In His Time

“When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons”

Galatians 4:4-5

Like many phrases in the Bible the first few words of this passage have been adopted by some into their regular speech. The “fullness of time” means at the right time. It was God who declared the time right. The people involved had no foreknowledge and it was unexpected on their part. Neither Mary nor Joseph had any warning.

The reason Jesus came is stated for us here. His mission was to buy back that which Adam had given away to Satan. The price was the Son of God crucified. The law could not redeem people and neither could any person redeem themselves or anyone else because all were born in sin and have sinned. All that the law can do is reveal people’s condemned state. It would take incarnate deity to pay the price for our sin; One without the sin disposition and who has never sinned. At its root sin is rebellion against God: “I want to do it my way, not His way.”

On the cross Jesus not only delivered us from justifiable punishment but in His resurrection He gave us a new position that we could never attain ourselves. An adopted son is equal with a biological son concerning inheritance. In Christ’s death and resurrection He has taken away the penalty for sin and also the very root of sin and placed us as sons with Christ to share in His inheritance.

Only as we have the same nature as God can we commune and coexist with Him. Jesus accomplished that for us and that is the Gift of God to undeserving sinners. The magi from the east brought gifts to Jesus in worship and thanksgiving. Everyone who has truly trusted Christ will be thankful to God. Paul writes that it is therefore reasonable that we should present ourselves as a living sacrifice in thankfulness, and as an act of worship, for His unspeakable gift (Romans 12:1).

The times are in His hands and at the right time He will again invade the earthly realm and assume His rightful place as KING of kings and LORD of Lords. Then, and only then, there will be: Peace on earth and goodwill toward men. May you experience a very happy and blessed Christmas with joy that endures all year.

“Right on Time”

“When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)

At just the right time Jesus came into the world to take away the sin of all people. The prophetic passages in the Old Testament gave warning to anyone who was listening when Messiah would come. The men from the east knew the timing and came to see the young child, Jesus. He came just at the right time, the time of God’s appointment.

As we come to Christmas we may reflect on that much more but there are some other considerations that should encourage us and bring joy to our hearts.

Since Jesus’ first coming was at just the right time, should we expect that His second coming will be any different? Of course not! His second coming will come at just the right time and that time will be in accord with the prophetic passages of the Bible. His second coming will be just as His first in this respect – at just the right time.

There are plenty of passages in the Bible that give information concerning the timing of Jesus’ second coming. In brief, Jesus said that we may know the season but not the date.

Since “God sent forth His Son” at just the right time, is it too big a leap for us to believe that He also brought us into the world at just the right time?

My wife sometimes fantasises that she should have lived in the mansions of Europe a couple of hundred years ago until she realises that she might not have been the daughter of a wealthy landowner but maybe the scullery maid in that mansion. We may fantasise these things with some enjoyment but in reality we know that God brought us into the world at just the right time for His glory and purpose.

Since God is the God of the Bible this seems quite reasonable but then that leads us to take it another step. Since we are in the world now by God’s appointment, the circumstances in which we find ourselves today are also God’s appointment for us. They are meant firstly for His glory and secondly for our good. They will always reveal His glory but whether we receive the benefit God intended will depend on our reception and response to the circumstances.

Mordecai knew the reality of this when he said to Esther, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). This reality was the motivation that Esther needed to risk her life for her people.

There have been many occasions when we know that we have had a “divine appointment”; but the reality is is that there have been countless more that we have not recognised. Indeed the very timing of our lives on earth is just the right time appointed by God. Accepting this must surely have an impact on our attitude and manner of life.

Jesus came for a purpose at His first coming and He will come for a purpose at His second coming. Both occasions are just at the right time. God has also placed each of us in the world at just the right time for His glory and purpose. The prime purpose is that we “may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10). Like Esther, we will only see the specifics as we come to them but that in no way diminishes the fact that God has brought us into the world at just the right time – His right time.