Galatians 4:1-5 “Fullness of Time/Adoption” (Sermon text and audio)

Posted on March 8, 2012


This is my sermon on Galatians 4:1-5. This message was delivered on March 4, 2012 at Hillcrest Baptist Church. This is a verse by verse exposition which deals with the perfect timing of God, and the permanence of our adoption. You will find the text of the sermon, the audio, and a downloadable study outline. Please note that the sermon text is NOT a full transcript. Typically, as I preach, I add to what is in my notes. So, for the full sermon, please listen to the audio version.


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Gal 4_1-5



We have talked about the role of the Guardian, but who was the guardian?

Guardians were slaves charged and entrusted with the care of minor boys. They had nearly complete control over the child.

Being in the care of a slave, the child was, in effect, no different than a slave until he came of age.

The coming of age of a boy to a man was appointed by the father. At the time that the father had set, there would be a celebration, and his son would officially be an adult.

The young man would be freed from the guardian, and eligible for his inheritance.

There is an appointed time for everything, and God the Father has appointed it.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (1-2)

There are 28 “times” listed here.

Ephesians 1:11-12

All things happen according to God’s will.

*predestination, as used here, refer to us being predestined to be the praise of God. Nowhere in the Bible are we told that anyone is predestined either for heaven or hell.

God the father, likewise, appointed a time for Jesus to redeem us.

Romans 5:6

Legalism is not a mark of greater maturity, it is the mark of immaturity. For a Christian, it is like stepping backward to your childhood.

The word ‘elements” in this context would mean basic principles or elementary concepts. This would be akin to the basics of every child’s education, such as ABC’s and basic arithmetic.

By continually staying under the law, we keep ourselves in spiritual kindergarten. Many Christians do this to themselves today.

We have a wealth of wisdom available in God’s word, but rather than immersing ourselves in it and really learning it, all we do is recite the ABC’s.

We should be studying God’s Word

2 Timothy 2:15

This diligence requires study, if we are to rightly divide the Word of Truth. And that study will prove to be profitable.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

The “fullness of time,” is simply referring to the timing of the coming of Christ.

God sent His son into the world at just the right time. . . after all of the preparations had been made.

Jesus was not one second too early or late, He was right on time.

Until that time, the world was in bondage and under a “tutor” or “guardian.”

Just as a child has to be properly trained and prepared before he can claim his inheritance. Before we are adopted, we are under the tutor (bondage) of the law. (vv. 1-2)

God had prepared the world for the coming of Christ, and at the fullness of time, God sent Him.

When Jesus came He had to live under the same law that everyone else was under, thus He broke the chains of the law, and freed all who would place their faith in Him.

John 1:12

Jesus’ coming was not by chance, it wasn’t early or late, it was at the perfect time!

The world was full of spiritually starved people, and God had prepared the world so that the Gospel message could easily reach them.

Because of the Greeks, the world had a common language, and a system of roads that facilitated efficient travel.

Never before had the world been so easily accessible, the conditions were just right. It was the fullness of time.

Jesus came and offered Himself for two reasons.

1) To redeem those who were under the law.

2) That we might receive the adoption.

The New Testament word for adoption means “to place as an adult son.”

It has to do with our standing in the family of God: we are not little children but adult sons with all of the privileges of sonship.

There is a distinction between children of God and sons of God.

All of God’s adopted children are are given the status of a son. This is significant, because it is a son who would be heir to the inheritance.

The word “adoption” simply means to receive the place of a son.

Under Roman law, the father had absolute authority over a son as long as the father lived. Therefore, when we are adopted by God, He has absolute authority over us.

Secondly, under Roman law, adoption was permanent, it could not be undone.

This provides another picture of our adoption into God’s family. Once we become a child of God, it cannot be undone, it is eternal.

Next, under Roman law, the adopted son had all the rights of his new family. Likewise, the adopted believer is a joint heir with Christ.

Finally, under Roman law, the adopted son lost all rights and identification with his old family.

It is the same with God, we become a new creation and enter into a new life, when adopted into God’s family. A believer should never look back.

Biblical adoption only happens after coming to God in faith.

Galatians 3:26

The believer has all the rights and privileges of a son of God.

Galatians 4:6-7

Adoption gives us a special relationship with other believers.

Galatians 3:28

1 John 1:2-3

Adoption makes us a new person.

2 Corinthians 5:17

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