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)
We are in the beginning stages of examining the incarnation of Jesus Christ. In studying various passages of Scripture, our goal is to have a comprehensive understanding of this historical and world changing event. 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).
Fourth, Jesus Christ came to earth to accomplish the will of God the Father. Galatians 1:4 says, “4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.”
The phrase “according to” means to move toward a conclusion in light of a prior agreement. The agreement Jesus Christ possessed with God the Father was to His will, purpose and intent. Please notice that the noun God refers to the Lord’s transcendent majesty while the noun Father refers to the Lord’s intimacy with His creation and creatures.
What would the will of God entail for Jesus Christ? What would Jesus do in order to fulfill the Father’s will?
First, Jesus would the perfect and obedient substitute for sinners (2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 52:13- 53:1-12). Second, Jesus would provide justification and redemption on behalf of sinners (Romans 3:21-24; Galatians 2:16). Third, Jesus would provide the believing sinner’s righteousness (Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:5-8; Philippians 3:4-9). Fourth, Jesus would fulfill the Father’s will by reconciling sinners to God (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Colossians 1:20-22). Finally, Jesus would be the only source of eternal life (John 3:16; John 3:36; John 17:1-3; John 20:30-31; I John 5:20-21).
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “The sacrifice of Christ for salvation was the will of God designed and fulfilled for his glory. Cf. Matt. 26:42; John 6:38–40; Acts 2:22–23; Rom. 8:3, 31–32; Eph. 1:7, 11; Heb. 10:4–10.”
Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? He alone provides what is necessary for the sinner to be in a right relationship with God.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!