3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Galatians 1:3-5)
Why in fact did Jesus come to earth? Let’s examine what the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatian churches in order to find the answer to this question.
First, Jesus Christ came to earth as the incarnation of God the Father’s grace and peace. “Grace to you and peace from God our Father…” (Galatians 1:3a). Grace (χάρις; charis) is defined as “unmerited favor.” It is the bestowing of pleasure, delight, or favorable regard from one to another. It is God’s loving-kindness to sinners who deserve judgment. Peace (εἰρήνη; eirene) is the resulting harmony, on the basis of grace, between God and sinful man. Peace is accomplished through the gospel and is also the rest and contentment consequentially as the result of God’s grace.
Second, Jesus Christ came to earth as to be the propitiation, or atoning sacrifice, on behalf of sinners. The text reads, “Who gave Himself for our sins” – 1:4a. The text refers to an active and personal total surrender by Jesus Christ on behalf of sinners who continually are missing the mark of acquiring the holiness and righteousness of God.
Third, Jesus Christ came to earth to deliver believing sinners from this present, evil age. “To deliver us from the present evil age” (Galatians 1:4b). Let us examine this text in detail.
The phrase “to deliver us” is a purpose clause. It means to set free those who are in great danger from which they are unable to extricate themselves. Those who are rescued originally were by nature enemies of God and this rescue is accomplished by the death of the rescuer. This rescue is progressive in character and will not be completed until the sinner is taken home to be with the Lord in heaven. This deliverance from the penalty of sin, the power of sin and eventually the very presence of sin is being accomplished whenever a sinner is brought out of the darkness of sin into the light of salvation and whenever a saint gains a victory in their struggle against sin.
The phrase “from the present evil age” refers to the anti-God non-religious world system which is rebellious against God. It is a transient world which is hastening to its close and in which, in spite of all its pleasures and treasures, there is nothing of abiding value. Dr. John MacArthur explains that, “The Greek word for “age” does not refer to a period of time but an order or system, and in particular to the current world system ruled by Satan (See Rom. 12:2; 1 John 2:15–16; 5:19).”
This world is a world qualified by sin; the devil is its god (2 Corinthians 4:4; I Corinthians 2:6; Ephesians 2:2). Hence, because of sin, it will go to its doom. As one pastor explains, “This deliverance is a loosing of the saints from the sinful ties of this world, and of a liberation from the divine curse and wrath which rests on this world, so that for believers their share in the suffering and death of this world gets to have a different meaning.”
Have you, and are you, being rescued from this present evil age? You either belong to the world or you belong to Christ. There is no middle ground. You are either in Christ or you are not. Examine your soul today and ask God to reveal to you what is the status of your eternal soul.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!