Yesterday we spoke about the mysteries of the New Testament as being spiritual truths that were hidden in the First Covenant but fully revealed in the Gospel. Also in our previous studies we have touched on the Scripture in Galatians 4v4 that uses the expression the fullness of time in relation to God’s redemptive plan. The fullness of time in that context was the timing of Christ’s first coming, His First Advent in which He accomplished the Atonement (God’s redemption of humanity). In our verse today the phrase the fullness of times Paul is speaking of the conclusion of what may be referred to as the Dispensation of Grace, also referred to as the Age of the Church, which is the period of time that God is giving both Jews and Gentiles the opportunity to receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and LORD. The end of this dispensation or age is Christ’s Second Advent or His Return when Jesus Christ will reveal Himself to all humanity as the King of kings and LORD of lords. Thus the mystery of our verse today is speaking of that, as of yet, still future event in which Christ will gather all things as one into Christ, both in heaven and on earth! So what are those things?
Firstly these “things” are all the people who have been saved through God’s redemptive plan throughout all the ages since the days of Adam. Even though the Church is the sheep fold that Jesus was speaking of in John 10 v 1 &16, and we are living during this age, the Church is not the final objective of God’s plan. The final objective is none other than the Bride of Christ. In Revelation 21 we read of the New Jerusalem descending from heaven to earth as the Bride of Christ. The reason that this celestial city will be known as the Bride of Christ is because that is where the Bride will live forever. Therefore this new Jerusalem will be known by those who dwell within her walls. In Revelation 22v17 we read that the Spirit and The Bride say “COME!” This is heartfelt call of the saints and the Holy Spirit longing for the Second Advent of Christ’s Return to earth, and working together to usher in His return. Those who are longing for this Return are not only we who are on earth who are praying COME LORD JESUS COME, but it is also those who are presently in heaven praying GO LORD JESUS GO! The Bride then encompasses all the saints of both dispensations, OLD and NEW, those in heaven and those on earth, those saved before the CROSS by FAITH in the PROMISED MESSIAH and those saved after the CROSS by FAITH in the REVEALED MESSIAH! In Christ we are ONE with those who have preceded us, and they are one with us.
Secondly these “things” are all the deeds done by the people of God throughout all the ages. Rest assured that God has kept a careful meticulous account of every deed done in FAITH. God has kept a witness to Himself in every generation and knows all our works that have been consecrated to Him. All are rewarded at the same time. We will receive our reward to our service of our KING at the same time as Abraham and Moses, at the close of the ages. In this sense our works done in faith are one with theirs, because they have the same purpose – to glorify Christ!
SO our family is bigger than we perhaps we first imagined. It includes all the saints of all the ages. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
OUR PRAYER TODAY
Heaven Father, thank you that You have made us a part of Your eternal plan to bring all things together in Christ, both on earth and in heaven. Thank you that we are one with all those saints who have gone before us. In the same manner help us to live such lives that we may be a light for those saints yet to enter Your kingdom. Enable us to run our race with FAITH, JOY and ENDURANCE as we partner with all who trust Your WORD and pray COME LORD JESUS COME!