“The Fullness of Time” (Series: From the Mountain Peak)
Scripture: Ephesians 1:9-10
There are many things that we wish God would reveal to us but in his sovereign wisdom he has decided not to. What he has chosen to make known to us is the mystery of his will. Simply put, this mystery is the gospel of Jesus Christ and the way that both Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) can enter the family of God by grace through faith in Christ (Ephesians 3:6). But the gospel is bigger news and greater hope than just individual, personal redemption. It also provides the hope of cosmic redemption which includes the redemption of our personal stories as well as the history of the world.
Paul states that all things will be united in Christ. All things refers not just to our spirits but to our bodies as well. It includes spiritual and physical things. As in-flesh people, we are formed by experiences that are both good and bad, shaped by memories that are helpful and harmful. But in the final redemption, all of who we are will be redeemed in Christ. All things also includes creation and history. The world in which we live and move. And all things will be redeemed because all things were affected by sin’s curse in the fall. Sin’s destructive power wasn’t limited to our relationship with God but was woven into the fabric of creation and thus is seen and experienced in all of life. The curse in Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve disobeyed God wasn’t merely exile from God’s presence. It was a deterioration of the entire world. As a result, there is brokenness not only in us but around us. We are fallen but we also live in a fallen world. This is why nothing every goes right. This is why life is hard and unfair.
Into this situation God sent Jesus in the fullness of time to unite all things in his Son. The word “unite” can also mean “to sum up.” It’s only in Christ that all of this sin-cursed world will be made right, reordered and renewed. Christ will sum it up and restore it. Our stories and history itself are not aimlessly circular but everything is heading toward this hopeful destination. Jesus promises a cosmic redemption of all things in him. When our lives are full of frustration and the world is full of fragmentation, we can feel so helpless and powerless to put anything together. But where our attempts at redemption fail, Christ succeeds. He is the one who will put your shattered life and this hurting world back together again. He is the Cosmic Redeemer.
Suggested Group Discussion Questions
- What elements of the gospel do you think is often missing in how unbelievers and even Christians often think about it? Articulate how this view of cosmic redemption can be more hopeful and appealing than a more narrow view of the gospel.
- When sin is limited to only what separates you and God, we underestimate the pervasive destructive power of sin. Not only do we personally sin and are personally sinned against, but we live in a broken world marked with sin. Can you share how you have seen sin exposed in the world? In what specific ways have you seen evidence of sin’s pervasiveness?
- If you are willing to share, what kinds of things in your life are you most looking forward to seeing redeemed/summed up/united in Christ? What aspects of the brokenness of the world do you looking forward to most seeing redeemed/summed up/united in Christ?
- Doxology: Express how this sermon helps you understand, appreciate and worship Jesus more. In what ways has the gospel become more alive to you having read this passage and heard this sermon?
- Response: Formulate a one sentence prayer that’s informed by the passage and the sermon. This prayer should articulate what you desire to walk away and how you want God to apply it in your life. Have a few people share what they came up with.