that if Adam obeyed, he would have been given life, but if he disobeyed, he would receive death. After Adam disobeyed, the curse of God was given to all mankind, and this curse included death.
Later, Moses is given the law. The Israelites are told that if they obey the whole law, they will receive blessing from the Lord. On the other hand, if they disobey any part of the law, they will incur the cursing of God. Clearly, they did not obey the whole law, nor has anyone obeyed the whole law.
Where does this put us? Perfect obedience is required to stand before God, but nobody has perfectly obeyed. However, Christ came born under the law and fulfilled the law perfectly.
“To redeem them that were under the law”
The reason that Christ came to fulfill the law was to redeem those who were under the law. Here, we see redemption language being used. The context of our passage can help us at this point. Galatians 3:23 tells us that before faith, people are held captive under the law, and that prior to faith, a person is said to be imprisoned under the law. Later, in Galatians 4:3, it is said that when we were children, we were enslaved. Paul is not speaking of childhood. Instead, he is telling us that prior to coming to Jesus Christ, a person is enslaved as he lives under the law.
However, Christ came born under the law to redeem those who were also under the law. In other words, Christ meets us where we are at to bring us to where He is. He comes under the law to rescue the Christian from the dominion of sin and death. He redeems the believer by purchasing the believer by His blood and through His life of total obedience.
“that we might receive adoption as sons”
Here, we see the reason for it all. Jesus desired not only to deliver the sinner, but to bring the sinner into the family of God. What an amazing relationship the Christian shares with God. The Christian can rightfully say that he has God as a Father and Jesus as a Brother.
While there are many reasons to rejoice in justification, such as forgiveness and righteousness before God, the Christian must take note of the blessings that come by way of adoption. The Bible causes the Christian to long for heaven and to look forward to the great reward that awaits him. The Bible speaks of being a co-heir with Christ and the glorious inheritance of the saints.
But how does the Christian get into a position of inheritance and reward? This is where adoption comes in. Jesus came into the world to redeem sinful man so that man could be adopted as a son of God. It is through adoption that the Christian is placed into the family of God, thereby taking place in the glorious inheritance of the saints.
Christ gave up His glory in heaven to come to earth so that the Christian would become a son of God and take part in an inheritance that is to come.
Father, I thank You for Christ’s work to redeem me from bondage. Help me to treasure the work of Christ this day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.