The Fullness of Time
Text Galatians 3:26-4:7
I. For a plan to succeed there must be preparation
A. The plans of the diligent succeed - Proverbs 21:5
1. In part because he isn’t lazy about accomplishing what he plans - Proverbs 13:4
2. The lesson of the ant is that they prepare in advance of their needs - Proverbs 6:6-8
B. Before making the world, God knew men would sin and that they would need redeeming - Ephesians 1:3-14
1. In the fullness of times - Ephesians 1:10; Galatians 4:4
2. This declares that Jesus came at exactly the right time to achieve the purpose of God
C. To say, as some do, that Christ came to establish his kingdom but then changed his plans because of the rejection of the Jews is to say the absurd.
1. Paul stated twice that Christ came at the best time, the time when everything needed came into place.
2. And in regards to that plan, he accomplished all that God intended - John 19:30
II. Men needed a Savior
A. Sin was introduced into the world by Adam and Eve - Romans 5:12-14
B. Have you wondered why God didn’t send His son immediately into the world to redeem mankind?
1. Time was need to prove two things to mankind
a. First, that they were unable to save themselves from their own sins
b. Second, that there were actually guilty of sin – that it wasn’t some fluke on the part of a few
c. Romans 3:9-18
2. God gave men plenty of time so there was no doubt that man was unable to save himself on his own
C. Why two separate dealings?
1. The Gentiles showed what men do on their own - Romans 1:18-23
2. The Jews showed what men do with education from God - Romans 3:19-20
D. Salvation cannot be found in law
1. The law was weak in the flesh - Romans 8:3
a. That is, for law to save, it would depend on men who are not dependable
2. It could not make a person perfect - Hebrews 7:18-19
3. In part, the problem with law is that it had to give knowledge of sin in order to explain why it was wrong - Romans 3:20
4. Romans 7:7-20
E. Thus the need for outside intervention, what Law could not do, God did - Acts 13:39
1. He sent His Son into the world - John 3:16-17
2. To redeem us - Galatians 4:4-5
3. Titus 2:11-14
III. It required the proper time to teach us
A. Christianity is a system of instruction - Matthew 28:19-20
1. The church’s existence and progress is dependent on teaching
2. Teach no other doctrine - I Timothy 1:3-4
3. Because any other doctrine will not produce the same institution
B. The time Christ did come into the world was well suited
1. Politically, the Roman government, despite all its flaws, brought stability to a large section of the world, reaching from Britain to northern Africa, from Gaul (Spain) to Asia (Asia Minor)
a. This allowed early Christians wide access to a large portion of the world in relatively easy fashion
2. Greek was the trading language of the empire. It allowed teaching across national boundaries.
a. Though the early church had use of the gift of tongues from the Spirit, the widespread base that Greek afforded the church extended the spread of the Gospel even after the gifts of tongues faded.
C. The Law of Moses began the process of bringing mankind to Christ - Galatians 3:21-25
1. The law taught people about sin and at the same time kept people from straying too far until Christ came
2. The experiences of people living under that law gave us good examples - Romans 15:4; Hebrews 11:1-3; 39-12:1
3. And their failures gave us warnings - I Corinthians 10:6, 11-12
D. The Jews had the advantage of the law - Romans 3:1-2
1. Thus the initial teaching was to those who knew the law best - Romans 1:16
2. Preaching beginning in Jerusalem - Luke 24:47
E. Though the law was to bring people to Christ, the Jews over time had strayed from the true teachings of the law.
1. It required one to turn the people back - Malachi 4:5
2. That was the job of John - Luke 1:16-17
3. There was no prophet greater - Luke 7:24-28
F. And then the Lord came as a beacon of light - John 1:1-5
IV. Throughout God showed meticulous planning to bring redemption to His children
A. Proof was given, foundations were laid, tasks were executed – all to bring men to the point where they could be saved
B. The time came and the time is now - II Corinthians 6:2
C. Will you be apart of the redeemed ones in Christ?