Tuesday: “God Sent Forth His Son”

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law”(Gal. 4:4, ESV).

Paul’s choice of the word fullness indicates God’s active role in working out His purpose in human history. Jesus did not come at just any time; He came at the precise time God had prepared. From a historical perspective, that time is known as the Pax Romana (the Roman Peace), a two-hundred-year period of relative stability and peace across the Roman Empire. Rome’s conquest of the Mediterranean world brought peace, a common language, favorable means of travel, and a common culture that facilitated the rapid spread of the gospel. From a biblical perspective, it also marked the time that God had set for the coming of the promised Messiah (see Dan. 9:24–27).1

Why did Christ have to take our humanity in order to redeem us? John 1:14; Gal. 4:4, 5; Rom. 8:3, 4; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 2:5–8; Heb. 2:14–18; 4:14, 15.

Galatians 4:4, 5 contains one of the most succinct accounts of the gospel in Scripture. The coming of Jesus into human history was no accident. “God sent forth His Son.” In other words, God took the initiative in our salvation.

Also implicit in these words is the fundamental Christian belief in Christ’s eternal deity (John 1:1–3, 18; Phil. 2:5–9; Col. 1:15–17). God did not send a heavenly messenger. He, Himself, came.

Although He was the divine preexistent Son of God, Jesus was also “born of woman.” Though the virgin birth is implied in this phrase, it more specifically affirms His genuine humanity.

The phrase “born under the law” points not only to Jesus’ Jewish heritage but also includes the fact that He bore our condemnation.

It was necessary for Christ to assume our humanity because we could not save ourselves. By uniting His divine nature with our fallen human nature, Christ legally qualified to be our Substitute, Savior, and High Priest. As the second Adam, He came to reclaim all that the first Adam had lost by his disobedience (Rom. 5:12–21). By His obedience He perfectly fulfilled the law’s demands, thus redeeming Adam’s tragic failure. And by His death on the cross, He met the justice of the law, which required the death of the sinner, thus gaining the right to redeem all who come to Him in true faith and surrender.



Tuesday: “God Sent Forth His Son” — 14 Comments

  1. Thanks a lot for your bible study lesson. It greatly helps my spiritual growth and relationship with Jesus. God bless.

  2. I am not interested in the supernaturalism of Christianity, but am very interested in the study of the early history of the group. I am always happy to talk to others that are also interested in this topic. My interest specifically is up till perhaps a generation or two after Irenaeus. But I would say I am interested in anything from the Maccabean revolt up till about 384CE when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire.

    Cheers! richgriese.net/religion

      • Hello Inge,

        I have not seen the theory that a jesus actually existed demonstrated. I know it is a common hypothesis, but there is just no historical data for that. Albert Schweitzer showed this years and years ago in his book, _The Quest of the Historical Jesus_ (edit) Many others have also shown that it is much more likely that Jesus was a literary creation. [edit]

        This specific issue, the historical jesus hypothesis, is one of the topics within christianity that I have probably studied more than any other. I am happy to talk to people at length about the dozens and dozens of various ideas on this topic, but it is best if you/they contact me directly via email.

        Another good source for info on this is Dr. Robert M. Price, who does audio podcasts [edit]

        Again, I am happy to talk with you or anyone else further about this. Just email me

        Cheers! [email addresses not transmitted in this blog]

        • Rich,

          I'm curious to know the nature of history you have been studying. World History which is mostly studied by people from all walks of life has Jesus portrayed somewhere.

          I know it is a wierd feeling to feel confused about all other world religions and etc... but I hope you won't be fooled. Believing that Jesus did not exist is equivalent to saying God does not exist. And according to Proverbs 14:1 "The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."" I hope and pray that you won't be numbered among them.

          Please feel free to post your other concerns about the same.

  3. Hey Tyler,

    I am a historian, not a supernaturalist. I study the history of early Christianity. I am happy to talk to people via email that are also interested in that topic.

