In the Fullness of Time
The election of Pope Francis is an event illustrating this clause. The fullness is that of Saint Malachy’s prophesy from his vision from God that there would be only 112 future popes after the one he was going to see in AD1139. Pope Francis is number 112 and meets Malachy’s description. Interestingly, he was selected in the Chinese year of the serpent (deceiver of Eve in Genesis 3.1-5) and on the thirteenth (unlucky) day of March (a Tuesday, not Friday, however). Talk about alignment! A fullness of time; the Rapture next (Mark 13.32-37)?
Conversely, Paul used this clause to describe the event of the birth of Jesus Christ (Galatians 4.4). Why did God choose that time? Perhaps He counted back 70 weeks (Daniel 9.20-27) from His predetermined date for calling this world to account for itself (Revelation 20.11-15). Consider how Paul answered the question from Galatians 3.10-4.7. Note his timeline.
- In Galatians 4.3, Paul wrote that mankind was in ‘bondage under the elements of the world’. In Galatians 3.19, he wrote that the law ‘was added because of transgressions’ of the 10 Commandments which was God’s intended lifestyle for mankind. So, you see a line of time before the giving of the Law and after; the Law being another illustration of fullness of time.
- In a brief review of history, you remember the captivity of Jacob’s family in Egyptbecause of a famine that preceded the Exodus and giving of the Law. Exodus 12.12 reveals the greater bondage, a spiritual bondage, from which God would deliver His people. See in Joshua 24.14-15 the other gods people were deceived by.
- You also remember the Flood that destroyed everything but Noah, his family, and the animals on the Ark. Genesis 6.5-8 reveals the reason for the flood. Previous ‘wickedness’ includes Cain killing Abel and Adam and Eve eating forbidden fruit.
- Mankind’s ‘transgressions’ of God’s intent, because of the corruption of the imaginations of people’s minds (Jeremiah 13.10), called for guidelines for the children of Israel whom God delivered from spiritual and physical bondage, as Paul stated in Galatians 3.19 and 4.3.
- Read Paul’s summary rationale for the Law in 1 Timothy 1.8-11.
- In Galatians 3.21, Paul stated the deficiency of the Law: it could not give life. That is God’s supreme end, which Jesus acknowledged in John 17.24! The Law only makes you aware of sin and spiritual death because of Paul’s rationale in Romans 7.7-11. Note Paul’s source in Leviticus 5.1-6.
- Jesus even acknowledged the Law’s inadequacy in His rebuke of Pharisees and scribes in Matthew 23, especially verses 4, 5, 23, 26, 28. Not even the strictest of the religious leaders could keep the Law!
- Paul stated in Galatians 3.22-24 what purpose of the Law? The ‘promise’ he stated in verse 22 is life that he said in verse 21 that the Law could not give. The Law was to keep mankind ‘under guard…to bring us to Christ…by faith’ to receive LIFE with Him! That is the result that God intended from creation. See Ezekiel 33.11.
- Why is ‘tutor’ an ideal metaphor for the Law? Because, ‘in a household, the guardian/tutor is responsible for the care of and discipline/training of the children’ (NJKV margin explanation). Galatians 4.2 explains that the Father sets the date when the heir is released from the supervision of the guardian/tutor; a fullness of time.
- So, the coming of Christ is another ‘fullness of time’ event in Paul’s timeline and was the event determined by God to give life to the people He created…those who would receive Jesus by faith (John 1.12). This is what Paul wrote in Galatians 4.4-6.
- Paul used this same rationale against the Stoic and Epicurean philosophers at Mars Hill in Athens, Greece. In Acts 17.22-31, Paul led his audience from the ‘wickedness of man’s intent’ (Genesis 6.5-8) straight to the ‘life’ reason for Jesus in verse 31. Jesus is the way,…, to LIFE (John 14.6)! The Creator God has said so (verses 30-31)!
Today is the day of salvation; tomorrow may be too late!
- Many a preacher has voiced this plea, as I do right now. Some tragic event may take your life. Or, the ‘fullness of time’ may usher in the Rapture of Christ’s followers and leave you behind go experience God’s wrath, described in Revelations.
- Paul, too, wrote this plea, when he thought he would be executed, as a last plea to his readers, in Hebrews 3.7-15.
- It is the plea of God Himself!
- Have you accepted Jesus by faith for LIFE? Prayerfully read John 3.16-18. Receive Him by confession to God.
Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2013. www.sozoclass.com