In the Fullness of Time


The intent of this lecture is to lift our eyes and hearts heavenward to consider seven brief words from Paul’s letter to the Galatians which have the power to give us a more noble, majestic understanding of the Incarnation and help us in our worship the Holy One of Israel: “When the fullness of the time came.” These words provide an overview of God’s sovereign plan to send His only begotten Son into the world to redeem lost sinners. By pondering the significance of this revelation, we are not only thinking about the baby Jesus in a manger; we are considering the creation of time and space “in the beginning,” human history, the ripeness of time, and how everything is working together to accomplish God eternal decrees for the entire universe. In short, we are considering the meaning of the word mystery.

What is mystery? “In the Bible, mystery designates the content of God’s good news (Eph. 6:19) that focuses on Christ (Col. 2:2) as eternally decreed (I Cor. 2:7), yet veiled to human understanding awaiting supernatural disclosure (I Cor. 2:8; Rom. 8:25) in a historical manifestation (Eph. 1:9; 3:3-4) in the ‘fullness of the time’ (Gal. 4:4). The mysterious wisdom of God was prepared before the creation (I Cor. 2:7) and was hidden in God (Eph. 3:9), and hidden from the ages (I Cor. 2:8; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:26; Rom. 16:25). But the times reach their terminus in the revelation that the creation and consummation of the world are comprised in the eternal Christ become flesh” (Henry). Let us, then, consider what Paul meant when He wrote these penetrating words.


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In the Fullness of Time