But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,…
I. THE FULNESS OF TIME.
1. Time hath a fulness, because it has a capacity (Ephesians 4:13).
2. That fulness comes by degrees. As with life so with time.
3. There is a time when time cometh to its fulness (John 7:8. cf. 12:23). In the day at the meridian; in man at full age.
4. When that "when" is. When God sends it. That which fills time is some memorable thing of God's pouring into it. Moses and the prophets filled it to a certain degree; Christ filled it to the brim. Well might it be called the fulness, for
(1) Christ was the fulness of God (Colossians 2:9; John 3:34; John 1:14-16).
(2) In Him the promises were fulfilled.
(3) The heir, the world had come to his full age, and so was ripe to receive Him its inheritance.
II. THE FILLING OF TIME.
1. From the fulness of His compassion God "sent."
2. From the fulness of His love He "sent His Son."
3. In the fulness of humility He sent Him.
(1) "Made of a woman," to make full union with our nature.
(2) "Made under the law" to make the union yet more perfectly full with our sinful condition by undertaking, at circumcision, to fulfil all the righteousness of its law (Galatians 5:8), and at His passion fulfilling all our obligations to the law (Colossians 2:14).
III. THE FULNESS OF THE BENEFIT TO US.
1. Redemption. Consider
(1) The price paid;
(2) The captives;
(3) The liberation.
(1) Prisoners translated into children;
(2) Slaves of sin into joint heirs with God's Son.
IV. THE FULNESS OF DUTY BY US. Christmas should be —
1. A time of fulness of joy; but not that only; also a time of —
2. Thankfulness to God.
I. CHRIST CAME IN THE FULNESS OF TIME.
1. What is this?
(1) The time appointed by the Father.
(2) Fore. told by the prophets.
2. How doth it appear?
(1) From Genesis 49:10.
(2) Daniel 9:25.
(3) Haggai 2:9; Malachi 3:1.
II. CHRIST WAS SENT, THEREFORE HE HAD A BEING BEFORE. This appears from
(1) John 6:33, 51;
(2) John 1:15; John 8:58.
(3) John 1:2; Hebrews 1:2; Colossians 1:15, 16.
III. CHRIST WAS GOD'S SON.
1. He was God (Romans 9:5; 1 John 5:20).
2. This Godhead He received of the Father (John 5:26).
3. This communication was properly a generation.
IV. CHRIST WAS MADE OF A WOMAN.
1. He received His human body substantially from a woman.
2. Made, i.e., without the help of man (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 24; Luke 1:34, 35).Uses.
(1) See the infinite love of God to man.
(2) The dignity of man above all other creatures.
2. Exhortation. Be thankful for this inestimable mercy.
(1) How miserable you would be without it. Your sins unpardoned; your God unreconciled; your soul condemned.
(2) How happy by it: your person justified; your God reconciled; your souls saved. Sing with the angels (Luke 2:14).
I. There was A THREEFOLD WORK OF PREPARATION, each portion of which demanded the lapse of a certain period.
1. The Gentile world had to he prepared.
(1) Politically. A common language and social system with laws and Government were required and provided in the Greek language and the Roman Empire:(2) In religious conviction. The old religions went to pieces, and an age of vice, superstition, and unbelief supervened. The epoch of religious experiments closed in an epoch of despair.
(3) In moral experience. Men saw and approved the better course and followed the worse. Consciousness of sin and weakness led them to yearn for a deliverer.
2. The Jewish world —
(1) Politically was expecting change, and that Shiloh would appear.
(2) Their religious convictions pointed to Him.
(3) Their law was a moral preparation, "a schoolmaster to lead them to Christ."
II. WHEN THE TIME WAS FULL CHRIST CAME.
1. If we had seen Jesus in His earthly life what impression would He have produced on our unprejudiced souls?
(1) We should have observed in Him a totally different relation to truth from that of every other man.
(a) There was no struggle between His will and God's law.
(b) He never sinned.
2. His nature was at harmony with itself. No one excellence is out of proportion. Contemplation and action; the desire for the public and the individual good; all that was most manly and most womanly; the Jewish, Greek, Roman types, all harmonized. The first Adam contained the whole race of his descendents; so Christ became the Head of a new race.
3. As we looked steadily we should have seen that He was God's Son, made of a woman.
III. FROM WHAT DID CHRIST COME TO DELIVER US.
1. From false views of the world and life.
2. From base and desponding views of human nature.
3. From bondage.
Parallel VersesKJV: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,