    Cheers! RichGriese.NET/religion

    • Hello Rich.

      History is important as someone once said (I don't know who), "those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat the same mistakes" (very roughly quoted). Even though it is as important as it is I hope you are not casting off supernaturalism altogether.

      Have a great day.

  4. Dear Angeline,

    I study all kinds of history except military battles. While I will learn about battles in general I don't study them like the civil war or WW2 buffs do, i.e., all of the details and such. I will only learn that a battle took place if it is part of general history. But I study history in general, trying to learn about the ancient and modern past in an attempt to be educated in general.

    I am not confused about world religions. People's psychological and societal desire/need/motivation for religions is perfectly understandable to me. And I have studied all of the major world religions.

    Regarding the theory that a jesus actually existed. I simply have not seen any evidence for such a theory, and a great deal of evidence indicating that he was an created literary character for a number of reasons. Also, I have noticed that while folks in the religion industry will promote the theory that there was a character jesus, folks in the history industry do not. If someone can one day demonstrate that a jesus character did exist, I'll add that info to my knowledge.

    Regarding your quote of "proverbs", I am not a supernaturalist so I don't get involved with the idea of gods.

    If you or anyone else has additional follow up questions or wants to discuss christian history further, it is best to email me.

    Cheers! [email address edited out, see comment guidelines]

  5. For those who see the Bible as the inspired Word of God, there is no question -- Jesus Christ came from heaven, lived here on planet earth as a human being, was crucified, rose again and returned to heaven to minister in the heavenly sanctuary. All for the salvation for every believing person in this sin doomed world.

    However, not everyone thinks of the Bible as the Word of God and look to history for authenticity.

    People have found evidence of the historical person of Jesus.

    There is a testimony by Tacitus (A.D. 54-119) He was a high ranking Rome who did not like Christians and wrote in his "Annals" saying the originator of the superstitutious religion had been put to death by the procurator Pontius Pilate under the reign of Tiberius; that His religion, though suppressed for a time, broke forth again not only throughout Judea where it had originated, but even in Rome.
    This man was not trying to fabricate a new belief, he was relating to Rome's hatred against Christ's followers.

    Suetonius (another anti-Christian Roman living in the first century AD) recognized that Christ was the noteworthy founder of a historically fast growing new religion.

    Pliny the Younger (who also lived in the first century AD) wrote a letter to Emperor Trajan asking him what he should do with these followers of Christ. Pliny used the name “Christ” three times to refer to the originator of the “sect.”

    Celsus, a second-century pagan philosopher wrote against Christianity in his "True Discourse" (A.D. 178)
    He ridiculed the virgin birth claiming a Roman soldier was Christ's father. Yet, important to our discussion here, Celsus considered Christ a real historical person.

    Josephus, a Jewish historian, mentioned Christ in two paragraphs in his massive history. Josephus did not accept Christ as the Messiah, but he acknowledged him as a historical figure.

    These are just a few bits of historical evidence that even those who had no interest in Christianity back in the first centuries AD, did not deny the reality of Christ's historical existance here on earth.

    The Bible gives us the truth about Jesus Christ,
    these ancient hostile-Christian sources give evidence that indeed there was a historical person here.

    • Dear Ulrike,

      You will find that all of the folks that you mentioned talk about christians, not jesus. There is no argument that christians existed, the question is was there ever a jesus, and there is simply no evidence of a jesus. Specifically regarding Josepheus BTW that one sentence in which is mentions jesus is an acknowledged forgery by the early church.

      [This blog encourages conversation, not advocacy of opposing views through links. Thus links are edited out.]


      • Rich, you are correct that the "Testimonium Flavianum" is popularly considered a forgery, but Josephus's other incidental mentions of Jesus are not so easily discounted except as a matter of opinion. Even in the "Testimonium" recent scholarly discussion has favored at least partial authenticity.


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