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What does the phrase “fullness of time” mean?

Fullness of time

The apostle Paul wrote, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,  to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God“ (Galatians 4:4-7). And in Romans, he stressed the same truth, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6 also Mark 1:5).

Fulfilled prophecy

It was plainly confirmed to the universe that, away from God, mankind could never be healed. Unless some divine element of power should be given by the Creator, there was no hope for mankind to be saved by itself. It was at this crucial point that Jesus came to redeem humanity.

This was the perfect time, in that it was the time predicted by the prophet Daniel for the Messiah to die (Daniel 9:24–27; John 13:1; 17:1). Daniel’s prophecy gave the precise time for Christ baptism and crucifixion which confirmed that He was indeed the Messiah and left no excuse for unbelief.

Hunger for the truth

For thousands of years the experimentation of gaining righteousness by works had been taking place in the world. But the most passionate legalists among the Jews and the most educated intellectuals among the Greeks and Romans had been unsuccessful in making a plan that could heal the world’s sicknesses and redeem man from sin and death.

Transgression and corruption had degraded people to the lowest level of morality when Jesus came to this earth. And in some cases, men and women had given themselves wholly over to the dominion of the devil, and his evil image was impressed on their faces.

Ripe political and social conditions

Christ came at the right time, in that conditions in the world had prepared the minds of people to accept with joy the good news of the everlasting kingdom. All over the world there were individuals who had grown tired of the vain and empty ceremonies of legalistic religion and were looking forward for freedom from sin and its dominion.

In addition, in God’s timing, the world was then unified under one government – the Roman Empire. And most of the nations spoke one language. Also, the Jews were dispersed among the nations, thus making possible for the fast spread of the good news to the world.


Christ came to this earth, suffered and died, when the world needed Him most, at the exact time prophesied in the Old Testament. He came at the time when His atoning death could best fulfill its aim of revealing God’s infinite love for fallen humanity (John 3:16).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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