"In The Fullness Of Time"

W. Terry Varner
December 18, 2016

Many do not associate Galatians 4:4 with the birth of Jesus. Paul writes, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, so that we might receive the adoption of sons.” However, this text suggests some tremendous things about the birth of Jesus.    

Just as God prepared a body for Jesus (Heb. 10:5), so God prepared the world for the birth of Jesus. The apostles used the phrase “the fullness of time” “with regard not only to the absolute will of God, but to the preparations which were made for the Redeemer on this earth” (Alford, Greek Testament, 3:39). This certainly suggests that God’s timing of His birth was just right. Consider some of the ways in which God prepared the world that then was for the birth of Jesus.

Roads. The Romans built throughout their Empire a network of roads. This enabled the ease of travel, as well as, the ability to communicate throughout the Empire. Remnants of the old Roman road system remain to this day in Europe and the Mid-East. The roads were so good that early Christians traveled and preached the gospel to the entire Roman world (Col. 1:16). [Perhaps our government, in light of the way they spend money and do studies, could try to determine why the Roman road system was so good that parts remain today.]

Language. While Alexander the Great did not know the God of the Bible, the God of the Bible used Alexander the Great and his Greek Empire to help prepare the world for the birth of Jesus. The Greeks spread their language throughout the Empire. It was known as koine Greek. The higher educated were bilingual; i.e. they had their own dialect and they spoke koine Greek. In turn, God chose and used koine Greek to write the New Testament. The consequence? Wherever the Christians went the gospel was preached, understood, and obeyed (Mark 16:15-16).

Peace. The Roman Empire had a large army and were known as conquerors. They maintained peace within the Empire. It was known as Pax Romana. The birth of Jesus, the establishment of the church, and the spread of Christianity enabled and empowered the early Christians to get a “foothold” in the Roman Society before their peace could be interrupted when they were conquered.

Philosophy. For some reason we become nervous with the use of the term “philosophy”. Perhaps, because of inspiration’s warning to beware of vain philosophy (Col. 2:8). All have a philosophy of life just as the philosophers in New Testament times (cf. Acts 17:18; Col. 2). One of their main questions was, “How can I best use my life?” The Gospel of Jesus presents a different philosophy of life—the biblical worldview or philosophy. It asks, “how can I live life here that I may live eternally with God in heaven?” God sent His Son, Jesus (John 3:16). He [Jesus] is “the life” (John 14:6) and “In Him [Jesus] was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26). When we obey the Gospel by faith (Rom. 1:16-17), repent of our sins (Luke 13:3), confess His precious name (Rom. 10:9-10), are baptized for remission of sins (Acts 2:38), and walk in the light with Him (1 John 1:7), we have life here and in eternity will be with God!

While we could add additional ways God prepared the Roman world for His birth, realize what God did to prepare for the birth of our Savior. Notice in the above things, some relate to the conditions for helping to make the Gospel known, while others relate to helping men obey the Gospel.