But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,…
I. HERE IS THE CHARACTER OF THE PERSON SENT INTO THE WORLD. "God sent forth His Son." The phrase is of the same import, with those other expressions we meet with in Scripture (John 3:16; Hebrews 1:1). The meaning is: God having of old established several forms of religion among men, by divers ways of revelation, by discovering Himself to the patriarchs, by the delivering of the law to Moses; He did at last in mercy and compassion to mankind vouchsafe to afford them one more clear and perfect revelation of His will, by the preaching of a person of far greater excellence and authority than any before; even by His own Son. The person here declared to be sent into the world, was in a peculiar manner the Son of God. The text also implies that He was with God, in the bosom of the Father, before He was sent into the world.
II. HERE IS A DESCRIPTION OF THIS DIVINE PERSON'S CONDITION, AND HIS MANNER OF CONVERSATION IN THE WORLD — "He was made of a woman, made under the law." He was made of a woman, i.e., He became truly and really a man; not taking upon Him only the similitude of our nature, but being really and truly such; subjected to all the infirmities of human nature, and tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15; see also Hebrews 2:17).
III. HERE IS THE END AND DESIGN OF HIS COMING THUS INTO THE WORLD; set forth in the last part of the words — "To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." The same phrase the apostle again makes use of in the Epistle to the Romans (Romans 8:15). God deals not with us as a master with his servants, but as a father with his sons, requiring of us not any hard and burdensome service, but only a rational and sincere obedience. Our Lord came "to redeem them that were under the law;" i.e., to abrogate the burden. some ceremonies of the Jewish institutions; "That we might receive the adoption of sons"; i.e., that He might establish with men a new covenant, which should be most easy to observe, and most sufficient to justify those that should observe it. Most easy to observe, is this covenant of the gospel; because its precepts are not positive and carnal ordinances, but the great duties of the moral and eternal law of God. Christ has suffered for us, that we might receive the adoption of sons; but if we continue not to live virtuously as becomes the children of God, it will nothing profit us to have received this adoption. "They only who are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14).
(S. Clarke, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,