When the Fullness of Time had Come
by David Myers and Wayne Sparkman
With this traditional day of celebration of our Lord’s birth on earth, and with the expectation of family and friends gathering for gift giving, meals, and fellowship, both Wayne Sparkman and I urge a reverent pause among our readers by reading (and perhaps to or with our families) a brief meditation on the first two phrases of Galatians 4:4, “when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son . . . .” (NASV)
On the one hand, on whatever day of history Christ came to earth, we can state that it was the time appointed by the Father in ages past and realized in human time. His birth into time and space history had been ordained by the providence of God. Along with John Calvin, we must not presume to be dissatisfied with this secret purpose of God by raising a dispute as to why Christ did not come sooner. The prophet Isaiah states clearly in Isaiah 55:8, “For (God’s) thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways (God’s) ways, declares the LORD.”
On the other hand, God sent forth His Son, as the second phrase in Galatains 4:4 states, at a providential time in human history. Consider the following truths:
The philosophies of the age had run their course, leaving their adherents, spiritually empty. Reflect on the many idols of worship Paul found in Acts 17 as he stood in the midst of the Areopagus in Athens. Yet these idols did nothing to satisfy the souls of the people.
The Greeks had brought a cultural revolution to the nations, producing a common Greek
language to all the lands, which enabled the early disciples to communicate the gospel to
all peoples. They didn’t have to learn a new language to share the gospel, a fact which facilitated the spread of Christianity.
The Romans had conquered the then known world, bringing peace with order, which enabled the early Christians to travel all over with the gospel of real peace.
The Hebrews had all the prophecies regarding the coming Messiah completed, waiting for their fulfilment by the Birth of the Savior.
Truly, Christ came at the right time in time and space history. We can receive that truth intellectually, but far better to receive it spiritually. So let us make sure this Christmas that we have received Him as our personal Savior by faith alone. Let us pray for all members of our respective families, and friends, that they too have received Him as Lord and Savior.
And so on this December 25, 2015, we say Merry Christmas, dear readers of This Day in Presbyterian History.
Wayne Sparkman/David Myers